Image

'Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers,' Zoom video August 20, 2020

 
 "I'd dance to death to evoke it." "Who in me writes?"

It was a rich, varied poetry evening where we read, talked about process, and asked questions. I'm still integrating what everyone said. An evening of inspiration. I would like to thank my features, Elana Wolff, Michael Mirolla, Margaret Christakos and Jeff Cottrill for their superlative poems, readings and expressions of inspiration. And for our fabulous, talented audience! You all added your creative energy to this dynamic event. Thank you, one and all! đź’—

The drill order:

I open with a pre-amble, then read/perform a prose poem, 'Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers,' about breaking through a writing block of 9 years, followed by a Q & A. Elana Wolff and Michael Mirolla each read a poem and talk about their writing process. There is a 15min break, where discussion ensues. Margaret Christakos, and Jeff Cottrill each read a poem and talk about process. We end with an open discussion with feedback on poems and writing processes. My hope is that writers who watch come away inspired, and thinking about how best to continue writing in the ways they most wish. 

Timestamps:

0:10 Brenda's pre-Amble
07:50 Brenda gets Lola, the tiny doggy
08:30 Brenda read/performs Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers
27:57 Q & A on Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers
42:54 Brenda introduces Elana Wolff
44:44 Elana Wolff reads 'Surfacing Behavior'
55:14 Break, with open discussion
1:09:16 Brenda introduces Michael Mirolla
1:15:38 Michael Mirolla reads 'Demeter Makes Plans to Uproot Herself'
1:32:42 Brenda introduces Margaret Christakos
1:35:34 Margaret talks about Pull Down the Northern Lights, performative aspect and imagery, and also her own poetic
1:41:00 Margaret Christakos reads 'Charger 12' and speaks about open field poetics
1:55:22 Brenda introduces Jeff Cottrill
1:57:50 Jeff Cottrill reads 'Wilfred Owen's Off Day'
2:13:41 Open discussion at the end

direct link: https://youtu.be/3bhZzXzX5fs

I would like to thank the League of Canadian Poets & Toronto Literary Council for funding for this event.
 ___

   
Comments

Crawling Out of the Morass

A preliminary sketch that I hope to work on in the coming days. Photo with electric light during a dark thunderstorm. Self-portrait, stick and water-soluble graphite, 20"x26". Crawling out from a deeply troubling family crisis.

___

   
Comments

June 20, 2020

June 20, 2020


Today I am silent. Between The Book of Night Women, by Marlon James, and the ballet dancer, Sergei Polunin, who I watch on YouTube. One, grippingly violent, a story of the slave trade in Jamaica, in beautiful prose, in a seamless, perfect and mesmerizing dialect; the other, one the best dancers in the world, spins and leaps that are superhuman, a force de majeure, but shy, introverted, a rebel and a visionary. I float through a heatwave, basking in humidity. Sitting on a bench with my cat, I stare at the foliage and sky, the green, until I am saturated with heat and the healing of trees. Later in the evening, I buy the 2017 documentary on Sergei, The Dancer. I am living in Lilith’s world where she defended herself violently against rape. There has been blood in my mouth since that scene. I had to put the book down because I am living in that hut with her and her burned, skinned-alive would be rapist. I fall asleep dreaming of pirouettes. 
___

   
Comments

June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020


The Salt of the Earth, directed by Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. France, 2014.


Rich blacks, almost coppery greys, luminosities of light, whites sheer like silk shining, Salgado's work, grandeur, a vast scale. In his humanity, we see the terror of us, how we are victim to our own cruelties. His golddiggers, a hive of ants in the pit, farmers, dying Rwandans, Ethiopian skeletal peoples, the genocide of the Serbs, burning oil fields in Kuwait, on land, water, air, ice, in forests, mud plains, cities, deserts, he paints landscapes of pain or of beauty. When he cannot contain the pain anymore, retreats into existential despair, his wife, Leila, who was with him in spirit on every project in every part of the world while at home with their children, a true curator, guide, turns their focus to healing through affirmation of the beauty of the planet, to re-planting their denuded rainforest in Brazil, to documenting the diversity and beauty of animals, birds & insects of the world. The film ends with renewal, resurgence, regeneration, a joy, transcendent. Of a mountainous desert alive with two and a half million trees.


