dance/ ...indigo folio leaves [audio]

  dance/ ...indigo folio leaves by Brenda Clews

The audio track from a video poem, worked a little differently for an audio only version. Prose poetry, voice, mix by moi; music: José Travieso's track, 'Monster,' on his album, "No More Faith."

You can watch the video poem in this blog, or at YouTube.

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A Promo Player

Hey, cool! A promo player with 4 sample tracks (though it looks like it doesn't travel by RSS feed or email subscription).

From my latest poetry album: Starfire.

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Starfire, a collector's edition

Starfire, 11 poems I have recorded with music background, is a free download - Mp3s at a decent 195kbps. It's under a Creative Commons license that allows sharing, and, for the first time, derivative works, though not commercial use.

However, I have been asked a few times about the text of the poems. Some kind listeners have voiced the wish to read the poems along with the recordings. Those poems are in this archive blog, and you certainly may run a search for each one.
Yesterday I quickly put together (with 18 quick revisions) a .pdf with all the poems, comments, paintings and photographs, and it was 26 pages!

No way I'm going to blog anything that long. Hosting the .pdf at my Google sites site for poetry recordings won't work in the long run, either, due to space considerations.

So I offered it in Jamendo's 'Virtual Shop.' This seemed the best way. I get to offer high quality flac files of all the poems, and the 26 page document containing the text of the poems, and the artwork and photos that accompanied each poem when I first shared them with you.

Of the 5 €, I get 2.6 € before the cost of currency exchange and other bank fees. I might make a buck, if that.

So it's not about making money.

What really sold me on offering the text of the poems this way was that, tiny as it is, Jamendo gets a percentage, 2.4 € (the larger the sum you charge, the smaller their percentage, btw).

Jamendo runs no ads on their site. Their revenue comes through licensing fees, royalty payments, percentages from the virtual stores, etc.

How much of a relief is it to visit a site without ads?! They are the largest free music site in the world. The community of musicians and reviewers is a beautiful one, and I spend countless pleasurable hours there each month. They nearly folded early in the year, but a financial backer appeared at the last moment.

I love Jamendo! ♥

I could offer the text of the poems some other way, certainly, but why ignore the company who enables me and many others to share our music, our recordings?

Only a token, yes, my Collector's Edition of Starfire, but a tiny way to thank them for the beautiful music hosting and sharing site they have created and maintain.

click for larger size if you'd like to 'see' the
page without actually going to the site

Ink Ocean

direct link: Ink Ocean (version 1)

Ink Ocean (9:47min), a poem I've been working on since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier in the year, a darker, more troubled piece on love. Is it a good ending for my album of love poems? Not sure, though it is a love poem - loving amidst the pollution, with our wounds, whatever they may be. The reading was difficult since I live over a subway, and kept stopping the speaking every time a subway ran through because the muse beckoned the voice at rush hour this morning, O muse! Those sections were clipped out. I've been at my computer working on this recording for 12 hours I guess. May be too close to it to 'hear' it?

It's layered, of course, multiplicities seem what I like to do. You can read the words here if you like (though it looks more like a play of approaches and voices than a poem proper).

Spent days looking for music, too. I already had a small collection of 'possibilites' that I had collected through the year. Nothing was quite right. So I went searching at Jamendo. I found two tracks that each offered something substantial, and did something I had hoped never to have to do - I mixed them! Oh! I should give up these poetry performance pieces, or learn an instrument!

The tracks are a combination of that brilliant musician of experimental, midi, ruby texts that become sonic masterpieces, Alphacore's (Gabriel Garrod) side_project in his album Side Projects, and a new musician for me at Jamendo, Extra (Michael Erickson), and the beautiful track, The Quickest Vessel to a Distant Future, is from his album, Water Every Full Moon.

