Friday, March 25, 2011

THE POOR BODY—Meredith Stricker

This week Shari helped me unearth the floor of my studio after long long post-surgery weeks of fortune making, it was a devastation. From the edge of the chaos Meredith's beautiful painting glowed and rose above the din. At once I saw and remembered - THE POOR BODY, Meredith's haunting and figurative masterpiece which she first sent to me in 1986 when we lived in Chelsea. She and I worked on a performance of the text with an audio reading and her recording of the goat herds in Greece. We presented this guerilla style at a friend's gallery space [Magda Sawon's PostMasters], in lower east side of Manhatten. Meredith painted and gifted me this painting many years later- NEVER has it meant as much as the true completion of this cycle 
= N. as in 'not'  here— is the poor body - for what remains and  for what will ALWAYS be LEFT- of   n (cup) ah ah ah thinnest nipple—•—•—•—•        

 thank you dear dear M., for everything always •••


PostMasters Gallery, New York,
1986 choreographed & performed by Elizabeth Lahey text; sound, & stills: Meredith Stricker 
videography: Frederic Lahey

Soundtrack of cicadas rising and falling, constant. Sheepbells at dusk on Lesbos, running in the distance and closer, deeper. Percussive cascade of bells against the roar of wind over dirt paths and thistles.
The text is read slowly, rhythmically into this landscape of heat & oleandered springs, becoming a map for movement.
A woman walks toward us - the poor body: a cactus or moon, our mother, an anorexic girl, Queen of Heaven, carcass, living pearl.
She follows the sound of bells and heat, spiraling like a DNA helix, spinning with increasing intensity, opening and closing, filling and emptying:
<(washed out) (luckless)>
She lifts her arms & reaches out - an orexia
whittled down to n, beyond nothing
cup overflowing = desert
she, holy cactus blooming

Ave dirt, one thousand cracked thornbushes, ave Lady of the House, her arms folded across thin acrylic sweater, ave small voice, unintended saplings ave sisters, one quarter, one quarter, the blunt palm of my hand turned upwards as her phases, reeling turn (faces) to earn a healing - cup, white (washed out) (luckless) as in orexia, `what we long for' a moon there, her faces, ave 
An avenue as in reaching for A way is a cup She steadies herself and leans toward this thin blue bone china teacup, gold-trimmed & clean A way is a cup if there's an opening, spirit rushes toward the newly emptied place, as an open palm means gift she psalms a new measure The power of positive as money appears greenly as a pear tree free as unzoned honey oh majesty of purple grains tis of thee, a way: ore lucite, agnite, ignite, vein or (a d'or ation) (a door) away - solemnly the way discreet money rustles - wings of it, or A blank way, the path closed pauper cup: empty no harvested paper cup: crushed, foolish, reaped to zero - blocked - blacking Ex haus ted X'ed out No dough Na - da cause Demeter wintered the grain increasing poverty the poor pouring riches increasing unheard of empty gain no grain auctioned rain initiate pain sane as an-not one n 
N. = (CUP) 
n, where n. means born & nephew & new nominative & noon normal & north northern & noun & number ave! n. thou most reduced of moon of beggarly cup - oh and overfilling white you hold one (sandy dirt part way up) where it lives (sand colored thorns, thinnest nipples) cactus flesh (the uneaten desert) treasure - sea green fin, firetooth (baked, fired - as ceramic) but raw still, uneaten Still & steady yet you flower - what thinking spare thou in desert chests of certain dirt. Thou, ammunition of not moving, aim of sharp fixity. She sharpens (shark) water (someone's lost or spirited water) Whitens her entirely dry body she's an icon to water absented water, her inside name wa - wa - wa - wa rapt waterer rein - pure reign narrow wet (wit) ness not violate her
And you don't walk on my table, no desert lightning heightens you, yet you survive suburbia's verbia. And don't talk or seize or read, breathing More slowly. Mating, `self-propagating,' priestly Hollowed. Hallowed. Splinter, tallow thou ash green candle, a screen for what soul-crate painted box plant. Root bound, you kneel not before us. Fierce plant, secretest one, cactus Fact that we trust. Solid - you opaque this still life "What are she?" What being sheds her here, not grain unusual, unusable. A watcher Splintery icon. Dark, lunarative Silent as ink. Not troubled, troubling Unharvested - poor body, she's also a figure the rich one, the poor one in her anti abundance, she never dances. Fruitless a-parently (not american plains) She's all fruited: agave, signero, candle, mescal, nopales, prickly pear - plain she explains painted 
                          soul crate 
                                          tell me your nature 
                                                                        in your words 
                                                                                               your nature 
                                                                                                                  in your own

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