Monday, March 09, 2009

Suite (Sour Remix) (2009)

Dana Guthrie Martin : 'Suite', remixed by Stu Hatton

At your question eyes :: sped away in guilt no :: I hadn’t been thinking of :: you I’d been thinking about what :: I think about why :: would I do otherwise?

(what does inertia)

You ask :: what does inertia :: mean I say this :: suspended game board overrun :: with dice

(keep erasing)

We think in untouchable :: substances :: you vapour I :: dust I’ve been :: thinking whatever comes :: too easily knotting :: frequencies been through :: opportunities all these cold :: currencies flood :: your speaking :: mouth

(until you have)

You ask :: what does silence :: mean I say a shell :: aluminium :: egg that will not :: hatch

(what you need)

The last dream we :: sit in a café noise :: of china, knives and :: the too-loud :: music and rival :: talk at other :: tables you place :: your cup over :: your mouth as :: a semi-mask :: I fence my :: eyes with a :: napkin and :: the waiter softly :: asking us to leave

(what does silence)

Overgrown :: with silence I cannot :: listen my ears :: shrivelled buds cannot :: respond my bloodless :: tongue the skin :: a snake sheds

Process Notes:

My remix began as a reply to 'Suite', with a male voice replying to the female voice of Dana's poem. I've aimed for a kind of symmetry with the original, and retained some formal elements, such as the use of short phrases broken up with double-colons. I retained a couple of phrases from the original also.

The last part I added was the 'dream sequence' stanza set in the café. I opted for more fragmentation of the phrases in this stanza to evoke the dream-state's fluidity of association. Then I decided to apply the same fragmentation to the rest of the remix, which basically involved adjusting where the breaks (double-colons) between phrases occurred. This meant that the 'heads' and 'tails' of discrete phrases were pruned and grafted on to adjacent phrases. The result was a greater sense of discontinuity, meaning that the reader probably has to make more of an effort to follow the flow of the poem. The parenthetical phrases between stanzas were the final elements to be added.

I found the remixing process very interesting indeed. I felt I was taking on someone else's voice, which I guess is something I've done a few times in my work, but I don't think I've channeled this kind of voice before. It's a male voice, but I'd say there's a feminine edge to the imagery it projects.

Dana's notes on this remix can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. Stu,

    Your piece is amazing. It really does send chills up my spice reading it because I know the narrator but don't know the narrator at the same time. There's this sense that the poem is possessed, and it is in a sense.

    Also, I love how you heightened everything in the way that you placed the double colons. I feel it in my throat when I read this, like a tightening up, a sense of hesitating panic.

    Very very great writing.

    What else? Oh, you should put a blurb in your sidebar telling people you want to remix their work and have them remix yours. And it's pretty clear that you need to set up that Facebook group and get more people doing this. You know, in all your spare time. :)