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field recordings 29.05.2017 – 15.06.2017 including Minus Theatre Workshops for Visit Me Genius

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No. XXIII

XXIII.

the extreme poverty of Moerewa

a poverty that not poverty

contrasts with a smell

not te ika the eel tuna not that

neither a full range of offals

and associated products

including foetal blood not the smell of

the freezing works

 

the fronted up houses the shops boarded

nor the café boarded where stones on every table

fresh smoked eel we said taking pride of place

taking pride in place the whenua

whenua

 

a poverty at the roots of the hills

haunting porcelain animals

on windowsills

 

in the lightning trees

at the tips of each darkness

nodding recognition

 

my grandfather built my grandmother

nana

a similar house

rich for being stucco

in another works’ town

Konini

Konini Street from folded blueprints

he proudly kept

 

rich for having a porch

deep enough sunlight

never penetrated no

 

not that smell of rosewater oil of Ulan

that overtakes me now of ripening fruit

in the laundry loo and pile of mags

I’d sometimes find a porn one

overripe in the pale green tongue and groove

 

the meatworks where he

call him boompa not poppa

rode to every morning

on the fixed gear black bike

for sixty years

 

and sweet smell fruit rotting in the grass

the Bay so fertile call it the fruitbowl of a nation

so fertile it rotted

what nation

 

he dreamed of travelling to the Rhine one day

and on the aeroplane sedated and confused

the drugs for Parkinson’s Lorelei

he left his seat in his socks

and shoes behind padding down the aisle

to the door and with intent and pride intact

he turned the handle opening the hatch

to walk outside

 

no what smell but health and hygiene

a compression of hedges

Kerikeri

with no outside.

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a kind of record is twenty-one

XXI.

nothing white flower in autumn half a year amounts to nothing

nothing bursts half a year on the cactus flower what are these nothing

nothing good riddance that cactus why do you ask nothing

nothing if you ask me what are these dreams amount to nothing

nothing good riddance white flower in autumn half of a year split

nothing year nothing half half nothing

 

amounts that dream dreams an amount

amount of water of blue nothing inverted imagine can you

a mountain inverted an amount dreams a mountain is dreaming

ferries on Lake Baikal dreams of capture of caught and trapped

blue nothing

 

a Chinese tree in watered ink white flower a dry river wells of violence

a shadow is it but clean on horizon cut by one hair brush a single filament

of disaster of violence accepted

horizon above below horizon is the page fluid all its ends and sides cannot

prevent and stop ink from running off is page all of time

autumn

 

nothing

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to be added this week to a kind of record each week added to: part VI

VI.

I am as I age wrestling with the idea of affirmation

a long death scene follows which I do not make up

when I return turn when I return the idea of a room

come on now they have his hands come on now rubber

fingers in mouth in arsehole inside a rummage sale of

public private interests like you when I return the idea

it’s not the first time you are dying and you have never

been disabled in my sight you have been old before you

before you have been a woman and you and have been

the child of a woman come on now like you I return turn

to at no instant where hesitation has a chance of being

being thrown by the who said the dark lady who said I

I have heard borne witness to grown men screaming

when

undergoing this procedure I climb in and out of bed

like you new angel angel new I cannot turn my eyes

away each thing returns at every instant I like you

heap up before myself

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for a kind of record, parts IV & V

IV.

I am very happy

you could hear the risk in his voice

he rubs his penis across her waist

the danger

 

what did you say to me

did you say

too much

too much of looking over the precipice

too much of walking around and around

in these dark rooms where I live out empty days

Cavafy

 

and the stripper

with her hair glossy running

down around her breast

curling into the hollow

of his loin

in a bituminous river

 

approach

retreat

take hold of yourself

and girded against the unexpected

smell

get a good grip

 

the small of her back

wipe your finger

pull the latch

open the window

a light breeze

with the tang

of revelation

 

V.

but I was just angry

every night

No not every night

every night and always

every night

 

what happened last week

anyway

every night

I can smell dogshit

 

my body boils

is the pit

in miniature

a model of hell

no light escapes

and the light in the cave is not reassuring

although it dances has the highpitch whine

of a blade of a wire a single strand spitting

in a vacuum

no relief just the superimposition of totem

animals one over another over another over

another incessant pull gravity and

the vanity of man

 

who should commit suicide tomorrow or tonight

who should give himself up to the pull of the Platonic

the shadow does not me

shadow does not

not me

 

what expression escapes

mortal danger

or should I say personal

but vanity should emote

 

I should kill myself tomorrow or tonight

I should take my life

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Since remarkably little has changed in the intervening 17 years in respect of arts and cultural policy in NZ, I have forwarded the letter linked to below to our current Prime Minister & Minister for the Arts, Rt. Hon. Jacinda Ardern

Letter to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

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Heiner Müller’s instagram courtesy of n.1edicoes

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WYNKEN, BLYNKEN & NOD

WYNKEN, BLYNKEN & NOD (OFFICIAL VIDEO) – JACK & AMANDA PALMER from Amanda Palmer on Vimeo.

