Image

'Ink Ocean' performed live at HOWL@QSpace



Ink Ocean: http://youtu.be/w4Xs2dIt2m4

On Nov 25, 2012, I performed my prose poem 'Ink Ocean,' on the Gulf Oil Spill, as one of the featured poets at Nik Beat's HOWL@QSpace in Toronto. I had memorized the prose poem. The image of the ink drawing, from which the poem emerged, only appears in the still for the video (I've included an image at the end of this post for you). I'm actually quite happy with the performance itself - passionate, intense, and yet clear enunciation.

Ink Ocean is about the oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when nearly 5 million barrels, or 210 million gallons, of crude oil were spilled into the sea due to an explosion of an off-shore drilling rig. It remains the largest marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Over 5 months, hydro-carbon eating bacteria devoured 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas in the Gulf, and then stopped. Despite the massive cleaning efforts by the oil industry and governments, and the efforts of the bacteria, as of 2012, 40% of the spill remains in the waters.

This prose poem began as writing in an ink drawing. It took 6 - 8 months to finish, and was revised in preparation for this reading.  It is an experimental poem structually. A poem of utterance, of cross-currents and paradoxes. It is composed of many voices, and perspective shifts.

There are two parts. The first is on the oil spill, and the second is about love in a world bordering on oblivion, a world that's half spirit. We are in the 6th Mass Extinction on the earth. This is the backdrop.

The poem starts out in the Gulf and moves with the Gulf Stream to the Atlantic Ocean where it becomes a love poem. Can we love in a world inviting extinction? Yes, of course we can, and must.

---
With thanks to Nik Beat, Q Space and Luciano Iacobelli. It was a great evening.




Ink Ocean, 2010, 13" x 16", India ink on archival paper. My prose poem on the Gulf Oil Spill, Ink Ocean, emerged from this drawing. The poem was revised in 2012.

___

 brendaclews.com
Comments

Resisting a multi-media rendition of Palmistry, a Psalm

After I began this painting, a prose poem became 'an inner pressure,' and so I spent a few days writing one, and even made a little recording, and while I would have finished the painting last week by writing the poem onto the canvas, the 'inner pressure' now is to make a video poem. I don't want to! I argue with my muse: It's too much work; no-one watches them. Who needs a video? But though I have tracing paper taped to the painting for a 'dry run' on the writing - want to make sure I space it properly so it all fits on - and have sat to work, that da*n muse won't let me! So now I need to create a video space with canvas or something around it and video the act of writing, pen on parchment for the spacing, pen on canvas for the final, up close. Do you think I can manage this little task? I'm so in resistance.

Doing a piece in three media, painting, writing, and video is way too much work for one woman and yet, resist as I might, the muse is stronger and is resisting my resistance and will win out. Due to a busy week, likely won't video until next week. Oy! Is it like this for you?

The layered x-ray (real, of my wrist) and the painted hand (I was looking at my actual hand when I painted it) that you see in the first image was done digitally and would be fun to work with in a video, fading in and out of one or the other. I could do some found footage of Nazis, also. Coatlique, Ophelia, yes, if I find public domain images. Oh, and those great drawings of the hand for palmistry, palm readings. That would be fun. And so on. Lots of ideas, no will to do it. Lol.








Below is the prose/poem for if you hadn't already read it and wanted to take a look.
_

A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.






 brendaclews.com
Comments

A Palmistry of Signs

What do you think? I plan to write it into my painting. Once there, the words can't be changed.


A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.

__

I made a recording of the prose/poem, if you like to listen while you read.



(Background music by Aymeric, from their album on Jamendo, 'Sometimes,' cut 03.)




___

Some notes on writing process.

(Is this a defense of my style, or a rough explanation of my aesthetic?)

While I like to offer depth and complexity, for the record, I don't do 'stream of consciousness' - I've been working on this for a while, the images, the feelings, the meanings - even if it only took 20 or 30 minutes to write. Nothing comes out of a vacuum, and the semiotic undercurrent in our subconscious minds has not got the metaphoric order of a poem (or prose poem). I like to radiate out to divergent images, spark their neuronal connections, get the whole mind thinking, sometimes puzzled, sometimes recognizing. My poetry hopefully gives the reader a bit of a ride into an imaginative world, a ride that also offers exercise of those faculties of imagination, and the extraordinary ability we have to find meaning in divergent things. And be inspiring, of course. Emotionally, we are a very complex and nuanced species, and our emotional reactions and apperceptions cohere our lives. I like to tell it as it is, in all its paradoxes, ambiguities, irresolvable inconsistencies, its terrors and beauties - this is life, how we live.



brendaclews.com
Comments

When I closed my eyes...

