The following is text used in the video or audio of Dance Interrogations 2016 by Dianne Reid and Melinda Smith.
Journey to Emma’s House
(by Dianne Reid, 2008)
They are climbing a snowy slope.
Their feet scrape, slip.
Breath in little clouds in front of their faces.
…women climbing, pioneers, no footprints before them…
Gloved hand catches a rock, knee thuds to earth, eyes squint upward.
Some song in their ears keeps them climbing 2 3…
They are standing on the edge of it.
A blue vastness.
an unapologetic arrival.
And they begin to throw it all over—all of it.
It careers, dives, spills, plunges, shatters, gets what’s coming to it.
They are descending.
In an acceleration of fur and feathers.
Gathering speed and sparks,
Igniting and alighting,
Devolving into a snowball of smiling snarls.
(Melinda Smith, 2014)
words come to my head when I move.
Words about places, names,
Words about love,
Words about uncertainty,
Need time to articulate,
Words on my brain, move with me.
I am words, made up of letters.
White Salt Stag
(Dianne Reid, 2016)
There’s galloping beneath the earth,
But she sways in slow motion above it.
Her head’s in the clouds.
The birds are circling her,
And picking her thoughts like twigs.
Building nests out of fearful notions.
The ground is rising as she is taking root.
The undergrowth climbing and clothing her.
Devoured by bush…
And flayed open,
Into a horizon.
(Reid & Smith, 2013–2016)
Dance Spasm Warrior
Don’t Stop Working
Dynamic Strong Women
Different Same Wonderful
Doing Something Wrong
Dizzy Sickening Waning
Determined Simple Wants
Drifting Subtle Whimsy
Dangerous Stunt Wheelchair
Distant Sleeping World
Difficult Singing Whispers
Definitely Standing Wobbly
Deft Succinct Writing
Does Some Wishing
Dancing Starry Window
Deliberate Slippery Weasel
Durational Sensation Washing
Dancing Stick Woman
Unpack the legends laying in the ligaments
(Dianne Reid, 2008)
Release the fables fixed in the fascia
Expose the manifestos making up each muscle
Magnify the cellular
Quantify the complex
Illuminate the microscopic
Animate the monstrous
Unravel the riddles riding in the nervous system
Decant the sentiments swimming in the bloodstream
Separate the enquiries erupting in the grey matter
Amplify the singular
Liquefy the substantial
Investigate the invisible
Infiltrate the inevitable
And then with your keen tool of enquiry
Tap out the tunes singing in her bones
The words lodged in her teeth
The inventions building under her fingernails
The ideas running through her hair
The dreams drowned in the lens of her eye
The questions rolling around in her eardrums
The answers beached on her lips
And when it has become dust
(Melinda Smith, 2015)
Each day, I had to stand for 2 hours in a standing box…
It was a wooden upright closed in box on castor wheels.
There was a flat tray in front for my school books.
There was a lock on the door for security…
my legs, feet would ache terribly after 30 minutes of standing. I could barely concentrate on anything, other than trying to relieve the pain by lifting my feet, by pushing down on my hands, when the teacher was turning the other way.
I wore bulky hand splints to keep my wrists straight. But this would make my hands spasm more frequently and my fingertips would dig into the fibreglass.
The long full length callipers with lots of straps held my legs firmly in place, but I walked like a robot.
I hated them.
When I went to the toilet because the tops of the callipers came up to the top of my thighs, and I would always end up wee-ieng on my pants, because they weren’t pulled down far enough.
(Dianne Reid, 2003)
There’s a noise in the hallway, and he leaves the room for a minute…
She pulls her hands free, pulls the tape off, runs out of the room…
into the front room,
into the corner.
She has picked up the stick he brought with him.
She’s pressing herself into the corner,
trying to press herself wafer thin, to slide behind the cupboard,
trying to melt into the wall, into the darkness.
Her mind is running fast away but her body is frozen.
There’s a flashlight on her.
she was next to the door…
she was right next to the door…
Xena conversation with Mel.
(Melinda Smith, 2016)
Just thinking… I’m a bit tired of sitting here, while you have all the fun…without me.
I mean, it’s great. Watching. Listening.
Seeing you move, from floor to wall, to floor.
Suddenly, I’m not needed.
Which is kinda good, isn’t it.
Our relationship has shifted.
From me lugging you around, supporting you not to fall.
Ha! You’ve thrown yourself into me, and expected me to be there, and of course, when I’ve rolled back, you’ve cracked it with me!
It’s also been annoying me lately.
While I’ve been sitting, waiting for you.
I have realised how much people underestimate you, what you can do, without me.
It seems like they think you’re silly, and can’t think for yourself.
Come on, this is ridiculous. We need to separate a bit more.
I want you to be in control from now on.
I will be there, of course… when you need me.
Stepping out of the way (excerpt)
(Dianne Reid, 2014)
I’m pulling myself from beneath the fallen building.
I am inside the horror of 9/11.
I am under the earthquake rubble.
I am sucked into the tsunami.
I am careering out of control into the world trade centre.
I am beheaded on the news.
Flesh is torn from my bones and my skeleton is showing.
Love poem to red rattler (part 2)
(Dianne Reid, 2014)
My life is running through me like a film.
a stream of postcards and blurred impressions,
merging into a melancholic rhythm.
possibilities flashing past us and within us,
like air rushing past bodies plummeting to earth…
and we are dropped into each others’ arms,
with a gasp, a jolt.
(where am I?)
An almost death, a pleasurable preview of another place.
beyond the confines of this carcass,
outside the adolescent fumblings of flesh.
But no, we’re not there yet.
This is not truth but transience.
We are derailed, marooned, in our fragile shells…
drawing a promise in the misted window, and opening a can of worms.
It’s always further than you thought…
And over before you know it.
Flying is a woman’s gesture…
(from Cixous, H. (1975). The Laugh of the Medusa)
we’ve lived in flight, stealing away, finding, when desired, narrow passageways, hidden crossovers.