Saturday, August 31, 2013

The White City

Today was the first day of the Occupy Utopia festival in Copenhagen and we had a workshop called Building With Books. I was teamed with Syrian poet Golan Haji and furniture maker Kasparov Stoltz and bookbinder Malene Lerager. Our assignment? To create a piece of furniture for the Book Cafe. The only rule was that we had to make the furniture out of old books and we had to create original text to be used in/around/on/from the furniture. After some thought we decided to work on the theme "White".

I wrote a poem for the table and so did Golan. Here's mine:

The White City

The city goes to sleep an old woman at night
And wakes up in the morning a virgin
She is a sleeping princess waiting to wake
And give birth to herself again
White swans drift down the silver ribbons of the river
And she touches the heads of all her children
With pale hands in order to make them whole again.

Light gives birth to more light
White begets white, which splits and separates
Into multiple threads, witnessed by porcelain windows
Like eyes gracefully opening and closing
Against the light of the flaxen sun.

Who is looking for what in this white city?
What purity, what redesign, what forgiveness awaits
There is no redemption, only white upon white
Light upon light 
To soothe and to heal the soul destroyed by hurt, by fear,
By anger and war.
There is something for everyone here in this white city
Once your eyes become used to the light.

In the meantime, Kaspar and Malene started to work on the furniture, which was to make a table out of he beautiful old books whose pages were all shades of white. By five o'clock it was finished and then we presented our furniture and read the poems. Other teams created stools, a chair, and a nest of books that you could sit in and read.

You can see the results of our work here.

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