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from Poet Laundromat: an invocation to the thunder

Shake butter from the cream
Get hard and freeze
to crack a wall
though you happen very slow
until you do like earthquakes come
and then it’s Now
Crack white light slivers from a cloud
Spread mold upon the bread and dead
moss upon the stone
tumors in our brains and on our bones
Appear like fireworks explode Go boom
Flash and thunder O loud sound
Descend in approach of storm
you thunderbolts!
sending before yourselves
the wind that lifts the limbs of trees
the leaves, the grass, the dust
and all of Nature giving itself up.

Poet Laundromat was filmed and directed by Tom Miller who saw me do a performance of my poem Fucking at Inroads in Soho in the early 80s. He’d just bought some video equipment and wanted to film me doing a part of the performance. This became Poet Laundromat, a collaboration of dancers, Sam Edwards, a deaf actor, who translated some of the poem to sign language, and me whose performance becomes perhaps hypnotically over the top among the naked rhythms of hands and legs. We worked on it on and off for several years. What makes this production of yearning performers interesting is that Tom filmed us all at the same time using mirrors. Everything’s happening at once; no special effects. As we were finishing up, a dancer, Karen Cahoon, and I took the footage and edited through hundreds of hours of film. This is it. I hadn’t looked at this footage for many years. Early 80s. Studio apartment in perpetual change with sets designed and built by Tom. It’s half an hour long. Right now I’m going to edit it into smaller parts that can still speak for themselves.

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