“A Poem For You” Eden Mitsenmacher

mitsenmacher A Poem For You Video mitsenmacher A Poem For You 2014 Video

A Poem For You

A young man is reading, apologetically, the poem Words Wide Night to the artist.
It’s a fairly old fashioned gesture. He confesses he has fallen for
her. It’s almost a passage from an epistolary novel.
You then hear the voice of the artist. At first you think she is
reciprocating, but quickly realize she is reciting his poem. Reading
it back.
Her voice is neutral, almost mechanic.
Like a proxy mail server quoting the original before as it bounces it back.
This isn’t reciprocation.
Is she mocking him? Or is she trapped, cursed like the nymph Echo?
(It would make sense if we acknowledge the narcissistic aspect of
poetic courtship).
The original monologue is stripped bare of its earnestness, the words
exposed in their full futility. A futility the poem itself
acknowledges and is now further isolated. In the delivery, in the lack
of an emotional response.

In the background, the water sparkle magically, but noise is diverting
our attention to the limits of technology, and yet it’s just as
mesmerizing. Like some cheap video effect.
The words become a writing in the sand that the water washes away.
In the foreground, a lonely, meagre, commercial phallus of sweetness
is slowly expiring.

There is a longing in the male voice for old fashioned romance. The
reply contrasts that well-meaning reactionary tone with some of the
great forces of our time: technology, hyper-connectedness,
reproduction, commerce, sugar, kitsch…
And yet, there is acceptance that the minefields of desire remain as
sweet, as fragile, as futile in our age as they always were.
The heartbreak and loss remain unchanged, untouched. It is
acknowledged dispassionately.
Only the verdict is faster, more brutal. Binary.
No, the flawed sincerity will not come through, it will bounce back.
Bounce off.
Turned on, turned off.

– EM


Airing throughout the High Noon program, April 19-May 10, 2015 

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