by Sachiko Murakami and a rawlings

Figure is a poetic oracle manifested by Sachiko Murakami (programming) and angela rawlings (concept). The initial version of Figure was actualized for Hólmavík’s 2014 Disaster Days Mid-Winter Festival and debuted at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft.

It became the only option: interrogate metaphor. Interrogate the necessity for a text to reflect you. Interrogate your position in relation to any text. Is any “you” or any “I” in a poem related to the positioning of self in oracular statements?


by a rawlings

The “I” is; “I” does not need to be written. Reading Tarot is a deeply personal and collaborative gesture, spanning geography and time. Within texts, the use of a first-person pronoun can seduce a reader into an intimate relationship, pseudo-understanding, or donning another’s perspective of the world; this insistence of “I” is a false, forced skin into which the reader slips. When considering the rampant usage of “I” within poetry and my own flirtation with its presence, I’ve met with a few different strategies. My first experiment at reviewing the “I” came with Wide slumber, which was written entirely using “we” — a similar false seduction into relational empathy, but complicated by who (or what) is included within the “we.” Even “we” provides a bit more articulated distance than the singularity of “I.” My second experiment has been with Echolology, where I circulate through the English-language pronouns as the instructive or primary characters through which we situate our relationship to the (human, non-human, ecological) other. And with Rule of Three, I take up the “I” directly by instilling it within the reader. Tarot becomes very much a narrative of you and I, with an in-built skepticism and obviousness toward the seduction of those telling pronouns.

Rule of Three is a series of 78 visual poems, each printed on its own Tarot card, questioning why/what to read, who/how to interpret.

Rule of Three has been exhibited in Infusoria (Ghent, Belgium, 2009), Edmonton Poetry Festival (Canada, 2011), and The Bird Is The Word (Niagara Falls, Canada, 2011). An excerpt from Rule of Three appeared in the 2012 anthology I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women (Les Figues Press).


by a rawlings

RUSL twins photographs of trash from the Icelandic countryside with the semi-transparent overlaid RUSL, the word for trash in Icelandic. This has been actualized as five infinite-loop poetry films and as numerous visual poems. The poetry film “Jökulsárlón” was installed in Hjalteyri, Iceland’s abandoned herring factory in August 2013.