23 Duets & Vignettes

Performances & Collaborations

Summary: A collection of dance, story, theater and poetic performances and collaborations from lyric contributor to full choreographed and performed productions including two lucid dream dance duets still on cue for this realm. 

The Legend of the Gamelatron:
Stories from the Metamorphosis

The first of the stories were presented at the Horizon Festival at Judson Church in 2009 with Zemi17 and the Gamelatron. These stories tell the tale of humans when they were merging with Artificial Intelligence. The Myth is based on the vision of future “humans” who discover a Gamelatron that had long been buried. When they play it’s orchestrations they have memories and dreams of their ancestors and earlier existences when the great turning or metamorphosis happened.

HYPERBOLIC: Guerrilla text

Choreographed and performed in asymmetry with cSageD at Smack Mellon Spice Factory, 1999 in DUMBO Brooklyn, NYC.
Hyperbolic was the precursor and inspiration for Sky Plots. Smack Mellon was, at the time, located in a massive old Spice Factory. Hyperbolic was staged for a capacity crowd of 500 as a multi-roomed, multimedia event with a one hour performance installation at its center. This centerpiece involved 10 simultaneous performances that spanned the space both vertically and horizontally on bungees and pods hung from the rafters, a massive cargo net anchored to the north wall, several ladders, a quadraphonic sound system, pieces on mini-stages at ground level and others that freely roamed. A poem written by agent mT, “Inside the Outside” was inscribed in chalk on the concrete outside the warehouse, framing the events concept. The “outside” is the world of the mythic, of imagination and radiance. Inside the outside is invitation to inhabit this place leaving the “other” world for a while. Inside, agent mT performed “Guerrilla Text,” a rigorous duet with Chris Doorley, the two of us in camouflaged masked gear. We began roaming and tagging all the other performances then mounted 20’ ladders to script treasure maps, text hieroglyphs and stories on long scrolls of butcher paper hung from near the ceiling to just above the heads of the wandering crowd. In the final act which ends the show, agent mT powerfully ascends a climbing rope to the high rafters steeped in spice to reveal the gorgeous Rose flower treasure they discovered in the maps they’ve drawn. 


Dream Smugglers
Governor’s Island, Halloween 2018

Performed as maitre D’ of a micro bar and dream purveyor with sculptor and chef Ryan O’Connor for 5000-attendee Halloween Event, How Did Our Dreams Come to This, on Governor’s Island, NYC 2018. ROC designed and built this featured art piece that centers on a traditional cart loaded in a haphazard hyperbolic manner with strapped down furniture. The motif: A band of dream smugglers loading symbols and memories onto their rig, stopping at outposts to trade and refuel. The work was installed a hundred yards into the complex of buildings. At the back of the sculpture, we created a micro bar with tapas where dreams were shared, stolen, smuggled and created. This was a wild night that only took further surreal turns as the indoor spaces became too crowded to enter, a light rain began to fall and our site turned into a micro speakeasy refuge.

The Passion of St. Plasta
La Plaza Cultural Garden

A duet with Kelvin Daly in the East 9th Street La Plaza Cultural Garden, Summer NYC 2013, a serenade for Saint Plasta, the mystic eco archetype of Trash Worship channeled by Rolando Politi. Saint Plasta spent a summer offering eco blessing hugs in her sacred garden temple. Kelvin seemed to invite the invisible spirits to assemble through his homemade instrument as I incanted eco good omens and Rolando swayed with Plastica, welcoming all comers. This harkened, for me, back to an absinthe infused warehouse evening improv story duet with Kelvin a decade earlier where we became “as wide as the room” inside an orb that floated like a bubble beyond the atmostphere. About Waste One Rolando: https://www.poetryproject.org/people/rolando-politi, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p0ws-WbgHs, https://italiany.us/rolando-politi/, https://loisaida.org/garbagia/, http://www.nonsensenyc.com/features/politi_int.html, http://www.satyamag.com/sept01/rolando.html, https://everydaytrash.com/2014/08/27/roses-of-seemapuri/


