ENTRANCE TO A CAVE - by Elizabeth Torres and Heiki Riipinen

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<strong>ENTRANCE</strong> <strong>TO</strong> A <strong>CAVE</strong><br />

<strong>Elizabeth</strong> <strong>Torres</strong> & <strong>Heiki</strong> <strong>Riipinen</strong>

<strong>ENTRANCE</strong> <strong>TO</strong> A <strong>CAVE</strong><br />

By <strong>Elizabeth</strong> <strong>Torres</strong> & <strong>Heiki</strong> <strong>Riipinen</strong><br />

Red Press, 2022<br />

ISBN 978-87-94003-11-7<br />

Copenhagen, Denmark<br />

Den Danske Scenekunstskole<br />

MFA in Performing Arts<br />

Performance project done collectively<br />

<strong>by</strong> Simon David Zeller, Clara Sindel,<br />

<strong>Elizabeth</strong> <strong>Torres</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Heiki</strong> <strong>Riipinen</strong><br />

at HC Andersens Hus<br />

Odense, 2022<br />

All poetry, photography, video <strong>and</strong> art<br />

<strong>by</strong> <strong>Elizabeth</strong> <strong>Torres</strong><br />

(Madam Neverstop)

“I’d like to know – do you really deserve to<br />

have someone run to the end of the world just<br />

for your sake?”<br />

- Hans Christian Andersen.

By <strong>Elizabeth</strong> <strong>Torres</strong>, Simon David Zeller,<br />

Clara Sindel, <strong>and</strong> <strong>Heiki</strong> <strong>Riipinen</strong>, 2022.

“This is an intervention. A message from that<br />

space in the margin that is a site of creativity<br />

<strong>and</strong> power, that inclusive space where we<br />

recover ourselves, where we move in solidarity<br />

to erase the category colonized / colonizer.<br />

Marginality as site of resistance. Enter that<br />

space. Let us meet there. Enter that space. We<br />

greet you as liberators.”<br />

-bell hooks, Marginality as site of resistance.

