May 10, 2022

This Season, MZD has commissioned poets to respond to the work created by dance artists. Thinking about dance through poetry adds a different perspective to the work and opens up conversation between artists in their creative practice. SHED by Jordan Baylon is in response to Pam Tzeng’s SHED | knowing each other as different and the same.

Read SHED with the complete poetic formatting and spacing.

 

This Season, MZD has commissioned poets to respond to the work created by dance artists. Thinking about dance through poetry adds a different perspective to the work and opens up conversation between artists in their creative practice. SHED by Jordan Baylon is in response to Pam Tzeng’s SHED | knowing each other as different and the same.

Read SHED with the complete poetic formatting and spacing.

SHED
By Jordan Baylon

What is a body, really?
What does it mean to be whole with it?
Every body is imagined and real
The body is every permutation of matter, energy, and spirit (which is the will of the land)

What is it like to be in my own body?

Are our bodies ever really broken?
Is our thread unstranded?
Are we really shattered,
or are we just now becoming aware of ourselves as a glance cast across a million intersecting glints of starlight?

The body is wholly imagined
and imagination is the will to wholeness

Imagination is corporeal
a song of the body like any other
-even the trundled reach of metaphor dribbling from the corners of my mouth like strawberry-cream spittle sings
So, if an imprint of our bodies upon the skin of this universe is inevitable,
even for what is only arbitrarily longer than nothing
a blink more than all of you
then, words will do
-even these prayerful profanities

I write our flesh with thrum, trill, bone ache, bloom, flush
the pyroclastic flows and thermohaline currents of my breath

these textures the tactile dreams of my body
these bodies the dreams of our body

Cory Beaver

the earth dreams in mountains
and sometimes shadows hold the mass

and these fingers
type tricks of light
equal to a trillion utterances

I become others
and they, me

And the sun
is the light pooling to fire
above my unburnt branches

And the mountains
yawn a seabottom blackness below my boughs
stone shorn of substance
spirit so rich
darkness so exultant
that eyes sparkle to behold

spirit and body
the sun
light of all life

all our stories are one

Mpoe Mogale

When the body is remembering
familiarity is the very ectoplasm of haunting
Intimacy askew, delayed, thwarted,
a touch that doesn’t hold

Still, any touch can lead to a myriad things
And a loving touch to true sight

The self-gaze of holistically integrated autonomous subjectivity
Not object
Not extracted
Not contingent
Not merely acted upon
Not merely represented

But self-possessed, flesh-loved and free
And therefore shareable, scalable
Abundant.
the very fractal of the earth-seed (praises to Octavia)

Alèn Martel

What is it?
It’s when flesh finds its concert from a chaos of contractions
Millions of muscle fibres cradling the compassed reach of bones and tensile ligaments
It’s breath syncopated by the grip of heel and toe and the splay of limbs
Toneholes shaping the love of a two-tongued embouchure
It’s even the deconstructionist jou
And the frontal lobe moaning through teeth and tongue
All that mastication and melting

It’s the yielding of an imperative
a dance with no tradition

It is a body bound and boundless
a slow bombastic wink

Pray, I dare you:
What is it?

Pam Tzeng + FOONYAP

How do we become eldritche again?
The new ancients, again?
By what holy rites?
Body is spirit
Body is spirits
Bodies and spirits
The spiral geometry of desire:
forward when you want closeness
facing down even when you’re rising
The helixed luminescent singing decay come healing

The way water finds itself anew,
The glacier, the sea, the sky
The same different states
And the movement that becomes the record, the passing on,

our ancestors remembering the future in front of us
to a vanishing point that spirals back into itself
Inexorably

How could there not
be
longing?

We share the same body and see each other as ghosts

And though only our dreams ever touch
that embrace bears the feast of every pleasure and satisfaction possible
savoured by all
belonging

We had to dream ourselves into existence,
plying our own gaze
In the eyes of our ancestors for whom we are not satisfied to be merely represented
Our dreams are real
And when we dance we are real

April 6 2022

 

Jordan Baylon (they/she/he) is a second generation PilipinX artist, critic and community worker imagining justice and abundance for equity-deserving peoples within the spaces of all our relations: personal, communal and societal. As an artist, Jordan’s work gnaws at the intersection of queer identity, race, colonialism, food, ritual and the deep dark places that represent our possibilities for pleasure and liberation. The subject position of this work explores queer and racialized identities as liminal spaces: both and neither; between, across and through; both inside and outside; and both literal and imagined. Jordan is also proud to serve as General Director of Chromatic Theatre.

 

SHED written and recited by Jordan Baylon.

An invocation of SHED | knowing each other as different and the same, a collection of moving portraits choreographed by Pam Tzeng. This Mile Zero Dance iteration includes poetic responses to portraits created for, with and performed by Cory Beaver, Mpoe Mogale, Alèn Martel, and Pam Tzeng with FOONYAP.

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