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ON MAKING THE TEXT POAM
THE PAMPERING OF LEORA involves a study of confinement to a range of identities including physical, psychological, and emotional states. By casting Leora as a mermaid, as a given condition —Leora's normal— there is further complexity of identity confinement within possibly conflicting identities of human and fish, one confined o land living, one confined to aquatic living; both accompanied by sets within sets of identity and confinement baggage, some hared. I likened, in my own confinement in studying this, a small subsystem of confinement in mermaid systems to at times and on some scales, life mostly in a peculiar wheelchair [some peculiarity achieved through further likening of the wheelchair to a throne, a likening that led me to SHILOH PEPIN, a real mermaid girl who recently died from complications of her own sirenomelia that gave her the throne for which she produced, being only ten when she died, no heirs.
GOODWILL & MORE STAYS NORTH
of West Virginia, my bit of Appalachia, a marking from my literate paternal great-grandmother, abolitionist, Native woman, hair black (blacker with each telling) as tar-dipped arrows that trick the night into giving its birthright to her hair. This road can't access that place. Even I have to rely on tales that only my feelings and the way tines of a limited fork briefly cease bifurcating to momentarily converge in her only to emerge bifurcating more fiercely then ever substantiated. Tar-dipped tines. Ray Youngblood, black and native, like me, running (to and from Apocalypto), zigzagging, joy and sorrow of bifurcating this way, that way, every way (honoring as many components of complex identity as we can [components some assume are irreconcilably conflicting, but the zigzagged path, the less-easy-to-fray fabric edge cut with pinking shears is so, so beautiful, cascade of soft teeth]).
HERE'S HOW WE DO IT
I'll come to your class after you've collected discarded t-shirts that have words on them. We'll cut out all the words, and sort them into parts of speech.
Then we'll make poetry out of these words, just one thought-provoking line (think of hybrid Haiku, for instance) and we'll glue these poetic statements onto blank t-shirt pages. You'll also tell the story of the discarded t-shirts that you bring to the Lexicon 97 event. It might be your own story if you're donating one of your own shirts or a shirt that's been part of your family, but primarily worn by someone other than yourself. Interview other donors. Document. Take pictures of the shirt and, if no one minds, the circumstances of the donation. Draw pictures. Record sound. Make a movie. Tell the story anyway you like. Tweet the story. Tell a facebook story. Make a class blog or website of donation stories. But be sure to also give me a copy for my story of the stories of all 97 freeform books. READ ON & THINK ABOUT WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN TRY TO MAKE MULTIPLE FORMS OF DIFFERENCE WITH OUR DISCARDED T-SHIRT FREEFORM BOOKS &; RELATED T-SHIRT SKELETONS THAT ARE WHAT'S LEFT AFTER WE CUT OUT ALL THE WORDS —so cut carefully.