Cutie "Booty" and Ward Wardlow XIV create a sound composition, live improv, #ninelivesmatter -- an exploration on mortality and brushes with death.
A Pretty Fences Production, City of the Arts Festival, August 1 (4-8 PM), Seattle, WA
Audio coming soon!
[ script for #ninelivesmatter ]
by Keeara Rhoades
remember when monkey’s jumped on the bed
falling off -- always cracked their head
and little bunny fufu bopped field mice on their heads too
I never understood why they had to die.
when I was seven I was hit with a bat in the head
before that, when I was five
I fell off a springy mattress –
The fall knocked me out
But I survived, more or less.
Years later I helped a Dr. stitch a man’s hand.
The separation of his skin made me faint
So I decided not to be a Dr.
I focused instead on playing drums and painting lions
The lion eyes could see inside fighting minds.
The fighting minds …
But one time I died.
I ate a cookie and drank a whisky and stood beneath the stage of a punk band
So loud I could feel the bass in my teeth
Suddenly I couldn’t breathe
The cookie didn’t make me small or big
It made me fall like a soggy towel slipping out of grip
I can remember a smell so bad I held my breath
Another time I kicked inside the undertow of a wave before drug ashore
But my first memory ever was hiding from a tornado.
Another time I ran away from one.
I was driving on the highway watching clouds converge above my head.
Cars were pulled over, people were in the ditch.
I fled, and drove as fast as I could back where I came from.
What if Dorothy died in the tornado?
Maybe she did and OZ was what’s next.
And Alice, maybe she was trapped inside a mirror –
What’s on the other side?
“Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”
filled not with black and white mirror image people, but with
“modest mouse colored people” and
right handed “Mirror Milk” waves saying okay
infinity sign (on it’s side) times.
Crazy eights, forever --
Never reach nine.
Nine lives matter.
One time I took a photo of the tv screen
It was a presidential address, live.
George W Bush was making funny faces
I processed my film and looked at the negatives on a light table
The film was black and white
The only thing I could see in the negative, were the words, “evil”
my negatives were backward on the table.
That’s when I fell in love with palindromes
And the red room in twin peaks where people speak backward
Ah satan sees Natasha.
When I was young I was afraid of hearing Satan on a record playing backward
“Stairway to Heaven”
I imagined that stairway as a never-ending stone tower with skulls in the walls.
So I practiced speaking backward so I would know how to talk when I got there.
I was afraid to backtalk when growing up
One slip and I’d be grounded for a month
At night I would lie in bed and think of things I could say I said if I did slip up.
I ate yogurts
Each it ask is …
Shut a pass hole
Dam whore moans
take meow two eme kat
take me out woman cat
bla blah na na
just two days before my baby walked alone
inside his blonde downy hair a tiny white feather had grown
it might have come from the pillow
although he could be part bird or angel, yo!
He cried when we plucked it
And then slept all day uninterrupted.
I had a cat growing up
She became paralyzed when taking a ride inside or underneath a truck.
She couldn’t control her bladder so the vet removed her tail.
She laid in the window sill and she would wet there.
One day she disappeared.
So many years later I learned she was driven down to another side of town.
This is a story about nine lives
And they matter.
Nine lives matter
The story begins -- Darkness surrounds at the pyre
nine lives sit around the fire
role call: count them
one, two, three, four …
it’s not so easy when they all lookalike.
Why was six afraid of seven?
Why? Because …
Seven ate nine!