Wim Wenders has created a portrait of an artist, Sebastiao Salgado, whose face is as smoothly worn, craggy and lined as the mountains he loved and full of the light from the tops of those peaks, which spreads out in every direction.

___

   
Comments

June 14, 2020

June 14, 2020


Clara, in Allende’s The House of Spirits is, I think, my favourite character in all of literature. Psychic, clairvoyant, telekinetic, someone who could draw many people to her, helper of the poor, I’ve only just read her and am integrating her still. I suspect she is the real writer of the novel and the narrator draws his story from her copious notebooks. Others… Fevvers in Angela Carter’s Nights in the Circus, but not as much as Allende’s Clara. Two books I’m currently reading! This isn’t much of a piece but it does come from the potpourri of a writing life. 


    But the grass didn’t get cut. The dog wasn’t bathed. There is no coffee cream for the morning. Laundry is still waiting. The floor didn’t get washed. The dishes not done, though that’s an easy task while the kettle boils for coffee. There was no writing. I started and finished a whole section of what is likely a new project and since then, nothing—waiting in writing purgatory. Tapping the keyboard distractedly, waiting for inspiration, for the muse, for a new place to begin again.
___

   
Comments

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020


Another day of nothing. Up till 2am reading Isabel Allende’s, The House of Spirits. Such lives - an incredible book, its social commentary, magic realism. Tired, though. Hammered shelves into the cat closet to put everything stored there so I can remove the kitty litter lid easily for daily cleaning. Felt slightly frazzled all day, with loose electrical wires hanging off my body that should be hooked into substantial activities. Cooked salmon pinwheels for mid-day dinner, followed by Portuguese custard tarts. A cool, sunny day. Waiting for a Laura Ashley cotton quilt that I can ask for a refund on tomorrow if it doesn’t arrive today. Waiting for a Zoom meeting with fellow poets. Waiting for focus to return. Waiting to come back since I seem to be wandering among uncertain particles in the dark matter of the universe. Waiting for nightfall. 