When I closed my eyes and lay back on the small, soft down pillow, I fell though it, and the sheen of white sheets, the mattress, hard foam and wood, plunging into hardwood floor, down into the dank earth, until I was falling in deep space far past the planets or our solar system or even our galaxy.

Sometimes I sleep when I nap; sometimes I don't.

brendaclews.com
Comments

White Fire on Nik Beat's show in 2000



A reading of White Fire on CIUT FM in Toronto, 2000
on Nik Beat's show.


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Comments

Wet Trees

A mute shifting, like the slide from a light-dimmed sky
to darkness in the slanting rain. I am
wordless. The dead hover over me
as we commune.

When we are here, fully immersed, time unravels
properly. Otherwise
it knots.

Knots of not-enough time tighten. Tasks pile on tasks and
we forget the spirits
who wait for us:

To remember our remembering.

The falling rain sleets and turns to snow;
the boughs of the black trees glisten wetly
in the night.







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Comments (2)

A Floral Opera

A Floral Opera is a nature poem. An ecosphere of mind and nature. A portrait of a woman singing in a garden. Quite hallucinatory, combining Deleuzian philosophy, surreal images.

My plan is to add this poem to the poems I'll be reciting in my long videopoem, Tangled Garden. If you'd like to read it, and offer response or feedback (I'll probably start recording on Friday, so before then if possible) email me for the password. (brenda [dot] clews [at] gmail [dot] com).

Encrypted poem:


Comments

'dance/ ...indigo folio leaves'


direct link: dance/ ...indigo folio leaves (with poem)

A dance that is creative movement, a moving meditation. Brenda Clews: prose poetry, dance, video. Music: José Travieso's track, 'Monster,' on his album, "No More Faith."

Music

...enters your backbone, joints, plucks the
cartilage holding you together. Music is the
moon of the red tides of your bloodstream.
Drift to and fro, a willow tree, or sway, bend,
a flamenco, stretch, purple morning glories
on the vine, jump. Sway your hips, delta of
fiery flow. Express yourself, woman. No-one
is watching. Say it all. The lyric travels tenderly
through your wrist, a memory of the wind on the
hill. You are an instrument of the musician who
is absent, gone. Whose music plays on; who
does not know you exist. Orphean muse. Twirl
on the floor, the beat in your ankles, room
spinning, see the canvas walls, luminous see
the sun, moon, stars that are always there.
Spin on the clock turning. Give everything.

Wanton woman. Harlot of the night. Mother of
angels. Insufferable radiance. Black hole of
emptiness. Sweet moan nectar.

Mystery dangles like your silver bracelets,
the ghosts are present. Approach yourself by
disappearing. Undulate your liquid bones.
Beautiful sensuality. Seek invisible illumination
in your writhing steps. Leave time, transform in
your multiplicity, a seer searching the spheres.
Manifest your dreams. Shake them out of the air
to materialize before you like light forms. Shimmy,
wet sweat, a flag in a wind storm. Thunder the
floor. Witch, werewolf, Goth beauty, fragile
starchild, cyberpunk, pull the sky down. Sway
those hips, woman. Sway them until you ignite.
Dance with your ineffable muse. Just, dance.

I pull purple veils over my vision, indigo
blue silk lights and shadows.

Listen: dance on the stage of your
imagination.


© by Brenda Clews, 2011



Contemplating the Muse

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Comments

dance/ ...indigo folio leaves


direct link: dance/ ...indigo folio leaves

Folio: a sheet of paper folded once to make two leaves of a book or manuscript.

Late afternoon, when the spring sun was pouring in, I videotaped some dancing to José Travieso's track, 'Monster,' on his album, "No More Faith":  Besides being technically beautiful, quite goth baroque in its composition, there is an undercurrent of feeling in this music. Music like this can awaken the inner self in its dance, or this is how it calls to me.

And I layered two different dances to the same music: first I separated the figures, but it didn't look quite right, so I superimposed them, allowing the dance of the two to occur in the same space, an intertexuality of subjectivities, like folio leaves.

I see the woman of the dance transformed into figures that are, but are not me.



I wrote to the Spanish musician, José, on his track, 'Monster': 'This piece is so beautiful, like the passion of angels, pain and transcendance in the music that you play, what is the monster? Is beauty the monster?

How can beauty be a monster?'

He teaches all day, and at night, the music. Stressful, hard. He rarely has time to read, walk, visit friends, relax. "Everyday I work on it with passion... or maybe just obsession. So, everyday, when I'm recording an album, I feel more and more tired, it consumes me... Music is my own monster, my search for the perfection and the beautiful thing is my own monster. This is my explanation."

'I understand. A consuming passion. A beauty that devours its creator in consummation.

