Spoken Word for the Anthropocene

One of the aims of the conference we organised in 2019 (from which this web-blog departed) was to overflow the conventions of this sort of academic events by putting in practice divergent forms and methods of communicating and producing knowledge. With this in mind, among other activities, we thought that a Spoken Word Session would be an interesting contribution as the closing act of the conference. For doing so the Basque poet, writer, sociologist and songwriter Martxel Mariskal, together with his musician friends Xabi Lopez, Santi Noain and Karlos Osinaga, kindly elaborated an intimate but mind-blowing Spoken Word Session around the —problematic— notion of Anthropocene. In this post we are really happy to present one of  the poems written selected, and performed by Martxel that day:

I Haven’t Felt You Coming

 

In this knot

each one has his own string

that’s how we build the city of silence

we learnt to be cannibals

without losing the smile

sewing the net at midnight

in the most hidden basements

the mute humidity inseminates salt

in our dry mouths

the killer inside us

is waiting for a new breakfast

I know it is hard to admit we are soldiers

when hating so much to take orders

but it’s not a must to wear military boots

to carry out the mandates

of the invisible force

 

I haven’t felt you coming

now, please, do go in silence

since I’ve already moved away

tomorrow’s enduring load, from my head

in this knot each one has his own string

in this knot each one has his own string

your melancholic look is just a pose

‘cause I know you make no distinction between

a violin and a rifle

and pieces of dead meat won’t fill us up,

I close my eyes and all I see is

radioactive umbrellas in indolent hands

 

Two children staring at the full blankness of space

caressing hedgehogs

kissing moles

inventing bridges with their bones

in the puddle of the ashamed animals

the sharp teeth of fear are holding delicate flowers

the tongue is licking broken bottles

the unbearable pressure of silence

is the only real voice

beyond the noise of traffic

 

In this knot each one has his own string

in this knot each one has his own string

 

The orthopaedic night does not move forward

the echoes and the images never stop increasing

slowly but abruptly

winter will slide its judgement letter under the door

with the elegance and firmness

of the unavoidable

arrogant actions always go hand in hand

with a justifying story,

a narration, a fantasy, a myth

 

And you have to sleep

you have to sleep

 

And you have to sleep

you have to sleep

until you wake up on your own feet

another creature is kneeling down,

inside your home

 

I’ve put on a silver wig

and I’ve changed my way of speaking

but the mirror is still my enemy

I want to listen to the murmur of the sea

at least in my headphones

how deeply obstinate is the silence

that hasn’t been desired

and you have to sleep

you have to sleep

 

Now your eyes

your eyes are moles

your eyes are moles

and the eyes of the mole

are drunk tour guides on a busy weekend

 

Another creature is kneeling down

inside your home

and you have to sleep

until you wake up

until you wake up

on your own feet

 

In this city of silence

everything seems already gone

we will never become ourselves

we will never become ourselves

 

The future

is not waiting for us

the future

is not

waiting for us

 

 

 

* This poem, originally in written in Basque, is a variation of the one that Martxel recorded with the post-Rock band Lisabö in their Animalia Lotsatuen Putzua record (“The Puddle of the Ashamed Animals”, 2011, by Bidehuts Record Label).

 

 

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