by Jennifer MacKenzie
I’d been travelling and up in my studio above the city the air suggested conifers I flew the monastery’s sacred tiger down into my city studio and drew the blinds a dancer in for rehearsal clicked on the IPad limbered up at the barre outside the star-drenched city wakes its industrial heart: vibrating singing bowls a single pearl breath warbling cello studio window a thousand egg whisks of modern industrial move intowhoosh whoosh hit it turn it whoosh bang lean back turn slam violin slam whoosh as much as I’m moving as much as spiralling space arm touch finger chin forearm/head Dessner industrial Aheym I half see you barre thro barre taffeta swaddled iron of your impenetrable lean into walking in the park clamped by headphones whirling confusion has to be stamped its fragmentary whatever floored-rolled implored arms horizontal then to the breath walking inchoate diaspora bumped and bundled in narrow streets photograph: an old one workers stirring vats of jam a factory belching the mystery of yeast my family came went settled here their exile in stasis orange sunset in exile from myself I stand in the park cities slashed across my vision here here there there there there here thinking in dots anguish tempered by duo flailing arms in unison torsos connecting take my beating feet take my touch orange sunset in exile from myself I switch on the light at the old industrial connection frame of mind
Frame of Mind, choreographed for the Sydney Dance Company by Rafael Bonachela, focuses on the theme of exile, as experienced by the choreographer, and the composer, Bryce Dessner. The choreography also incorporates the responses of the dancers to the theme.
Jennifer Mackenzie is a poet and reviewer, focusing on writing from and about the Asian region. Since the publication of Borobudur (Transit Lounge 2009) she has presented her work at a number of conferences and festivals, including the Ubud, Irrawaddy and Makassar festivals. She has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the Marten Bequest Poetry Scholarship, and the Felix Meyer travelling scholarship from the University of Melbourne. Although mainly focused (or you could say obsessed) with Indonesia, she has also written on China, where she worked for three years, and in 2016 enjoyed a writing residency at Seoul Artspace, Yeonhui. She also works as an occasional editor for The Lontar Foundation in Jakarta. Her most recent book is Navigable Ink, (Transit Lounge 2020).