Three Mugshots:

Should I ever show the workings of my 'mad' mind? Ok, ok. I'm self-taught. From these mugshots you can get some idea why my poetry recordings take so long! Files get recorded and taken from here to there, and then there to here, and back again. Can you hear all those tracks in the final version? Who knows. But, like wearing beautiful lingerie, I know they're there.

Though with this last project - an album of poetry readings with the music of Jamendo musicians - has taken nearly a year, and with 11 tracks, it's only 33 minutes long!!

I may give up poetry recordings, and lingerie too.

Gulf Oil Slick, 2010, 13" x 10", 33cm x 25.5cm, 
mixed media on canvas

From Ocean Words
Where the poem began...

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My Body Is A Word (2:23min)

direct link to SoundCloud: My Body Is A Word by Brenda Clews

Brenda Clews, poetry, voice, mix.
Music, Lena Selyanina's piano solo, 'Summer Morning,' from "Snowstorm Romance": .

direct link to SoundClick: My Body Is A Word

The album of poetry recordings that I am working on seems to be on a theme of love. I don't have a whole lot of love poems, in the 'I and Thou' form. 'My Body Is A Word' is an older poem that I had up at my original and now defunct art website. It seems to work in context of the album, and also, hopefully, on its own.

A tiny chorus of voices, yes, positioned behind the main voice.



My body is a delta
awash with scripture
rivers of language flow over my tongue,
raw with salt.

My body is a delta
of waterways, signs,
inscribed, and gendered,
my body is tattooed
with the blue veins of roses.


I am rain falling on the edges of leaves;
I am earth, wet, a glistening emerald;
I am a breath of fire on the horizon at dawn;
I am a white orchid unlacing.

I am the succulence of the peeling of fresh fruit,
juice of mango, orange, kiwi, bloodred pomegranate;
the thorns of the pineapple rind fall into the sink.

Remember when
our bodies flowing
into the flowing warmth of each other,
paradise on the horizon of being.

Our bodies flowing, washing the world.

Our scripts intertwining the way
we endlessly write our lives.

I am the crimson space
in your heart.

You are the calyx of flowers reaching for the rain;
You are the sun ripening the fruit;
You are the awakening of the world;
You are the origin of the alphabet of love.

I read your body every day,
finding a script
like traces vanishing in the night
of light everywhere.

© 2003 by Brenda Clews
Recording, 2010

(Note: Trying out different players - Sitemeter is my storage site for recordings, especially as how SC allows edited versions to be uploaded into the same url. Once the 'album' is finished, I'll upload it to Jamendo, where it will be available for free download. Any feedback now can aid help me in the creation of this collection of recordings - and I thank those of you who have offered responses and suggestions. It all really helps.)

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Comments (2)

What Is Underground Is What Holds Us


You rise out of flat stone
the shield
of your heart.
The moon crosses the sun.
Do we
become light
when we dream?

The folds of your corduroy
like ridges and hollows
furrows where the Spring runoff
sculpts a geology
in a landscape of tundra.
"passageways and connections that
happen deep within us when in relation
to another..." Nancy Otto
In our Klondike, cross and beams
hold the tunnels we dig through
to find the gold in each other,
rich veins tracing through the rock
like sunlight.


Spring is a tendril
of green;
the leaves a papery mass of veins unfolding.

Cliffs of grass by the old mine ripple
in the wind.

We are like those two trees
ancient, weathered, yet
our roots thoroughly

What is
is what holds us.

The deeper passageways
and connections.


I wear the crescent moon in my hair,
the cold northern air;
you are the sun buried in the land,
illumined from within.

The sharp edges
in each moment
bind us.

My Adoni, my Aholi,

even in this harsh typography
you are a landscape of love,
a cartography of desire.

©Brenda Clews 2006


Photographs were taken by me.

Poem and commentary written in April, 2006:

The title that I had thought of is a line from a poem by Hafiz, the 14th c Sufi master:
Our Destiny Is To Turn Into Light.

