Friday, October 23, 2015

i forgot, i forgot to ask for a little extra glitter, a vial that held a few drops of the scent, and something that would help me sleep. i kept eating pomegranates, because i wanted to know something, even though it kept leading me further and further into darkness. i never was very smart about these things. but smart enough to understand that this was lost. this was the result of a few wrong turns. and staying lost would require me to take a hundred more. my body knew how to find light. my skin understood how to find light much better than anything i could think up. but i also understood this might take awhile. i was looking for her long before she showed up, long enough that i could recognize her by her light. i was lost long before i took this last wrong turn, i was lost even before i lost my voice. this was darker than i expected, though, and it took just one cold night to miss the glitter between my fingers. i didn't understand how much that kept me warm, and just hungry enough to wake up at the break of dawn. now i wake up when the morning cracks open because i think the sound of my heart beating is the sound of her coming home.

Monday, July 27, 2015

(for Open Frame night, Somos Gallery, Kreuzberg, Berlin)

Loss of Dog Stories (and some new pieces) 

Dog watches the sun peeking through the mountains to get an idea of the day ahead before deciding to rise. Dog decides these days are like the pieces of a puzzle, and just when there are enough on the board to see a pattern, there is another earthquake, and by the next morning, the colors are all changed again.

Brass-belt Doggess tells the Moonstruck Dog, "Your eyes burst open with salt water because the sea is moving through you, unclench your fists and unwrap your lips from your teeth, that music you are pretending not to hear, it's really playing and you're really hearing."

like the woman who keeps dirt from her home in her pocket, to eat when no one is watching and the island is too full of strangers, i keep salt rocks under my tongue, so that when the desert is too full of untempered surfaces, i can suck my tongue and remember the sea

The dog could not wait to wake me so she could show me how diamonds got planted inside everything while we slept.

Through the bars of the bedframe, that Cumbia Goddess comes two-tongued, one red-one yellow, tells the Dog how this Cumbia goes back and forth from the lips to the hips, says, "Stop surrounding yourself with those who say they're afraid to, not allowed to, don't know how to dance.”

bees buzzing the throat of a red wild dog, bees stinging the throat of the red wild dog, red wild dog sleeping through the hot part of the day and waking up wondering why he wants to sing about something that hasn't happened yet

While the dog is wondering out loud about how something is trying to come to the surface with all this rain, but fall and spring are too far off in either direction, she says, "My mouth is full of strawberries," and there's nothing else that needs to be said.

I thought I was having a dream, having a dream where I had grown roots to the belly of the earth, I thought I had a dream that I was rooted to the earth, but when I woke up, I saw it wasn't a dream, it was like a dream but it had a different word: daughter.

dogblink blink of menace blink of longing, longing dog blinking for a long inhale ok computer dog it's your blink dog ok dog you blink and you keep blinking blinkdog blink blink blink

Dog can't calm its dogself down, all over the house all over the yard all over the sky, wakes up the fairy dog father from the other side of the grass, 'Why are you so crazy, dogchild?' & dog says , 'I was watching a movie and I loved it and I fell asleep watching it and I woke up in it and this is my favorite part.’

your spirit is a dog at the foot of your bed, tail wagging, because you're about to wake up. that family that you miss, that you miss like a lost pulse, is already there, inside your bloodstream, not locked, but the opposite of locked, and you're about to wake up.

dang. i played sugur ros for jake the dog while i was away at work, and now she is barking in a made up dog language.

all the loves of the past five years are out on the verandah. there's french tobacco & cappuccino & something that smells like ginger or sandalwood. they are showing each other pictures of the children and dogs we might have had together. this isn't surprising. what is surprising is that when i put my hand to touch the glass on the door between us, i realize there is no glass, and there is no door, that the door was never there to begin with.

That SunDog says to Dog the Father, "I just want you to hold me a little and tell me everything will be ok." And Dog the Father, of course, says, "Oh, that's your job now.”

the first breath, the last breath, the vision and the visions, the ecstasy and the grieving and the longing and the knowing, the fire and the wind that move through our fingertips, none of these, none of these belong to us 

this is how you make love stay: you sit on it, eat its slippers, and take its keys

These gifts you get when you come into the world, the eyes and the teeth and the bones in the hands and the smell of everything that you are, these things that you leave at the door on the way out of the world, and before all of these and after all of these there is hearing and there is breath, and it's no wonder this life is a song this love is a song this dream was and is a song.

I, sleeping, an anxious dog, I, chest sit set sat upon by a trembling god who says, 'stop trembling, trembly dog.' I stop, and stop trying to jump from my dog skin (dog skin kissed by god). Then. Suddenly. Three things written on my doorstep. First when you wake up you will tremble crying with pain because you are connected to all of this and that is what love is like. Second you will tremble-cry with pleasure love is like that too. Third is the best even best of all even but you won't find out until tomorrow about three.

Those ghosts of winter come turning the desert back to sea, with all the kinds of mermaids, little goth girls and banshees included, angels of grief and hunger all of them. Death runs in our bloodlines, and every death wakes up the old dead, who tell the living, There is not a single one of you who is not made up of drops of every single one of us.