___

   
Comments

Aug 2020 (1)
Jul 2020 (1)
Jun 2020 (5)
May 2020 (1)
Dec 2019 (1)
Sep 2019 (5)
Aug 2019 (1)
Jul 2019 (6)
May 2019 (2)
Apr 2019 (1)
Feb 2019 (1)
Jan 2019 (1)
Nov 2018 (2)
Sep 2018 (1)
Aug 2018 (3)
Jul 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
Apr 2018 (12)
Mar 2018 (5)
Feb 2018 (3)
Jan 2018 (4)
Dec 2017 (3)
Nov 2017 (1)
Oct 2017 (10)
Sep 2017 (1)
Aug 2017 (3)
Jul 2017 (1)
Jun 2017 (3)
May 2017 (5)
Apr 2017 (2)
Mar 2017 (3)
Feb 2017 (1)
Jan 2017 (5)
Dec 2016 (8)
Nov 2016 (3)
Oct 2016 (3)
Sep 2016 (1)
Aug 2016 (8)
Jul 2016 (6)
Jun 2016 (3)
May 2016 (7)
Apr 2016 (10)
Mar 2016 (5)
Oct 2014 (22)
Sep 2014 (6)
Aug 2014 (11)
Jul 2014 (9)
Jun 2014 (9)
May 2014 (9)
Apr 2014 (17)
Mar 2014 (5)
Feb 2014 (8)
Jan 2014 (13)
Dec 2013 (11)
Nov 2013 (7)
Oct 2013 (13)
Sep 2013 (6)
Aug 2013 (4)
Feb 2013 (1)
Jan 2013 (20)
Dec 2012 (11)
Nov 2012 (16)
Oct 2012 (11)
Sep 2012 (20)
Aug 2012 (19)
Jul 2012 (17)
Jun 2012 (12)
May 2012 (14)
Apr 2012 (9)
Nov 2011 (9)
Oct 2011 (17)
Sep 2011 (19)
Aug 2011 (23)
Jul 2011 (48)
Jun 2011 (18)
May 2011 (16)
Jan 2011 (28)
Dec 2010 (20)
Nov 2010 (7)
Oct 2010 (10)
Sep 2010 (3)
Aug 2010 (6)
Jul 2010 (6)
Jun 2010 (15)
May 2010 (10)
Apr 2010 (12)
Mar 2010 (9)
Feb 2010 (12)
Jan 2010 (12)
Jun 2009 (1)
May 2009 (27)
Apr 2009 (17)
Mar 2009 (13)
Feb 2009 (22)
Jan 2009 (26)
Dec 2008 (19)
Nov 2008 (25)
Mar 2008 (3)
Feb 2008 (6)
Jan 2008 (7)
Dec 2007 (13)
Nov 2007 (19)
Oct 2007 (19)
Sep 2007 (16)
Aug 2007 (11)
Jul 2007 (8)
Jun 2007 (5)
May 2007 (6)
Apr 2007 (8)
Mar 2007 (7)
Feb 2007 (10)
Jan 2007 (12)
Aug 2006 (30)
Jul 2006 (21)
Jun 2006 (25)
May 2006 (18)
Apr 2006 (18)
Mar 2006 (23)
Feb 2006 (15)
Jul 2005 (16)
Jun 2005 (16)
May 2005 (7)
Apr 2005 (16)
Mar 2005 (18)
Feb 2005 (7)
Jan 2005 (1)
Sep 2004 (1)
Jun 2004 (12)
May 2004 (1)
Oct 2003 (1)
RSS Feed 

Warning: array_multisort(): Array sizes are inconsistent in /home/brendacl/public_html/Blog/index.php on line 792

'Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers,' Zoom video August 20, 2020

 
 "I'd dance to death to evoke it." "Who in me writes?"

It was a rich, varied poetry evening where we read, talked about process, and asked questions. I'm still integrating what everyone said. An evening of inspiration. I would like to thank my features, Elana Wolff, Michael Mirolla, Margaret Christakos and Jeff Cottrill for their superlative poems, readings and expressions of inspiration. And for our fabulous, talented audience! You all added your creative energy to this dynamic event. Thank you, one and all! đź’—

The drill order:

I open with a pre-amble, then read/perform a prose poem, 'Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers,' about breaking through a writing block of 9 years, followed by a Q & A. Elana Wolff and Michael Mirolla each read a poem and talk about their writing process. There is a 15min break, where discussion ensues. Margaret Christakos, and Jeff Cottrill each read a poem and talk about process. We end with an open discussion with feedback on poems and writing processes. My hope is that writers who watch come away inspired, and thinking about how best to continue writing in the ways they most wish. 

Timestamps:

0:10 Brenda's pre-Amble
07:50 Brenda gets Lola, the tiny doggy
08:30 Brenda read/performs Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers
27:57 Q & A on Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers
42:54 Brenda introduces Elana Wolff
44:44 Elana Wolff reads 'Surfacing Behavior'
55:14 Break, with open discussion
1:09:16 Brenda introduces Michael Mirolla
1:15:38 Michael Mirolla reads 'Demeter Makes Plans to Uproot Herself'
1:32:42 Brenda introduces Margaret Christakos
1:35:34 Margaret talks about Pull Down the Northern Lights, performative aspect and imagery, and also her own poetic
1:41:00 Margaret Christakos reads 'Charger 12' and speaks about open field poetics
1:55:22 Brenda introduces Jeff Cottrill
1:57:50 Jeff Cottrill reads 'Wilfred Owen's Off Day'
2:13:41 Open discussion at the end

direct link: https://youtu.be/3bhZzXzX5fs

I would like to thank the League of Canadian Poets & Toronto Literary Council for funding for this event.
 ___

   
Comments

Crawling Out of the Morass

A preliminary sketch that I hope to work on in the coming days. Photo with electric light during a dark thunderstorm. Self-portrait, stick and water-soluble graphite, 20"x26". Crawling out from a deeply troubling family crisis.

