NW New Works, June 14-16, 2013, Mainstage Showcase Jun 18, 2013

by Mimi

NW New Works, June 14-16, 2013, Mainstage Showcase 

paul budraitis


when the curtains opened

i saw a double image

of a box sitting in water

an illusion

a moment later

& the box wasn't in water

it was just big

twice as high as i thought it was

that gave me a magnitude shift

so he was flying for me

he really was flying

he was a pilot

was it a cargo box?

was he remembering?

the plane is going to crash

i can tell from the recording

from the trees

you never hear cockpit recordings

when the flight is about a beautiful thing

only when it's going down

this is the last flight

then paul dropped into the box

the oversized pressed plywood box

on which he was sitting

from which he had a view

a front row view

of the world a cliff view

after that i got his face

projected on the box

larger than life

this is a prayer he said

before he attempted to end it

hey wait this just began

maybe he was the pilot

& lived & the others died

& now he can't

his conscience & i understand

or maybe he's a captive

where did his plane go down? when?

we pray to each other these days don't we

video facebook email voicemail

there's no priest anymore

the light is shining through

the plywood segments

making crosshairs

he can't get aroused

what could he tell me

more personal than that?

a gun a knife some pills

how will it end?

but i never believed him

i knew he wouldn't do it

no matter how he was planning to

i had friends who couldn't watch this part

yes but did you think he'd do it

no they said but they still couldn't watch it

i could watch it & i did

i wonder did he believe he'd do it?

i don't think so

the globe was moving above him

dark blue & lovely moving

he's giving us his don't-beat-me-face

he's giving us his i'm-a-just-a-man face

his i-can't-take-this-anymore-face

his face is close because he's scared

i'm not scared of what he's scared of

his face is made of information bits

like a chuck close painting

it's made of strokes

like van gogh

both are unnerving

& a little waxy like burned skin

both have too much information

i can tell you this is a story

of tragedies & trajectories

but a story is just a jumble of information

like the bits of pigment that make up an image

& some have no relief

both pilots are good pilots of course they are

look you can see how much they care

& who can blame them

no one can

i decided early on

paul was speaking to me live 

from in the box

i could tell because

the shadow inside was swaying

in the same way the image

on the outside was swaying

then the lid opened & he came up again

& the recording was still playing

on the box outside

so he tricked me he tricked me

but i didn't believe him

& i still didn't believe him again

he was talking to me live

i know he was

he's alive

is he? yes he's alive

i want him to be

but we don't see these stories

we don't hear these stories

we don't get these confessions

from live people

we get them from dead people

the messages they leave

the jewish dance

like a horse mill

working spinning living

war the clouds food

it keeps going & going

there's no divine in this heaven

only dust dust dust our dust

& when the piece is over

someone will ask

why was he in a box?