I, too, prefer art that is vulnerable, without pretence.'



[still working on this prose poem]

Music

...enters your backbone, joints, plucks the
cartilage holding you together. Music is the
moon of the red tides of your bloodstream.
Drift to and fro, a willow tree, or sway, bend,
a flamenco, stretch, purple morning glories
on the vine, jump. Centre in your hips, your
delta of fiery flow. Feel your pain, power, joy.
Express yourself, woman. No-one is watching.
Say it all. The lyric travels tenderly through your
wrist, a memory of the wind on the hill. Be the
hands that play you. You are an instrument of the
instruments of the musician who is blind, absent,
gone. Whose music plays on; who does not know
you exist. Orphean muse. Twirl on the floor, the
beat in your ankles, room spinning, see through
the canvas walls, stars, sun, moon luminous
on the clock turning. Give everything.

Wanton woman. Harlot of the night. Mother of
angels. Insufferable radiance. Black hole of
emptiness. Sweet moan nectar.

Be loose as a cigarette on the lip in Rio de Janeiro.
The ruffle on a lacy skirt in Dusseldorf. Like the
ruins of the Colosseum in Rome. Glide as
diamonds on the Aegean Sea. Icy tundra of the
Arctic. Emerge and submerge a dorsal fin in the
Caribbean. Become a stone age myth, a magic
amulet hewn from rock. Goddess of the Oroborus
serpent, undulate your liquid bones. Mystery dangles
like your silver bracelets, the ghosts are present.
Approach yourself by disappearing. Rhumba to
this moment; tango to the other side. Primavera of
being. Beautiful in your sensuality. Seek invisible
illumination in your writhing steps. Flee time,
transform in your multiplicity, a seer searching
the spheres. Manifest your wishes - your dreams.
Shake them out of the air to materialize like light forms.
Shimmy, wet sweat, a flag in a wind storm. Thunder
the floor. Cross mid-section through a Pythagorean
theorem and come out the other end of Leibniz's prisms.
Play on Goethe's colour wheel. Trip like a stream
dashing over rocks as smoothly as a Shakespearean
sonnet's sexual ambiguity. Witch, werewolf, Goth
beauty, fragile starchild, cyberpunk, pull the sky
down. Sway those hips, woman. Sway them until you
ignite. Be you while you dance; don't let them
touch you. Dance with your ineffable
muse. Just, dance.

I pull purple veils over my eyes, in love with
indigo blue silk lights and shadows.

I dance the white and black keys of a harpsichord
while it dances me.

Listen: dance on the stage of your
imagination.



© by Brenda Clews, 2011 (a sort of inspirational poem for women, but there's a lot going on in it, too)

            


___
If you're fascinated by the way videos evolve through versions, there are two earlier versions at a Picasa album: The Canvas Backdrop

I've entered this poem in the Big Tent Poetry's Ring of weekly poems. 'dance, ...indigo folio leaves' is a performance piece that includes video and poetry. One, a poetry of motion; the other a written poem. They are on the subject of dancing, and the poem is still being drafted.


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Comments (10)

Photographer of White Clay

Your clay-whitened bodies covered with cracks like dry riverbeds on the surface of the moon.

Cracked and dry as a desert. Denuded of identity, warmth, flush skin tones. No bright highlights, no glamour. Bodies risen from clay pools, an earthen pottery.

No colour, erase difference. Frozen white ghosts on the edge of time, a sea of pale mud, a genesis.

You are Adam and Eve, the beginning of all beginnings, or the end of all endings. Face each other, relinquish your loneliness.

Your skin hardened like living statues in a dissolving Garden of Eden, the smeared powdered rock, breathing clay, imprisoned in your own beauty.

Or Butoh dancers, the anguish of the bomb that whitens into ash,
pain rising as dying reeds sway in the blackened river,
encase yourselves with white wet dust,
obliterate yourselves

In it, roll in it, emotion, explosive,
hidden in those primal masks,
naked in your ghostly forms,
raw spirits rising.

Pass beyond the eye
of my camera

To the dark side of the moon.

Sink into your bodies,
into each other.




(background music, a tiny section of 'Bodydrama at The Nave,' by ARTSomerville)

Statues in Profile (photograph will open in a new tab)

photo by Marko Kulik


-
In response to a Big Tent poetry prompt: Write a poem about a portrait photograph that you did not take yourself: "The strategy this week is that you will imagine the photographer and write about the subject as if from the point of view of the photographer."

As a photographer, I am a director of the shot as I describe the poetry of the scene to the actors so that they can become what I am looking for.

