‘Routine of Space’: A video poem by Angela Costi and Faezeh Alavi

Also in the Embroidery of Old Maps and New Project

Making Lace      Shelter     Kinaesthetic Grace

Routine of Space – the third film of An Embroidery of Old Maps and New project.

Filmmaker – Faezeh Alavi
Poem, voice and performer – Angela Costi
Film score and performers – Alana Hunt and Sofia Chapman of VARDOS
Funding support – City of Melbourne, COVID19 Arts Grants
Host – Greek Australian Cultural League (GACL)

During the various stages of restrictions and lockdown in Melbourne, Australia, GACL cancelled its art exhibition and poetry event, titled Connection. Costi was scheduled to feature, reading a series of poems to an audience comprised of a considerable number of older Greek and Mediterranean migrants.

The Routine of Space was written during Stage 3 restrictions when walking was solely for exercise and only around the neighbourhood. It was filmed when social distancing restrictions eased and the vibrant and friendly locals were out and about. (A special thank you to the locals of Coburg, especially the older men who agreed to be filmed, but not named.)

The Routine of Space was originally published in Our Inside Voices – reflections on COVID-19, Editors Gardam C, Martin-Chew L, Shaw E, Shepherdson N, 2020, &a, Paradigm, QLD, Australia.


The Routine of Space

Honour the time not made from the list of work
nor the menu of food nor the drama of screen
nor the soaping of fear nor the ping of crowds.

It is the time before the imitating of sleep
when the blue of the day makes love
to the sleek spell of dark,
when yearning holds your hand
like a friend about to ask you out.

Each step in that time
grows from a toddler to an elder
becomes a funeral then a birth
as your body, no longer plastered by walls,
is wedded to the silk of expanse.

This is the time your street is the comfort
of broth when fevered,
the cars are settled in their kerbsides
as the giant eucalypts and myrtle dote
by light of the one lamp
smiling through its cracked gaze.

Each house you pass opens its eyelid
to show specks of colour and shade,
the quaking of internal rivers
undercurrents of mood,
how one shadow can morph
into body and back to
one, two, three flows of dance
as you pass,
clothes spill from a wardrobe,
a computer beams its alien glare,
a shelf touts spines of escape,
offerings of floating echoes,
of life in pose as you pass
becoming your life.

You pace to the gravitational pull
of fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers,
old, young, big, small, bold, shy
encounters enclosed
seeping entanglements
into the breath
of night’s air.


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