“COLLAGE HELP WANTED!”
a performance by Ma Ja Ka at Baltimore’s Artscape.
vine shot by Lee Tusman
This has to be the most celebrated experience I’ve had thus far with Ma Ja Ka. He has gone from a sad unicorn born into this reality to a truly jubilant dream body dancing to his own inner rhythm. To have these kids dancing with me was so incredibly fun. They kept saying things like, “Yo, is he real?” and “Yo! There’s a man inside that mask!!”. I took the one kid’s attempts to whack my nose as really having a hard time believing there was a real unicorn dancing in front of him. Unicorns, man. Far out stuff.
This girl asked me to write a poem, “without using words”.
I paused to look at my surroundings, recognizing that I was being put up to some Yoko Ono-like antics, a pretty high bar set in a field a bit outside of my normal practice.
My eventual poem involved a blank sheet of lined paper, and a lit smudge stick of sage. I made sure to hold the sheet of paper over the smoke catching all of its essence and I imagined the lines on the paper melting off as this page was erased of all its vibe. I handed the page to the girl and she put it to her nose telling me it smelled grand.
That was not enough though.
I told her sage is usually used in ritual to cleanse a space or object, blanking out its previous state of being leaving room for a new vibe to be added. In this case a blank page of paper was blanked out even further into nothingness and beyond.
Looking at the piece of paper I didn’t really know what that meant but holding it there in my hand it felt pretty deep.
via reddit: “Baltimore Artscape summed up in a single image”
From the comments, “He put his trombone down and the prerecorded sounds kept playing. People are just looking at him unphased so he starts shrugging his shoulders, like “so now what?” And people continue to look at him for amusement.. It was so absurd, but it made me laugh. Hope you got a lot of money for his collage funds”
Over the weekend, I traveled down to Baltimore’s Artscape with Little Berlin gallery. I busked and wrote hundreds of poems on an old electric typewriter for passing spectators. My dream body Ma Ja Ka was there to. His performance left the audience transfixed, hypnotized by their dreams.
Between performances at Artscape yesterday, I sat at a typewriter and wrote poems for passing audience members. This was a really exciting exercise for my own inner voice. Some of the stories that people shared with me really made my heart beat to a higher drum.
Some of my experiences:
+ I was told I look like the French poet Arthur Rimbaud.
+ I wrote a really masterful love letter, one better than I have ever written for my own sweethearts, for a timid teenager to give to his girlfriend
+ I received several anonymous love letters myself, that were much better written than anything I had written all day
+ I made a girl smile and cry as I wrote a poem about a day she spent with her family, who she doesn’t get to see that often.
+ I extolled success, hope, and inspiration.
+ I watched as multiple people smiled and laughed and felt the warmth of their own breath and the sun of a bright day rising.
I don’t know what else to say other than, this exercise was beautiful and much appreciated. I have learned it is like I always say, poetry is alive and well. So thank you!
Created as a dream body to satisfy Marshall James Kavanaugh’s waking sleeping endeavors, Ma Ja Ka has been wandering across the greater northeast for the better part of a year now. And yet he still has yet to leave a sizeable enough mark on the very unreal space of the internet. Sure there has been plenty of instagram photos, some youtube videos, a few tweets, and plenty of other tags on Facebook, but as of yet there has not been a concrete enough benchmark for his omniscient presence in the collective subconscious.
- A very real tweet left by Terence J Harding, a passerby on the New York City L train, following Ma Ja Ka’s live subway performance along with Mariana J. Plick, Willow Zef, and other great circus performers.
Look no more, for he now has his own twitter feed and tumblr, as well as an Instagram. You can follow him either here or here or here. Enjoy!