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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2021

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NOV 2021 Issue
Poetry

SHOE


Liturgical poem about the shoe. While reading this aloud, one should rigorously observe the instructions in the margin.
Do not forget to recite using a microphone connected to several loudspeakers at high volume. Place a shoe upon a table.
The faithful who observe this ceremony should stand barefoot with a shoe in each hand.

Officiant (standing): The shoe
         the shoe alone. 
           EVERYONE: A shoe just shoe.
Officiant: The mouth shoe
     the nose shoe
     the ear shoe
     the hand shoe
     the eye shoe
     the leg shoe
     the shoulder shoe
     the breast shoe
     the stomach shoe
     the sex shoe
     the knee shoe
     the foot shoe.
          EVERYONE (on their knees): The shoe
                       just
                       shoe.
Officiant: The noir shoe
      the near shoe.
            EVERYONE: The shoe there
                   the shoe now.
Officiant: The earth shoe
      the sky shoe
      the red sun shoe.
            EVERYONE: The purple shoe
                   the punched shoe.
Officiant: The hill shoe
      the distant shoe
      the cloud shoe.
            EVERYONE (squatting): The nail polish shoe.
Officiant (standing): The stunned shoe
          the shadow shoe
          the murky shoe.
          EVERYONE: The day shoe
                   the white shoe
                       the luminous shoe.
OFFICIANT: And the moon navigates an occidental fantasy.
            EVERYONE (on their knees): The shoe in mourning
OFFICIANT: The clean shoe.
            EVERYONE: Birds slumber
                     in the nocturnal forest.
OFFICIANT (with one knee on the ground): The hobbled shoe.
            EVERYONE: The crisp daybreak shoe
                     the blue shoe.
OFFICIANT (with hands over face): The shoe of fringes.
            EVERYONE: The shoe of hair
                     the beard shoe.
OFFICIANT: Photogenic mother-of-pearl in the fingers of dawn
        morning peril of idle time!
           EVERYONE (singing): The shoe of moss
                            the cold shoe.
OFFICIANT: The subtle shoe deaf stream.
            EVERYONE: The lukewarm shoe
                     the returning shoe
                     the kneading shoe.
OFFICIANT (squatting): The shoe’s sole
           the leather of shoe.

           EVERYONE: Deliver me from the shoe!
OFFICIANT: The bind shoe
        the unbind shoe
        the bush shoe
        the shoo shoe
                  cat of shoe
                  firmness of shoe
                  stone in shoe
                  mouth in shoe
                  callus in shoe
                  teeth in shoe.
EVERYONE: Mud in shoe.
        the shoe alone. 
           OFFICIANT: Brush in shoe
                        luster in shoe.
EVERYONE: The heel of shoe
      the point of shoe.

           OFFICIANT: The punt of shoe.
EVERYONE (hopping on one foot): Shoe                    shoe                    shoe
OFFICIANT: shoe of shoe
        stew of shoe.
           EVERYONE (clapping rhythmically with shoes): Rotations of shoe
                                  twists of shoe
                                  the shoe revolution
OFFICIANT: Thousands, millions of shoes!
           EVERYONE: The shoe store
                        the shoe’s escape
                        the shoe’s attack
                        the shoe’s struggle
                        the shoe’s smell
                        the shoe’s putrescence
                        the shoe’s world
                        the shoe’s fumes.
OFFICIANT and EVERYONE (with shoes in the air): The shoe
                                   cosmos.
                                     A shoe.
(All sit down, slip on a shoe and depart).

Contributor

Salette Tavares

Salette Tavares (1922-1994) was a Portuguese writer, theorist, and visual artist. She was a member of the experimental poetry group PO.EX and was involved in the publication of the first issues of Poesia Experimental. Her books includeQuadrada (1967), Lex Icon (1971), Obra Poética 1957-1971 (1992), and Poesia Gráfica (1995). Her spatial poems were exhibited at the 2014 retrospective, Salette Tavares: Spatial Poetry, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2021

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