How to Build a Homemade Phonograph (Ariadne and the DJ)

Terri Witek

                                                                                        For Erik DeLuca

1. You are making a funnel but don’t go in.

2. Roll so one end’s wider.

                       Do I tape this thing?

3. Yes. Now pierce the small end

    w/ your needle.

4. Allow half-an-inch

    to stay on the eye side.

5. No, it shouldn’t move.


6. Snap a pencil in half.

                       In half?

7. That’s the tone arm or base

    (let’s call it the base).

                      Are you in a car?

8. Yes.

9. Duct tape one pencil half

    (eraser end up)

    to the cardboard square.

10. No, so it stays straight up.

                      Where are you going?

11. OK, take the speaker and                         pick up the thumbtack

                                                                            jimmy the thumbtack

                                                                           fix needle and speaker to base

                                                                           w/ the thumbtack

                                                                           push thumbtack through one side of cone

                                                                           to eraser you want the speaker

                                                                           to teeter-totter on base

12. What? Needle face down and tilting—

       it shouldn’t touch ground.

13. You holding a record?

14. Classical is shabby.

      Hip hop or pop.

15. Now, pencil 2.

      Insert and shimmy the record up it.

16. Twirl.

17. Clockwise. Guys, keep it down.

17. Clockwise.

18. Well, only if you want to hear

                      watch the way Missy like to take it backwards

                      a god with hooves, a god with horns


Continue to At World’s End // Double Album

About the Work

Terri Witek

Terri Witek is the author of Exit Island, The Shipwreck Dress, Carnal World, Fools and Crows, Courting Couples (Winner of the 2000 Center for Book Arts Contest) and Robert Lowell and LIFE STUDIES: Revising the Self . Her collaborations with Brazilian visual artist Cyriaco Lopes have been featured in galleries or site-specific projects in New York City, Los Angeles and elsewhere. A professor of English at Stetson University, her summer faculty positions have included the West Chester Poetry Conference, the Prague Summer Literary Program and the DisQuiet program in Lisbon, where she runs “The Fernando Pessoa Game.”

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