<strong>ENTRANCE</strong> <strong>TO</strong> A <strong>CAVE</strong><br />

On sensual poetics, intimacy, <strong>and</strong> human connection<br />

By <strong>Elizabeth</strong> <strong>Torres</strong><br />

The drawing is called Entrance<br />

to a Cave. It is an illustration<br />

in brown ink. The l<strong>and</strong>scape<br />

is filled with leaves, branches,<br />

large rock formations, a perfect<br />

moment in autumn gone<br />

completely unmemorable, were<br />

it not for the part of the darkest<br />

area of the drawing, which<br />

attracts the attention of the<br />

eye, an invitation to visit that<br />

which is forbidden. It is indeed<br />

an opening, an entrance, <strong>and</strong><br />

after that, darkness, possibility.<br />

Who if not a poet, who if not<br />

H.C Andersen <strong>and</strong> his mind<br />

which always sought out<br />

mystery, would focus on the<br />

dark spaces of such a peaceful<br />

place? The drawing is from<br />

approximately 1845, although it<br />

doesn’t have a specific date in<br />

the book I hold in my h<strong>and</strong>s to<br />

show to my colleagues, while I<br />

read out loud that it is actually<br />

part of the HC Andersens Hus<br />

collection. The book is an entire<br />

treasure on its own, a cherished<br />

item in my collection, for it<br />

is a catalogue publication of<br />

another exhibition, which took<br />

place at the Irish Museum of Art<br />

almost 15 years ago, titled Cut-<br />

Outs <strong>and</strong> Cut-Ups, celebrating<br />

the work of Hans Christian<br />

Andersen <strong>and</strong> William<br />

Burroughs, an admired queer<br />

transgressor, multimedia artist<br />

<strong>and</strong> poet, whose influence<br />

in my work is notable due to<br />

his introduction of the cut-up<br />

method, a technique in which<br />

one collages words <strong>and</strong> pieces<br />

from daily life to turn them into<br />

new connections of text. The<br />

book explains the pairing of<br />

these two creators:<br />

“Both artists were highly<br />

attuned to the close, symbiotic<br />

relationship between the visual<br />

<strong>and</strong> the written. (…) Andersen’s<br />

books contained compilations<br />

of printed imagery, texts <strong>and</strong><br />

drawings, as well as his own<br />

distinctive cut-outs. (…) in the<br />

combination of h<strong>and</strong>made cutouts,<br />

drawings, texts, <strong>and</strong> massproduced<br />

images, Andersen’s<br />

picture books comprised an<br />

early example of modernist<br />

language. He used his scissors<br />

to connect contemporary<br />

events to mythical times cutting<br />

<strong>and</strong> pasting so as to excavate<br />

hidden treasures from quotidian<br />


We’re sitting in the museum<br />

brainstorming on ideas to create<br />

work reflecting on the permanent<br />

exhibition at HC Andersens Hus<br />

in Odense, where we have been<br />

asked to create performances<br />

with a non-existent budget<br />

<strong>and</strong> limited time but great<br />

enthusiasm, in hopes of them<br />

commenting on the modern<br />

displays, the audio guides<br />

<strong>and</strong> fluctuating l<strong>and</strong>scapes,<br />

the fancy architecture <strong>and</strong> the<br />

la<strong>by</strong>rinths that celebrate the<br />

mythical <strong>and</strong> the real of HC<br />

Andersen’s story <strong>and</strong> legacy. But<br />

instead, it is something else that<br />

attracts our attention; It is the<br />

collection of letters, the objects<br />

hidden behind “glory holes”,<br />

the dried flowers <strong>and</strong> other<br />

trinkets that the poet namely<br />

collected as souvenirs of his<br />

affairs <strong>and</strong> romantic friendships,<br />

placed in the hallway right<br />

before the fairytale main area<br />

of the museum, where big<br />

letters explain that he was not<br />

very successful in the love <strong>and</strong><br />

romance department. Could<br />

