Jill Magi


                                      Notes for LABOR
                                                                (excerpts from a text-image work-in-progress)


                                                 The teaching artist is hired to write many institutional 
                                                 handbooks, such as "Student Handbook" and "Faculty 
                                                 Handbook" and  "Curriculum Guide." For this project, 
                                                 stamp each handbook with the official stamp. Arrange 
                                                 under glass in any order. Soup spills on covers are 
                                                 encouraged. Didactics are optional.

                                                  Official Stamp:

                                                  "ARCHIVE:LABOR / Magi / Read-only."  A custom-
                                                  made stamp in self-inking red. Take notebooks, 
                                                  timesheets, appointment letters, evaluations, class 
                                                  rosters, book contracts, various emails, tax documents, 
                                                  and bank statements and stamp them across the
                                                  bottom or on top right hand corners or in two places.


                                                  At the library exit, which contains the labor archive, 
                                                  against which she pushes her hips and is counted.


                                                  Masking Tape:

                                                  When will this material turn yellow? To facilitate the 
                                                  aging process, place in an oven and attempt baking 
                                                  at a low temperature. Influence: the Xenakis papers. 
                                                  Keep the oven light on and a pitcher of water in hand.


                                                  Where will the three women meet? Classroom. 
                                                  Hallway. Library. Archive. Basement office. At the 
                                                  edge of brackish water. At pulse points, sex, sweating, 
                                                  falling. At the act of misconduct: seduction, trespassing,
                                                  insertion, stealing, suicide. They are a teacher, an 
                                                  inspector, an archeologist.


                                                  Gathers and darkens in the recessed cuts and 
                                                  grooves, imparting the appearance of a shallow 
                                                  relief. At first the archaeologist was happy to pull 
                                                  such shards from the earth and carefully dust off 
                                                  the impurities.


                                                   The Poetry Whorehouse. The teaching artist is 
                                                   invited to be pimped. The location: an old warehouse 
                                                   near the brackish water. In the private room that 
                                                   features an armchair and settee, she notes the 
                                                   splatter of oil paint and waits for her first customer.

                                                    Directed Circulation:

                                                    An Enlightenment campus. White pillars. Narrowing 
                                                    set of marble stairs. There is one central corridor in 
                                                    the library. It is easier to take this campus over.

                                                    Optional Circulation:

                                                     A contemporary campus. Classrooms float in the 
                                                     middle of many passageways. There is a feeling 
                                                     of choice. It is harder to take this campus over. 
                                                     Signs are crucial and hopefully correct, but despite 
                                                     their conspicuous presence, there is a fair amount 
                                                     of wandering during the first week of the semester. 
                                                     How many cameras? Influence: Nancy Davenport.

                                                     To Write:

                                                     The story of Seneca Village. The archaeologist uses 
                                                     sonar to locate building footings. The City will not 
                                                     allow for an excavation in Central Park. They agree to 
                                                     a sign: "Here was once a settlement..."  The sign is
                                                     mysteriously removed.


                                                     Endochrine System:

                                                     After the skeletal structure of the book/history/archive 
                                                     is established. Spaces into which the book/history/
                                                     archive  becomes soaked. Influence: Bhanu Kapil. 
                                                     Sonar. Feedback loops.


                                                     Possibilities are outlined in the book and may be 
                                                     performed by any reader, including setting fire to 
                                                     the entire project.


                                                     Reciprocal. Neutral. Antagonistic. R, N, A for short. 
                                                     Each shall describe the relationship of the worker to 
                                                     the work site.


                                                     This form, used to evaluate the teacher's work at the 
                                                      end of the semester, will eventually speak. Its 
                                                      monotone suggests a chant.

                                                      Smooth Muscle:

                                                      Due to imbalances in endocrine system, the site 
                                                      of cramps. Due to a certain childhood. Due to a
                                                      household/department in which tension fills the
                                                      space that does not admit the need for solace.

                                                      The Finding Guide:

                                                      Record a woman's voice reading, carefully, each 
                                                      entry. A video component as well. This will take a 
                                                      long time. Influence: Linda Montano whose face 
                                                      begins in a blur, comes into focus, and returns to 
                                                      the blur. Archival parallel: before the researcher
                                                      arrives, the search and find, and the eventual fall.

                                                      The Blur:

                                                      Miranda, the teaching artist, will go blind. Sadie, 
                                                      workplace inspector, works only at night.


                                                      The archeologist steals all the signs imprinted with 
                                                      the new logo. She pries them off the cinder block 
                                                      walls with one of her old trowels, slips the new signs 
                                                      into her brief case, and notes the yellow cakes of glue 
                                                      left behind.

                                                      Sunday Night:

                                                      Who will eventually jump?

                                                      X Axis, Y Axis:

                                                      One axis is "sentimental." The other is "real." 
                                                      Chart a worker/hero from the archive. This is 
                                                      a portrait. The reader may locate herself.


Jill Magi works in text and image and is the author of SLOT (forthcoming, Ugly Duckling Presse), Poetry Barn Barn! (2nd Avenue Press), Threads (Futurepoem), Torchwood (Shearsman), Cadastral Map (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs), and numerous small, handmade books. Her writing has been anthologized in Letters to Poets: Conversations on Poetics, Politics, and Community (Saturnalia Books), Fiction from the Brooklyn Rail (Hanging Loose Press), and the Eco-language Reader (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs/Nightboat Books). She teaches at Eugene Lang, City, and Goddard Colleges, and runs Sona Books, a chapbook press, from her apartment in Brooklyn, New York.