Ruth Barker

The Deer Woman

2009
Lady Gaby's Wonderbar, Berlin
The Deer Woman, Wonderbar The Deer Woman, Wonderbar

Performance (Running Time 8 minutes approx.) of The Deer Woman at Lady Gaby's Wonderbar, Weinnerstraße, Berlin.

The text was memorised and recited as a spoken word performance by the artist. The Deer Woman was originally commissioned by artist and curator Allison Gibbs for the project Temporary Nature, which took place on the wasteground at Pacific Quay, Glasgow, in September 2009.

Photograph by Anna Mields, with thanks.

 

SCRIPT:

 

A long time ago

A long time ago

A long time ago

A long time ago when we were celebrating

A long time ago when we were celebrating

                                                               we did not live here

                                                               and it was somewhere else

                                                               and I was the Deer Woman

                                                                                           Bitch Hind

                                                               with slotted hooves live knives.

 

We lived

We lived

We lived

We lived

We lived

We lived

We were all there

Everyone was there

All of you were there

We were all there, somewhere

We were all there

Everyone was there

All of you were there

We were all there, somewhere

Sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes

Sometimes people saw me

Sometimes people saw me

Sometimes people saw me

Sometimes people saw me

                                     with slotted hooves like knives

                                                                     like knives

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sometimes. The old men built a fire and the young women danced around it, sideways.

Sometimes the women joined hands and the dancing ring was linked and the young men danced alone between the wall of women and the fire,

And dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing

 

And I was the woman who came from nowhere with slotted hooves like knives

And I was the woman who nobody knew with slotted hooves like knives

And I was the woman who danced so slow with slotted hooves like knives

And I was far too young, and I was far too beautiful and my slotted hooves were like knives

And my hair was black and my dress was white and my slotted hooves were like knives

And my eyes were deep and my eyes were black and my eyes held yours so you could not see

                                                                                                                                         my slotted hooves like knives

                                                                                                                                                                       like knives

And the night grew late

And I danced

And I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced and I danced

And I looked

At the men and I chose one.

And the man I chose was lost.

He had no choice.

And I held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him and held him

And the moon was low.

And the night was dark.

And I took him away beside me, to the dark and the night and the trees.

And in the morning someone would find him.

In the morning someone would always find him.

Dead: On his back

         In the leaves

         And the soil

         His body

                    stripped and naked to the daylight.

         His body

                    stripped and naked and trodden and bloody and destroyed.

         His penis

                    stripped and naked and trodden and bloody and destroyed

                                                                                                      by my slotted hooves like knives

                                                                                                      by my slotted hooves like knives

                                                                                                                                         like knives

                                                                                                                                         like knives

 

but that was long ago

When we lived somewhere else

We were all there

I was among you

You did nothing to stop me

And someday, you say

Someday you say

Someday you say

Someday, you will catch up with the Deer Woman.

 

[PAUSE]

 

And

 

[PAUSE]

 

Now

Now

Now

Now

Now

Now

Now

Now when we are celebrating

Now when we are celebrating here

                                           here

                                           here

                                           hear

And I am the Deer Woman

                                          Bitch Hind

                                          With slotted hooves like knives.

We live

We live

We live

We live

We live

We live

We are all here

Everyone is here

All of you are here

We are all here, somewhere

We are all here

Everyone is here

All of you are here

We are all here, somewhere

Sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes

Sometimes people see me

Sometimes people see me

Sometimes people see me

Sometimes people see me

                                     with slotted hooves like knives

                                                                     like knives

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sometimes you still dance

And I dance with you. And there is nothing you can do to stop me.

When you dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance and dance in a place with high walls and bleachers.

And I am the woman who comes from nowhere with slotted hooves like knives

And I am the woman who nobody knows with slotted hooves like knives

And I am the woman who dances slow with slotted hooves like knives

And I am far too old, and I am far too beautiful and my slotted hooves are like knives

And my hair is grey and my dress is black and my slotted hooves are like knives

And my eyes are deep and my eyes are black and my eyes hold yours so you can not see

                                                                                                                                         my slotted hooves like knives

                                                                                                                                                                       like knives

And the night grows late

And I dance

And I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance and I dance

And I look

At the women and I choose one.

And the woman I choose is lost.

She has no choice.

And I hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her and hold her

And the moon is low.

And the night is dark.

And I drive her away in a car

Towards the lights and the rain

And the city.

And sometimes you will find her in the morning

And sometimes you will find her in the morning

Beaten: Stripped and naked and trodden and bloody and crippled

                                                                                             by my bloody hooves like knives.

                                                                                             My slotted hooves like knives

                                                                                             which she will not remember

She will never remember.

She will say she was in a car with an old woman

And she was driven away from the dance

Towards the lights and the rain and the city

And she will not remember.

 

But sometimes the women disappear.

But sometimes the women disappear

You do not find them in the morning

You do not see them again for a long time.

Until you come into the city without your wife

And you will find a woman walking beside you on a dark street late at night and she speaks to you

And you go with her

To cigarette rooms with naked bulbs and easy sheets with a rubber smell

And later

You pay her.

And I have these women and I hold them

And they are mine.

 

And now

Now

Now

Now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now now you wait for me at dances.

And now you watch for me at dances.

And now you watch for my slotted hooves.

And someday, you say

Someday you say

Someday you say

Someday, you will catch up with the Deer Woman.