Friday, 2 May 2008

About speaking

At the moment I’m thinking a lot about speaking, about having a voice, finding a voice (or is it voices?). As I’m not making a lot of art at the moment I almost feel as if I’ve lost (part of) my voice. Trying to write poetry does make up for it some way, esp. when I can write about something that I can feel. My writing is very much rooted in the body, in the physical, as my art is. Or better: in being embodied. I try to make emotional states manifest in physical shapes, to translate physical sensation into form, explore ambiguous states of mind and body, with all the complexities and vulnerabilities that implies.
I wrote this poem seven or eight weeks ago for the course, it’s not a brilliant attempt but this morning I found myself going back to it and as I haven’t got any visual art to offer just now I’ll give you this. I am thinking my way forward or sideward maybe to understanding the octopus mask I made, it links in here somehow, but I can’t formulate it yet. This is exciting and a bit scary too, a good place to start.

bees buzz in her mouth...
(poem taken out for editing)


redredday said...

gosh, Marjojo, is it just me, or is this also a sad piece? heart-wrenching, harrowing...i think those are the words i'm feeling from reading this poem. it tears at my inside somewhere. maybe because i can relate to that struggle of speaking, having grown up with a speech problem, and one that still stays in the head at times. the last line really hits me.
the flow of the writing is wonderful, the imagery so clear and immediately felt. each line and spacing is just right. you are right, this is very exciting! also scary to me because there is something almost too sad about it.

it occurs to me that in your octopus mask, there is a mouth. and that mouth is the opening for the head/body, isn't it? i love that. makes me rethink it...

lasuza said...

Dear Marjojo
This is so very beautiful. The words of the others which slip and slide inside and then smother her, weigh her down. I can see her standing idly,unaware of the risks or dizzy and drunk on danger. she's surrounded by talking friends, coffee and smiles, listening and drowning.
This poem is quite extraordinary.

Erin said...

I am ashamed at myself for waiting so long to write here. I come and sit at the computer and think of all the things I'd like to say and then I close the screen. Perhaps I fear I might stumble, my gait awkward next to your found grace, and so find it easier to pass by, waiting, waiting, waiting. Finally now I'll try to stumble forth in an effort to find and describe that thread that draws me to your words.
You finding your voice in poetry feels so right, when I place you on the map of where you dwell in my thoughts, your words define a place of elegance even when the subject is awkwardness or exhaustion, you find those moments of grace and celebrate them. A storyteller who winds and spins layers of cloth knotting and unraveling and knotting again meaning and depth from introducing and exploring those tentative associations that float within our minds, touching, grasping one another and then fall away trading bits of each other forever.
Thank you for sharing these, please please continue.
This poem touches me so deeply that little mention of bricks in a wolf's belly made my breath catch. That image frightened me so much as a child and I haven't thought of it in such a long time.
This poem is as Mien said already, immediately felt, and has reverberated with me since I first read it. She bides her time, and I think of virginia woolf filling her dress with stones before wading in the water.
(as an aside I love her last name, wolf and sheep rolled into one.)

mansuetude said...


i love the last lines
and also, the first thinking outloud paragraph, about writing and having no visual. writing is a visual, we (me) are forgeting that, i you>? the imaginary invoked by your poem is visual, not tangible not a photo to pass around but power.