Chapter Five

NOH - Material

mask and before

behind it


We may recognize
two faces shown in one
both masked
on request
turned outside in

the body of other
previous movements
not active in this play 'till
ancestors reach to restore

a new home;
signals sent
encounter floor and ceiling
return to the mouth
recollecting their own breath

when inhaled
they absorb themselves
in a newly formed contact
the unknown marches
parallel to this audience

the mask suggests
I'm the filter, the membrane
that makes you part of
what I see as uninterrupted
performed stillness

stage light may fade
on the actor's painted surface
the expression stays
whether moon light or sun
was here for a while

the drummer

his voice a parable


He's in a dialogue
sheath-covered fingers hit
the skin (he licks it soft)
separating night in front
from night behind a timbre

at attention
as if the owl of a call
looks for a drummer
to lean on
the scope of this space

a message
calculated or not
with its constantly floating
quiver of no-matter

the musician sits
in years behind him
his fast responding
elbow and wrist
interpreting this

once the pain of a ghost
celebrating disorder
arrived it echoed
what cat-skin holds to project
in a dwelling after death

wind flits by little
of our horizontal view
can beat the vertical
powered intonation
beyond drum and song

static conveyed

(but not quickened)


step to no step
seven seconds
his pause
there was movement
movement was there

the right toe first
separated waiting
slips for three inches
the planks
the audience shaken

in waving garments
hidden access
folding shades
in light not folded

war as a pattern
of irregular flowers
striking silk
in the spinning

her moon glowing
and his mask
burning off
connectedly speaking
with half a gesture

the ritual
on a journey
for the fire of
one turn a year

Proceed to Thursday January 15, 1998 .