Risa Horowitz


Projects

Svalbard Poetry Walking Tour... | 2018, Svalbard |documented performances |


Instructions for performance, given by Nic Wilson


Practicing 14: walking; standing; reading aloud (53 minutes, Svalbard Poetry Walking Tour, instructions for performance given by Nic Wilson (Day 01: Feel Free, by Nick Laird)).
January 29, 2018. Svalbard Church


Practicing 16: standing; reading aloud (9 minutes, Svalbard Poetry Walking Tour, instructions for performance given by Nic Wilson (Day 02: Short Talk on Where to Travel by Anne Cason (sic))).
January 30, 2018. North Pole Expedition Museum


Practicing 18: standing; reading aloud (6 minutes, Svalbard Poetry Walking Tour, instructions for performance given by Nic Wilson (Day 03: Diving Into the Wreck, by Adrienne Rich)).
January 31, 2018. Within sight of Gammelkaia Observation Deck; during the lunar eclipse.


Practicing 19: walking; reading aloud (around ten minutes, Svalbard Poetry Walking Tour, instructions for performance given by Nic Wilson (Day 04: Body, Remember...by Constantine Cavafy)).
February 1, 2018. Monument to an Unknown Miner


Practicing 20: walking, standing; reading aloud (15-30 minutes, Svalbard Poetry Walking Tour, instructions for performance given by Nic Wilson (Day 05: The Universe as Primal Scream by Tracy K. Smith)).
February 2, 2018. Any apartment building in Longyearbyen.



Nic, he did send me performance instructions.


It does not matter that I asked if he might.
He knows just as well as anyone what it is I need.

five days, five poems, five sites...
recite each of the following poems
(either internally or aloud)
at the corresponding location
one a day for five consecutive days.


1. Svalbard Church - Feel Free by Nick Laird
2. North Pole Expedition Museum - Short Talk on Where to Travel by Anne Carson
3. Gammelkaia Observation Deck (read toward the open ocean) - Diving Into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich
4. The Monument to an Unknown Miner - Body, Remember...by Constantine Cavafy
5. Any apartment building in Longyearbyen - The Universe as Primal Scream by Tracy K. Smith


Fists clenched, eyes shut, like this is bliss...
Light fell on it...
I have to learn alone...
...those desires that glowed openly
in the eyes that looked at you...
I am ready to meet what refuses to let us keep anything for long.


How does he know so well?


I tread and walk and the buzz fills my ears
the crunching snow over frozen water under shoe spikes
each oncoming car a treachery or a promise
a pirouette in case a bear and I remember
when that plane dropped so hard it silenced the entire cabin
and my only thought, eyes closed in dehydrated
pressurized not-sleep I thought...
- nothing I can do about it -
and then the lady behind me shrieked so basely
it set everyone on edge.


So this person who is an artist and a thinker
who is a graduate student with whom I work
is so much smarter than I was, ever
and lets me put my Rancière to test.
I learn from him constantly
even when he does not know it.


He reads poetry, regularly, it seems.
These are the first new poems I have read in decades.
My body hurts from carrying the gear and standing in the cold.

Thank you Nic, for your company and care during my third week in Longyearbyen.
You are beautiful and I am grateful for you.
Thank you for waiting for me.



Updated February 2018 | Acknowledgements | Copyright ©1998-2018 Risa Horowitz