Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rosmarie Waldrop, IMPROVISED ANGLES


Monolith Chair, image by Daniel Y. Harris 



IMPROVISED ANGLES


The assumption is that scripts are firmly embedded in your mind. Short of blood dripping on the stage you will keep going. Blue chair, air, a white sheet of paper. Calming, the absence of discourse.


Would you trade the ability to speak coherently for muscle currency? Lift, stretch, shift within the skin. We’re not so much debating frames of reference as the opposite side of the set: blue air, chair strewn with papers. As if to say, the script is unfinished, only sporadically thought out.


Unexpected signs risk taking on too much importance. Like the blue chair and next to it, in the shadow, the sheet of white paper. So that it becomes possible to dream of a later, more comprehensive beauty. To love by definition.


No dream rivals the forms of the body. The actors are moving toward, but not explaining each other. Not going anywhere in the blue air. We have drained our symbols and want our theater cold and impartial.


To demonstrate: the play always contracts the two extremes of time to center-stage now where they are cancelled. The writing in blue on the white sheet of paper on the chair is less a prop than a program. The hands of the young man are not abstract but on your head. Is this part of the script?


There is no way to see beyond what’s in plain sight. The stage, the blue chair. Even though language enables the division of labor the script fails to document the blue air, team work, homeostasis. Even without an author, words fill up the stage.


—Rosmarie Waldrop




Rosmarie Waldrop’s Gap Gardening: Selected Poems is just out from New Directions. Her novels, The Hanky of Pippin’s Daughter and A Form/of Taking/It All, are now available in one volume from Northwestern UP; her Collected Essays, Dissonance (if you are interested), from University of Alabama Press; her memoir, Lavish Absence: Recalling and Rereading Edmond Jabès, from Wesleyan UP. She translates German and French poetry (Elke Erb, Friederike Mayröcker, Edmond Jabès, Jacques Roubaud) and co-edits Burning Deck books with Keith Waldrop, in Providence RI.


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