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by Daria Halprin

The spine of things

1st study

back yourself up

get off my back
take care of your back
watch your own back
don’t go back there!

2nd study

undulate
date yourself for a change
undo the dated stuff

3rd study

snake your way through
take that ole pain and fire up something new

tighten the muscles on yourself
support & brace

take care of your back
back yourself up!

4th study

move forward and lift up

take a hike and hike up your pants
go take a hike you old dog
don’t leash me in
I’m off the leash

take a hike
beat your stick in the grasses to let that snake know you’re here

5th study

I’m that snake I’ve always hated
Pretty, primal, poisonous
A bit dangerous and always ready to strike

I’m the hiker and the snake
I’m the broken spine of the trail and the mending vertebrae along the riverbed

I’m stacking stones carefully one on top of the other to mark the path

I’m the sticks and the stones
I’m the recovery and the pain
the water and the fire,
the collapsing - the extending

I’m the hate and the love

The keep on and the give up

Scarab, tree of life,
I climb this ladder
From pelvic floor

Rung, vertebrae, by rung
Loose grasp grip fall
slip rise break mend

Knock on the door
Open into the infinite sky above

I’m the one furthest from God
I’m the devotee
Remember forget

Breathe

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