___

   
Comments

June 20, 2020

June 20, 2020


Today I am silent. Between The Book of Night Women, by Marlon James, and the ballet dancer, Sergei Polunin, who I watch on YouTube. One, grippingly violent, a story of the slave trade in Jamaica, in beautiful prose, in a seamless, perfect and mesmerizing dialect; the other, one the best dancers in the world, spins and leaps that are superhuman, a force de majeure, but shy, introverted, a rebel and a visionary. I float through a heatwave, basking in humidity. Sitting on a bench with my cat, I stare at the foliage and sky, the green, until I am saturated with heat and the healing of trees. Later in the evening, I buy the 2017 documentary on Sergei, The Dancer. I am living in Lilith’s world where she defended herself violently against rape. There has been blood in my mouth since that scene. I had to put the book down because I am living in that hut with her and her burned, skinned-alive would be rapist. I fall asleep dreaming of pirouettes. 
___

   
Comments

June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020


The Salt of the Earth, directed by Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. France, 2014.


Rich blacks, almost coppery greys, luminosities of light, whites sheer like silk shining, Salgado's work, grandeur, a vast scale. In his humanity, we see the terror of us, how we are victim to our own cruelties. His golddiggers, a hive of ants in the pit, farmers, dying Rwandans, Ethiopian skeletal peoples, the genocide of the Serbs, burning oil fields in Kuwait, on land, water, air, ice, in forests, mud plains, cities, deserts, he paints landscapes of pain or of beauty. When he cannot contain the pain anymore, retreats into existential despair, his wife, Leila, who was with him in spirit on every project in every part of the world while at home with their children, a true curator, guide, turns their focus to healing through affirmation of the beauty of the planet, to re-planting their denuded rainforest in Brazil, to documenting the diversity and beauty of animals, birds & insects of the world. The film ends with renewal, resurgence, regeneration, a joy, transcendent. Of a mountainous desert alive with two and a half million trees.


Wim Wenders has created a portrait of an artist, Sebastiao Salgado, whose face is as smoothly worn, craggy and lined as the mountains he loved and full of the light from the tops of those peaks, which spreads out in every direction.

___

   
Comments

June 14, 2020

June 14, 2020


Clara, in Allende’s The House of Spirits is, I think, my favourite character in all of literature. Psychic, clairvoyant, telekinetic, someone who could draw many people to her, helper of the poor, I’ve only just read her and am integrating her still. I suspect she is the real writer of the novel and the narrator draws his story from her copious notebooks. Others… Fevvers in Angela Carter’s Nights in the Circus, but not as much as Allende’s Clara. Two books I’m currently reading! This isn’t much of a piece but it does come from the potpourri of a writing life. 


    But the grass didn’t get cut. The dog wasn’t bathed. There is no coffee cream for the morning. Laundry is still waiting. The floor didn’t get washed. The dishes not done, though that’s an easy task while the kettle boils for coffee. There was no writing. I started and finished a whole section of what is likely a new project and since then, nothing—waiting in writing purgatory. Tapping the keyboard distractedly, waiting for inspiration, for the muse, for a new place to begin again.
___

   
Comments

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020


Another day of nothing. Up till 2am reading Isabel Allende’s, The House of Spirits. Such lives - an incredible book, its social commentary, magic realism. Tired, though. Hammered shelves into the cat closet to put everything stored there so I can remove the kitty litter lid easily for daily cleaning. Felt slightly frazzled all day, with loose electrical wires hanging off my body that should be hooked into substantial activities. Cooked salmon pinwheels for mid-day dinner, followed by Portuguese custard tarts. A cool, sunny day. Waiting for a Laura Ashley cotton quilt that I can ask for a refund on tomorrow if it doesn’t arrive today. Waiting for a Zoom meeting with fellow poets. Waiting for focus to return. Waiting to come back since I seem to be wandering among uncertain particles in the dark matter of the universe. Waiting for nightfall. 

