In old French, “to perform” means to carry into effect, fulfill discharge… to finish, accomplish. In Middle English, the meaning slips sideways: to make, construct, produce, to come true, as in dreams. What is the dream of poetry; is it public or private, or both? In this performance, or more aptly anti-performance, I wanted to enter into the private and intimate meanings of poetry and its audience. Does poetry require a physical audience, or can it be more fully expressed in a one-to-one relationship? If we are to be changed, altered or constructed by words, does this first happen privately, and then bleed outwards? How do words change around us? Where does the intensity and meaning lie, and how do we come to acknowledge this?
This engagement required myself and a guest. Selected poems, copied from my typewritten series (poems typed on thick, postcard size watercolor paper and mailed to myself), were stacked on the table. The guest randomly chose one to read, which then prompted an exchange. At CIACLA, these encounters lasted about ten minutes. Finally, the guest kept the poem and signed the SECRETARY notebook, noting their name, the date, and any other comments they wished to include.