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the distraction of nostalgia with a smell like marijuana the predatory dreamcatcher

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because after this Enrique Vila-Matas writes…

…during these minutes I was able to think things over and put an end to any further queistions I might still ask myself about the possible, or impossible, relationship between innovative art and a bottle of perfume belonging to a Nazi woman, about the possible relationship between innovative art and our historical past and present. … It had become clear to me that art and historical memory were inseparable.

Any activity connected to the avant-garde – assuming the avant-garde still existed (which I doubted more with each passing hour) – must never lose sight of the political dimension: one that required us to bear in mind that perhaps nothing would do us poor mortals more good than for the avant-garde to disappear, not because it was worn out, but because, through an invisible current, it had turned into a source of pure energy, transforming itself into our own fascinating life.

33.

For a moment, I thought I saw the invisible impulse cross the area and flow through that community of strangers seated in the middle of the forest. I remember thinking of the efforts of popular revolutions trying to make a name for themselves, while secret groups like this one in the woods at Kassel, or those formed during sporadic bursts of fighting, had, by contrast, never tended to be photographed or leave a trace. I recalled Sebastià Jovani, a writer from Barcelona, who said that revolutions spawned postcards and all sorts of souvenirs, while guerrilla warfare and spontaneous groups involved in clandestine struggles – volatile groups, situationists if you looked at them that way – generated emotions, common feelings that didn’t require a picture framed up on the wall. Jovani also said, if I remember rightly, that it was worth asking if anyone would really want a signed urinal in their living room. Perhaps, in that question, the difference between art exhibited in museums and art without a fixed home – art that is out in the open, so visible in Kassel, in more than one installation – couldn’t be better summed up. Art of the outskirts. Or of the outskirts of the outskirts. Like Huyghe’s work, with his humus and pink-legged dog, with his remote quagmire, where there was no organization, no representation, no exhibition – although I suspected things were interconnected there than they appeared to be.

And while I was thinking about all this, I realized how that silent revolt of the spirit was making a move at that precise instant and let itself be seen, too: the almost imperceptible was making everyone suddenly get younger on the spot.

This reminded me of that episode in Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past where you see the members of the old aristocracy grimacing in a Paris salon, getting older on the spot, becoming mummies of themselves.

For a while, I didn’t stop looking around me. The music’s attempt to get us over the collapse seemed very fortuitous. That motif of death Schubert had placed at the center of Winter Journey, which we were all listening to there in shy silence, collided head-on with the idea of that voyage. Each of us allowed ourselves to be assailed by our solitude, which expanded timelessly in the evening light, the sun reflecting among the clouds, and it did so like the nightmare I most feared, the one in which I felt at constant risk of seeing everything invaded by frost and dead nature.

Death was before us like the bird singing just then, filtering through in an unequal contest with Schubert’s music. Death was playing no tricks and plainly visible, but the general resistance, the effort not to succumb to its awful, murderous song, was admirable. The imperceptible breeze ran serenely throughout, getting stronger every minute, perhaps because it was a current that advocated life. Indeed, the conspirators in the forest appeared to be getting stronger and stronger in this lull. Even so, my disquiet didn’t seem about to evaporate so easily. There were flashes of vitality within the forest group, but a certain inner disquiet persisted. I remember the circumstances of that moment well. The truth is, I always remember my own unforeseen anguish with mathematical precision: I was in the forest, I lost myself mentally in a tangle of undergrowth. I heard the cry of a tawny owl in the area bordering the woodland, and then nothing, absolutely nothing. I went on to the esplanade and saw that Europe was a lifeless expanse and then accepted that the dawn light of morning had turned into darkest night. I think I perceived a song far off in the distance that I learned in childhood and that comes back to me from time to time, above all now that I’m getting old. It’s a song that disturbs me because it says there is no escape: to get out of the forest we have to get out of Europe, but to get out of Europe we have to get out of the forest.

The Illogic of Kassel, Enrique Vila-Matas (trans. Anne McLean & Anna Milsom), pp. 108-110

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