___

   
Comments

Aug 2020 (1)
Jul 2020 (1)
Jun 2020 (5)
May 2020 (1)
Dec 2019 (1)
Sep 2019 (5)
Aug 2019 (1)
Jul 2019 (6)
May 2019 (2)
Apr 2019 (1)
Feb 2019 (1)
Jan 2019 (1)
Nov 2018 (2)
Sep 2018 (1)
Aug 2018 (3)
Jul 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
Apr 2018 (12)
Mar 2018 (5)
Feb 2018 (3)
Jan 2018 (4)
Dec 2017 (3)
Nov 2017 (1)
Oct 2017 (10)
Sep 2017 (1)
Aug 2017 (3)
Jul 2017 (1)
Jun 2017 (3)
May 2017 (5)
Apr 2017 (2)
Mar 2017 (3)
Feb 2017 (1)
Jan 2017 (5)
Dec 2016 (8)
Nov 2016 (3)
Oct 2016 (3)
Sep 2016 (1)
Aug 2016 (8)
Jul 2016 (6)
Jun 2016 (3)
May 2016 (7)
Apr 2016 (10)
Mar 2016 (5)
Oct 2014 (22)
Sep 2014 (6)
Aug 2014 (11)
Jul 2014 (9)
Jun 2014 (9)
May 2014 (9)
Apr 2014 (17)
Mar 2014 (5)
Feb 2014 (8)
Jan 2014 (13)
Dec 2013 (11)
Nov 2013 (7)
Oct 2013 (13)
Sep 2013 (6)
Aug 2013 (4)
Feb 2013 (1)
Jan 2013 (20)
Dec 2012 (11)
Nov 2012 (16)
Oct 2012 (11)
Sep 2012 (20)
Aug 2012 (19)
Jul 2012 (17)
Jun 2012 (12)
May 2012 (14)
Apr 2012 (9)
Nov 2011 (9)
Oct 2011 (17)
Sep 2011 (19)
Aug 2011 (23)
Jul 2011 (48)
Jun 2011 (18)
May 2011 (16)
Jan 2011 (28)
Dec 2010 (20)
Nov 2010 (7)
Oct 2010 (10)
Sep 2010 (3)
Aug 2010 (6)
Jul 2010 (6)
Jun 2010 (15)
May 2010 (10)
Apr 2010 (12)
Mar 2010 (9)
Feb 2010 (12)
Jan 2010 (12)
Jun 2009 (1)
May 2009 (27)
Apr 2009 (17)
Mar 2009 (13)
Feb 2009 (22)
Jan 2009 (26)
Dec 2008 (19)
Nov 2008 (25)
Mar 2008 (3)
Feb 2008 (6)
Jan 2008 (7)
Dec 2007 (13)
Nov 2007 (19)
Oct 2007 (19)
Sep 2007 (16)
Aug 2007 (11)
Jul 2007 (8)
Jun 2007 (5)
May 2007 (6)
Apr 2007 (8)
Mar 2007 (7)
Feb 2007 (10)
Jan 2007 (12)
Aug 2006 (30)
Jul 2006 (21)
Jun 2006 (25)
May 2006 (18)
Apr 2006 (18)
Mar 2006 (23)
Feb 2006 (15)
Jul 2005 (16)
Jun 2005 (16)
May 2005 (7)
Apr 2005 (16)
Mar 2005 (18)
Feb 2005 (7)
Jan 2005 (1)
Sep 2004 (1)
Jun 2004 (12)
May 2004 (1)
Oct 2003 (1)
RSS Feed 

© 2020 Brenda Clews Contact Me

Thank you for visiting, and come back soon.