Laura Neuman at Small Press Traffic

by Laura Neuman

While I am drawing a line in notebooks
leaf getting redder
2 figs for Muybridge’s horse
the bust, wobbling   meg knocked into it
room’s big though
the Xerox in poor condition, the ink not really
uneven, just evidence of an unreasonable request
that carefully regulated breath, two decades of it
men leaning into a century under lamps
specimens shipped in rotting crates cross multiple 
seas: materials can’t make a clean escape to be thought through.
this is greg’s piece but it’s the same dancers sara and k. use
I said the problem was proximity
I was trying to be close to them   their work
writing is obedience   in the notebook   I was pretty
sure, you can look at the wrong things too long and
burn out your receptors  so what is left for our friends?
The horse is telling two stories about time.
One is familiar to us, involves flowers in the desert
the car, natalie and nick sneaking into tents, there are
three of us then two. The other story is the wrong story
but much more compelling.
You can get stuck using the wrong
medium, long for a car chase instead of a surface, you are
a kind of adventure story from the “wrong” kind of space
bypassing the culture for the jugular breath
the day we make laughter from musculature only  
but have to make up a way of being present in another city to do it
then all the cities    Thinking you are writing drafts
no you are  rehearsing for an activity    that is or may be called
“writing” maybe you have to give your notes to someone else to
write it (thanks eddie) or wanting to step to the other side of a diagram
 “I stabbed afacing and came to relation it”
This is textual    this is having a textual body inside other ones
we change clothes to meet, a new sweater, articulate a space
 in which to be someone who can be near     they are doing this now, but how to keep it straight, whose rehearsal is this?  oh, greg’s –it’s easy to tell    
It is always okay to violate our terms, now
for instance, kinesthetic vs. kinetic
a panther/line or notebook is soup for what is outside you singing you
Whatever is outside you is singing you always.
K. used Busby Berkeley videos to make an anthem so the person
watching could be Busby’s camera or eye, we are arranged around that or maybe the surface of our body is one side of the glass platform, real and virtual movements from diving girls sliding along us, but you have to leave room for the audience to fail at watching, it is a glorious thing to walk into the crowded
theater in the afternoon, wrappers crackling
hits New England again and again, I’m not
despair saved for friends in letters on surrounding continents
all the leaves in their exact copper scoured are
safe now   we’re practiced to keep
all these months in the line
 coming out of the movie theater in the afternoon
the sun falling onto a used diagram
who is falling, who is privileged to be a falling body
we can have a falling body together
whatever it is you have gazed at too long, goes first
I will go out into the world and think of you, I said
again and again, I will go    then bearing gifts: a hat of the finest
 blues, a dressing room mirror, some kind of tea   but I
don’t   I don’t think of you, I think of what we had made
or scoured, of things on tables lit by lamps.  I think
we practice for years to get to a place we will be
 by definition, contingent
I was pretty sure I could.

Laura Neuman is a poet and sometime performing artist living in Seattle. She/xe is the author of a chapbook, The Busy Life (Gazing Grain Press, 2012).  Some of hir poems can be found in The Brooklyn Rail, EOAGH, Fact-Simile, & OmniVerse, and are included in the forthcoming anthology, Troubling the Line (Nightboat & EOAGH).  In a former life in a very different city from the one she lives in now, she was a co-conspirator & performer with The Workshop for Potential Movement (www.potentiallymoving.org).

No comments: