Impure Whiteness of Noon & I'm Tired of Talking About Myself

Yanique Norman


ART



Impure Whiteness of Noon


Noon Suites II, Last Lady Bird-Monit

Noon Suites II, Last Lady Bird-Monit

Noon Suites II, Last Lady Bird-Monit

Noon Suites II, Last Lady Bird-Monit

Noon Suites II, Last Lady Bird-Monit

Noon Suites II, Last Lady Bird-Monit

Noon Suites I, The Jefferson-Hemings Heirlooms

Noon Suites II, Last Lady Bird-Monit


I'm Tired of Talking About Myself

Hemings Script




Basic Premise of Script:

This poetic text, played as a sound installation accompaniment to the installation Impure Whiteness of Noon, is an extraordinary attempt to give an actual voice to Sally Hemings, which is rarely ever afforded to her. The audio piece is composed of original poetry I wrote and is an attempt to flesh out Hemings’s emotional self by presenting a deeply complicated and conflicted woman.


Technical Considerations:

  • Patio sounds are constantly heard in the background while the poem is read in long intervals.

  • Each poetic text (via line) is layered one on top of one another to create an aural palimpsest piece.

  • At the conclusion of the text, words turn completely illegible.



Background Noise:

Ahuu dat red gyal deh?

A weh shi cum fram?

How shi su foofool so?

Everyweh shi tun makka juk her up

Shi cyaah duh nutten right

Jeezam

Line 1:

most days I’m left here broken


Line 2:

you circling

me circling

we up and down circling

zigzagging circling

running backwards circling

leaning forwards circling

jumping sideways circling


Line 3:

all i know

is to sit and wait

cause i gotta wait

my ancestors wait

my mother wait

my sister wait

my auntie wait

my cousin wait

they all waited for it to find them

so I’ll wait for it to eventually find me too


Line 4:

i am convinced that love will never find me poor me, poor me, poor little ol’ me

me no see

no see how

me no see when

poor me, poor me, poor little ol’ me

love keep slippin’ and slindin’

love keep fallin’ and drownin’

in holes that are too long

too tall

too wide

love is a heartless thing

poor me, poor me, poor little ol’ me


Line 5:

I want to be more than just happy

i want to be happy happy

a happy that is eternally sunny

a happy that doesn’t involve tears

all I want is to be happy


Line 6:

you have devoured me, you

have infected me, you

have left me, you

have me smoking these marys, you

have me twerking, you

have me prowling, you

have me forgetting, you

have me breaking, you

have me screaming, you

you

you

you

it’s you why everything done gone wrong it’s you why I can’t get up

you did this

you did this

it’s you who did this

Line 7:

he reached the end

me beginning

he sprints

me crawling

he stands

me tumbling

he surfs

me drowning

he’s attentive

me snoozing

he’s together

me scattering


he’s an intellect

me a dummy

he’s righteous

me sinning

he’s working

count on me coveting

he’s gifted

me a fool

he’s winning

me losing

he leads

see me follow

he speaks

hear me listen

he teaches

i promise to learn

just try looking past my present

just try looking only at the future

give me a chance sugar

please, please, please

pretty please


Line 8:

rosy cheeked yet all blued

doe-eyed yet all blued

neck lolling

shoulders slouching

emotions clotting

congealing a myriad tone of blues

sandy blue

orangey blue

yellowish blue

purplish green blue

chocolatey amber blue

why don’t you build a life with me

i’ll murder every one last of them unruly blues I’ll do it—I’ll truly do




Line 9:

my womb is empty

my womb is bended

my womb is fractured

my womb is punctured

my womb is scattered

my womb is sprayed

my womb is colorless

my womb is soulless

my womb is voiceless

my womb is homeless

my womb is brown

my womb is overgrown

my womb is bitter

my womb is fritter

my womb is envious

my womb is grey

my womb is prey

my womb is regularly caned

my womb is shaped like a horseshoe

Line 10:

run run run run run run run run

for your life

run run run run run run run run run

for your freedom

run run run run run run run run run

from worry

run run run run run run run run run

from treachery

run run run run run run run run run

from fuckery

run run run run run run run run run

from pain

run run run run run run run run run

from sure heartbreak

run run run run run run run run run



Line 11:

until the second before, what did it matter to me—you

until the minute before, what did it matter to me—you until the hour before, what did it matter to me—you

until the day before, what did it matter to me—you

until the weeks before, what did it matter to me—you

until the months before, what did it matter to me—you until

the years before, what did it matter to me in this place until now—home is the only thing that matters to me and you


Line 12:

i have entered truth without accuracy

i have entered alpha without an omega

i have entered jesus without crucifixion

i have entered life without conception

i have entered destiny without a future

i have entered color without light

i have entered night without day

i have entered fish without possessing a sea

i have entered rain without a single cloud

i have entered arks without Noah

i have entered earth without heaven

i have entered hell without the devil

i have entered humanity without asking permission

i am one of a kind

what am i you may ask?

a negress



Yanique Norman has been the recipient of the Artadia Awards (Atlanta, 2020), National Museum of Women in the Arts of Georgia Artist Relief Grant (2020), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant (2019), Susan Antinori Visual Artist Grant (2019), Columbus State University Visiting Artist and Scholars Residency (2019), and the Hughley Artist Fellowship (2016). Norman has exhibited throughout the United States and is participating in the forthcoming 2021 Atlanta Biennial at the Atlanta Contemporary.


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