Three Thoughts on Moving


Note: These poems were first published in Stance on Dance’s spring/summer 2024 print issue. To learn more, visit


What is a chair

Take away earth it cannot be sat


It looks dependable

But as we sit

We fold back opposite

Of standing walking running leaping

For an angular sitting begets

Crouching crawling slithering;

We fold into right angles

To slouch into slumps

Smashing our asses

Splaying our flesh.


A chair is logical

We know how it works.

Children don’t.

They “sit” tipped

Their feet free and their head sideways

Tilted, arms dangling

Or underneath.

It is not obvious to them

Right angles are

Our cities, grids.

But trees grow


And look what we do with its limbs.


A Chair is


A thin illusion from




A chair certainly looks like a chair

But it was once a tree

Its legs following

The logic of the grid-math



We are how we move

And as we crease our joints

We cease our thought

Acquiescing to stillness.


The chair is only as reliable

As gravity is provable

Which is not at all.


What if we were once trees

Still and without joints?


Now our joints make

Ninety degrees.


It is settling and habitual

Function and reliability

And the deadening of ideas.

The end of movement.


As seats become cozier


But not wholly ergonomic

(Not all the way functional).


Unless ninety is split and flipped

And flipped again

Might we circle around

And see the other side

Flip around over




Minds and eyes transfix on screens

Bodies become sinkable

Like roots turned soft with water running


Through them

Our veins and cells will slide off

The Chair

Circling around to the ground

We will decompose

Like all the rest.


If effort has made us stand upright

Surely the Chair is antithetical

To us.

My advice:

Next time you sit down

Sit differently.

A backlit blurry image of a dancer with her hair moving with her as she twirls.

Still from video by Kevin Andy Stamps



She said,

“Your feet are in your hands.”


The start of it sounds like

Slow sliding high


A muffled shade of a teal maybe


Washed across the room, seamless…


It runs into the legs of a double stag

I could have jumped

Only I tripped twice rolling back

And stumbling again

Till riding atop

Like rolling lumber logs

Lumbar loll

Down an apathetic hill


Till there is nowhere left

Down to go

Merely slightly slanted

Made of nonplussed soft grass

Dull moss and damp dirt –

They are not the floor


But soft spots as one should land –


Then a sneaking tapping

Like a persistent poke

An anxious thought

On the mind

It picks up pace

An incline

It feeds your state

Rolling uncontrolled


(What level stages no longer do.

If stages were inclined like the past

I might roll into the audience’s lap).


I am becoming my intended state:

An emotion



Caught off-guard

The body goes where it must

Not choreographed or practiced

But alert


Movements may be remembered

And the rest



The hill stays noncommittal.


I am

Round log




From the ground

A door here

A no there

An injury

A surgery



In front of

The other.


Ten years till I step into a Studio

Till either end tumbles differently

One higher another lower

Suspending then thudding alternately

My either ends of body opposite

Up to down

Thudding like what feels like

An increasing self-imposed momentum.

I’ve stopped calling it dance.


The journey to extremes is fast

The climb back is slow.




Slow down the seesaw

Between high and low

Slackline spine on a tilted floor

A back and forth mind

No decision.

Expect the throw

To an opposite way




A backlit blurry image of a dancer with arms as if she's about to throw herself into movement.

Still from video by Kevin Andy Stamps



A simple bass grounds an endless arpeggio


Triples and sixes inside of eights

Circling around the room –

A spinning top –

The ears dizzy and aligned

In repeating revolution

Major notes place the floor underneath

But small “minor” influences tilt


Your head pitched

Slightly off-balance.

There isn’t a beginning

It merely gets louder

There isn’t a middle

There isn’t an end

Just digression


Till something else –

Distraction –


Hello Thursday work

Day before Friday

Before weekend:

Drive to work, eat, lunch, nap in car

Work more, drive home.


The melody returns sometimes

To bones of vertebrae

Notes to ears,

Fingers running along fence

With no ground

Texturally pressed, moving together

Down mechanical seconds

Of material postures

Poised by water in hollow tubes

And slightly beyond

Below, in front, behind

A literal actual clock –


But in round

Downbeat unfound.


Sometimes the radio moves the hips again,

Without essay

(This is unnerving as most things require effort)

The bass now descends low

Slightly ahead of the present

Then dragging slightly below seconds

Beyond soft

Then sometimes louder

Then together

With everything else –

Not certain if it was louder

Or softer

Or just attention

And inattention


Or longer.


Did the ride end when the song stopped

Or did the song end the thought?


Do we notice when we dance

Or just regurgitate steps?

A kind of melody flitting above it all

Like a bird circling jaggedly overhead

Then it is gone again.


Did you capture its picture?

If not, was it real?

Do you write it down?

If not, did it happen?


Rhythms bounce off fascia

Like rain drops like mallets off glass lids

Not so precise but unceasing

Carrying you through a night’s sleep

Not sleeping

Tempo quickening

Then decreasing.

You’re not there but your body



You wake up moving again;

Begin again


A thought’s incessant pressing

Rain against pane

Wave against grain

Mist against leaf
Part primal, part man-made

Nanotech evolved

DNA is math but breathing is unconscious

Attack – suspend – release

Hello – Hug – goodbye.

Sit – Stand – Walk –

Sit – Lie down – Breathe.


Listening again:
The vibration of it rides into me;

Wind through a tunnel,

It’s important and nostalgic

Yet I have never heard it before

Like remembering,

Continuing to roll around me

Cells that never stop splitting

Suns that never stop conducting

Earths that never stop revolving.

The end of it also its beginning

Music like this takes us nowhere,

Here, everywhere,

To lift off and drop in

Circling time around your limbs


We arrange sound

As we arrange our bodies.


I remember how to lift my hand

As if I had reason to.


The Beginning.

A dancer onstage in a grand plie in first, arms at downward angles, and a green projection of a face in the background.

Still from video by Shaila Emerson


Poems from Keep Moving; A Book on Space by Erica Pisarchuk Wilson

Erica started her company Mövgram Dance in Reno which led to the creation of the annual Reno Dance Festival. Erica is a certified NCPC Pilates Instructor, has attended Cornish College in Seattle, and is continuing her education in Movement Therapy and Kinesiology.  She teaches in Germany and is working on her first books, Not Words and Keep Moving; A Book on Space. Erica’s creations can be found on Instagram @erica_movgram, on YouTube as Mövgram Dance: Not Words, and on Facebook as Mövgram Dance. 

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