THE LIGHTS ON THE CAVE WALLS / CRAYONS IN CUPBOARDS / A LETTER FOR MY LOVER, BUT MOSTLY FOR MYSELF

Jess is a Visual Art student at ANU. They have strong ‘feels’ about colour, like to make strange objects, performance work, and sometimes food. Usually uncontactable due to generally being overwhelmed. They will probably lie to you, too.

 

Instructions for an actor

Close your eyes and watch this.

You’re decked out in tinsel with beaded tassels head to knee. Armless, headless, only your legs exposed, the rest of you is made up of intimate glimpses through the forest that is your outfit. Tendrils fly out and whip the air with every twist of your body. You’re a crack of thunder, the burst of a lightbulb, the spark of a bushfire, the toss of the sea, the beak of a bird, an animal in mourning, the heart of the storm and everything hiding it from view. You’re thick, confident, shrouded in shadows – forget dancing, you’ve decided you are wild instead.

You move in a suit you made, in a body you grew, in a room you propped up yourself. Firmly you push back against the world, rip apart its stitches, shoulder the fabric to either side and tell it to STAY PUT, STAY BACK. ‘Be pleated’, you tell it. The fabric’s design doesn’t allow such thin stretching.  And in the big gash you’ve torn, you bunker down, hang a disco ball and try to be. Sweep out the dust with the thrown away keys, and the shrapnel of cupboard doors burst apart.

‘What a beautiful world,’ you say, roll away the stone, let the others in.

‘Tomorrow,’ you say, ‘I’ll be something else.’