And the Bird is carrying Hahaha the Dog to the place where her shadow meets the water, and the Bird says, Did you like it there? and the Dog says, Yes I was in love the whole time, and now that it's over, can you tell me a secret, how much of that was a dream? and the Bird says, Hahaha most of it.

Now the Dog sees an open door, runs into the light, runs into the arms of a Sunny Day, and keeps running, and it gets so very bright and then suddenly so very brighter, and then Dog finds herself in the arms of the Black Bird, and they are flying. And the Dog says, "?" And the Bird says, I'm taking you home. And the Dog says, "That was too short." And the Bird says, "That's what everybody says. Let me carry you back home.”

That thing you kept seeing out of the corner of your eye, a premonition or a tragedy or an epic love story or a new destruction myth told backwards, turned out to be you. Someone takes away your breath, and you come back from the dead, in the middle of a story you didn't write.

And when they sleep they play each other's chakras like a xylophone; the flesh and the bone and the spirit all come together in the breath, at least for the living (only the dead know how it works for them). "This, this, this is what love does to me, and this, this, this is what the song of the world sounds like when you play me.” 

All night Dog dreams about falling in love, Dog Conversations about Art & Revolution in a cafe where every Dog Speaks a different language; only to wake up to see that the sails on the boat have come untied, the sailors have fallen overboard, and the calm sea is about to try to suck the Moon inside. This is why the Dog is nervous. This is why the Dog is retreating into his shadow heart, drinking cappuccino in that cafe, drinking with the One Who Glitters in the Dark.

the dust around the footprints was even starting to fade. and i was in love with everything and everything was lit from within. that was enough magic for a life, and i didn't think i was allowed any more. there was nothing left to wish for. i once promised myself i would become this thing, this thing i wanted to be, after i had enough magic, and this seemed like the moment, so i stepped into my own footprints. and i was suddenly very tired. and i heard the dead singing, they were singing me to sleep. and when i slept they told me things. when i woke up, my house was filled with people i loved, and we were doing work we loved, and there were shadows everywhere, because we were being watched.

It seems as though everyone eventually starts to look a little bit like Leonard Cohen.


I'm talking to the moon on the night before the longest day of the year. It's been getting brighter and brighter for months and this is just impossible. This has been wonderful and terrible, I say (because I want to be diplomatic with the moon because the moon is moody sometimes), but can we have just a little more shadow. The moon is looking thoughtful and the moon says (this is in my head, it's not like a real voice, I mean I'm not crazy), Yes I think these things can be arranged.

Before you travel, you start to disappear a little, the shadow that follows you starts to go on ahead of you, and every action feels like sweeping.

Watching Ted Cruz audition for the Simpsons, I have not felt this inadvertently high since the Phantogram concert.

i used to make art that confused you, but now, after a couple of years in art school, i can make art that confuses you and tell you precisely why

it's a swelter out there. brooklyn is waking up for a thursday, trucks and dogs, and somewhere out there i hear a british woman explaining things to me, i can almost hear her, i can hardly hear her, but i can almost hear her, explaining the mechanisms and structures that are underneath all of this, explaining how everything is structured to connect

While I was looking for traces of how and when and where this city wrote on you, I did not notice how and when and where it started to write on me.

One of my favorite things. That moment when the plane descends and you can't hear and everything seems like it's just floating. Like everything that happened up til now has happened and this is where it all catches up to itself. And no one, no one belongs anywhere other than right here in this moment.

and on a stormy morning in berlin, you saw your melancholy engine had been retuned by local spirits sometime between 4 and 5 a.m. if memory carries weight, it also carries the lightness of the ghosts who are remembered. if longing is heavy, it is heavy with the weight of the hands of those who love you. and if your stuttering fluttering heart is heavy with trepidation, this also indicates that it can be made light as a white feather, because it contains an infinite capacity for delight.

i wake up in my great-great-grandparents' living room, surrounded by stacks of old letters and newspapers and photos. they are repairing broken shoes, broken eyeglasses. 'being and seeing,' my great-great-grandmother says, 'seeing and being, you are a witness to history and you are a participant.' the streets outside are paved with the rubble and the blood of that war, and if this is not the end of the world, then it must be the beginning.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Artist Statement: 

Recently I have started working toward a new form of performance  that speaks to the   
desire to capture, whether the capture be a moment, a memory, someone else's desire,  
or a ghost. Live performance is filled with ghosts, and depends upon the desire to 
capture those things that are lost, to remember the dead, so that the deadc an continue 
to speak to us and through us.

I combine video projections of moments of performance that are gone, and  over these I 
perform moments of the desire for capture and the failures of capture. I speak from 
texts written in the surround, poetic and mythical narratives that were formed around 
the moments of the projected performance's creation, and perform small ritual actions, 
attempts to resurrect the dead through language, so that what emerges between the 
words is  a sense of loss, of becoming, and of rebirth.

