Mark Goodwin

Words Understanding ‘Mountain’


companion reflection to

Paul Evans’ Reflection on the Performing Mountains Symposium

 My co -climber & -artist Performing Mountains collaborator


Paul Evans reflected on reassurance as being


a rope of rhythmical words …


Paul was risking most, he was the maker in the moment.

I, as poet reading work already made, was the holder


of the rope …


Paul, the mark-maker, was

the on-sight ascensionist, and I


his belayer …


Yet to belay a daring climber is not easy, and can be frightening, and requires close attention, and quick response. When the climber


leading trembles, you tremble too. And when the leader flows

and smoothes through the rock’s jagged patterns, then


the belayer can

relax and join


in with the

climber’s alert


dance …





it is not


rock we

climb on




rope we

climb with


it is


only our













not air


but our

selves we


fall through


In response to Roped Together, by Kate Lawrence, Vertical Dance.


The following long poem is ‘gleaned’ from:

Reflection on the Performing Mountains Symposium

by Paul Evans, April/May 2018.


The poem – To Gather A Contrast –  begins with material gleaned directly from Paul’s writing.The words have been gleaned by reading down the page through the text. So, to give an example:

I can glean the following from the three-line heading that starts this page:


following the Evans



long Performing April




‘gleaned’ Mountains May




poem-mountains may


That last one ‘translates’ the noun into the verb.


There are also other creative translations that can be made from

the above gleanings:



following thee vans  ( or even: following t’ heavens)




gleaned mountains’ May


(the addition of the apostrophe makes it clear

that the month of May belongs to mountains

that have been gleaned!)


To Gather A Contrast plays the games shown above, as well as playing quite a few others.

After the initial directly-gleaned material the poem then proceeds through various iterations by gleaning from itself. There are three ways that the gleanings are made: line-end gleaning, where the last words of lines are gleaned together; line-start gleaning, where the first words of lines are gleaned together; and river-gleaning, where words from within lines are gleaned together, as initially explained above.

Us humans continually perform our lives through words. Words are both power & trap. Pattern can keep us on track or blind us to the wider world. A climber performs a pattern. The making of a pattern from aeons-old random rock-shapes is a performance. The syllable ‘form’ being essential. Our existences are ‘per’ form, or ‘through’ or ‘by’ form. And we humans continually ‘pre-form’ our lives through words. And gestures too! Sometimes we climbers reassure ourselves by making certain shapes, and making them well. At other times a climber can smash those shapes and then struggle in the slight space between death & life … the gap between inanimate rock … and alive body. But even then – when the words are falling off the cliff-face or the paint is dripping – for the climber, for the artist, for the poet, for the person to live it is essential to be willing to grasp for patterns again, and also to have the skills to do so.

Is it that    per    form   ance    art is mostly about letting patterns s  ma    sh  … so that new patterns can be grasped … brie    fly … ?


The following long poem is full of grammatical contortions, although sometimes there are phrases that make ‘reasonable sense’. There are beautiful images & ugly ones. There are notions I like, and some I really do not. There is sense in places, and un-sense in others.

If you read – or rather help make! – the music & images of the following poem, then it is best to put ‘understanding’ aside … No! … that’s wrong … it is better to transform an understanding of


We word-bound humans too often emphasise < comprehend, grasp the idea of >. As creatures with bodies that feel, in the end we can only be sure of our being through the action of









< stand [ing] in the midst of >








To Gather A Contrast


understand English midst

is between


panel snapshot background

snow-shape mountain


photo-apex Haston torso

locate breath(-)moment


sublime climber Scott

carrying home


mountain’s climber

tinted against




precariousness drove

a stream


fear created of feeling

sublime Sisyphean language


present’s shape-sky

visual loading


capture metres fumbling


wild exposure photographs

recognise words


cold under




intense image think feeling

moment meaning perform madmen


romantic people you appear

performance’s symposium


directly climbers with

proximity immense


for human possible

seen irresponsible


notion encountered dance


i roped together the contrast


reception through

insist’s scène


climbers’ something-terrain


(intellectual performance-scrape)