See here for the prompt and links to the other poems.
Comments (16)

'Ink Ocean' performed live at HOWL@QSpace



Ink Ocean: http://youtu.be/w4Xs2dIt2m4

On Nov 25, 2012, I performed my prose poem 'Ink Ocean,' on the Gulf Oil Spill, as one of the featured poets at Nik Beat's HOWL@QSpace in Toronto. I had memorized the prose poem. The image of the ink drawing, from which the poem emerged, only appears in the still for the video (I've included an image at the end of this post for you). I'm actually quite happy with the performance itself - passionate, intense, and yet clear enunciation.

Ink Ocean is about the oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when nearly 5 million barrels, or 210 million gallons, of crude oil were spilled into the sea due to an explosion of an off-shore drilling rig. It remains the largest marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Over 5 months, hydro-carbon eating bacteria devoured 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas in the Gulf, and then stopped. Despite the massive cleaning efforts by the oil industry and governments, and the efforts of the bacteria, as of 2012, 40% of the spill remains in the waters.

This prose poem began as writing in an ink drawing. It took 6 - 8 months to finish, and was revised in preparation for this reading.  It is an experimental poem structually. A poem of utterance, of cross-currents and paradoxes. It is composed of many voices, and perspective shifts.

There are two parts. The first is on the oil spill, and the second is about love in a world bordering on oblivion, a world that's half spirit. We are in the 6th Mass Extinction on the earth. This is the backdrop.

The poem starts out in the Gulf and moves with the Gulf Stream to the Atlantic Ocean where it becomes a love poem. Can we love in a world inviting extinction? Yes, of course we can, and must.

---
With thanks to Nik Beat, Q Space and Luciano Iacobelli. It was a great evening.




Ink Ocean, 2010, 13" x 16", India ink on archival paper. My prose poem on the Gulf Oil Spill, Ink Ocean, emerged from this drawing. The poem was revised in 2012.

___

 brendaclews.com
Comments

Resisting a multi-media rendition of Palmistry, a Psalm

After I began this painting, a prose poem became 'an inner pressure,' and so I spent a few days writing one, and even made a little recording, and while I would have finished the painting last week by writing the poem onto the canvas, the 'inner pressure' now is to make a video poem. I don't want to! I argue with my muse: It's too much work; no-one watches them. Who needs a video? But though I have tracing paper taped to the painting for a 'dry run' on the writing - want to make sure I space it properly so it all fits on - and have sat to work, that da*n muse won't let me! So now I need to create a video space with canvas or something around it and video the act of writing, pen on parchment for the spacing, pen on canvas for the final, up close. Do you think I can manage this little task? I'm so in resistance.

Doing a piece in three media, painting, writing, and video is way too much work for one woman and yet, resist as I might, the muse is stronger and is resisting my resistance and will win out. Due to a busy week, likely won't video until next week. Oy! Is it like this for you?

The layered x-ray (real, of my wrist) and the painted hand (I was looking at my actual hand when I painted it) that you see in the first image was done digitally and would be fun to work with in a video, fading in and out of one or the other. I could do some found footage of Nazis, also. Coatlique, Ophelia, yes, if I find public domain images. Oh, and those great drawings of the hand for palmistry, palm readings. That would be fun. And so on. Lots of ideas, no will to do it. Lol.








Below is the prose/poem for if you hadn't already read it and wanted to take a look.
_

A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.






 brendaclews.com
Comments

A Palmistry of Signs

What do you think? I plan to write it into my painting. Once there, the words can't be changed.


A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.

__

I made a recording of the prose/poem, if you like to listen while you read.



(Background music by Aymeric, from their album on Jamendo, 'Sometimes,' cut 03.)




___

Some notes on writing process.

(Is this a defense of my style, or a rough explanation of my aesthetic?)

While I like to offer depth and complexity, for the record, I don't do 'stream of consciousness' - I've been working on this for a while, the images, the feelings, the meanings - even if it only took 20 or 30 minutes to write. Nothing comes out of a vacuum, and the semiotic undercurrent in our subconscious minds has not got the metaphoric order of a poem (or prose poem). I like to radiate out to divergent images, spark their neuronal connections, get the whole mind thinking, sometimes puzzled, sometimes recognizing. My poetry hopefully gives the reader a bit of a ride into an imaginative world, a ride that also offers exercise of those faculties of imagination, and the extraordinary ability we have to find meaning in divergent things. And be inspiring, of course. Emotionally, we are a very complex and nuanced species, and our emotional reactions and apperceptions cohere our lives. I like to tell it as it is, in all its paradoxes, ambiguities, irresolvable inconsistencies, its terrors and beauties - this is life, how we live.



brendaclews.com
Comments

When I closed my eyes...

