This is a recording of Michael Ruby and me alternatively reading our collaboration based on Samuel Beckett's 13-part prose work, Texts for Nothing. We selected excerpts from each of Beckett's sections — I using the odd ones and Michael using the even ones, with the exception of the final section, from which we both took excerpts. Then we worked with them using our respective processes.
In my case, I read each text repeatedly while falling asleep and created my poems using a blend of Beckett's words and my sleeptalk, which arose naturally as I entered threshold consciousness (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13). Michael created his poems by carefully picking words from his seven chosen sections of Texts for Nothing, distributing the words on pages, and then using those words to displace other words from his "unconscious" or "total vocabulary," which joined the words of Beckett (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13).