“Make Believe” by Jaswinder Bolina (Favorite Poem Project)


my name is Dahlia and I’m currently
based in Los Angeles California I am a choreographer a dancer a dance teacher
and I make multimedia works with other artists I’m really interested right now in
creating a body of work that explores the performance of the quiet I’m
interested in unlikely sources of virtuosity and the role of memory and
imagining reimagining the past and part of my interest in the performance of the
quiet is to offer an experience of dance that isn’t spectacle or entertainment
but truly feeling and sensing in our bodies for our own our own consciousness
and then also connecting with others in a way that we might not otherwise have
an opportunity to do in our daily lives in our piece we never actually identify
the countries or the languages that are in it we don’t think of the piece as
representing nation we think of it as expressing a an experience of being in
between and almost multiplicity the poem is called make-believe and I love this
poem for so many reasons first of all the sense of time I love
how he pulls out of time just from the start as we will eventually be
archeology so right from there you have this sense of thousands of years you
know we will be the dinosaurs one day we will be no it’s our bones that will
be found in the dirt We will eventually be archeology, but now
in America I tell my young daughter the new headlights are a bluish white
instead of the murky yellow of my upbringing. She’s busy with her bubble
making, her dig in the flowerbed, her pantomimed banquet, phantom guests dining
on her small handfuls of weeds and grasses. Precisely, the lit up Jackrabbits
appear in peculiar blue candor under the stop light dusk, pigeons hued reddish are
garrulous and incomprehensible as drunks at the end of the cocktail hour. It’s
that time in America when the air is overgrowth. The piquancy of coriander
neighbors allowed to flower mingles with fragrances we douse our clothes-lined
laundry in each week to cloister the bodies reeking.
Truck smoke from the interstate. I’m out of doors, which is to say nature
is hemmed in by doors, which is to say nature is a category of my own making,
and I can’t say why the skittish, black bugs flit into the house when there’s so
much turf afforded to them already, but tonight I’ll crush a few with the Newsweek before sleeping. Now, it’s that time in America in the
out-of-doors beneath tree and trellis and vapor
trails of overnight flights fare-thee-welling to London and Morocco.
Brandy in soda water xylophone jingle of the ice, I sit in my Adirondack
without my minute, Midwestern wife who Tuesday returns from her summit in
Cleveland. It’s that time when I’m alone in America with my young daughter who
startles herself realizing the wood pile beneath that black oak is itself
formerly a tree, and she wants to know whether these trees have feelings. It’s
this acquaintance with death she so improves upon annually. It’s in this precise moment in America
that I realized this acquainting, this becoming familiar, this cordiality with
death is the entire task of her growing older.
Next year her ficus will die and the next year her minnow will die, and it’s
in these moments in America when my daughter’s plump lip Quivers in a
preface to bawling, when I’m alone and can do too little, I say, I’m sorry
life is too much my love, I’m sorry my love,
it isn’t enough.

1 thought on ““Make Believe” by Jaswinder Bolina (Favorite Poem Project)

  1. So happy to see another video on this channel! Thank you for spreading the magic of poetry.

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