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Hi friends … today’s poem is really a performance art piece I did last night at the fourth annual Literary Burlesque in Telluride. I thought I’d try to capture how the performance went, so here are the lighting and image cues, the music accompaniment cues, and costuming and set directions.

 

Inspired by In the Box, Horizontal by Ruth Bernhard, German born, American, black and white photograph.

PUAM

Rosemerry, writer/performer

Kyra, cellist

 

LIGHTS: STILL DARK. KYRA ENTERS WITH CELLO, PLAYS LIVE IN DARK DURING SET-UP.

 

Stage hands set a folding table on stage with a black covering, and on top of that a long cardboard box. Also place on the table a cell phone and pen.

 

IMAGE: KYRA PAUSES, THEN STARTS BASELINE OF “GLORY BOX,” BY PORTISHEAD.

 

IMAGE OF WOMAN IN THE BOX COMES UP WHEN BASELINE BEGINS.

 

ROSEMERRY ENTERS IN DARK, WEARING “SEXY TEACHER” COSTUME—SHORT PLAID SKIRT, WHITE BUTTON SHIRT, HAIR UP, READING GLASSES, SUPER HIGH HEELS CARRYING A LONG WHITE RULER, SINGING INTRO MELODY OF “GLORY BOX” BY PORTISHEAD

 

IMAGE STILL UP. Kyra still playing.

 

KYRA PLAYS BASE LINE 4 TIMES,

 

IMAGE OUT.

 

LIGHTS UP.

 

 

(Kyra continue plucking bass on the cello)

 

Rm speaking: Good evening class,

tonight we’re going to talk about

a woman’s box.

 

Pop Quiz:

Is it a: how she fights with her fists against tyranny

Is it b: a place to be grabbed by men with orange hair

is it c: where she keeps her jewelry

 

No. Imma tell you what it is … And-a 1, 2, 3

 

(Music A, same bassline, bowed instead of plucked, pick up tempo, rm sing)

There’s a place a woman goes

when she’s needs to be alone—

 

it’s her box.

 

(SPOKEN: Play it Kyra)

 

There’s a place she disappears

when she needs to see things clear—

 

it’s her box.

(SPOKEN: I love my box)

 

Not a cage, there is no key,

it’s her private sanctuary

it’s a place you’ll never see—

 

it’s her box.  (rm take off shoes here)

 

(rm start body slap rhythm while kyra plays, kyra join on body rhythm, rm speak)

 

Okay class, let’s break it down

 

IMAGE: IMAGE OF US MAP GOES UP

 

Now there’s lots of work to do out there

the earth’s in desperate need of care

 

(RM point with ruler to places on the map)

 

the EPA is decimated,

pipeline construction’s escalated

 

global warmings’ being negated

offshore drilling’s being slated

 

with all these threats, and all that’s wrong

 

IMAGE: IMAGES OFF

 

a woman must be warrior, strong—

 

she needs her mask (pull out reading glasses), she needs her sword (pick up pen and brandish it)

she needs her trusty, high-speed horse  (pull out cell phone and pretend to speed dial … while kyra makes rhythmic sound of horse galloping)

 

(no music)

hello, senator Cory Gardner? this is Rosemerry Trommer calling, I’m your constituent from Placerville, zip code 81430, and today I want to talk about how you’re going to vote on …

 

(back to music A, but slower, quieter, smoother, kyra slide, rm sing)

 

When lies are swirling all around

she needs the place where truth is found

her inner knowing, her sacred ground

 

it’s in her box.

 

it’s an infinity she keeps inside her

where the world is limitless, quieter,

our expansiveness comes from within

 

a home where she removes her armor (start here to take off glasses)

where she lets the mystery touch her

 

(kyra soft pluck slide the bass, rm begin to unbutton shirt, eyes gaze down, inward)

 

yes in her private chrysalis

is where a woman’s power begins (drop shirt)

a place where she is open, tender, soft,

 

the silence there informs her (drop skirt, wearing a nude bodysuit underneath)

vulnerability transforms her—

and the world—in ways ferocity cannot. (kick skirt into audience)

 

kyra bow the intro hum (rm climb inside the box here) then kyra pluck the intro hum

 

you are your own fertile seed

you are your own desert rain

you are your own silk cocoon

you are your own shaman’s cave

 

it’s from the inside

we learn to be brave

 

(kyra decrescendo, rm reach left hand out … red hand showing)

lights out.

 

 

 

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It’s not your everyday poetry reading … Founder Amy Irvine gives a tease for what you might expect this year in this article. Hope you can join me, Samantha Tisdel Wright, Erika Gordon, Kierstin Bridger, Corinne Platt, Daiva Chesonis, Craig Childs, Amy Irvine and Lydia Peelle for a night unlike any other at the Ah Haa School in Telluride on May 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at Between the Covers

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burl gurls jail bird

Ever feel as if you’re stuck?? That will be the first act of the 3rd annual Literary Burlesque …

this year’s theme is Oh Sister, Where Art Thou. Craig Childs will be the preacher, and I will be joined by writers Kierstin Bridger, Samantha Tisdel Wright, Erika Gordon, Amy Irvine McHarg and Corinne Platt, plus singers Judyth Kohin, Suzan Beraza and Daiva Chesonis … it will be unveiling as you’ve never seen it before… oh, and I didn’t mention the church ladies … quite the cast this year. Hope you can join us … this revolution will NOT be televised. Not even photographed. Have to show up. Disco rapture after … for more info, visit here.

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BurlPoster

This Friday night, treat yourself to a literary unveiling: it’s the Literary Burlesque in Paonia. Whatever you think it might be, it’s probably something else … flirty on top, but then as the layers come off, well, it gets pretty human. A celebration of what it means to be alive, to be sensual, to be vulnerable. It will be the riskiest performance I have ever done–I have so much gratitude for the other performers and dreamers who are participating in the evening who make such risks feel possible. For tickets, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1171250 .

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