This is a true revolution, Poetic first, because it denies poetry by transcending it. The arrangement as a poem is banished in favor of the automatic text, the dictation of the unconscious, the dream narrative. No concern for art, for beauty. Those are paltry goals, unworthy of attention. The poet’s soul is what it is.
Maurice Nadeau, The History of Surrealism
Does the ocean have a soul?
All the children tell the same story.
Q&A Session Mary Ellen Binkele and Michelle Tennison (2013)
The strangely beautiful juxtapositions engendered by The Question and Answer Game can, when successful, highlight the revolutionary gifts of Surrealism. The rational mind is sidestepped. Mental habit is challenged. Our social conditioning is no longer in control. Even our personal story and world view can be called into question in order to make sense of a radically new correlation of ideas. We aren’t really sure how it is possible, but somehow this thing confronting us just feels true in a new way.
What is the moment of conception?
Lost to her breath given willingly
Question Michelle Tennison, Answer Chris Hudson (2010)
What am I doing in the other dimensions?
The perfume of strangers
Question Michelle Tennison, Answer Sabine Miller (2015)
How will I know you in the afterlife?
The heart outside my body
Q&A Session with Mary Ellen Binkele and Michelle Tennison (2014)
Surrealism is not a new means of expression, nor a simpler one, nor even a metaphysic of poetry. It is a means of total liberation of the mind and of everything resembling it.
—Andre Breton, Surrealist tract, 1925
Is there a way out?
(searching for) a lost oar
Question Mark Harris, Answer Michelle Tennison (2016)
When am I no longer me?
The light fades to this point, the snakes come out
Question Harry Hudson, Answer Michelle Tennison (2004)