this be because he was queer?<br />

Was it because he wasn’t good<br />

looking? Did he really have<br />

no sexual drive? Is it true that<br />

he wrote down every time he<br />

masturbated? But if queerness<br />

did not exist 200 years ago, (we<br />

well know that even Burroughs<br />

had to go to the supreme court<br />

for his own queer literature a<br />

century later) then who are we<br />

to decide whether or not HC<br />

Andersen was or not successful,<br />

if he was loved, if he knew<br />

of intimacy? …does intimacy<br />

require touch? Is it something<br />

that requires proof?<br />

My colleagues Simon David<br />

Zeller, <strong>Heiki</strong> <strong>Riipinen</strong>, Clara<br />

Sindel <strong>and</strong> I, decided to face the<br />

subject head on, also inspired<br />

<strong>by</strong> our own queerness <strong>and</strong><br />

fluidity, our own underst<strong>and</strong>ing<br />

of sensuality <strong>and</strong> intimacy, as<br />

well as of neurodivergence, <strong>and</strong><br />

moved <strong>by</strong> the invasive feelings<br />

of peeking through the private<br />

life of a stranger, while being<br />

followed around the museum<br />

with an audio guide in our heads<br />

whispering in various voices<br />

maniacally <strong>and</strong> contradicting<br />

itself… which led us all to wish<br />

for an intimate experience that<br />

would persuade people to<br />

disconnect themselves from the<br />

headphones <strong>and</strong> seek secrecy<br />

connection <strong>and</strong> deviance.<br />

Personally, I thought of my own<br />

ideas of intimacy as that which<br />

is corporal <strong>and</strong> mental, physical<br />

<strong>and</strong> spiritual, that which does<br />

not require tangibility. Citing<br />

Azaldua, Robert Gutierrez-<br />

Perez speaks of writing as a<br />

shamanic transformation, a path<br />

between the ethereal <strong>and</strong> the<br />

physical:“The ability of story<br />

(prose <strong>and</strong> poetry) to transform

the storyteller <strong>and</strong> the listener<br />

into something or someone<br />

else is shamanistic”. It is an<br />

aesthetic or an orientation to<br />

the page that does not “split<br />

the artistic from the functional,<br />

the sacred from the secular, art<br />

from everyday life”. Shifting<br />

into an artistic orientation to<br />

the page, performative writing<br />

utilizes “the imagination to<br />

impose order on chaos; she<br />

gives psychic confession<br />

form <strong>and</strong> direction, provides<br />

language to distressed <strong>and</strong><br />

confused people… a language<br />

that expresses previously<br />

inexpressible psychic states <strong>and</strong><br />

enables the reader to undergo<br />

in an ordered <strong>and</strong> intelligible<br />

form real experiences that<br />

would otherwise be chaotic <strong>and</strong><br />

inexpressible.”<br />

Our idea of a transgressive<br />

installation <strong>and</strong> performance<br />

was very limited in its delivery<br />

due to the specifics of the space,<br />

but we insisted on the subject<br />

of a darkroom. We requested<br />

also a velvet tape to seal an<br />

imaginary area’s entrance <strong>and</strong><br />

exit, with uniformed bouncers<br />

who would supervise the access<br />

of an exclusive audience who<br />

would be invited <strong>and</strong> individually<br />

guided to experience something<br />

that would peak their curiosity,<br />

in one-on-one performances. A<br />

sign next to the bouncers, right<br />

in the middle of the fairytale<br />

area, explained what was<br />

happening:<br />

”In seeking to speak of the<br />

sensual poetics <strong>and</strong> intimate<br />

connections threaded within<br />

Andersen’s stories, the<br />

Danske Scenekunstskole MFA<br />

performance artists Simon David<br />

Zeller, Clara Sindel, <strong>Elizabeth</strong><br />

<strong>Torres</strong> an <strong>Heiki</strong> <strong>Riipinen</strong>, invite<br />

