crafting play + playing form


sometimes you are smoking cigarettes outside of buildings.

this, I have found, is one of the best ways to learn.

I have done this many times these past few days having been involved in the making of many things,

productions of plays and visits from epic poets, for example, also many paintings and currant biscuits.

every day I have been waking up for the sake of painting for the sake of bringing to life a person for

whom life is painting. I do not know how to give life to a soul whose bodily conditions

I do not understand and I want to give life to souls.

so in this play I am playing cindy jacobs she is a painter.

she says at one point that she had painted for seven hours that day.

I could not say this thing until I had done this thing. not honestly. not having felt it exactly.

a facsimile of an emotion is viable but it is not the same as the hook through the gut when you know it.

I could know it almost having written poems many days but to live in the visual is an entirely different space and I wanted to have been there, to remember it.

every night, I get to play a game with four other people.

we are all of us very good at playing this game. it makes the game harder, so it makes the game fun.

every night we are scared because the rules of the game always change.

because we are scared, everyone plays the game especially well.

these are the rules of the game. the point of the game is to play the game.

two of the people with whom I play, playing

I have thought about absorption in poetry. the way it keeps you, breathless,

at its edge and always almost dying, when you’re in it. how one’s actual existence is always at stake.

I have thought about absorption in the craft of play,

how it keeps you breathing because without breath one could not give voice,

or beat one’s heart to stand as body for some body dead or never.

people talk about an “embodied poetics” and I don’t think they know what they mean.

I don’t know if poets know how to be bodies. or how to make bodies make themselves

or if they do they become obsessed with form.

this is not necessarily bad nor indicative of embodiment but often the form is a substitute.

physicality signified implies a regularity. regularity of form results in clarity.

this does not mean that it is “good” it means that it is “clear.”

so the various parts of a body work properly. clarity. regularity of form.

but regularity is problematic in that it is normative,

therefore subversive in that it identifies with the dominant paradigm,

in that it finds that which is not prevalent problematic.

so form v. function is a pointless argument. so function without form isn’t.

so form only exists to fulfill – it. function. play.

a machine has a job it knows and thinks only of its job this is not ignoble.

a machine thinking about one thing as hard as it can or a machine thinking hard

to think of many things is still a thinking machine and productive.

I worry about vanity. I worry about mirrors and physical shifts

and the way it is dangerous for art to become everything the way it always does.

tonight I am going to play this game it is going to be different but it is a repetition.

the rehearsal of truth, the crafting of authenticity in a space

that is overtly and unabashedly artificial, is how you train to play the game.

you condition your body to know to repeat without telling it. you rehearse so you can forget

so you can spontaneously remember on purpose.

I don’t think this is very different from poetry, or from a poetics,

from working inside of or building a system made of language and bodies,

however purposefully severed or embodied.

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