Saturday, April 23, 2011

Robert Majzels Introduces Indra Singh, Regretfully Excerpted

Disappearing Scene

The scene is blank. Gaia enters. She regrets not having better personal growing conditions. Words pipe in light, oxygen, and dirt. Gaia sighs, and starts to bight her skin, moving along her arm. She pulses along the fat, swathing deeper to the muscle. The hair tickles her mouth—she grins then suctions her skin, then grins again from the saltiness of her salt lick. She continues down her arm. As she reaches her wrist, at contact, her cheeks expand so large, she is forced to swallow. Surprised, she sits still. Her gaze reaches out, but she startles as her eyeballs oscillate. Her mouth opens as her eyes shut. She remembers this familiar territory-the eyelids a limit at one end and her thoughts, the chatter behind the scenes, on the other.

Sonic Bloom

Turtle receives a message at work, flatly laid out. It is a survey request. Edgy, but doesn’t draw her. She is too-underneath her breath.----Gaia. Emerson?....Mmmm…Gaia. She prints it off, uses it as a sketch pad as she greets her clientele. Turtle and her handmade knowhow draws attention to blanks.

“Gaia-this one’s for you, Sonic Bloom.”

She opens her eyes and shuts her mouth. This is her scene-it’s now on her lap:

quest for participants
drs. omi lou and ocean sommerton invite you to call into question. since you don’t know precisely what is happening, we are drawing you in. choose some letters, hide as much as possible, then see what surfaces for questioning. we are interested in your soil’s responses.

        -Indra Singh

[Editor's Note: This section of text excerpted from a 10 page suite in the book-length project Turtle Crumbles the Visible.]


Indra Singh is completing her MA in English at the University of Calgary, with a poetry thesis under my less than super-vision. She already has a degree in Environmental studies from the University of Manitoba. Her work might be described as post-humanist eco-feminist language based writing. She uses cutup and mashup methods to combine bio-texts related to soil regeneration with posthumanist theory and her own reflections. Indra herself speaks of her project thus: "I view the soil as a location of tension. It is the site at which the pastoral superimposes itself, at which political economies are mapped onto and ownership defined. By shifting (sifting) soil through a space of poetry, the disciplinary boundaries which often contain discursive cross-fertilization, might be re-inscribed as a location of translation, of openings, of ecotone or ecosystem boundaries where contaminative effects across discourses produce a regenerative affect, thereby softening impact. Within the series I crumble these discourses together. As I work through the process of writing these poems, I am primarily engaged with the following question: from the language that emerges from a process of experimentation with language, is there any possibility to imagine the soil as an artistic medium, as installation?" I believe Indra Singh's work is opening up new ways to think and write, and feel privileged to be working with her. The patagraduates to which she refers in her brief bio are a collective of creative writing graduate students in the English Department at U of Calgary working together to find alternative approaches to studying and writing practices.


Robert Majzels is currently committed to a strict self-promotion-free diet.

Indra Singh is currently studying genre infiltration, intervention, and
recombination tactics under Robert Majzels at the University of Calgary,
with much assistance from fellow patagraduates.

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