Art that wants to help take the cobwebs out of your eyes.
Art that likes you and wants to know what you dream about
Art that has been here before, just like you. 

Christopher Danowski is a theatre and performance artist. He has written over fifty plays, and directed and performed in living rooms  galleries, and unusual spaces (sometimes in theaters). He was artistic director of Theater in My Basement from 1999-2013, and is now a member of Howl Theatre Project.  He is based in Phoenix, and his work has been shown locally, in New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, Yucat√°n, Mexico City, Dublin, Laval, Vienna, and Berlin. He is currently working on a practice-based doctoral thesis on ritual possession and new media performance through Plymouth University (UK) and Transart Institute (Berlin/NYC).  

Friday, May 22, 2015


At the sea:
Don't ask for answers, answers won't come. Ask for the willingness to move. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


when i got quiet, the one i was last week melted off onto the floor, complaining, dying, and complaining some more. and later, a little later, i caught my breath, or it caught me, and took me with it, and the one i was last month showed up, melting into the last one, complaining, and that one told me that my best ideas never worked for anyone for more than a minute or two, and later still, my breath took me somewhere that i have not been, not for awhile, but i remembered it because i saw it when i was very young, and it made my throat hurt to see it again, and there was a strange taste in my throat, something about to begin, something that started already a long time ago, but about to begin nonetheless, and there were several more who kept melting to the floor, and so many complaints. some of these were about how my family story meant that i would never escape suicidal thoughts or clumsiness or bad grammar or following jesus and all of that. and some of them were about how my crooked back would never let me stand up straight, and some of them about how my dog and my daughter never recovered from my leaving, long before i have left, and i know there were more but they all started to sound like the same person talking and i decided that all these versions were driving the boat for a very long time and weren't driving it very well, and there were others, at least a dozen others, who i have been out to sea with from the start, and any of them would be good at steering at least for a little while or maybe not even that but even crashing into the rocks would be better than how it has been, and that was the day, or rather the moment, i mean actually the breath, that was the breath where i switched places 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

3 scenes from a new Hamlet play

These are the three fates that watch over this story and they are a bunch of fucking morons.

HEK (at the dinner table, pontificating, sober with water, but mad, out of his mind, mad mad mad): The neck, the back of the neck, it’s related to the tip of the tongue.

LEAK: In what way?

HEK: Pardon?

LEAK: In what way?

HEK: Please let me finish.  You are always doing that, interrupting like that, stop being so interrupting.

LEAK: You seemed done because you stopped talking.

HEK: My god, here we go again.

NEK: Let’s keep talking about the neck please because I have so many questions about the neck.  

LEAK: Because you are a neck.

(They all laugh until something comes out of someone’s nose.)

HEK: The body is marvelous.

NEK: A mystery.

LEAK: It sure is, it sure is.

(now HAMLET on a phone call, a video phone call).
HAMLET: Hello.  Oh, I want to try…I want to…that was bad.  Let me.  Hello.  No, that was still bad, I’m being all, bad boy flirty whatever, I uh.  Um.  Hello.  No, that was too self-conscious, too sensitive in a self-conscious, uh…listen.  This is video so also look.  Listen and look.  (Laughs).  This is going to take a really long time before I actually say something.  This.  I think I.  I see ghosts.  But I think we’re ghosts.  Do you see them?  Do you see them too?  Do you think we might be ghosts too?

Scene: psychiatrist couch.

H: I worry that I might be mad and you might have to spend the rest of your life taking care of me.

O: That’s my fear, too, that’s what I was going to say, too, that’s what it’s like for me, too.  Switch!

(A fire drill song, they get up and dance and switch places, there should be some singing in the middle of this.  Something really mundane, like;)

Now I’m gonna let you know,
I’m never gonna let you go,
so now I can let you know,
that I don’t want to let you go,
and so I wanna let you know,
I’m never gonna let you go.

H: Tell me about your mother.

O: Why? She’s just like me.

H: That’s exactly like my father.

O: Your father is like me?

H: No, dead, my father is dead.

O: I don’t follow.

H: A ghost, just like me.

O: This therapy is not going to work for me at all unless you start thinking of me at least a little bit.

H: That’s a little narcissistic, don’t you think?

O: I don’t, because it’s not, fucking idiot.

H: I’m going to eat popcorn now so you can talk and I won’t interrupt.

O: Well, that’s something.  At least that’s something.  That is something, at least.  You, sir, are a bone.  A bone covered with flesh.  Not a particularly straight bone, and not a particularly attractive bone.  I’m not really attractive to bones.  I mean attracted! I mean attracted not attractive! Is that a thing?  When words go sideways like that, is that a thing?

H (mouth full of popcorn): I have no idea, dear.  

O: People are bones.  The living, I mean.  I mean the living people are bones.  This has been going on for, for some time now, it’s been.
(She cries but it is not real.)
I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.  That’s not real.  Those are not real tears.  I’m sorry, I just really want to have a breakthrough so much, so very much.  I thought that was close that I was almost there.

H: Oh, I think you’re close though, I think you’re so so close.