In “Practice for the Afterlife” I share my art making process - that is, how a woman makes art, telling my family story and the unfolding recognition of age. The performance took place during the exhibition "Dear Womanhouse, What Now?" in an 1836 house in Manchester, MI. I spoke a section of the seven part poem in each room.  At the Art Kettle, Manchester, MI, 2018.

"Practice for the Afterlife" was listed in EMERGENCY INDEX: AN ANNUAL DOCUMENT OF PERFORMANCE PRACTICE, VOL. 8, 2019, an annual print publication documenting performances that occurred in one calendar year. https://emergencyindex.com

 

The chapbook, Practice for the Afterlife, with the full poem and photos of the robe is available: mparkerst@gmail.com

Find a PDF of the full poem is HERE.

Practice for the Afterlife - Clothing Myself

1. making it

 

I’m practicing

I’m preparing

procrastinating

stuttering

 

no, that’s not it

try again….

 

I’ll clothe myself in beauty

I’ll stitch it with my own hands

I’ll fit it to my own body

patterned after my own life

 

mixed with the colors

I use again and again

ultramarine, lemon yellow

alizarin crimson, mars black

 

sprung from visions behind my eye,

battered against my breast bone,

pushed their way out onto paper,

squeezed out in ink, brushed on with sable,

 

then erased, torn up, pasted back together

till they ooze blood or toxic turpentine,

until they’re finally finished, or just left behind

stacked up in the corner, stored in steel drawers,

 

pressed behind glass, lost on the hard drive,

sold off, given away, or kept for myself

filling up my studio

above the family store.

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