Movement and the Essay: Josey Foo

May 28, 2014 § Leave a comment


Josey Foo

Josey Foo

Josey Foo discusses how she came to write her exquisitely minute essay “So Little” in the new issue of Brevity:

I suppose this piece sprang from questions of who I am. I certainly can’t grasp the who of me, I seem to lie and cheat in the moment before moving, then try to move in a forthright way, and the movement can seem like a runaway train even over the single step. The decision to move changes my life, then the movement changes it again. A kaleidoscope of changes happens to me as I proceed and I’m evolving as a person. The movement is the poem, the humanity that goes into moving is the significant story, then the movement again is the climax or ending. I am a bundle of contradictions in a single move.

Use of the third person was necessary because this piece happened to be too close. Use of the third person is for comfort. The person (me) feels like an intruder in the space between the chair and the window. Her motivations are all suspicious. She feels she has grown into something that must stay still and is distorted otherwise. At the same time she’s just trying out her body, hanging her body this way and that to feel strengths and weaknesses and wondering whether any of it is real.

I wrote a book a few years ago with the dancer/choreographer Leah Stein that were poems and notes on dance, and performed with her and her dancers in Philadelphia in 2012. I had to go up on stage and walk about, reading poems from memory as the dancers simply moved. They didn’t second guess their movements. They approached their bodies and movement with joy while I was filled with panic and just wanted to stop and think the whole thing through for one moment and then do it again for the next.

 

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