Tumi Johnson

the poemdances

May 24 2016

Rehearsal excerpt from "L

 

To Spite

 

Despite all obvious signs.

Despite certain aging

and endless ballads of seasons ending

or your love found in another’s arms.

 

Despite century old tragedies

having less to do with war

and more with the heart´s

bloodshed.

 

The not uncommon childhood

accented with turns of mother against

father, and back— dance steps laced

with the clickety clack

of graceful tactless cruelties.

 

Despite my own heart

with its well-formed cataract

of past betrayals clouding

its gates (still you entered).

 

Despite statistics and trends and probability.

 

Fear speaks out from the back corner of

the requisite blues bar, whispers from the edges

of happiness, “you shall end a fool.”

 

Yet it is the soul, or bust.

 

Yet we blow out the windows and make

old people smile with understanding,

and young ones double take with hope.

 

Despite the ego in our path, in spite of

the mess, to spite the scared shitlessness

of it all.

 

Despite, to spite, in spite of it all,

when you turn to me,

In the attention to which you give

my silences and my

earlobes, I will choose to say each and

every time,

Yes.

-Tumi Johnson

 

Choreography: Tumi Johnson                                                                                            

Dancer: Tumi Johnson                                                                                                          

 Music: Frank Sinatra

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