Silent Music Video

Helen Hofling

I imagine standing on a dry plane,
Writhing in some nonphysical agony,
Bending my knees beneath that weight,
Waving my arms up and down
In a slow, horrified dance
As I confront the camera.

Why am I making this music video?
Anything to elevate the mystery of images.

          Cap in a dead thicket.
          What does visual non sequitur teach us about form?

There isn’t any sound, which is important.
There can’t be language.
We are escaping language here.
That is the point of the silent music video.
There can’t be music either.
Music counts as language.

          A bird molting in dislocated shudders.

Several guests approach the old box TV
Mounted on a white block before an empty wall.
It is being shown in a museum now,
And these guests, or maybe patrons,
At a special preview showing, look intently
At the grainy footage of my moving body.

          “What could upset a person like this?”
          “It looks like she is burning.”

They make small talk.
A plumbing fixture submerged in a frozen stream.

I’m not upset about anything,
But the dancer is there, and she is merciless.