Rehearsal #5: Animal Dream

(A choreography originally conceived for Picasso Machinery Salon)
1. A man and a woman encounter each other. Their exploration becomes a dance. Gradually, they turn into animals. They nip, press, fight, brawl, wrestle, roll around etc. Eventually they come to rest, lying on the floor.
2. Another person emerges from the back, approaches and smells them, rolls on them then stops. One after another people come up from the audience and lie on the stage or on these bodies. The maitre d’, who has stepped to the podium at the side of the stage, says,”Now everyone close your eyes.” END OF PRELUDE
3. The MAIN ACT: A Layering in of simultaneous machinery. “Now everyone open your eyes.” The front is empty, save for a woman doing yoga, gradually getting into and out of a headstand. She continues throughout.
4. A man starts reading from the middle of an astrophysics text repeatedly stopping to emphasize: “I want you to really get this– to really understand”
5. A woman steps out and begins singing. As she sings, she is wrapped in a cloth, gradually becoming a mummy except her mouth. Once this is complete, she is put into a cart and moved to different parts of the room.
6. An alarm goes off. A person walks to the alarm, picks it up and throws it against the back wall. Where it strikes, the person goes and draws a large circle like a moon
7. Once the circle is drawn, everything stops. The stage goes dark. The person who threw the alarm, walks to the front of the room and, in the bright light of a focused spotlight, says: “I want to remind you that you are dreaming”
8. The set goes entirely dark for a brief moment.
9. Then, the whole scene begins to repeat starting with the woman doing a headstead. The only difference is that this time, there is a narrator who speaks as if recounting a dream and offering vivid highlights of what it felt like in parts of the dream:::: “At that point, I heard an alarm. I noticed it in the corner of the room and threw it against the back wall where it turned into the moon. At that moment I knew I was dreaming and suddenly I woke up. I remember the instruction to lie back down and go back carefully through the dream and to reenter it, to highlight it vividly with sensations and to dissolve it into light, which I am doing right now”
10. At this point, the lights come gradually up throughout the theater. Flashlights are turned on. Lights appear from all directions. And every person sings the same note in various undulations. ah aa ah aa ah aa
11. Everything goes dark & silent for 3 minutes. Rest. Ordinary lights slowly rise; a return to ordinary reality.
(Many variations of this can be recast in infinite episodes as a lucid theater training.

WJMZ World of Blues Program

A weekly two hour show of live spoken word and world blues, jazz, samba and minimal techno on community micro-radio station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 1998/1999. Ran for 10 months until the FCC shut the station down.

About WJMZ 89.3FM Jumpin the turnstiles of the Airwaves, Hope Street, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, July 1998 to June 1999. WJMZ, named after the rickety fingers of subway metal that cross the Williamsburg Bridge, was a micro-broadcasting collective radio station started by key Ransom Corp. members (upon being gifted an antennae and instructional training by Steal This Radio and Prometheus Radio Project alum) to serve as a political, social, and artistic medium of expression for South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. JMZ had an open platform, “no content control” policy. It broadcast four days a week over 25 shows ranging from herbal urban health care and world poetics to psychoacoustic test labs, community and activist news programs and a wide swatch of music and talk-based hours. There were shows in Spanish and a show hosted by high school students during the pre-class morning hours. The FCC triangulated the signal and threatened legal action (fines, confiscation of equipment and possible jail time) if the radio station refused to cease. Without means for a legal defense, we shut it down after 11 months of existence. As well as being a meeting ground for collaborations and friendships, WJMZ served as an example of what creative community can do together and the challenges faced in an era of invasive big government and corporate interests.


NOAH’s ARK: 40 Days & 40 Nights.
Ritual destruction #1 of a clock in a duet with Zemi17 at the start of his midnight set in the hull of the Frying Pan Lighthouse Ship, NYC 1999. In 1999, I initiated a series of ritual clock, computer and television destructions using a sledgehammer sometimes combined with fire tools, often in headdresses, robes and masks. These varied in scale, intensity, and setting. They began as solos, eventually becoming an essential part of the Hyperbolic Destruction Band show. Our tethering to technology and industrial age culture can breed a brand of frustration born of dependency and basic physical inertia. Our bodies are miracles of movement evolved over millions of years. These destructions heighten awareness within a catharsis, however temporary. Audiences had a wide range of responses. Many times, after I was done, others would jump in and continue the destruction.


“Total simultaneity is what we are after”

Directed by John Sully, August 2000, DUMBO Theater. The first installment in the epic Augenblick cycle, hosted by Mephistopheles in full regalia, was served in two parts: the first, a dense multi-layered, multimedia, sense-scrambling cachet of stories told in the interior which reached a climatic whirl as the massive loading dock door shimmied open, revealing the dark streets under the Manhattan Bridge. The audience exited to an enactment of Lions, Hyenas and Vultures and the calamity of a near car accident turned battlefield between drivers. Members of the Ransom Corp accounted for half the cast. Inside, I co-choreographed and performed, “Lizards”, a dance poem moving intimately amid the audience telling of how to gain the ability to spot lizards. Outside, as the audience emerged beyond the loading dock door, I directed, choreographed and performed in “Lions, Hyenas & Vultures” with David Jellyfish, Sean Clute & Kelvin Daly. A smashed red carcass of watermelon thrown from atop a ladder by agent mT began the journey into the food chain enacted in vivid detail by the devilish, hovering predators and scavengers. A fierce interruption of honking cars took over the scene. No one knew it was staged until the drivers emerged wearing helmets armed with massive neon tubes they smashed in a duel as trains and trucks roared overhead– a scene under the Brooklyn Bridge unlikely to ever be repeated. 


