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Saturday, March 10, 2012

2 POEMS

THE FACING LIFE AWARD

Context: At a 1991 faculty show, UT Texas,I had this award engraved over a photo of my face with my eyes closed and included it in my installation.My face was beginning to show signs of menopause and this was my response.

THE FACING LIFE AWARD:1991
If my face is not burned beyond recognition in a fire or shot at by carjackers, it might look like this when I die.
If my face is not smashed by falling rocks in an earthquake or covered by Karposi's sarcoma, it might look like this when I die.If my face is not smashed beyond recognition by a rapist or paralyzed by a stroke, it might look like this when I die.
If my face is not excessively wrinkled by sun overexposure or twisted by Parkinsons, it might look like this when I die.
If my face is not ravaged with pain from cancer of the breast, colon, bone , brain, or infantalized by Alzheimers,it might look like this when I die.
If my face is not vacated by a coma or crushed by an eighteen wheeler, it might look like this when I die.
If my face is not shattered by a terrorist bomb or soured from bitterness, surgical intervention or fear of aging, it might look like this when I die.


PORTRAIT OF SAPPHO

Context: Pauline Oliveros invited me to be on a CD collection of women composers.I recorded myself chanting this poem.

PORTRAIT OF SAPPHO

My name is Sappho of Lesbos.
Once, I had 206 bones in my body.
Once, I had 33 vertebrae in my body.
My intestines were once 22 feet long.
Once, I had 10 billion nerve cells in my spinal chord.
Once, there were 5-9 pints of blood in my body.
Once, my heart pumped 1.5 gallons of blood throughout my body every minute.

Once, I had 12 pairs of ribs in my body.
Once, I had 650 muscles in my body.
Once, I had 33 vertebrae in my body.
Once, there were 3 million sweat glands in my body.
Once, my muscles mad up one-half the weight of my body.
Once, my lungs expanded and contracted 12-20 times in my body.
Once, my brain was composed of more than 12 billion neurons and 50 billion supporting cells.
Once, there were one and a half pounds of skin shed by my body.
Once a month,I replaced my outer skin and in my lifetime, I had 900 new skins.
My heart was a muscle the size of a grapefruit.
Once, my heart pumped 766,600 gallons of blood every year.
Once, my heart.....
Once,my heart.....
My heart.......
My heart.................

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