neither HEre nor there (and everythIng elSe): Dance to death

Hands uplifted, clasping. Unclasping. Prayers to Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica.

Electronic supplication in rags of bandages and plastic, oxygen tubes grotesque in the nostrils. One of six moves to a different rhythm.

Perhaps the lone figure has good drugs. Five tow society’s more acceptable line. For now.

The others break out. Now and then. Here nor there. Like school kids smoking secretively behind the shed, or the dentist stealing swigs from his hipflask in the staccato rhythms of habit while Nadine Joseph breaks on through swaying anachronously. Malevolently sexual.

Stress, tension. Gasping, grasping for air.

Like machines. Not machines. Running down.

neither HEre nor there (and everythIng elSe)

Then sexual, then mechanical. Loveless.

Repeat, automation. Toyi-toyi. Salute.

Joseph falls. Is dead.

The struggle continues. Alone or in unison. She’s only one of six yet sometimes the way Athena Mazarakis dances it’s as if all our sins are forgiven.

It ends as it began. But only here. There, it continues. A new figure taking Joseph’s place, to eventually also fall, and die. And again. Now there would be five. Then four. And again. Until all succumb.

— Steve Kretzmann

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