you to experience a one-on-one<br />

exclusive performance. (18+)<br />

With your consent <strong>and</strong><br />

imagination, discretion <strong>and</strong><br />

intention let our bouncer guide<br />

you to a surprise you’ll cherish<br />

in secrecy. (1) A dark room<br />

or darkroom – also known as<br />

a backroom, blackroom, or<br />

playroom – is a room, typically<br />

at a nightclub, sex club,<br />

bathhouse, or adult bookstore,<br />

where patrons of the business<br />

can engage in relatively<br />

discreet sexual activity. Dark<br />

rooms usually have little or no<br />

lighting, possibly incorporating<br />

blacklights or dim, colored<br />

lighting to establish an<br />

atmosphere of twilight <strong>and</strong><br />

secrecy. – Wikipedia.”<br />

The Cave was less of a cave <strong>and</strong><br />

more of an elevator entrance<br />

hidden between two curtains,<br />

but we were able to transform<br />

it with red light to use it as our

darkroom, our transgressive,<br />

queer sacred space where desire<br />

<strong>and</strong> sensual poetics run free. In<br />

this case, through a drag queen<br />

reading stories <strong>by</strong> the famous<br />

poet or writing love letters,<br />

or maybe <strong>by</strong> a fortuneteller<br />

reading the tarot to her guests,<br />

or instead <strong>by</strong> a young heart<br />

learning children songs from<br />

strangers, or, in my case, <strong>by</strong> a<br />

poet hungry for new secrets to<br />

write about on a typewriter.<br />

From the collaborative aspect<br />

I learned to push myself<br />

in ways where I step out<br />

of my comfort zone while<br />

simultaneously remaining in a<br />

safe shelter of intimacy, which<br />

is a very contrasting, impactful<br />

experience, <strong>and</strong> which was very<br />

challenging for all of us. It was<br />

also quite delightful to speak of<br />

queering up a museum, pushing<br />

boundaries, testing limits, but<br />

doing all of this with secrecy,<br />

elegance, artfulness, with<br />

respect to the space <strong>and</strong> to the<br />

history, as well as to one another,<br />

forming deep connections with<br />

everyone involved, no matter<br />

how brief these moments of<br />

intimacy <strong>and</strong> connection lasted.<br />

From an individual aspect,<br />

challenging myself to seek the<br />

shamanic psycho confessions<br />

through dreams, fears, desires,<br />

<strong>and</strong> other intimate conversations<br />

with strangers, led to a fast flow<br />

or poetry flux that allowed me to<br />

quickly make new connections<br />

<strong>and</strong> create poetry as an<br />

immediate artistic response <strong>and</strong><br />

performance simultaneously<br />

with a typewriter- poetry objects<br />

which I could then sign, fold<br />

<strong>and</strong> give to a stranger, forming<br />

a moment of confession <strong>and</strong><br />

connection unique to them <strong>and</strong><br />

myself, something I definitely<br />

plan to continue exploring in<br />

the near future.<br />

Bibliography<br />

Cut-Outs <strong>and</strong> Cut-Ups, 2008, Hans<br />

Christian Andersen <strong>and</strong> William<br />

Seward Burroughs, edited <strong>by</strong> Hendel<br />

Teicher, Irish Museum of Modern art.<br />

Greta Gaard, 2018, Identity politics<br />

as comparative politics, Borderwork.<br />

bell hooks, 1989, Feminist<br />

Theory: From Margin to Center /<br />

Marginality as site of resistance.<br />

Robert Gutierrez-Perez (2019):<br />

Theories in the Flesh <strong>and</strong> Flights of<br />

theImagination: Embracing the Soul<br />

<strong>and</strong> Spirit of Critical Performative<br />

Writing in CommunicationResearch,<br />

Women’s Studies in Communication.<br />

Anzaldua, Gloria, 2015, Light in the<br />

Dark/Luz en Lo Oscuro: Rewriting<br />

Identity, Spirituality, Reality, Edited<br />

<strong>by</strong> Ana Louise Keating, Duke UP.

<strong>ENTRANCE</strong> <strong>TO</strong> A <strong>CAVE</strong><br />

A love letter, a critical thought, <strong>and</strong> a loving thought...<br />

By <strong>Heiki</strong> <strong>Riipinen</strong><br />

I. A love letter...<br />

Hi Henrik,<br />

I have to come clean.<br />

I’ve had a secret affair. His name<br />

is Hans Christian.<br />

My dead man of choice has<br />

always been you, Ibsen. We have<br />

had an intimate relationship<br />

going back to childhood. Both<br />

of us come from the same<br />

place in Norway, both of us are<br />

interested in the modern human<br />

<strong>and</strong> we fight societal norms. Yet<br />

Hans has always found his way<br />

back into my life, as my fairytale<br />

Danish lover.<br />

Our first encounter was through<br />

Ariel, the Little Mermaid. But in<br />

a watered down (pun intended)<br />

Disney-version of course. My first<br />

professional meeting with him<br />

was in 2017 when I was asked<br />

to direct a street performance<br />

for the HC Andersen Festival in<br />

Odense. Not really knowing his<br />

work I decided to go fishing for<br />

clues in the city <strong>and</strong> collective<br />

conciseness of its inhabitants.<br />

I walked the streets <strong>and</strong> asked<br />

r<strong>and</strong>om people to retell the<br />

stories, <strong>and</strong> it quickly became<br />

clear that even in his birth town,<br />

a lot was forgotten. The little<br />

pieces I got I gathered in an<br />

absurdist retelling juxtaposed<br />

with an actor interviewing<br />

his gr<strong>and</strong>ma on the power<br />

of memory. I left Hans there,<br />

deeming it a fun time, but not<br />

something to build a serious<br />

relationship on.<br />

The second time we got together<br />

was in 2019. I was working<br />

as a dramaturge-assistant at<br />

Deutsches Theater in Berlin. We<br />

were doing the Ugly Duckling,<br />

or at least that was the title. We<br />

were also doing the mermaid,<br />

<strong>and</strong> goose came <strong>by</strong>, <strong>and</strong> three<br />

