Last weekend in Livingston, Montana, I participated in a text/collaborative art show.
I was given a photograph, and then I wrote a poem based on that photo. Then I passed on my poem to two dancers, and they choreographed a dance which then played at the show. And so and so on.
Here is the photo by Bozeman based photographer Dan Armstrong:
Here is the poem I wrote based on his photo:
I intended to travel alone,
but the mind is that clingy companion, impartial to longitudes and latitudes, unwilling to be left behind.
So, it’s one foot in front of the other
down eroded alleyways, along picturesque trails, squeezing you out with a frenzy of new images
followed by warm exchanges with the passerby- we all insist on being perfectly present (not reflecting on what we said
and didn’t say, did and didn’t do).
But when the darkness takes over, issuing stars into the night sky, your absence seeps in like a carnivorous vapor:
seething particles consume my mouth, until smiling burns,
and my eyes,
until the tears come (and they do), even my ears!
until endless chatter aches as much as endless quiet,
devouring my skin so slowly and methodically until eventually,
I don’t recognize myself.
By ‘your absence’, I mean the way you come into my world everyday
And here is the dance that two ladies did based on my poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R79d7F-vWPk&feature=youtu.be