For the Girl Who Needs Air
(in the morning when the sun rises)

Choreographed by Keren Shani, danced by Keren and agent mT at the Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NYC in 1999. I spoke the poem as we moved. The poem, written in New Orleans 1998, captures a couple trying to get comfortable in the movements and feelings of a night together.

We are young and skinny   we need soft
things   our arms tingle and go numb   cut
off our legs   we are no body   entangled
relation of knots   underneath our breathing
the creaking of floors   the sun pulls us
up on sunbeam cranes   no spectators
at our contortion dance piece of hours
anti-yoga metaphysics   eleven bodies lie on
the corner of our pillow   the moon rests
on the mattress   the floor is harder
than cartwheel no hands   I place my
raspberry between your pews   your elbow
meditates into stones   Clutch   we are
under siege of hardness   we need
bellies   we need fat to be one body   hip-
bone   you cannot soften determined
things   the same thought comes again
that there is no thinking (not yet) about
any of it   we cannot sink into the
things beneath us   make your lips
our blanket   (I) move to sleep (you) in

Space Dance

SPACE DANCE with Tetsuro Fukuhara & Jeff Janisheski at Gale Gates, Brooklyn, March 2000. Performed with a large butoh ensemble in an interactive new media collaboration of Japanese and American artists. The principle training/ awareness practice/ dance involved a profoundly slow walk across an open space. This served later as an introduction to the extraordinary universe of walking meditation a year or two later when on an extended retreat at Mahasi Sayadaw Sasana in Yangon, Burma. Alternating hours of sitting and walking meditation during 16 hours of waking practice over weeks rather than a couple short exercises in a weekend afforded explorations of speed, space, shape, perception and so forth. A few meters traversed in an hour’s clock time took on oceanic dimensions stretching the cursory basic walking meditation instruction into a profound embodied exploration. These two experiences became seeds for what is now a life practice. ***Image from Tetsuro Fukuhara site.

Scenes From The UP Poem

With Professor Sean Clute, commissioned for Chashama’s Deli Dances at Chashama Theater, 42nd Street, NYC, Summer 2000. Also performed at The Cave Gallery (now Leimay) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A dance poem duet in two parts with Dr. Clute, who also composed the score, later remastered in his album “Where the Prairie Dogs Go.” This piece — in sonic and raw physical terms– explores the relationship and tension between the struggles involved in survival and the creative process which holds out some promise of transcendence. Two dancers lie on the floor across from each other. As they slowly approach each other, one dancer gradually rises trying to reach far into the sky while the other lowers until slithering along the floor. A video projects the inverse onto a screen in the background as the Up Poem, written by agent mT, plays.

The White Wedding: Inside Face/Outside Mind

The White Wedding was a mass collaborative event in the summer of 1999. Approximately 100 people dressed entirely in white gathered in a downtown community garden and, over the course of some hours, walked through the city to the Great Lawn in Washington Square Park where they were formally married by the Good Reverend William Talen aka Reverend Billy. Inside Face/ Outside Mind is agent’s expression and contribution on the matrimonial pilgrimmage, a first emergence of a character who would appear in various guises over the next two years, merging in strange forms with agent mT in his three piece suit.


e. in 8 parts aka The Erection Poem,

Constructed 1998/9, premiered at VON, Soho, NYC as part of the Ice Cream Man Event hosted by KBN and C. Howard. “The Erection Poem is my Howl” — Loki Kevorkian. A tale of the pre-millenial root chakra, a recapitulation of intersections, a play on ecstasy and incantations and uneasy journeys between animal and spirit union, a stream of associative flow that finds True North.  e in 8 parts  *Note: Performed following the world premier of Loud Josh’s full contect, immersive poem experience RICOCHET.​

Manhatta Island

A dance poem, choreographed and danced solo by Mara Smaldone at P.S. 122 in 2000. Mara asked me to write about living in the tiny apartment spaces of Manhattan. We compared it to living inside a shower and she used a shower as her main prop while voicing the words I’d scored. What were those words? So far lost to the winds. This picture: a glance from the Williansburgh bridge at my old Pitt Street apartment during that era. Mara lived at the classic East 4th Street, 4th floor walkup that so many of us crashed out or sublet at one time or another.