When I closed my eyes and lay back on the small, soft down pillow, I fell though it, and the sheen of white sheets, the mattress, hard foam and wood, plunging into hardwood floor, down into the dank earth, until I was falling in deep space far past the planets or our solar system or even our galaxy.

Sometimes I sleep when I nap; sometimes I don't.

brendaclews.com
Comments

White Fire on Nik Beat's show in 2000



A reading of White Fire on CIUT FM in Toronto, 2000
on Nik Beat's show.


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Comments

Wet Trees

A mute shifting, like the slide from a light-dimmed sky
to darkness in the slanting rain. I am
wordless. The dead hover over me
as we commune.

When we are here, fully immersed, time unravels
properly. Otherwise
it knots.

Knots of not-enough time tighten. Tasks pile on tasks and
we forget the spirits
who wait for us:

To remember our remembering.

The falling rain sleets and turns to snow;
the boughs of the black trees glisten wetly
in the night.







Home  Green Fire  Different, yet Same  Soirée of Poetry  Videopoetry  Celestial Dancers  Photopoems  Birthdance  Bliss Queen  Bio  Life Drawings  Earth Rising  Creative Process  Multiplicities  Links  Comments
Comments (2)

'Ink Ocean' performed live at HOWL@QSpace



Ink Ocean: http://youtu.be/w4Xs2dIt2m4

On Nov 25, 2012, I performed my prose poem 'Ink Ocean,' on the Gulf Oil Spill, as one of the featured poets at Nik Beat's HOWL@QSpace in Toronto. I had memorized the prose poem. The image of the ink drawing, from which the poem emerged, only appears in the still for the video (I've included an image at the end of this post for you). I'm actually quite happy with the performance itself - passionate, intense, and yet clear enunciation.

Ink Ocean is about the oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when nearly 5 million barrels, or 210 million gallons, of crude oil were spilled into the sea due to an explosion of an off-shore drilling rig. It remains the largest marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Over 5 months, hydro-carbon eating bacteria devoured 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas in the Gulf, and then stopped. Despite the massive cleaning efforts by the oil industry and governments, and the efforts of the bacteria, as of 2012, 40% of the spill remains in the waters.

This prose poem began as writing in an ink drawing. It took 6 - 8 months to finish, and was revised in preparation for this reading.  It is an experimental poem structually. A poem of utterance, of cross-currents and paradoxes. It is composed of many voices, and perspective shifts.

There are two parts. The first is on the oil spill, and the second is about love in a world bordering on oblivion, a world that's half spirit. We are in the 6th Mass Extinction on the earth. This is the backdrop.

The poem starts out in the Gulf and moves with the Gulf Stream to the Atlantic Ocean where it becomes a love poem. Can we love in a world inviting extinction? Yes, of course we can, and must.

---
With thanks to Nik Beat, Q Space and Luciano Iacobelli. It was a great evening.




Ink Ocean, 2010, 13" x 16", India ink on archival paper. My prose poem on the Gulf Oil Spill, Ink Ocean, emerged from this drawing. The poem was revised in 2012.

___

 brendaclews.com
Comments

Resisting a multi-media rendition of Palmistry, a Psalm

After I began this painting, a prose poem became 'an inner pressure,' and so I spent a few days writing one, and even made a little recording, and while I would have finished the painting last week by writing the poem onto the canvas, the 'inner pressure' now is to make a video poem. I don't want to! I argue with my muse: It's too much work; no-one watches them. Who needs a video? But though I have tracing paper taped to the painting for a 'dry run' on the writing - want to make sure I space it properly so it all fits on - and have sat to work, that da*n muse won't let me! So now I need to create a video space with canvas or something around it and video the act of writing, pen on parchment for the spacing, pen on canvas for the final, up close. Do you think I can manage this little task? I'm so in resistance.

Doing a piece in three media, painting, writing, and video is way too much work for one woman and yet, resist as I might, the muse is stronger and is resisting my resistance and will win out. Due to a busy week, likely won't video until next week. Oy! Is it like this for you?

The layered x-ray (real, of my wrist) and the painted hand (I was looking at my actual hand when I painted it) that you see in the first image was done digitally and would be fun to work with in a video, fading in and out of one or the other. I could do some found footage of Nazis, also. Coatlique, Ophelia, yes, if I find public domain images. Oh, and those great drawings of the hand for palmistry, palm readings. That would be fun. And so on. Lots of ideas, no will to do it. Lol.








Below is the prose/poem for if you hadn't already read it and wanted to take a look.
_

A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.






 brendaclews.com
Comments

A Palmistry of Signs

What do you think? I plan to write it into my painting. Once there, the words can't be changed.


A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.

__

I made a recording of the prose/poem, if you like to listen while you read.



