luminous work

Image-maker. In poetry, sound art, theater, collage.

i make things from words.  things that intend towards light.  here is that round box from the attic.  inside, letters, photographs, unlabeled cassette tapes.  some embossed invitations to my imaginative parties, which are select and increasingly irregular.  like you, i grow old.  i keep my hands busy and my mind occupied.  if it would be better to hold something in your hands other than a machine send me a message and i will send you something real.

Some things I'd like to say:



It's November, off-season in an old resort town.  I'm ill and feel old.  With a civil-war era travel guide for amusement, I'm heading into the old-world spa to chill out.  The book calls it "taking the waters".

I enter the spa.  It's strange, i.e.: "high and poetic".  The receptionist sends me down an elevator shaft into the parlor where I await the headmistress who gives me 19th century sanitorium rules for ladies.  Uh-oh. Then I'm sent to the doctor to undress. Lunch is a feast!  There are simple things to do.  They require only effort.  But I'm too tired.  My birthright?  I'm wedded to mortality.

I'm sweating in the steamroom when poof through a steamcloud the white man who "discovered" the springs in the 1600's appears.  He tells me how he was healed by a natural peculiar spring that was deep enough to bathe in. He intimates that this place might be inhabited by nymphs.

Feverish, I get into a porcelain tub. Down the drain I'm sucked  to surface in a canoe on Moon's Lake. 

Deer nymphs sing to me: "Frail and mortal man, whitened now".  They, sing of  waters that contain cure.

I follow the voices onto the shore.  I hunt the peculiar springs, deep enough for me to bathe.

Instead I stumble upon ladyies feasting outside Moon's Lake House.

Inside I meet the deer nymphs and the moon.  We play a game with bones.  My heart is stopped.  The deer want me to become like them. They are the deer who discovered the springs and who will bury the springs, deep deep down.  I don't want to be lonely.  The moon says that I will like the she-wolf in winter, hungry, cold but skillful.  I run away.

At the crossroads, I meet the devil.  She blows out my only light and advises me to follow her dogs who know "other paths not mapped by sight". 

And then night.  The constellation Orion rises.  Come on Lonely. 

Yelping and struggling, I become a wolf.

And I find the peculiar springs.  I dive in, to the trumpet acclaim of the deer and the moon.

I wake up in my porcelain tub, get dressed, and meet my friends.

One day I'll be hauled from muddy waters, gasping for breath into the clear clear air. 

But this time, I got away.

CAST (in order of appearance)

Travel Guide to Saratoga Springs : Phil Courie

Receptionist: Martha Courie

Nurse: Martha Courie

Dr Quack: Troy Hill

Sir William Johnson: Jack Cox

Ladyies and Friends: Alexandra Augustine, Deann Kennett, Joy Sanzone, Marian Courie

Any character not mentioned is voiced by me and my computer.

Important Details

Mixed & Mastered by Eric Gorman

Cover Image and Design by Marian Courie


The text includes excerpts from Saratoga and How to See It, published 1865, and Reverend Reuben Hyde Sears' 1819 poem about the springs which is engraved in stone panels decorating the arches of Saratoga's historic Roosevelt Baths.