The Draft

A Spoken Word Duet performed with Loki Kevorkian at the Angel Orensanz Center during the LULL multimedia event, Manhattan 2000. The Draft is a four page poetry piece, part cut-up from newspapers, part distillation of notebook, part protest. The draft in this case is the nearly unavoidable call of consumer, corporate culture and its tendency to limit or co-opt for commercial purposes human expression & human community. The poem explores reactions to this draft, the limbo of uncertainly, fear, anger, tension around it, and the pools of emergence into other realms of connection.

The Mystery of Sex

A duet performance by agent mT and Girl aka Erin Ellen Kelly at Lon’s Poets’ Loft in Brooklyn based on an excerpt from “The Elm,” a story in Barry Yourgrau’s The Sadness of Sex. A man attempts to soothe a vagina that has, frightened, left it’s host and climbed into an Elm tree where it refuses to come down. We used simple props–a dashing suit, a ladder, a silver sequined sash– and agent mT improv’d a spoken word of the excerpt while approaching Erin atop the ladder in a writhing dance. Here is a pdf of Elm by Barry Yourgrau.


Croton has had several incarnations. It originated as Croton, a prose poem, named after the town between Poughkeepsie and NYC on the Metro North Hudson Line. I performed it first in 1998 as a spoken word piece with sounds orchestrated by Zemi, who slowed samples of the train  1/12 speed creating a suspended machine jazz score. A year later, the piece formed the basis of a larger performance with Sean Clute, Keren Shani, Shawn Irwin and Crazy Jay at the Diversity Festival in Plattsburg, NY. In Croton, a conductor announces to passengers that the train they are on is going out of service and that what they expected is not going to happen. This piece is also published in Green Taxis along with Croton II that takes the journey to its natural incompletion.

Why the Water Glistens

Live Storywriting on Walls and Storytelling, Remain Festival, Broadway & Houston, NYC 1998. Originally an improv creation accompanied by sax and drums, this mythic work found final form as a written story. Here is a full pdf of Why The Water Glistens and an excerpt from the beginning:

Before things were as they are, Mother-Moon, who I will call Moon, had a son. She had asked the Wishing Star every night they met in the sky to give her a son. But the Wishing Star was afraid: “If I give the earth another moon, no one will watch the stars.” 

One day after the Wishing Star again said no, Moon was too sad to go across the sky. That night, the world was completely black. There were no tides of the ocean and no one had any dreams when they slept. The next night, Moon again was too sad. “I am too tired to move.” And so she stayed beneath the earth.

This went on for one month. Without dreams, everyone on the earth was angry and serious. No one knew when to harvest or plant their next crops. Ships could not sail in the night. What was wrong? More than any other wish, people wished for the Moon to come back. The Wishing Star knew what he had to do. “But you must promise,” he said to Moon, “that you will keep the balance of the night and day.”

And so Mother-Moon was given a son. In return, she promised the stars and sun that she would keep the balance of night and day. After one month, not one but two moons rose above the edge of where the eye can see.


She Found The Dirt
Smiling Hogshead Ranch, NYC

An impromptu reading at Smiling Hogshead Ranch, an urban farm collective in Long Island City, NYC-– an excuse to mention this great city venture, community, oasis. Chose a favorite that suited the place:

She found the dirt
What else could she do?
She starts digging
with her tiny pink fingers
till they become claws
talons raking the ground
tearing through roots
slicing earthworms
a carnival of
wants and needs
a girl
transforming into
an intensity

her hands
displace water veins
she has no notion
of what might be there
tunnels subsoil substrata
no experience of
burrowing creatures
snaking concourses
of moles and mice
no hesitation
for analysis
or a geologist’s concepts

she goes on
deep in the hole
shaped like a canoe
she finds the place
of the dead children
skulls of deer and
shards of busted
she finds buried scrolls
of ancient script
woven dreamcatchers
jewels of jade and

But these mean nothing to her
Her hands are in the digging
She calls for dynamite
as she disappears from view
the first
in this fantasy of the infinite well


radioactive grassroots bingo

Co-producer and performer in a variety show series named after Dada founder Tristan Tzara at a Hotel Bar in East Village, 1997/8.  Performed in a live action comic strip, served as auctioneer for little used words, presented “CORTEX”– Board Meeting notes of a company developing eye control technology, debuted the prose piece turned theater script “CROTON,” invented the Video-Noise experiment– multi-instrumentalists & vocalists improvising to live video mixing. With Loud Josh, Erin Ellen Kelly (Stripping 101), zemi17 (Tiny Tim Bingo), Mustache, Doorley, Adonis, Gabriel (Professional Hair Waxer), Larry and many others…