Thomas Devaney and Rainy Orteca
A collaboration between Rainy Orteca
Textures and energy envelop a dense historiography when considering the City of Brotherly Love. Slippery cobblestones, swampy colonial dread, fetid pilferers. Here's a diamond. Strike while the iron is.
The raccoon is part of the speaker’s shadow self and the poem is linked to living in Philadelphia. I don’t remember writing it, but I do remember the chilling feeling I had around that time (the summer of 2017) that the darkness was not outside of me.
The video is by the dauntless bass player and artist Rainy Orteca. Rainy holds it down every single day in the rhythm section and otherwise creating spaces where the rest of us (her band, her community) can be free to find our own pathways and light.
On seeing the video, a close friend (Francis Ryan) who is a great student of Philadelphia, emailed me this: “I never caught that line ‘rowhomes counting their bricks’. The line and video are truly something out of David Lynch—the immaterial becoming living—the something hidden in plain sight—a consciousness among things—things—aware of their breathing. Like when Lynch's paintings began to speak to him, and the singing in his film—or the animal sounds—the bird wing chaos in his film The Grandmother—the fear of the streets I feel when I consider a raccoon encounter.”
Rainy Orteca is a musician and artist living in NYC, having the best time possible for as long as possible.
Thomas Devaney is a poet living in Philadelphia. He is co-director of the film Bicentennial City with Greenhouse Media. Books include You Are the Battery (Black Square Editions) and Getting to Philadelphia(Hanging Loose Press).