Posted by: normanlgreen | May 26, 2012

Dream, May 26, 2012 piano mover & poems in translation


Dream, home, 7:37am

Moving a piano from a rehearsal room to a borrowed performance space. Downhill on this direction, returning the piano will be a challenge.

In the performance space, young actors and dancers work-out business, reshaping blocking to the new stage. They have been grudgingly allotted one night for their show, and though there are few seats for an audience, it is more space than they are accustomed to.

The piano is mounted to a platform with castors, so it rolls easily. Its veneer is of birds-eye maple. The cover is down over the keys.

I am surprised to find that a twin to this piano is already on the stage. I ask the director why the pianist doesn’t use the one that is already in place. She tells me that we have been forbidden to touch the house piano. We must leave it where it stands and re-block the action to accommodate it.

I leave the stage for another room, where I am to organize people who arrive for this mini-festival. Each person who enters the room must write a poem. Half of those who participate must re-write an existing poem, using none of the language of the original, duplicating as few words as possible and none of them can occupy the same position within the corresponding line.

I set to work “translating” a poem, printed on red cardboard, from English to English. The lines are all very long, from twelve to fifteen syllables. Interruptions are frequent, and each time I return to my task, my translation has either changed or parts have disappeared. So each time I write, a new poem emerges. I seek the negative space of the original poem – only expressing the poem unstated in the original.

A man enters the room. He is stubborn in his refusal to participate. I convince him to stare at a small toy car that has been left on a narrow counter. If he stares long enough and thinks of nothing else, he will either end up with a poem or not – that it will not matter if anything ends up on paper.

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