Berlin drag queens told their<br />

own stories. Again Hans invited<br />

us to use our own imagination.<br />

This is when I truly got to know<br />

the queer side of Hans. I learned<br />

about his love letters to men,<br />

about how he probably never<br />

had sexual intercourse, but still<br />

through his diaries I knew the<br />

exact dates he masturbated.

I felt we got closer this time,<br />

but again I left him there. I just<br />

wasn’t sure what to do with a<br />

dead wanker.<br />

The third time we again met<br />

in Odense. As part of our<br />

MFA we were asked to make<br />

a performative intervention in<br />

his museum. I walked around<br />

trying to find the Hans I knew,<br />

the queer Hans that invites us to<br />

write on, but all I found was a<br />

single letter in a hallway.<br />

We formed a group <strong>and</strong> decided<br />

to take action, our intervention<br />

would center the queerness of<br />

Hans in his museum, if only for<br />

a moment. In the middle of the<br />

fairytale room, we would create<br />

a realistic contemporary queer<br />

space, a dark room.<br />

A place where I could meet<br />

Hans if he lived today, where we<br />

finally could have our adventure.<br />

...But then the fairytale ended.

II. A critical thought...<br />

Reflecting on collaboration in<br />

this project in particular requires<br />

peeling through layers. The<br />

first layer is the collaboration<br />

between the students <strong>and</strong> the<br />

school. It raises questions of<br />

power dynamics as well as a<br />

bigger narrative; What is the<br />

MFA? Who defines it? And<br />

what role does it play in the<br />

field of theatre? The second<br />

is the collaboration between<br />

the school <strong>and</strong> the museum.<br />

Who initiated the project? Is<br />

it an equal relationship, or is<br />

it an exchange with a giver<br />

<strong>and</strong> receiver? Finally it’s the<br />

collaboration between us<br />

students. The collaboration<br />

between the school <strong>and</strong><br />

students had been wearing<br />

thin at this point, leading the<br />

school to give the students<br />

more choice in when <strong>and</strong> where<br />

to rehearse. Our team was split<br />

between two cities, we didn’t<br />

need choice but recourses<br />

to be able to share time <strong>and</strong><br />

space. So we were left with only<br />

a few days of actually working<br />

together. The inner workings<br />

of the collaboration between<br />

the school <strong>and</strong> the museum<br />

are unknown to me, but it led<br />

our group feeling that we were<br />

met <strong>by</strong> an institution under the<br />

impression that they where the<br />

providers of an opportunity,<br />

while we felt we where providing<br />

them with free art.<br />

So the conditions for our<br />

collaboration were a group<br />

divided in two cities, with a<br />

common feeling of not being<br />

appreciated for our contribution.<br />

Under these conditions we felt<br />

that the only thing we could fill it<br />

with was solos based on already<br />

existing skills. We proposed<br />

a darkroom, <strong>and</strong> asked for<br />

resources to have it built. We<br />

had two weeks. First the school<br />

declined, <strong>and</strong> then the museum.<br />

Two days before the opening we<br />

had nothing.<br />

Still, the darkroom was always<br />

ment to be a container. For me<br />

this meant getting in drag.<br />

We found a corner, hidden<br />

behind some curtains, but<br />

insisted on having our entrance<br />

central. In the middle of the<br />

museum’s biggest space, the<br />

fairytale room. From a simple<br />

red velvet rope we would follow<br />

the audience to our improvised<br />

darkroom. Without a box that<br />

itself could carry meaning,<br />

we formed an explicit text<br />

explaining what usually happens<br />

in a darkroom. And we got a<br />

st<strong>and</strong> for it, mounted to the floor.

