Sunday, May 31, 2009

we both like mice

i have been a touch busy as of late. so here for you now is the written portion of a performance i did at the Pink Door recently with modern dance sensation Jody Kuehner. it truly is better live.

we both like mice
written by ilvs strauss, performed by MouseBones.

i dont remember how i got here exactly, but i can tell you what is happening now.
it's pitch dark out and i dont really know what day it is. the moon is a tacky bedside table lamp circa 1979, floating large in the sky not 5 feet from me, lighting my immediate surroundings.
between me and the ground is an inky body of water.
between me and the water is creaky tan row boat.
between me and the boat is a grade schooled desk
between me and the desk, the curling pages of my open notebook.
i am head down, hunched over, sitting at this desk in the boat in the sea, furiously taking notes. my professor's voice drones on about the life and times of a certain historical figure, circa 1979. i am several pages into my notation, when i realize i have no idea who it is my professor is talking about. my body creaking like wood under pressure, unrolls upright, hand raising above head in the accepted question asking formation. only to then stop suddenly, frozen in place in a visceral response to the startling nature of the orator's appearance: my teacher is an owl.

a gentle motor enters the orchestra pit, subtle like an undertow, starts up a conversation with the tiny waves below. their mild chatter floating up like steam off hot coffee. not 4 feet in front of me, 2 large surveillance camera lenses for eyes stare at me from a bouquet of feathers, stemming out of a vase shaped warm (bird) body, perched delicately on the lip of the tiny boat. my hand hangs, still, in the air, a needle waiting for someone to (please) flip the record. the professor, unaffected by my gestural attempt at interruption, continues his discourse.
'wait,' i manage, 'who?' he continues his discourse.
'wait, who?' he continues his discourse.
'wait, who?' he continues his discourse.
we carry on like this, our closed circuit exchange, for an undisclosed amount of time.

the sound, it sneaks on in like a tsunami, the sonic shadow, creeping on in like a curtain being drawn, lifting us out of the deep groove we are traveling. our broken record dialog drowning in the wake of the sound of the motor. he looks at me pointedly, then for the first time in our time, takes his eyes off me, shifts his focus, peers down into the water. i follow his gaze, the furled pages of my notebook waving lazily out of the corner of my eye.
on the water is a tan creaky boat,
on the boat is a grade schooled desk,
on the desk is a curled paged notebook,
and sitting by the notebook on the desk in the boat on the water, the author, hand held high in a posture of prosperity, the singular answer to a question not yet asked: the student is a cat.

i stare at my catself in the water that could be sky that could be one night or another, day as dark as night. suddenly, sweetly, it occurs to me, the motor is me, i am purring. my hand lowers to my chest and it feels like rain, or birds taking flight i'm not sure which. then, the clack whir sound of a shutter opening and closing. i look up, up towards the noise, up towards my professor the owl, (pause) the owl is gone.
between me and the water is a continuation of what is,
between me and the boat is a continuation of what is,
between me and the desk is a continuation of what is.
between me and my notebook is a continuation of what is.

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