(translation demands apprehension)


consider wind



Everest conditions distant data

recognised cartoon


perhaps perhaps physical

last tip




consider ground material

evolve edge


kind-point paint



something motion

performing qualities


where success felt failure


avoid judgement drawing


more meter resources

climbing understanding


elated exposure

checked through start-ground


mark opportunity amongst





contrast mi(d)st between

background mountain torso moment


Scott home climber

against ‘mountain’ drove


stream-feeling language

sky-loading fumbling photographs






feeling madmen appear

symposium with immense possible


irresponsible dance-contrast


through scène terrain scrape

apprehension wind


data cartoon

physical tip


material edge paint

motion qualities


failure drawing resources


understanding exposure


ground amongst climb



to understand is

panel-snow photo-locate


sublime carrying mountains’

tinted ‘mountain’


precariousness a fear sublime

presents visual capture


wild recognise cold intense moment

romantic performances


directly proximity for seen notion

(notion roped reception)


i-reception insists

(translectual intellation)


climbers consider




Everest recognised




consider evolve-kind

something performing ‘where’


avoid more-climbing

elated-checked mark





gather under

stand between


snapshot-shape apex-breath


climber carrying mountains

against ‘mountain’


precariousness stream created

Sisyphean shape-loading


metres’ exposure words

under image-meaning


people’s performances

climbers’ immense human


irresponsible encountered

through scène




thing performance demands


wind conditions


cartoon perhaps tip-ground


edge-point some


thing performing success


judgement meter climbing

exposure through





contrast background-Scott

against stream-sky


word sunder


feeling sympo    sium irresp    onsible through appreh    ension


data physical material motion

failure understanding ground


to panel-sublime tinted precariousness

presents ‘wild romantic’ directly



translectual climbers


Everest perhaps

consider some


thing-avoid elated climb


gather-stand snapshot climber

against precariousness


Sisyphean metres under

people’s climbers



irresponsible through

some thing-wind


cartoon edge-thing


judgement exposure opportunity




midst mountain climber-mountain

feeling fumbling words under


madmen with dance-terrain wind

cartoon tip-paint qualities


drawing understanding amongst under


stand snow


carrying mountain precariousness

visual cold performances


proximity-roped reception


translation climbers’

recognised perhaps


evolves performing

more-checked climb


gather between

shape-carrying mountain


stream-shape exposure image


performance’s immense

irresponsible scene


some performance conditions

perhaps(-)point performing


meter through opportunity



between moment climber drove

language photographs


words under appear possible


contrast scrape-wind

cartoon-pit pain qualities


resource’s exposure climb


is-locate mountains’ ‘mountain’

sublime capture-moment performances


notion reception insists intellation


consider recognised last ‘kind-where’


climbing mark climb under between breath


mountain’s ‘mountain’ created

loading words’ meaning


performance’s human

encountered scene


some demand’s conditions


ground some success

climbing through climb



contrast against




data-failure to

present’s notion


translectual Everest


consider thing-gather

against Sisyphean people’s


irresponsible sum


cartoon judgement

midst feeling madmen


drawing-stand carrying

visual proximity


translation recognised

evolves more gather-shape


stream performance’s ir


responsible some

perhaps meter


between language

words contrast


cartoon resources’

is-sublime notion


consider climbing


mountains loading

performances encountered


some ground climbing



background stream under symposium

physical understanding


sublime wild i

translectual perhaps


some elated snapshot precariousness

metres climbers through thin(g)-edge


exposure climber

words’ dance-paint


understanding snow

mountain cold roped


climbers’ recognised performing checked

between carrying shape


performance’s scene

performance-point through moment


photographs appear

scrape paint-exposure


mountains capture reception recognised

climbing mountain words


performance’s scene demands some through



Scott-sky under apprehension

motion-ground precariousness directly i


climbers’ ‘perhaps’


some climb climber-precariousness under climbers

through wind-thing opportunity


mountain under wind-qualities

under snow



precariousness-performance’s reception

climbers perhaps performing climb between mountain image


immense-scene conditions performing opportunity

drove photographs’ possible wind-qualities


climb ‘mountain’ performances’ intellation

where breath created meaning


human-scene conditions success





contrast-word data presents translectual

consider against irresponsible cartoon mist


drawing visual translation evolves stream

responsible perhaps between words


cartoon is consider


mountains’ performances

some background physical sublime translectual


some metre’s exposure

words understanding ‘mountain’


climbers between performance’s performance


photographs scrape mountains


mountains climbing performances


Scott-motion climbers

some through mountain under precariousness


climbers’ immense drove-climb


where human





against feeling to notion Everest-gather people’s

some judgement madmen carrying proximity


recognised shape ir(k)some

some meter-language contrast


resource’s notion

climbing loading encountered climbing


symposium understanding i

perhaps precariousness edge


climber-paint snow-roped

checked shape scene moment


appears exposure recognised words through apprehension

i-perhaps climber’s opportunity qualities


snow-reception image


opportunity qualities’ intellation meaning success






translectual mist-stream words

consider performances’ translectual exposure


mountain performance


mountains’ performances


climbers’ precariousness


climb human



words’ exposure-performance performance’s precariousness





precariousness    human
















collaborator being words


                                      moment-holder rope

                                      was i belayer & climber


                                      flows then

                                     can join


                                      the alert dance