III. A loving thought...<br />

As a team we found our ways<br />

of living within a structure that<br />

was not built for us. Just as<br />

queer people do in society. And<br />

even though we met resistance,<br />

or maybe perhaps because<br />

of it, I felt proud of what we<br />

accomplished <strong>and</strong> my own<br />

contribution. I wrote love letters<br />

in the corner. Behind the curtains<br />

I met unexacting guests, <strong>and</strong><br />

together we conversed about<br />

sex <strong>and</strong> language, about gender<br />

<strong>and</strong> body, <strong>and</strong> about love. Me<br />

in drag, them as whoever they<br />

wanted me to imagine them as.<br />

We gave love. And we gained<br />

love. We gave intimacy, <strong>and</strong><br />

gained intimacy. We got people<br />

to take off their headsets,<br />

<strong>and</strong> live in the moment. Most<br />

importantly, we gave them<br />

something to talk about as no<br />

one got the same experience.<br />

And together we learned that<br />

no institution is a fairy tale, but<br />

they can be an entrance - but<br />

you have to carve out your cave.<br />

Oh, yes. Henrik, would you<br />

consider being in a polyamorous<br />

relationship with Hans <strong>and</strong><br />

myself? I might need some<br />

magic to balance the harshness<br />

of reality. It will be challenging<br />

for sure, but I will hold your<br />

h<strong>and</strong>. You see, all of us love the<br />

theatre, <strong>and</strong> as theatre people<br />

we know the art of negotiation<br />

<strong>and</strong> collective responsibility. So<br />

if anyone can do it, it is us.

Photo <strong>by</strong> HC Andersens Hus

<strong>ENTRANCE</strong> <strong>TO</strong> A <strong>CAVE</strong><br />


<strong>by</strong> <strong>Elizabeth</strong> <strong>Torres</strong>

Written as part of<br />

the collective performance<br />

with the same name<br />

for the daring audience who shared their<br />

dreams, desires <strong>and</strong> fears<br />

with me.

I<br />

Once there was a cave<br />

that looked more like an insatiable mouth<br />

ready to devour everyone’s darkest fantasies<br />

their kinks <strong>and</strong> passions<br />

their burning secrets<br />

<strong>and</strong> that image<br />

in the corner of their mind<br />

they would never dare let out<br />

for a walk.<br />

So they built a museum around it<br />

to hide it <strong>and</strong> keep it closely guarded<br />

<strong>and</strong> around it they built a la<strong>by</strong>rinth<br />

with objects of unrequitted love<br />

stories of unhappy lovers<br />

trinkets of broken hearts<br />

<strong>and</strong> poems so sad<br />

they don’t dare to look up<br />

anymore.<br />

But all the cave<br />

really wanted<br />

was some intimacy<br />

a reason to come out of hiding<br />

from the world of monotony <strong>and</strong> repetition<br />

into the fairytale garden<br />

it could see from the corner<br />

of its eye.<br />

-Let me come out to playit<br />

pleaded in their dreams.<br />

But if it comes out<br />

what will the museum walls say<br />

what, about secrecy <strong>and</strong> morality<br />

what, about queerness <strong>and</strong> love?<br />

...And how will we explain it in our catalogue?<br />

What will the others saaaaay???

II<br />

Once there was a dream<br />

so slippery<br />

so liquid<br />

it kept sliding from bed to bed<br />

through the nights<br />

unable to be remembered.<br />

The secret, said the star<br />

reflected on the lake<br />

at the edge of the cave<br />

is not to attempt to reach<br />

immortality...<br />

But to shine<br />

laugh<br />

exist<br />

hurt<br />

burn<br />

feel<br />

give<br />

shoot<br />

come<br />

let go<br />

allow it in<br />

become<br />

in full intensity.