(Background music by Aymeric, from their album on Jamendo, 'Sometimes,' cut 03.)




___

Some notes on writing process.

(Is this a defense of my style, or a rough explanation of my aesthetic?)

While I like to offer depth and complexity, for the record, I don't do 'stream of consciousness' - I've been working on this for a while, the images, the feelings, the meanings - even if it only took 20 or 30 minutes to write. Nothing comes out of a vacuum, and the semiotic undercurrent in our subconscious minds has not got the metaphoric order of a poem (or prose poem). I like to radiate out to divergent images, spark their neuronal connections, get the whole mind thinking, sometimes puzzled, sometimes recognizing. My poetry hopefully gives the reader a bit of a ride into an imaginative world, a ride that also offers exercise of those faculties of imagination, and the extraordinary ability we have to find meaning in divergent things. And be inspiring, of course. Emotionally, we are a very complex and nuanced species, and our emotional reactions and apperceptions cohere our lives. I like to tell it as it is, in all its paradoxes, ambiguities, irresolvable inconsistencies, its terrors and beauties - this is life, how we live.



brendaclews.com
Comments

When I closed my eyes...

When I closed my eyes and lay back on the small, soft down pillow, I fell though it, and the sheen of white sheets, the mattress, hard foam and wood, plunging into hardwood floor, down into the dank earth, until I was falling in deep space far past the planets or our solar system or even our galaxy.

Sometimes I sleep when I nap; sometimes I don't.

brendaclews.com
Comments

White Fire on Nik Beat's show in 2000



A reading of White Fire on CIUT FM in Toronto, 2000
on Nik Beat's show.


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Wet Trees

A mute shifting, like the slide from a light-dimmed sky
to darkness in the slanting rain. I am
wordless. The dead hover over me
as we commune.

When we are here, fully immersed, time unravels
properly. Otherwise
it knots.

Knots of not-enough time tighten. Tasks pile on tasks and
we forget the spirits
who wait for us:

To remember our remembering.

The falling rain sleets and turns to snow;
the boughs of the black trees glisten wetly
in the night.







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Comments (2)

A Floral Opera

A Floral Opera is a nature poem. An ecosphere of mind and nature. A portrait of a woman singing in a garden. Quite hallucinatory, combining Deleuzian philosophy, surreal images.

My plan is to add this poem to the poems I'll be reciting in my long videopoem, Tangled Garden. If you'd like to read it, and offer response or feedback (I'll probably start recording on Friday, so before then if possible) email me for the password. (brenda [dot] clews [at] gmail [dot] com).

Encrypted poem:


Comments

'dance/ ...indigo folio leaves'


direct link: dance/ ...indigo folio leaves (with poem)

A dance that is creative movement, a moving meditation. Brenda Clews: prose poetry, dance, video. Music: José Travieso's track, 'Monster,' on his album, "No More Faith."

Music

...enters your backbone, joints, plucks the
cartilage holding you together. Music is the
moon of the red tides of your bloodstream.
Drift to and fro, a willow tree, or sway, bend,
a flamenco, stretch, purple morning glories
on the vine, jump. Sway your hips, delta of
fiery flow. Express yourself, woman. No-one
is watching. Say it all. The lyric travels tenderly
through your wrist, a memory of the wind on the
hill. You are an instrument of the musician who
is absent, gone. Whose music plays on; who
does not know you exist. Orphean muse. Twirl
on the floor, the beat in your ankles, room
spinning, see the canvas walls, luminous see
the sun, moon, stars that are always there.
Spin on the clock turning. Give everything.

Wanton woman. Harlot of the night. Mother of
angels. Insufferable radiance. Black hole of
emptiness. Sweet moan nectar.

Mystery dangles like your silver bracelets,
the ghosts are present. Approach yourself by
disappearing. Undulate your liquid bones.
Beautiful sensuality. Seek invisible illumination
in your writhing steps. Leave time, transform in
your multiplicity, a seer searching the spheres.
Manifest your dreams. Shake them out of the air
to materialize before you like light forms. Shimmy,
wet sweat, a flag in a wind storm. Thunder the
floor. Witch, werewolf, Goth beauty, fragile
starchild, cyberpunk, pull the sky down. Sway
those hips, woman. Sway them until you ignite.
Dance with your ineffable muse. Just, dance.

I pull purple veils over my vision, indigo
blue silk lights and shadows.

Listen: dance on the stage of your
imagination.


© by Brenda Clews, 2011



Contemplating the Muse

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dance/ ...indigo folio leaves


direct link: dance/ ...indigo folio leaves

Folio: a sheet of paper folded once to make two leaves of a book or manuscript.

