Homefest 2017 in 15 poems

Poems by Jasmina Al-Qaisi (1-8, 12-15)/ Poems by Jean-Lorin Sterian (9,10)

Her inner sucker
Took over our left hands
And reminded me of the excuse I have
To hide my inner sucker:
I did not study history of art, I say to him
And what I know of drawing
Is from the lovers that drew me

My inner sucker replies: I, naïve, like you
But show me only to your loved ones.

A poem inspired by the lecture-performance The inner sucker by Lea Rasovszky on different challenges and reforms within the practice of drawing with a focus on using the left hand.

The memories one has to weigh
Are growing tiny hands to hold flowers and rocks
Parachuted over a Speedo swimsuit
With a body in it.

There is a guy who wants to know more
While the table is busy with our memories
While the sun is busy keeping the tea warm
While the host is busy keeping her lips glossy
And I am busy taking pictures to remember all that.

A poem inspired by the installation-performance exerciții de memorare a amintirii by Johanna Gilje on the reformulation, reorganization, and choice of memory held in a bathtub and a balcony.


Was preached to a clumsy cameraman
If you make sure to smile between your dramatic acts

Although the real drama
Is to turn notations into sound
And sing in languages you don’t speak
And having to wear you hair high
Higher than your humor
And your pride low
Lower than your drama.

A poem inspired by the stand-up opera of Cătălina Antal, on the humor behind challenging and loving the canons of the institution. It also touches on the humor in the practice of classical opera singing and the joy of singing in general.

Between two girls
And few strings there is
A magic friendship
And only YouTube witnessed
How much work that was

A poem inspired by the house concert by Spectrum, a recentlyformed two-member group that reinterprets various famous songs through fusions of rock, pop, and soul.

The cold pearls of concrete
Sound like crickets under water
Have you noticed the curtains
They are probably tricking the thieves
That there’s nothing here to be stolen
But in the 3017th year
People of the future will know we were here today
To celebrate captions
And vernacular objects
For ordinary curiosities
Of yesterdays for tomorrows
But with a twist so it can get easier to live together

A poem inspired by the installation on the museum experiment Museum3017, a fictitious museum based on anthropological research, about Bucharest in 3017 displaying ordinary object discovered in Bucharest in 2017.

Whenever I say
It’s a thing of privilege
I feel the privilege of being able to use this word
A word that people who don’t have real homes on their IDs
Can’t use
They just say
Fight and they fight
So we can watch it with sad faces and
Call it injustice

Once I felt sisterhood
Tonight I knew I know nothing about it

A poem inspired by the image theater piece The Museum of Housing played by and from personal biographies of few women from the Rahova-Uranus and Vulturilor 50, two streets in Bucharest where people were evicted from houses that the state restituted to new heirs.

Especially coming via the pen through pain
By Dino Buzzati: the writer, the painter
And his shapes of all the above mentioned
Human weaknesses
Are operated on by a surgeon

Miss surgeons of words
How does it feel
To be so accurate in your practice?

A poem inspired by the reading of Cristina Vidruțiu on plague in literature and images of disease in the work of Dino Buzzati, and here the installation Narrative Anatomy. The latter is also ongoing research based on a series of interviews about disease with artists, patients, doctors, nurses, directors, and writers.

She spins a phone on a
Book with four floors
Where if it turns out you spent more
Than you had
You get paid back during afterlife
In the currency of time spent in nature
Where the walls are not thin
Where there are no walls

A poem inspired by the reading by Ana-Maria Sandu from her new prose book Block with four floors, a book about cohabitation, complex entanglements, and reflections in and on the life of our neighbors.

There’s a lot of friction before
Two lovers even touch each other’s shoulders
And that friction on high frequencies
Is the eye-specific spectacle
Is the space-ship to joy
Is the universal dance
Only marrying the cinema you can master

A poem inspired by the literary and musical evening by Chandrahaz Choudhury, Bombay Vibe, which consists of a reading from the novel Arzee the Dwarf and music videos from Indian films of the past 50 years.

the black cat doesn’t chase the toy ducks
spread in every nook of the house
they are too near at paw
anthropology is when you want to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing
through the others
in the future people will study close relationships
and other exceptions

A poem inspired by Omnidisplacement, a performative lecture by Jasmine Al-Qaisi about distant relationships

devours trickling bodies from cabinets
even the domestic revolutions are filmed now
shouting slogans in the bedrooms
twisting and shouting slogans in the bathrooms
twisting and shouting and dancing slogans in the living rooms
from here it should start all the revolutions

A poem inspired by the performance Phoenix And Vanessa – The Syndicate for Lifting up The Civil Rights Fighting Spirit in Every Citizen by/with: The Syndicate a.k.a. Georgiana Dobre (RO), Kjersti Vetterstad (NO), and Iulia Sima (RO).

Love me like you love a physics textbook
/ Love me now
/ I am unavailable to be loved
/ Love someone else
/ Love me just today
/ Don’t love me at all
/ It’s too late to love me
Love me like you love your bees
Even though we promised
In some parallel realities
That only illness can tear us apart.

A poem inspired by the contemporary play Constellations by Nick Payne with Ioana Barbu and Marin Grigore about a love affair between a physicist and a beekeeper. The play puts a twist on string theory and hints at such notions as free will and partnership.

Her hands
She pulled my sock and rolled my skirt
I turned into a baby pink
She loved my belly with a warm squid
And reminded my hips
A dance that I just dreamed
All kinds of touching I’ve ever encountered
A poem inspired by the one-on-one performance installation The Agency of Touch by Mădălina Dan, about the diverse tactile interactions and reflections one can have on music by Natalia Bustamante.

The dictatorship of tidiness
Was invented in the official camp for mothers
Where mothers of different class, age, and race
Gather the anger on dust and double click on .exe files
In their daughter’s download folder
Some use their weakness as a labor
Some make it into art

A poem inspired by the performance installation SPAȚII VII (Alive spaces) by Dilmana Yordanova and Mihaela Kavdanska about the invisible labor behind every clean space there is.

She put money in her mouth
In front of me
But brushed her teeth

Without a bra
Without water

In front of my fears

She put a T-shirt on and
And made me feel comfortable again
When I had to watch her moves through fifteen mirrors
That saw through everyone’s hearts lungs
And furthermore

A poem inspired by the contemporary dance performance Fragile by Giselda Ranieri, Tanja Andreeva and Cosmin Manolescu. The piece is about vulnerability, fears, tenderness, intimacy, and different encounters bridged by contemporary dance.