[Martha Graham,] parenthetical performances by,

When she wrote in The Notebooks under the chapter heading “Preliminary Studies for Clytemnestra,” that “walls, if they had mouths, might tell tales all too plainly,” what she meant (paraphrasing Homer there), what she meant (nodding to the expression of flies on a wall) (to the night King Belshazzar saw on his wall), what she meant (alongside it quoting Woolf, who quoted Joyce, remembering the story of…), what she meant (figuring: only she would read these notes); (figuring, and lingering, and letting the long thoughts through); when she wrote in her wispy, bubbled script, in her high-looping L, in pursuit of swiftly fading images from her noontime naps (What if the stage were raked?… If no dancer spent more than one dollar on each costume?… What if we stood still instead?… If only Orpheus had said?… What of the forest to the world, of the conscience to unconsciousness?), like a net poised above words, she…; when she wrote (ancestral footprints push a dancer, so that you get to the point where your body is something else) all through the night (I want to go to the top and I don’t want to take anybody with me), what she meant (These walls), what she meant—do you follow?—what she meant (I am a thief and I am not ashamed; I steal from Plato, Picasso…), what she meant, by taking the the bull by the horns, by wearing her heart on her sleeve, by putting her cart before the horse, and sowing her wild oats, is that these motions have matter also, these lines have in-betweens, these lights have shadows, these walls have mouths.

John D’Agata, “Martha Graham, Audio Description of”, in Halls of Fame