& someone will say

they weren't jews

they were greek

& on the outside of the work

we will remember seamlessness

though it had many seams

& madison avenue professional

but made to look homemade

& on the inside of the work

a hollow hold

& nothing to believe

we were never meant to


because no matter how big the box

it was never on the ground

it never rose up it never took off

i think it was always just up there


like a drone or an alien spacecraft

i don't even think it was manned


the new animals

here it is pure dance

& strong & beautiful

when it danced which it did

& i didn't want it to stop

& the rapper silly & clever

who brought it to life

though the red cups tried to become integral

when they found partners & became rhythm

they lost their through line

they tried again for perspective

but i didn't care about them then

i only cared about the dancers & the dance

so good to watch

when the work turned to text again it failed

but that never kept me from loving the dance

what were they drinking why were they drinking

the cups the circle the speed with which they drank

it wanted to be a party never planned

keep dancing don't stop

i'll love you forever if you dance

just dance



a woodcut book come to life

here is the woodcutter

stepping out of the book

lubricating his legs

making straight lines

through the forest

the tree the roots the life force

already dancing in woman

this is the relationship

between woodcutter & tree

not a one-way but a love relationship

& as we speed through time

we realize anywhere in the forest

anywhere we go everywhere

this is happening

we are blazing our way forward

stripping it down

but only when we stop

where we stop

do the leaves grow & color

& come dancing down

in the lightning i saw an axe handle

so long it took to get here

where we were going all along

the leaves sweeping down

like bumble bees

like the energy of two things

coming together

butterflies swarming

the excitement of an invitation

the interruption of a body

the coloring of emotion

the video duet

made me think of PBS

& of excellence & possibility

& money & time

& perfect choreography

others told me they had difficulty

watching this piece but i didn't

i don't know what they were expecting

i wasn't expecting a lengthy narrative

i was happy with the moving stencils

the a walking book


satori group

it begins in the dark

with a song

a western song i think

a drinking song

the crowd is still talking

i can't hear all the words

it is a humorous song

about a woman

am i remembering correctly

then she arrives before the curtain

this is the she the sass of the song

wearing cowgirl boots

she is smiling as the song ends

her hair is long & curled

in rings around her face

she talks to us about ghosts

she says she believes

& i can see she's not shaking

in her boots

she's inviting us to meet them

when the curtains part

we see a whole cast of ghosts

breathing in a symphony

huff puff puffs & puff huff huffs

in front of a fabric fence

then phoebe finds the fabric

between her legs

it's an umbilical cord

it was her mother she lost

she's asking what happened

& then she gets younger

& more vulnerable

a ghost tries to seduce her

he needs her body to live

but he's asking too much

she won't go

then a woman a woman

who is it her mother

says to her don't feel sorry for me

then tells her about the pain she feels

pain for everyone

who goes over the edge

a pain that never ends

then phoebe joins in the singing

take my body i'm a lost cause

& i believe she gives it up for me

then the voice begins

that shakes things out

it is none of the ghosts i can see

who is it i cannot find her

then suddenly i see

there center stage

where the fence is rising up

& becoming a centerpiece

around her a mammoth shaw

a headdress

the air is vibrating with her being

she is a comet flying

& reminds me i am

in the night sky too

falling woah what a presence

abigail nessen bengson

what happens after this i cannot say

i am riveted by her voice

she is coming from the center of the earth

she sings she speaks

there is nothing left o fme

phoebe gives her body of course

who wouldn't

what we saw earlier

was her body inhabited

that's who stood before the curtain

abigail in phoebe's body

come back to life


sunday / wood / matt drews installation

he didn't want to swallow it

he wanted to be choking

the point was to gag

to make his lashes wet

& dark & prisoneresque

to give us a center point

at the bottom of a waterfall

where our fantasy lives

his gag reflex

was the sound track

his guard or his guardian

had a cheerful apple & ate it

the prisoners were all so ready

to be led around malleable

perhaps they were at that point

you know they had nothing

to fight for anymore

perhaps they had agreed to this

it was a parlay in passivity

& the sawdust made me

think of panko crust

i saw flounders ready to be baked

the men in black pants & white shirts

were officiating

the ones in white

were being officiated

a man in white told a joke

about a cop on the side of the road

a man speeding with a truck full of pigs

it was funny but not funny

it was told under duress

the cruelty was that he had to tell it

& then someone saw me in the crowd

in seattle on the street corner

& said hello to me

but i was sort of sick 

from watching

& had trouble saying hello back

this friend said the piece

was based on titicut follies

now they were spread out

on every corner & had us looking

in all directions

it was all going on around us

& it was we who were surrounded

yes it was we who were surrounded

i haven't mentioned the women

with the cabinet boxes on their heads

who were feeling their way together down the sidewalk

& into the ornamental grass flower bed

they were most reminiscent of saint genet

in that they had returned to the wheat fields

what had they to do here

who were they

the outside world

unaware unable to care

to empathize

boxed up kept away

then at the en

the men with the black hoods

it was a too violent image

even if death is the only end

as they say in titicut follies

& we know it is the only end

it has to be more empathetic than this

it has to be softer & more cushioned

than our earthy cells

i'm left with a pervasive feeling

of helplessness to end this isolation 

do you know i have no ability to interact with you

do you know you have none to interact with me

we are each staring beyond the other

in our groove rolling

& this great distance we keep

between us is not great at all

is it you or is it me or is it just a private ride

can you see my star shining no

we are pinholes in the night


A K Mimi Allin