Late afternoon, when the spring sun was pouring in, I videotaped some dancing to José Travieso's track, 'Monster,' on his album, "No More Faith":  Besides being technically beautiful, quite goth baroque in its composition, there is an undercurrent of feeling in this music. Music like this can awaken the inner self in its dance, or this is how it calls to me.

And I layered two different dances to the same music: first I separated the figures, but it didn't look quite right, so I superimposed them, allowing the dance of the two to occur in the same space, an intertexuality of subjectivities, like folio leaves.

I see the woman of the dance transformed into figures that are, but are not me.



I wrote to the Spanish musician, José, on his track, 'Monster': 'This piece is so beautiful, like the passion of angels, pain and transcendance in the music that you play, what is the monster? Is beauty the monster?

How can beauty be a monster?'

He teaches all day, and at night, the music. Stressful, hard. He rarely has time to read, walk, visit friends, relax. "Everyday I work on it with passion... or maybe just obsession. So, everyday, when I'm recording an album, I feel more and more tired, it consumes me... Music is my own monster, my search for the perfection and the beautiful thing is my own monster. This is my explanation."

'I understand. A consuming passion. A beauty that devours its creator in consummation.

I, too, prefer art that is vulnerable, without pretence.'



[still working on this prose poem]

Music

...enters your backbone, joints, plucks the
cartilage holding you together. Music is the
moon of the red tides of your bloodstream.
Drift to and fro, a willow tree, or sway, bend,
a flamenco, stretch, purple morning glories
on the vine, jump. Centre in your hips, your
delta of fiery flow. Feel your pain, power, joy.
Express yourself, woman. No-one is watching.
Say it all. The lyric travels tenderly through your
wrist, a memory of the wind on the hill. Be the
hands that play you. You are an instrument of the
instruments of the musician who is blind, absent,
gone. Whose music plays on; who does not know
you exist. Orphean muse. Twirl on the floor, the
beat in your ankles, room spinning, see through
the canvas walls, stars, sun, moon luminous
on the clock turning. Give everything.

Wanton woman. Harlot of the night. Mother of
angels. Insufferable radiance. Black hole of
emptiness. Sweet moan nectar.

Be loose as a cigarette on the lip in Rio de Janeiro.
The ruffle on a lacy skirt in Dusseldorf. Like the
ruins of the Colosseum in Rome. Glide as
diamonds on the Aegean Sea. Icy tundra of the
Arctic. Emerge and submerge a dorsal fin in the
Caribbean. Become a stone age myth, a magic
amulet hewn from rock. Goddess of the Oroborus
serpent, undulate your liquid bones. Mystery dangles
like your silver bracelets, the ghosts are present.
Approach yourself by disappearing. Rhumba to
this moment; tango to the other side. Primavera of
being. Beautiful in your sensuality. Seek invisible
illumination in your writhing steps. Flee time,
transform in your multiplicity, a seer searching
the spheres. Manifest your wishes - your dreams.
Shake them out of the air to materialize like light forms.
Shimmy, wet sweat, a flag in a wind storm. Thunder
the floor. Cross mid-section through a Pythagorean
theorem and come out the other end of Leibniz's prisms.
Play on Goethe's colour wheel. Trip like a stream
dashing over rocks as smoothly as a Shakespearean
sonnet's sexual ambiguity. Witch, werewolf, Goth
beauty, fragile starchild, cyberpunk, pull the sky
down. Sway those hips, woman. Sway them until you
ignite. Be you while you dance; don't let them
touch you. Dance with your ineffable
muse. Just, dance.

I pull purple veils over my eyes, in love with
indigo blue silk lights and shadows.

I dance the white and black keys of a harpsichord
while it dances me.

Listen: dance on the stage of your
imagination.



© by Brenda Clews, 2011 (a sort of inspirational poem for women, but there's a lot going on in it, too)

            


___
If you're fascinated by the way videos evolve through versions, there are two earlier versions at a Picasa album: The Canvas Backdrop

I've entered this poem in the Big Tent Poetry's Ring of weekly poems. 'dance, ...indigo folio leaves' is a performance piece that includes video and poetry. One, a poetry of motion; the other a written poem. They are on the subject of dancing, and the poem is still being drafted.


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Comments (10)

Photographer of White Clay

Your clay-whitened bodies covered with cracks like dry riverbeds on the surface of the moon.

Cracked and dry as a desert. Denuded of identity, warmth, flush skin tones. No bright highlights, no glamour. Bodies risen from clay pools, an earthen pottery.

No colour, erase difference. Frozen white ghosts on the edge of time, a sea of pale mud, a genesis.

You are Adam and Eve, the beginning of all beginnings, or the end of all endings. Face each other, relinquish your loneliness.

