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This article was written on 11 Apr 2013, and is filed under Claudia's Blog.

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Taste

Me, shortly before reading this poem in "Taste," a site-specific performance and installation by Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, in collaboration with Claudia La Rocco and Davison Scandrett. Costumes by James Kidd. Presented at the BFI Gallery in Miami, in collaboration with O, Miami.

Me, shortly before reading this poem in “Taste,” a site-specific performance and installation by Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, in collaboration with Claudia La Rocco and Davison Scandrett. Costumes by James Kidd. Presented at the BFI Gallery in Miami, in collaboration with O, Miami.

*

It’s not always easy to look at things

Well, it’s easy to look at war. Think about traffic accidents.

The concrete horizon

The white room

Don’t worry, man, the black won’t rub off on you

All that bubble gum awfulness pink
All the little boys parading around
Look at you

Your implants are perfect
I tried to hibernate in them

I don’t know what I’m doing here

I’m just so….oh. I don’t know

Getting naked is for amateurs.

This is not an official no

Those people come down here, they don’t contribute anything

They talk about the quality of the light

The all new & improved

Don’t worry, the black won’t

These two are real professionals.

They’re very flexible.

Something about that white flower, that dark hair

I saw my first hooker in Miami
Stick insect orange street lights stretch
It’s like they say, you only know what gunshots sound like after you hear one
They don’t look like anything else

It’s really beautiful
It’s really good

It’s easy to look at war. Think about traffic accidents.

Those people come down here

They talk about the quality of the light

Payment options

High rise

Low rider

Euphoria spelled wrong

Don’t worry,

That one’s white as milk

Right now they’re taking pictures

Don’t be so cynical darling
Bend over

The way the palm fronds suck their teeth
The wrongest images repeat

I’ve got a caseload of these
See? I resort to couplets

I rhyme. I take notes. I retreat.

You know I could just keep generating
The stray dogs are running through the streets

The stars are all over you

The lovers, after work, must wash each other’s feet

These two are very flexible.

They’re real professionals.

In the dream I am dressed like them.

I’m just so…

The all new & improved

It only matters if you charge money

The taste of metal against your teeth

I mean it’s not always easy to look

This is my job and I can tell you it’s not always easy
I mean, I never give money to the homeless

I’m not that kind of humanitarian

I just like it when you do that
I like it when you do it just like that

The body works  it out

The body gets closer

Standing in the sun squinting

Of course we’re all mourning for ourselves
Of course we get uncomfortable around our kind
It’s subjective

But look at that torso
The way his pelvis slides into his thigh

Goddamn technology

What. Are you going to take a picture now?

To put it more bluntly: do you even know what you’re doing here?

High Rise Low rider

the black won’t rub off
This outfit wasn’t my idea

I like that because it’s shiny
I like you because I don’t have to think

I packed for the end of the world
What?
I’m a professional watcher
the black won’t rub off on you

the girls won’t come this way again

I mean, just look at them
That one likes to spend money

I mean, just look at him

He wraps himself in gold just because it’s Tuesday

These two are perfect. Their bodies are wrecked; they are doing that for us

We come down here, we don’t contribute anything

We talk about the quality of the light
Isn’t that something
Cherry coke remarkable
Isn’t that…

You make sense without words
The frigate birds wheel high above, sharpening their knives

I do not want to spend my life without knowing anything else

We look at war

We look at the crushed flowers from the night before

The carpet is impossibly white

The tower is a double crescent

Rubber doll, techno something

You’ve never met more awkward rock stars

There is a way in which the translator must love failure

The thin line of light splitting the morning sky

*

6 Comments

  1. Anna Prokopová
    April 14, 2013

    when my body dances things are not that sharp

  2. Marissa Perel
    April 19, 2013

    POET! 

    Of course we’re all mourning for ourselves
    Of course we get uncomfortable around our kind
    It’s subjective

  3. Aynsley
    April 22, 2013

    Love it. I kept trying to think of something interesting or useful to say but it feels so complete in itself. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Siobhan
    April 23, 2013

    Found myself thinking of these first two lines as I watched the Boston events unfold, glued to my Twitter feed, refreshing various homepages in the wee hours… 

    “We look at war. We look at crushed flowers from the night before.” I love that.

    I’ve also been wondering how being a “professional watcher” affects the professional outside of professional situations. Sometimes, I find, everything starts to look like choreography.

    I’m with Aynsley. Thank you for this.

  5. claudia
    April 25, 2013

    Thanks so much for these thoughts …. I was thinking, while writing this, that (for me, at any rate!) it’s very much in conversation with the work you all are doing with language and choreography, in various ways. Feels really important and stabilizing to have that network, even if the filaments exist only in my brain.

    Being a professional watcher .. yeah, it’s tricky, isn’t it?

  6. Christine
    April 26, 2013

    This poem made me think about the everyday, the ordinary, the accretion of moments and thoughts that make up the very habit of looking. The process of writing the poem appears to be in the poem itself makes me listen more carefully to the rhythms and turns of certain juxtapositions. Specifically this line: “Your implants are perfect/I tried to hibernate in them//I don’t know what I’m doing here//I’m just so….oh. I don’t know” The poem grows, but as it continues to grow it almost turns on itself, becoming more introspective, but then a feeling of release in the final line, “The thin line of light splitting the morning sky.” 

    This poem brings to mind these two lines from Danielle Dutton’s SPRAWL: “I am a secular individual but even I can feel the shift in the horizon utterly alien to the constitution of things, the habitual. Sincerely, etc.” and “I put my hands on shadows on walls. Life suddenly seems more painterly than ever before.”

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