Wednesday, November 28, 2012


“the property in / subject.”
--M. NourBese Phillip

 a collaborative (Soma)tic by CAConrad and David Wolach

You need 7 consecutive days for this exercise. Watch the documentary The Forest For The Trees on the first day before doing anything else. Let the details of this documentary sink in while taking notes. The FBI was found guilty of blowing up activist Judi Bari’s car while she was driving it. Bernadine Mellis is an amazing filmmaker bringing home the horrific story of how unsafe we all truly are as citizens of the United States. Bari says, “This case is about the rights of all political activists to engage in dissent without having to fear the government's secret police.” Take notes about Judi Bari and the FBI and all the false ways we think we are free.

Find a piece of Judi Bari’s writing online and print it out (a different piece of writing each day). Find a tree near the former Occupy Movement location of your city. Place your left palm against the tree, pressing the full weight of your body into the tree while holding Judy Bari’s writing in your right hand to read it out loud. Ask a passerby to read it with you. Take notes. THINK about the activism of Judi Bari to save trees. THINK how the hubris of our human species is set on the belief that a tree only has intelligent thoughts AFTER we cut her down, grind her up, and make paper to put our own thoughts on her. Be with the tree, sit beside her and READ Judi Bari’s words out loud to her. Take notes.

Set a recorder near your head before going to sleep. When you wake listen carefully to the recording for the onset of sleep. Take notes about these sounds. Ask yourself whether this body has ever felt used as an object—as the property for others. What sounds does it make when it labors, when it makes other things and destroys other things? What sounds, if any, is it making now, on the recording? Think about this as you listen carefully to the first few minutes of your recording, listening for the onset of your sleep. Take notes.

Take the notes from your visit with the tree along with the notes from listening to your sleep, and type them into one document. These are the notes for one poem. Go back out to the tree to start taking notes for the next poem. Do this for 7 consecutive days and nights.