Keynote Response // July 14, 2017 // Cristalle Smith & Melissa Weiss

2017 summer intensive

Cristalle Smith & Melissa Weiss
CRWR 382
Keynote Response
July 14, 2017


This keynote response is formulated with the intent to explore our personal experiences and stories rather than looking to content structured by erasure, as France Trepanier encouraged in the collaborative performance (read: studying ourselves instead of creating otherness).  The sides of the record are: Side A-Melissa Weiss and Side B-Cristalle Smith.

Side A


In 1915, ethnic Germans living in Russia were accused of being spies. The German language became prohibited in churches, schools, and newspapers; liquidation laws confiscated all fixed property; and hundreds of thousands of impoverished Russian-Germans (or Russdeutsche) were exiled to Siberia.


Russdeutsche. Spione. Kriminellen.

Es war alles gleich.


Mein Opa erzählte mir von dem marsch. Zwei, vielleicht drei


Sie sangen Hymnen:


Kommt, o ihr Menschen auf der Erd.


Viele haben die reise nicht überlebt.

Hungersnot. Armutsgefährdet. Todesfälle.


Mein opa wurde eine Waise um neun Jahre alt.

Fleckfieber nahm das Leben

seiner Vater. Und seiner Mutter. Und Tausende anderen.


des Schöpfers Lob gesungen werd!


Mein opa lebte.

Am Ende des Krieges durften sie nach Hause zurückkehren.

Leichen in den Kellern. In den Straßen. Alles war weg.


Kinder spielten mit Granaten.


In jeder Sprache, jedem Land.


Einer explodierte in der Hand meines Opa.

Ich sah die Narben an seinem Daumen. Sie

sind nie verschwunden.


werd Jesu Name froh bekannt.


Wir werden niemals verschwinden.


Only half returned.


Side B

The Road Trip


In 1994, Regan Smith (ne Robert Owen Francis Smith) set out across the continent known as North America to reconnect with his daughter and son, he pressed play.


Ra ra Rasputin, can you hear the drums? Fernando,

I remember long ago another starry night like this


in Dublin’s fair city. Every hour, every minute

seemed to last eternally, Lover of the Russian Queen.


Put it in a big brown bag for me, when the wicked

carried us away in captivity. Required from us a song,


there was a cat that really was gone. Raised on promises,

she couldn’t help thinkin’ that there was a little more to life


as she wheeled her wheelbarrow.  Drop it straight into the deep

blue sea, crying, Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh.  I could hear


the distant drums. Now how shall we sing the lord’s song

in a strange land? Just like honey from the bee.


You can take all

the tea in China,


Molly Malone.  Put it in a big brown bag for me, take it

easy, baby. Make it last all night.


Ra ra Rasputin.  Sail right around all the seven oceans. Angel

of the first degree. And sure, no one could save her.


I first set my eyes on knights in armor intent on chivalry.

The roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry.


She died of a fever. He had

a girl to squeeze raised on promises.

It was a shame how he carried on.


*Words entirely sampled from: “Rasputin,” “By the Rivers of Babylon” (Boney M), “Tupelo Honey” (Van Morrison), “Molly Malone” (The Dubliners version), “American Girl” (Tom Petty), “Fernando” (ABBA).



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