I Tried Practising Solos
(not) to choose purple
please know this colour (i don’t like)
red and blue are properties of
purple hanging through
my window reveals,
and rather than stir things by dancing past,
by their view
I’ll stir them.
My body writing
a friend Amaara said,
is an act of speaking while
sitting against one white wall facing in
conditioned and then walking with closed eyes lashing the form of
my way into purple:
at the end, red
thinking of blue,
bluets, inlets and its
the weight of a book sustains
Here a dancer might hold absent colour
in their arms
as well as
their mind, how
we can’t write a field but I will try
to release It-things from their functional reality.
with the residues of others
colour / some rich
somatic psychic data
from which to swing or
making It here and there
a tower of tape rolls or
the way atoms touch and feel
one time as Cutout1 1. Choreographed by Jo Lloyd, presented in the Melbourne Festival, at ACCA on Monday 1 October 2018, in response to the solo exhibition by Eva Rothschild; Kosmos (28 September - 25 November 2018)
and as many visitors dance through the
fields of their It-things
where I collect all the Kosmic blue about me with open arms,
scatter-sow a love from what
property no one owns,
particles that wave
when we’re saturated in blue we
touchdown from days of
run scarce / run past
vivid-white and red
and green and purple and black in search of It
to bring back something absent:
a relief gives you great potential
and flutter your lashes at my sunken mountain.
All the dirt I need to eat to level myself with / the ground
is concrete and when you squint
revolutionary relational dirt moving us
which is to say that from my position:
the Kosmos moves.
a: start with something known
I say blue and you see blue as
a spell I fought to stay under and get out from under,
in turns 2 2. Maggie Nelson
jump me while I brace the sea and
bear back longing into water.
It could be the self that falls
lap onto me as foam,
white and aquamarine.
I’m speaking to my love of her3
3. My love for Maggie Nelson
and her longing and
my attraction to her longing:
two people in the entity of blue.
To want to write on a feeling, without having chosen
a friend tells me I deserve happiness
as though we’re walking to destinations
parting one from two
makes less sense / a sheer opening /
hopeless case / open lesson.
Green is yellow and blue
is sometimes blended
pink and aquamarine
is a shared property of two instances of blue.
To get a rich blue
drop an anchor
through the water,
fold over the boat rim
to face your surface,
let It sieve
your real mind
Your eyes sink down nylon lines.
My blues stretch nausea:
a mixing process on my flesh.
I am not interested in longing
to live in a world in which I already live.
I don’t want to yearn for blue ... 4 4. Maggie Nelson
the visual world
is mostly composed
of disembodied properties /
on my thigh a scene
then waves with brain-y excitement.
The self can move around.
One time a gift. Thinking of the discus tower
in your exhibition / in my shower
building up to a well versed spine,
you know if you do It again then again ...
The pleasure of holding is a case of things I like to fold together:
my individual / goes
this and that
hand and on one hand
feels and is superficial
what I hold
can't long for pages from an outside world /
I could return to
my brow to
my cheek to hang
a narrow panel of flesh behind
a polyvinyl edge
is being asked
knocks against me.
Now the ball (I imagine) I’m holding
is every bit of precious blue
to fall in
throw It up
then catch a button,
collect a lozenge.
Transience is edible
like an image
hand over nothing
and see your reflection everywhere,
in the swallowing find
the body and object fit.5 5. Sara Ahmed
This room is for this kind of work6 6. Sara Ahmed and I wrote this and then, I realise the width I’m playing within is pale white with comfort and less I felt no pain.
a: start with something known
b: suppose I were to begin
... to speak ...suppose I shredded my napkin as we spoke7 7. Maggie Nelson
a field lost Its
still blue feeling, no more
words moved and now
like the ocean locked down
assuming this feels
I look up
in my dictionary
even though I know what a napkin looks like and how to use one.
A square or oblong piece of linen, cotton cloth, or paper as for ... little tablecloth8 8. Macquarie Concise Dictionary Seventh Edition
for each table is being asked9 9.Sara Ahmed
to line up in rows and so
the earth moves
beneath a surface of tables /
clean hands, and never go more than three days without playing10 10. Viv Albertine
something in the air
to stay alive is to stay relevant.
How I long to be a hanky tucked away in a pocket or purse, to go on daily trips.11 11. Dodie Bellamy
Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking that all desire
is yearning12 12. Maggie Nelson
is length, pulling from location
writing from tables
confined children finish all sentences with the word
my Nanna’s teacher told her not to use
but13 13. Dodie Bellamy
in her story
the most I want to do is show you the end of my index finger14
14. Maggie Nelson
pointing ... out to security15
15. Dodie Bellamy
the pointing finger of beauty
fell downward and swung sideways16 16. Dodie Bellamy a movement only connected to and at the sole mercy of one
upon a line
a clever woman would jump upwards
to hang below the earth,
under the table,
under the cloth,
under the bandage.
This poem scores ways to move Kosmos, ways to move of and with its materials. These materials include our very relating: our powers to sense and imagine absence and presence, our desire, our longing. I involve the words of great writers in these scored relations, and give here their citations. When I quote Maggie Nelson it is from her book ‘Bluets’: ‘we do not choose the things we love’ but I let this guide my travel. Nelson’s blue is her constant, her anchor, a relationship where blue is a colour, a property, determinable but not fixed. This shifting concept helped shape my noticing. Sara Ahmed’s words from ‘Queer Phenomenology’ inspired me to keep turning; myself and all the things I come to face. Remember the Kosmic world takes shape as we move through it. When I quote Viv Albertine it’s from her book ‘Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys’ from her chapter ‘something in the air’. Dodie Bellamy’s words are from her story ‘The Bandaged Lady’ from her book ‘When the Sick Rule the World’.
Dodie Bellamy, When the Sick Rule the World, Semiotext(e) Active Agents Series, 2015.
Maggie Nelson, Bluets, Wave Books, Seattle, Washington, 2009.
Macquarie Concise Dictionary Seventh Edition, Macquarie Dictionary Publishers, an imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney, 2017.
Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology - Orientations, Objects, Others, Duke University Presses, Durham and London, 2006.
Viv Albertine, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys, Faber & Faber, London, 2014.