Here's the poem:

Faithful Lover

The moon came to me last night
With a sweet question.

She said,

"The sun has been my faithful lover
For millions of years.

Whenever I offer my body to him
Brilliant light pours from his heart.

Thousands then notice my happiness
And delight in pointing
Towards my beauty.

Is it true that our destiny
Is to turn into Light

Hafiz, The Gift, trans. Daniel Ladinsky (Toronto: Penguin, 1999), p.159.

While my poem is about light, it's really about roots, and works off Nancy Otto's lines (she's an artist who creates small, stunning glass sculptures where she explores our inner consciousnesses, our inner lives, the deep channels and underground ways that we connect).

Adoni and Aholi are both gods of nature: one ancient Phoenician; the other, ruler of the Pikya clan of Native Americans. Nature is usually imaged as a woman, but sometimes as a man - the dying & resurrected god.

Also I'm currently not just crazy about Hafiz, but also Pablo Neruda, his love poems, and Juan O'Neill's translation of Macchu Picchu.

If I Could Write

direct link: If I Could Write

for JP

What would I write if I

I reach over continents
into the Parthenon
to find you pressing
the shutter on your camera,
the photograph
you sent.

Or ordered chaos,
                          but this is my life.

A leaf swollen with rain.
Sleeping in a hammock
in a barge with hundreds of others
on the Amazon River in Brazil.
Sun shining on metal.
How sentences
                         in on each other
like white rose petals.

Days pass endless
waves in the lake.

I found her,
a spirit in the forest of the lake
in the Canadian terrain
where I fast for days.
She broke the spell.
in the silvery leaves of the
maples standing in water.

Abandon logic for metaphor.

Speak in the tongues
                                     of the poet.
I burn the fire
on your eyelids
in my soul.

Those Ionic columns in the heat
of your Grecian photograph.

to hide behind.
My polished earrings,
necklace of reflective stones,
shirt sewn with tiny mirrors.
See yourself seeing me.

Clouds that form
a grammar of understanding
of the sky.

The wine
that sweetens your lips.
The dazzle of a sunset
the colour of

Piano solo accompaniment: Roger Stéphane, 'Lointain,' from his album, Picasso, on Jamendo.

Response to Big Tent Poetry's prompt (where other entries are linked in the comments).

The recording, for some reason, took unexpected hours, and yet I feel strange including it and hope it adds to your reading of the prosepoem.

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Comments (14)

from the Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems

direct link: from the Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems

This poem is now available at Jamendo, with better sound than SoundClick, and you may download it if you wish. Later on, I will be offering a reading of this abridged version of my Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems with another musician.

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"Go Away Blues," by Jazz Street Trio added to "Light Catches Diamonds"

Light Catches Diamonds

I wrote this prose poem in June 2007, and a year later, in June 2008, recorded it. And, as seems to be a yearly tradition, now that it is almost June 2009, I have paired it with a beautiful Jazz recording, "Go Away Blues," from the album, Because, by Buz Hendricks of Jazz Street Trio, who has licensed this album with a Creative Commons license on Jamendo.

Hope you like it!

Links (that open a pop-up player):
DSL or Cable

(click on image to read
poem-about ½ way down,
gosh didn't notice that was
the image I created for my
website, anyhow, I've linked
it to Celestial Dancers page)
Comments (2)

Love Letters on Sand Manadalas (1:01min)

Added a background of ocean & shells to this older recording for the Photopoem page of my Art & Writings website. An improvement over the plain voice in this one. I worked on this recording (shells & distant tinkling bells are mine) because I thought this poem needed some 'pizzaz.'

(But, yes, I forgot to 'master fade out' & this version is gone because I continued fiddling in garageband & saved a later version... it bothers me, but, ahhhh, it's late... & I did manually 'fade out' each of the six tracks (yes, yes, there are that many)...

Love Letters on Sand Mandalas, to play
(click on this image
to enlarge)

Comments (4)
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