June 14th would have been Ko Murobushi‘s birthday. June 18th will be the 5th anniversary of his death. He was one of my butoh teachers. Last year I wrote some words for his birthday, but did not publish them at that time. I reworked them now into something better than before; maybe. The words are not adequate, but there they are. Going through my old papers, I found a loose sheet in a notebook with a poem composed by Ko-san. It was typed in imperfect English so I gave the text some light editing in a way that made sense to me. Does the dead mind such things? Does the living? I can’t tell any more. If you are wondering, the poems do not go together. They are not in dialogue with one another. They just exist in proximity to one another on this page. Like I existed in proximity to Ko-san in New York.
i think of you from just two letters k o small-larger than life
in the studio, on the stage
human languages failing
those in-breathing screeches
how drunk were you
you threw yourself onto the floor in a fit of lean, wondering muscle sinuous, tau(gh)t teaching i was a terrible student (still am)
full of ghosts
all eyes watering from cigarette smoke (and grief)
a hopeless body i break in all the places you maybe never imagine existed
most pathetic (more empathic)
a tarnished silver i’ll not shine that bright ever too long, ever so clumsy a flabby shadow matched only at the back in shared kyphosis
trying to die, i started to dance. so today is the day i will meet the tiger. i can’t help it if he eats me- even- i don’t mind if he fucks me- we could also rend each other. i would jump into the empty sky then hanging with shreds of bitten flesh. the moment i throw my body, i grasp another form. there is no other way to stay alive. then it is as if my other self-double bears further other doubles. from the dying body diverse other selves that cannot be called but awkward are made, flutter then scatter. they are unevenly distributed, without a distinguishable border between any of them and as if they would disappear everywhere after catching the memory of the unknown.
can we as limited process, as ephemeral life live an unlimited life?
But while the arting continues, my income does not. And since I know you believe in me and what I am doing, and I know you don’t want to me spending all my time with my inner demons, you can help me out. Shoot me a couple of bucks once in while. (Wow! Clearly NOT vegan metaphorical slang!)
Here’s what you can actually do:
0 Don’t shoot bucks.
1 Visit my ko-fi page by clicking the giant button link above.
2 Check out my low grade lock down performances and quirky photoshop art. Wonder about it; laugh at it; cringe at it. Whatever.
3 Buy me a coffee. Or as many as you like!
I’m currently raising funds for improved/better equipment with which to create and edit digital media. Eventually, I want to get a sewing machine, too! But one thing at a time, right? Can’t be greedy, right?
Thanks for reading. Thanks for checking out the links. Thanks for supporting weird artists.
I’ve been in lockdown for a month. An itch to cross the border comes over me now once in a while, but with about 2000 known cases of the virus in the San Diego county, why would I want to go up there?
After all, I could remain south of the border, where there is no accurate count of the spread and everyone is in blissful ignorance to the extent of it. The official numbers seem unreasonably low for the state of Baja. But how will we ever know? Even with the internet you can’t find all the news. Or hide it. Whether it’s horse hockey or not. And there is so much of this horse hockey coming at me from all sides. From people who mean well. And people who I thought had better uh- discernment. While I have never parented a child, I feel like this is a small taste of what it’s like to be one. You have to sift through everyone else’s opinions on how best to take care of life. It’s such a weight of unneeded energies bearing down on a person. Why not smother people in things they need? – I mean really need. Oh, what is that you say? That takes too much time? Too much listening? You can’t afford to care? Well, people’s ego and the state of modern society are (disappointing) topics that will have to wait for another time. I can’t bear a deeper dive into that right now. My one little light can only do so much against the dark. So I am not overwhelmed with the massive failings of the humans species, I trick myself into calm with diversion: jogging in place, accidentally burning myself with a hot glue gun while being crafty, making short improv movement videos, researching stuff. You know, diversions. One of those edifying research diversions came from my friends over at aromaticapoetica.com. They posted an invitation for you to (re)visit The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot with an active nose and consider the smells and flavors of the poem. I hadn’t been through that writing in a long time. Maybe I’ve never even been on that journey… I can’t remember… I’ve been in my own wastelands! Which, by the way, are also lilac scented and well- forsythia isn’t exactly hyacinth, I know, but, it’s my wasteland, OK? Not that famous, wanna-be imperial dude’s wasteland. It’s an interesting read. Or a listen. Do both! You will remember it better later if you see and hear the words. Plus, if you listen to the youtube link, you can appreciate how marvelous the Yorkshire accent is as Ted Hughes gets to read a few stanzas of the poem. It’s a lovely accent. The man himself, of course, not so much. It’s a long form poem with a slopping heap of allusion mashed into it. And let’s not forget the lines in several different languages. Thommo, my brah, showing off, is still showing off. (I should know, eh, eh?) And, as the internet tells me, he got made fun of for it in some likewise long-winded jab penned by H.P. Lovecraft, of all people. So with my heard swirled by poetic pomp, I furthered my distraction. I imagined a t-shirt with the slogan I survived the ‘T.S. Eliot’ Wasteland. It felt like such an appropriate lit-nerd thing to come up with. I even did a little graphic design work; as you can see at the top of this post. (I don’t use reading aids to surf the web so I apologize to any seeing impaired readers if my alt text description of the image sucks terribly.) It’s perhaps a little off-brand for aromaticapoetica.com but it was a quick and fun thing for me to make. One small, clever amusement after another and I can keep going. Sort of.