Nancy Reilly

Group us beyond the flat pictures of calendar time,

Beyond such a sweet bunch of numbers,

Beyond all running for the one that came before the aftermath,

Group us beyond the end row of Michael’s rowing,

Group us beyond art for arts’ sake,

And death for whose sake?  

And who is not forsaken?

Group us beyond the genetic whorls of infants, pushed out, screaming into air,

Beyond the lining up, the rows of stripes, zig zags, bum steers, endless highways,

The countless short answers,

Beyond the rhetorical bru ha ha of found knowledge,

The digital die herds

in numbering markets,

Shares in the stockyard of shadows, 

Beyond sealing it in a can,

Standing it up for comedy,

Sending everything back to China,

Beyond statelessness, placelessness, sleeplessness,

Beyond all the dogs who played Rin Tin Tin,

and human animals present and accounted for,

unaccounted for, and dead,

Group us beyond the insatiable thirst for the unnamable,

Beyond counting on invisible quarks,



Beyond the tedium of readymade goods,

hangers, hats, Hallelujahs, and hate,

Beyond robot plastic wrapped objects,

Beyond  boxes, and crates,

warehouses full of refrigerators,

pills in bottles, blister packs,

Group us beyond the matter of all substances,

Beyond waiting in numbers for any exchange ,

Group us beyond our heart pumping

brain bending faces,

and other infidelities of memory,

Beyond identification’s whip,

the groping ape heart,

Beyond the crazies,

Beyond watching factories smoke,

the other night,

the next day,

before the day before the day before,

the day after,

Beyond seeking cross identities

with perfect strangers,

Group us beyond the north face of the far- fetched,

and the close up, the sidewinder, the screech out,

time-space, the cold and dark look-up,

Beyond finding something meaningful to do,

Beyond waiting in the rain,

Beyond half-baked thoughts,

Back to front drunks,

Group us beyond heading for the wrong side of the tracks,

the first day of endless rehearsals,

the boredom of evil,

drugs of choice,

measures of ubiquity,

spotless formalities,

the bunnies in the wood hut,


Beyond counting on the power of attraction,

the violence of genetically erected fences,

of not forgetting to turn off the light,

Beyond mumbling the holy grails,

the number of pygmies left on the side of the world,

Beyond whistling for the long gone,

rescue lounges, good ideas, cigarettes,

Beyond the alphabetic rapture buzzing in our ears,

Beyond the mumbling numb skulls on

earth’s chicken planet hell,

Beyond the quarantined tragedies in recovery,

the faint blood in the writing on the walls,

Beyond almost making it out of 

the five-year plan,

the ten-year marriage,

the always divorce,

the c word in car accidents, castes and classes,

Beyond all kinds of hell, alarm clocks, scheduled workouts,

Beyond respecting time measured repetitive activities,

Group us beyond punctuality, lateness, not showing up,

Beyond facing the truth,

the Janus faced swipe of lies,

Beyond memorized adaptable, expandable, and dirigible characters,

Beyond delusions and embryos waiting to happen,

Beyond the cartoon jiggered pathogens,

and hot hunks churning favored antibodies,

Beyond white cells going berserk, 

Beyond the duty of care,

Beyond the slick of hypocrisy,

Beyond willful determinations of the third kind,

Beyond, ‘Oh let’s just have a cup of coffee, and talk about it,’

Beyond, ‘What the fuck?’

the angry, molten, spewing, spitting, clutching at straws,

Beyond the insomniac camera rolling in the naked eye,

Beyond all the nano cakes

in a dog shit park.


Just beyond the sentimental markets for ole time sakes,

Beyond repeating ourselves,

Beyond the yearning in hetros, homos, metros,

Beyond the fine line,

the thin line,

the dividing line,

the frontline,

the first time,

the invisible line,

the hair line,

Beyond frozen frown lines,

Beyond the do not cross this line,

the vanishing shore line,

the next time,

the unknown line,

Group us beyond inexorable time,

the mediations, measuring disciplines, thinking twice,

the funny kin color of yellow bellied mobs,

the naked mole rats,

Beyond the number of pages, we have read,

haven’t read, may read, may never read,

The maps we depended on, the vacant eyed adolescents,

Beyond the needy greedy,

the old, oh yeah, outta sight outta mind,

Beyond constructing a master plan,

the made up of show business,

Beyond the cards, letters, the tatters, and the feathers,  

Beyond the shit of inability,

the taking responsibility,

Beyond the territories of our own making,

the washed up of big mistakes,

the banality of hindsight,

the oohs and aahs of momentary rapture,

the moving landscapes out the window,

Beyond the getting away,

the here again,

the where to now?

the out beyond,

the hum of engines,

Beyond the lost ones,

the sound stories,

the birdcage poets,

the run of the blood,

Beyond anybody else's sense of self,

Beyond Kentucky Fried Chicken,

and good ole Charlie Manson,

Beyond all types of ambitions,

Beyond this scratching across the absence,

the beautiful and the can’t think,

Beyond the California homeless,

And however many fish there are in the overbearing liquid,

Beyond the pencil tap, and what keeps coming after rhythm,

Beyond the green of going viral,

Beyond the unfathomable silence in snow,

the lucidity bite of solitude,

Beyond the lure of the sotto voce,

Beyond what other people could do for us,

what I could do for you,

what you could do for me,

Beyond all knowledge = sum,

the rhythm and blue in methadone, metaphor, heroin, cocaine,

Beyond the steady secretions, secretly parceled and accounted for,

Beyond what can’t call out in illness,

Beyond the whir and blur between heads and machines,

the wet stuff, the dry stuff, the invisible stuff,

Beyond anybody calling the kettle black,

Beyond a picture of us without math,

Group us beyond the brief, insane, crazy, episodic shocks of perception,

we can’t and haven’t and won’t really count on,

Group us beyond this sanctimonious listing of figures to ground,

Beyond fucking up and fooling fools around,

and the mumbo jumbo wagon load of lessons,




medical prescriptions,

scientific breakthroughs,



waiting in the wings,

Beyond this space of lettering,

Group us back to back,

from nothingness and the imbecility of rhyme,

Group us beyond why I haven’t seen you in such a long time? 

Nancy worked as a writer, performer and collaborator in experimental theatre in NYC. for twelve years. The highlights include; The Wooster Group, internationally touring her own monologues, and her devised group collaborations for the International Theatre Festival in London. She worked as a Senior Lecturer in contemporary Theatre and Performance in Manchester, England. Nancy has published numerous academic essays and short fictions. Her performance work is cited in, Savran, David,(1986) Breaking the Rules, TCG Inc., N,Y., N.Y. and Guerrilla Performance and Multimedia, (2001), Editors Hill L., Paris H., Continuum Books, N.Y.& London. Some examples of her publications are: Reilly-McVittie, N.O. (1989), "A Black Dress Decision", Bateria Magazine for the Arts, Germany, (Editor: Bush, W), Nuremberg Press, Nuremberg. Reilly-McVittie, N.O. (1990), "Last Night a DJ Saved my Life, between C & D", Journal for the Arts, Editor, Joel Rose, Independent Press, Summer, (Editor: Rose, J), Independent Press. Reilly-McVittie, N.O. (2005), "A Realism Runs Through It: How Liz LeCompte and the Wooster Group Remediated Realism in 'Route One and Nine'", American Mirrors (Self) Reflections and (Self) Distortions, (Editor: Lopez Liquete, M), University of the Basque Country Press Service, Spain, pp 261-267. Nancy has returned to the use of her single name.

©2018 HighShelfPress. 

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