DYING ONE IN TIME
Is a work of poetic text, erasure, found material, and collage by Brandi Katherine Herrera. Together, these elements form a lyric response to the death of her sister, Corinne Marie Herrera, who was killed as a result of a rock slide in the Columbia River Gorge (Ore.) on October 13, 1984.
A poem-film based on this story — created as a joint collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Andrew Foster Glei — was featured in The Volta (Verso, January, 2015), and portions of DYING ONE IN TIME have also been featured in Thru Magazine, Pure Surface, AiPD INK, and the 2014 Fall/Winter Poetry Press Week showcase in Portland, Ore.
Imagine a small, dark stage. In the center, there is a child’s bed and floor lamp. Two screens serve as the backdrop. On one, a black and white sky of furiously undulating clouds is projected, looking like the turbulent water of two whirlpools at odds, swirling in two directions. On the other, a brief death notice dated from 1984 reads the news of two children killed in a car accident on I-84, after rocks came loose and fell to the highway. The last line informs that a third child in the car survived.
A little girl comes on stage with a book, flips on the lamp and sits on the bed. She eats an apple. I crane my neck to get a better view of her in the lamp spotlight, but really, the sense of sight is not enticed here as much as that of sound. We are silent in the audience and hear each bite, the crisp, wet crunches as she slowly chews. There is a bit of time before anything else happens, 3 minutes or so. When a poem replaces the obituary on one of the screens, the little girl begins to read a poem from the book on her lap.
She is not the poet. The poet sits in the audience. This is Poetry Press Week 2014.
—from Poetry is the New Black, Thru Magazine, December, 2014