III<br />

Once upon a time<br />

deep in the jungle<br />

the rain fell so strongly it sounded<br />

like an orchestra of hearts<br />

running in multitudes in search of love<br />

crashing, falling, breaking<br />

never knowing<br />

the secret location of the poetic moment<br />

within<br />

that produces love.<br />

I do not know these secrets either<br />

but I like to dance barefoot in the rain forest<br />

listening to the songs<br />

my own heart whispers.

IV<br />

Once there was a rock<br />

so afraid of the world around her<br />

so absorbed in that inner itch of waiting<br />

that all she could do was dream<br />

of throwing herself into people’s skulls.<br />

When I entered,<br />

I picked her up<br />

<strong>and</strong> hid her under a river<br />

where nobody else would hurt her.<br />

Go to this river<br />

whenever the world seems hostile.<br />

We are all equally petrified,<br />

but love reigns.

V<br />

Once upon a time<br />

in a museum that celebrated the work<br />

of a mysterious poet<br />

a woman found a secret entrance<br />

to a cave<br />

where mystical beings created new dreams<br />

for all<br />

who dared<br />

to be curious.<br />

She wanted a poem of wildflowers,<br />

mostly white,<br />

for her gr<strong>and</strong>daughter<br />

<strong>and</strong> kind animals<br />

<strong>and</strong> happy endings<br />

to accompany her in her life.<br />

So now she has this spell…<br />

a poem<br />

of good fortune, love,<br />

<strong>and</strong> always<br />


VI<br />

There is a sea<br />

of people<br />

in this path we call life.<br />

Everyone is running<br />

but no one remembers why.<br />

Sometimes people run away<br />

from their troubles,<br />

their past,<br />

their nightmares…<br />

And other times<br />

they run towards fake mirrors <strong>and</strong> gold.<br />

But there are some<br />

who run in search of happiness<br />

with tears in their eyes<br />

because they’re the ones who’ve truly heard<br />

the call of life.

VII<br />

We think we came to this cave<br />

to speak of big cities<br />

with tall buildings <strong>and</strong> multitudes of people<br />

running underground<br />

eating one-dollar pizzas<br />

attending crowded concerts<br />

looking for jobs or love<br />

or for something fun to do<br />

over the weekend.<br />

But no<br />

the big city<br />

holds greater secrets:<br />

People, who like wildflowers<br />

bloom in silence<br />

looking for a connection to the universe<br />

a dream to keep them going.<br />

This is a poem about the city<br />

that never sleeps<br />

written for the one whose dreams<br />

are of <strong>and</strong> for this city.

VIII<br />

You know?<br />

They say dreams<br />

are not just visions<br />

but vessels<br />

so we can remember what it takes to be free,<br />

to be alive,<br />

to let the magic in…<br />

the things poets talk about.<br />

In my dream,<br />

I often visit a great body of water<br />

called the Gr<strong>and</strong> Rapid of the Americas<br />

it takes me precisely<br />

wherever I want to go in the world.<br />

Today, for example,<br />

on this vessel of togetherness,<br />

This cave of intimacy <strong>and</strong> tenderness<br />

we are in,<br />

I too can see<br />

the sun reflecting on the calm water<br />

the great black rocks reaching to the cosmos<br />

<strong>and</strong> you <strong>and</strong> your family<br />

swimming joyfully<br />

while I observe<br />

from the peacefulness of a rock<br />

with this typewriter.

IX<br />

A dream within a dream<br />

is not a mind’s illusion<br />

but an opening<br />

between realms.<br />

Matters of the heart<br />

are not to be explained scientifically<br />

nor studied with sterile lenses<br />

but shared in twilight’s intimacy<br />

piercing letters that evaporate<br />

when we open our eyes<br />

still with the sensation of love<br />

on our tongue.<br />

Turn me into blue<br />

say the lyrics of a song repeating in your head<br />

the coded palpitations of this dream<br />

breathing <strong>and</strong> dancing magic<br />

into our daily world.

