Green Dance from Joe Pan on Vimeo.

“Green” is a surreal work influenced by video games, the sonic permutations of language, competition, spring, the green of astro-turf, sex, & memory, featuring the poetry of Joe Pan.



Impetuous Impetus


The crassly fashioned.

The crudely uttered.

The caped crusader as a crêpe crew saber. Consciousness

is interruption.

Even a hollow gesture informs.


Movement as text without shelf-life, with a poplife

provenance in kinetic pleasures, whose half-life is performing

whole notes of rote consistency & strength.


& joy.


There’s always enough laughter to go around, so unlike gruel—

there’s never enough gruel. Consider yourself.

Consider yourself at home. The kireji

of a haiku is a word representing the moment the poem

is cut, where consciousness is severed in its telling

& heralds a new thought; the wound is an act of creation.

The closest English equivalent might be the caesura,

the drum thump, aid to memorization.

Then there’s the non sequitur, which seeks

for its own sake, emblematic of movement in that it must cut

itself or be cut

to continue, as any green-thumbed gardener will explain.


Fwomp, the dance instructs, meaning slow but whiplash-y.

Fwomp fwomp. The child in me claps &

stomps about, green as a comic Seuss egg, her magic handbag

a music & a means of perilous adventure & Atari possibility.


The Force & the Green Fuse


In certain circles, dance is a sport.

In certain circles, a deadly one. From certain angles.

For some, a circular sprint. Or sacrifice.

Like sand iguanas, the dancers breathe-in green. What is green?

What is the Green Agenda? Apolitical as a popsicle,

parsimonious as a president seeking re-election,

it cannot be encapsulated by the entwined trunks of three miniature trees.

Or these translucent peacock feathers. This candle. This fuel.

The envious. The dollar. The decibel. A copper invested in raw weather.

Jack Burton’s lime-eyed noir-fried gal pals in Big Trouble in Little China.

Tatiana is gone. Violetta is here. Neither have a green card.

Sir Gawain & the Green Knight, Emerald Isle symbolism & vegetation

myths, where folklore is again made green as the grunt.

As the unpopped cherry. The new renewable. The unpoppable cherry.

The news, graphic as a gringo novel. Novel as a ginkgo gecko

focusing its filmy green eye. Young outlaw love is the new

inbred. There, I said it. I feel your clean ruining

my green slate. Your tattoo-able taboos. The best part of green tea

are the dead leaves that nag one’s sense of fate.

They lie & lie about & laze & laissez–faire our fears like unfazed lasers.

Don’t worry, there’s always enough new loss to go around,

enough competition to break our able bodies like an oboe.


Lost, in a Sense; Found in Another


Dear deciduous dryad, I aim to process your private syrups,

would settle as a simple window sill wildflower

a happy accident

opening its amino palominos to the bee’s dripping knees.

I’d ravage you like horseradish, swell your tongue

& curve the slick of each incisor. I miss you

like the moment misses a maker of moments.


You make me feel so Jungian.

Make me spring like sprung’s a scrum.

The lung-like mint-scented split of your center

is a favor I hope to favorite, to enter airy as birch, your body as bendy-flex

as my hung desire to see you slung astride my switch.


Contrapuntal as celluloid & score

are core & stomach muscles gone wrong

but O so right, like the impetus towards empire,

or a bee slathered in its own sweet scent.


Choice is paralyzing.

I ease into the act of watching you

become something unobtainable. If I ease

too quickly, I obtain, but what I get is not you.

If I ease too slowly, you get elsewhere & I get nothing.

You move again, a bullet of brevity I’m anxious

to acquire, but acquire by acquiescing.


The Offal & the Feral: a Fall


We go after the ineffable.

We go after what we see as inevitable.

We go after each other’s throats.


The Ballet Russes enters the Grand Guignol

& is entertained. The body enters the world

& intertwines. Both capture flailing until death.


Go ask the wasp tail; go ask the green leaf

why it balances the trembling dewdrop

on its kitten paw.

There’s no bottom to our greed for life.


Bathos is its own heaven.


O Helios, you power the leaf’s circulation

but cannot stem the algal upchuck of an ocean bloom.

The leatherback sea turtle fills a shallow pit

with ping pong ball-shaped eggs & when they hatch the maritime birds

will gorge themselves to gluttony; come night the survivors

paddle sand toward the light of either moon or highway.

Are you going my way? Have we gone? The new Pacific

landmass is constructed entirely of plastic—

mountains of dew, forests of sprites—

the condition of mankind reflected

in a hundred trillion plankton nuclei.

It is a perfect metaphor for itself,

green as the day is long,

deep as our willingness to forget it.


An Unscrolling, a Principle of Pleasure


These aren’t, in one respect, the first

dancers to do this. The opposite is also true.


You work at play until you’re tired.

My memory breads into instances,

renditions of us in this position,

How the body fits into wedges,

tucks into itself at energizing angles.


The tense blue vein wrapped about an engaged Achilles

is what I know of love. Muscle memory is a mechanical constable,

rigid constraints snapping body

to form, hi-ho. Hum. Sometimes we blow a gasket.

Sometimes a gymnast. Our muscles, by definition, define us.

Memory is muscular. A stronger one I keep is of the soles

of her feet, a crenulated shoreline. Her voice terse

as a clothesline. Facing away.


The corrugated heat sleeve on my coffee cup

is patent pending. One day movement

will be made proprietary—imagine these breaths

expirated in intriguing couplets as a buy one, get one free.

Imagine the new market of lovemaking.

The bear & the bull. The vertical & horizontal markets.

The way cloth hangs from a body

can add or detract from presence. Divide orgasm

from organism & what you get

is a way in. Getting out is easier.  It seems the world’s job

is to inflate people so nature can peer back at itself.

& then it helps everyone stop breathing.

I envy the immediacy of her art—

how quickly one gesture in nature erases the next.

One body erases the next.

She closes her eyes & I’m gone.




Dance is the apparatus of body

in ecstatic curiosity.

The emphatic spin cycle of desire

& a release like resurrection.


No one is a totality, & none are autonomous.


We are left with nothing & more.



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