Saturday, October 31, 2015

poem || Lawrence Upton

Poem for poet voice and dancer
(Dance #10)
Performance. Instructions to the dancer are in square brackets and are not to be spoken. The dancer may also respond to what the voice says.]

The door lets in noises.
The room is full of static.
There is nothing but loud near-vacuum.
[The dancer appears, having run forward startlingly, stopped and then started again; all done not quite jerkily, but certainly with little flow in between each separable movement.]
I have a troubling sense of light.
My lips are dry and catch together, or so it feels. I am alive, but with pain; and I am alone and in pain.
[The dancer flaps its arms, lifting itself a very little from the ground; but it does not fly.]
Who am I? he asks. He pushes the door shut.
[The dancer lifts its wings – its arms – and stretches them out momentarily.
The dancer preens itself.]
The world spreads out before him. He will no longer read his notes. He does not wish to read his notes.
[The dancer looks about itself with quick jabs of sight, the whole body poised beneath the obsessing and observing head.]
There are other choices. Some offer escape. She looks at the time. All she can do is wait.
[The dancer stumbles backwards and falls. Its four legs go into the air, a small crowd of them. All of the dancer's weight is on its back. The dancer is squinting with ferocity.]
His thoughts are not pleasant thought.
[The dancer wipes its beak on a protrusion, possibly a branch.
Things vibrate a while, after the dancer leaves them.]
He is aware how high above the centre of the world he is. It makes him forgetful.

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