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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

cris cheek / sianed jones

From:

"Lawrence Upton." <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Lawrence Upton.

Date:

Wed, 11 Mar 1998 23:22:47 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (88 lines)

Introduction to a performance by cris cheek and sianed jones at sub voicive
poetry 10 3 98
I wrote the following introduction, or rather something like it, on a bus -
because I had missed the train - from where I live to the end of the tube
line. The roads around here are bumpy and the traffic unpredictable if the
frequent use of the bus driver's brake is anything to go by; and so, when I
came to read the introduction in the dim light of the Three Cup's Function
Room through my now incorrect NHS glasses, I had only intermittent recall of
what I had written. I admitted this to the audience, which took it in good
part, and I skipped quite a lot and guessed some. This is another stab at
it.
When I agreed with myself that I would introduce tonight's reading, it
seemed to me to be an unproblematic task beyond finding the energy to
prepare. Indeed I regarded the making of it as something of a labour of
love. cris and I go back a long way and we are still speaking.
We met first at Bob Cobbing's workshop in the 70s - as an aside from this,
retrospectively, I would not have said all this stuff and gone straight on
to speak of the recent work - performed together as parts of jgjgjgj, Bang
Crash Wallop and other groups in the latter half of the 70s and made three
books together which we published and one book called Graphical Ballast
which has never seen the light of day.
Those books were what Bob Cobbing and I have recently called "total
collaborations": neither is and both are the author, if anyone is; to
attempt individual authorial attribution would mean nothing.
It may be that tonight there will be things that are identifiably cris's and
his alone. I don't know. I much prefer to give these two (indicating cris
and sianed) the time and the space and find out what they are doing as they
do it. There's the but. It isn't cris. It's cris and sianed. Together. So I
shall forget or ignore that I know cris better than I know sianed. I am not
sure it matters. It may issue the clouds. If I have seen cris perform more
often than I have seen sianed perform or the two of them perform, it doesn't
matter here. What does matter is the recent work, the songs from navigation
cd and the two pamphlets I have put out from sub voicive poetry magazine.
What is implicit in the two sub voicive pamphlets and explicit in the rse cd
book is that what is written is only a part of the process of making and
that, in this context, we should not be thinking of individual persons as
separate authorial entities..
That process is continued - notice I do not say completed - it is continued
by the reader-with-the-text reading solo silently or aloud or reading with
others. I wonder what silent group reading would be like. In all cases the
text, this pamphlet - I didn't but I meant to hold up the pamphlet published
on Tuesday evening - what you see, at least passively, resists the model of
reading with one way eye beams sending words stored by a writer in script
into the mind of a reader, targeted or unexpected. The pages are visually
both attractive and distractive. The reader has to make her own creative
decisions. The narrative, if that is an appropriate term, is of a kind that
we may be unfamiliar with in written text, but it will not be unfamiliar. We
have been meeting it or something like it for a long time in painting,
music, film and in that other thing we do both solo and together at the same
time, living.
The marks on the page are part of our sensory / phenomenological experience
rather than its notational or generational system. The process of making is
also continued and, I should have said, extended, by cris and sianed - and
anyone else they choose to involve. Music. Movement. Unwritten and or
unpremeditated utterance. The cd provides a serving suggestion for songs
from navigation but many others are possible. I should say, of course, that
this is completely wrong-headed and misrepresents the process by which the
book text was produced because what is on the cd came before the text in the
book; nevertheless, that is what I attempted to say on Tuesday. And
hopefully we shall experience one tonight. Experience for yourself the
performance of songs from navigation. A world of. The poem isn't on the
page? Is it a poem? A poem is on when it is read. When is it read? How is it
read? Is it a poem? It is a text? Do you know this poem by art? Yes, you
can. Are you reading comfortably? Then you shall begin. Are you reading
comfortably? Then, have you begun? Are you performing the poem? Excuse me, I
am a stranger here: when does the performance finish? perform - preform -
book form - body form - for you - and thou - and I - and ear - and their -
and our
questions of authorship
if you have them
in your mind already
or if you are sure
that all that needs to be
said has been said similarly
with completion meaning intention and other
teletubbies. once upon a time. and then again
and then again. and over there.
too. indicates cris and sianed. the people
hearing this for once rejoiced and clapped
and shouted reader! reader!
and everyone stood in stages
and bowed to themselves




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