X<br />

Once I had a dream<br />

of fresh flowers <strong>and</strong> wild animals<br />

who frolicked at the entrance of a cave<br />

right <strong>by</strong> the water fountain.<br />

Within the cave there is an altar,<br />

with small crystals filled with dew water<br />

everyone who drinks from it has an answer<br />

directly sent to their heart.<br />

Expectation <strong>and</strong> desire are liquid too<br />

they take many shapes <strong>and</strong> as much space<br />

as we allow them to.<br />

Enter this dream, this cave,<br />

whenever you are uncertain<br />

<strong>and</strong> drink from your heart’s own wisdom n<br />

for there is no wrong choice<br />

when you seek with love.

XI<br />

I heard of a place in a tall mountain<br />

where dreams have taken the forms of people<br />

they build houses <strong>and</strong> bridges<br />

plant gardens<br />

<strong>and</strong> at night tell stories of their visions<br />

but their favorite part of the day<br />

is talking about us<br />

how we change through time<br />

<strong>and</strong> pass on our stories<br />

to our children<br />

<strong>and</strong> them to their children<br />

in an eternal cycle<br />

of love <strong>and</strong> wisdom.<br />

This, they say<br />

is how dreams are kept alive.

XII<br />

Just like wines<br />

There are all kinds of people<br />

emotions <strong>and</strong> experiences<br />

places <strong>and</strong> memories<br />

to come in <strong>and</strong> out of.<br />

I heard there is a cave<br />

at the entrance of a dream<br />

where wine tastes<br />

like fresh caresses on spring days.<br />

909 is the label on the bottle<br />

<strong>and</strong> everyone who drinks from it<br />

comes out with eyes filled<br />

with new desire.

XIII<br />

There are parts of ourselves<br />

waiting in the depth<br />

of our garden, to bloom<br />

to devour<br />

to shift shapes<br />

take <strong>and</strong> give of us<br />

what is needed.<br />

Each morning, the door opens<br />

<strong>and</strong> is it up to us to seek<br />

which petal will heal<br />

our longing.

XIV<br />

You thought<br />

this poem was going to be<br />

about a cave<br />

or a dream<br />

about a fountain<br />

or some sort of fairytale<br />

reminiscent of a poem<br />

worthy of a place<br />

such as this…<br />

But no,<br />

the poet<br />

is unable to write<br />

about such things today.<br />

All these keys<br />

want to write about<br />

are your h<strong>and</strong>s<br />

how kindly<br />

they moistened the entrance<br />

of the cave<br />

how delicately<br />

they removed your clothes<br />

when you entered<br />

how elegantly<br />

they applied the lipstick<br />

to your mouth<br />

before you dared to speak<br />

<strong>and</strong> how now<br />

precisely now<br />

in perfect balance, now<br />

they rest upon the pink fur of the cave<br />

to pet it<br />

with the same kind movements<br />

one tames love.

XV<br />

One day<br />

the hummingbird began its daily ritual<br />

but quickly found out<br />

with panicky flutter<br />

that all the flowers<br />

had lost its petals<br />

<strong>and</strong> perished<br />

all around the garden of paradise<br />

even at the entrance<br />

of the cave<br />

where it then laid, in silence<br />

until its heart, too, withered.<br />

Now in the cave<br />

in the place where the hummingbird’s bones<br />

became one with the stones<br />

there is a fountain<br />

of turquoise light <strong>and</strong> bright crystals<br />

where dreams come to drink<br />

to renew their belief.<br />

It isn’t out of love<br />

the world keeps spinning, darling...<br />

it’s out of memory<br />

longing<br />

<strong>and</strong> unfulfilled desire.


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