Your skin hardened like living statues in a dissolving Garden of Eden, the smeared powdered rock, breathing clay, imprisoned in your own beauty.

Or Butoh dancers, the anguish of the bomb that whitens into ash,
pain rising as dying reeds sway in the blackened river,
encase yourselves with white wet dust,
obliterate yourselves

In it, roll in it, emotion, explosive,
hidden in those primal masks,
naked in your ghostly forms,
raw spirits rising.

Pass beyond the eye
of my camera

To the dark side of the moon.

Sink into your bodies,
into each other.




(background music, a tiny section of 'Bodydrama at The Nave,' by ARTSomerville)

Statues in Profile (photograph will open in a new tab)

photo by Marko Kulik


-
In response to a Big Tent poetry prompt: Write a poem about a portrait photograph that you did not take yourself: "The strategy this week is that you will imagine the photographer and write about the subject as if from the point of view of the photographer."

As a photographer, I am a director of the shot as I describe the poetry of the scene to the actors so that they can become what I am looking for.

See here for the prompt and links to the other poems.
Comments (16)

'Ink Ocean' performed live at HOWL@QSpace



Ink Ocean: http://youtu.be/w4Xs2dIt2m4

On Nov 25, 2012, I performed my prose poem 'Ink Ocean,' on the Gulf Oil Spill, as one of the featured poets at Nik Beat's HOWL@QSpace in Toronto. I had memorized the prose poem. The image of the ink drawing, from which the poem emerged, only appears in the still for the video (I've included an image at the end of this post for you). I'm actually quite happy with the performance itself - passionate, intense, and yet clear enunciation.

Ink Ocean is about the oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when nearly 5 million barrels, or 210 million gallons, of crude oil were spilled into the sea due to an explosion of an off-shore drilling rig. It remains the largest marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Over 5 months, hydro-carbon eating bacteria devoured 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas in the Gulf, and then stopped. Despite the massive cleaning efforts by the oil industry and governments, and the efforts of the bacteria, as of 2012, 40% of the spill remains in the waters.

This prose poem began as writing in an ink drawing. It took 6 - 8 months to finish, and was revised in preparation for this reading.  It is an experimental poem structually. A poem of utterance, of cross-currents and paradoxes. It is composed of many voices, and perspective shifts.

There are two parts. The first is on the oil spill, and the second is about love in a world bordering on oblivion, a world that's half spirit. We are in the 6th Mass Extinction on the earth. This is the backdrop.

The poem starts out in the Gulf and moves with the Gulf Stream to the Atlantic Ocean where it becomes a love poem. Can we love in a world inviting extinction? Yes, of course we can, and must.

---
With thanks to Nik Beat, Q Space and Luciano Iacobelli. It was a great evening.




Ink Ocean, 2010, 13" x 16", India ink on archival paper. My prose poem on the Gulf Oil Spill, Ink Ocean, emerged from this drawing. The poem was revised in 2012.

___

 brendaclews.com
Comments

Resisting a multi-media rendition of Palmistry, a Psalm

After I began this painting, a prose poem became 'an inner pressure,' and so I spent a few days writing one, and even made a little recording, and while I would have finished the painting last week by writing the poem onto the canvas, the 'inner pressure' now is to make a video poem. I don't want to! I argue with my muse: It's too much work; no-one watches them. Who needs a video? But though I have tracing paper taped to the painting for a 'dry run' on the writing - want to make sure I space it properly so it all fits on - and have sat to work, that da*n muse won't let me! So now I need to create a video space with canvas or something around it and video the act of writing, pen on parchment for the spacing, pen on canvas for the final, up close. Do you think I can manage this little task? I'm so in resistance.

Doing a piece in three media, painting, writing, and video is way too much work for one woman and yet, resist as I might, the muse is stronger and is resisting my resistance and will win out. Due to a busy week, likely won't video until next week. Oy! Is it like this for you?

The layered x-ray (real, of my wrist) and the painted hand (I was looking at my actual hand when I painted it) that you see in the first image was done digitally and would be fun to work with in a video, fading in and out of one or the other. I could do some found footage of Nazis, also. Coatlique, Ophelia, yes, if I find public domain images. Oh, and those great drawings of the hand for palmistry, palm readings. That would be fun. And so on. Lots of ideas, no will to do it. Lol.








Below is the prose/poem for if you hadn't already read it and wanted to take a look.
_

A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.






 brendaclews.com
Comments

A Palmistry of Signs

What do you think? I plan to write it into my painting. Once there, the words can't be changed.


A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.

__

I made a recording of the prose/poem, if you like to listen while you read.



(Background music by Aymeric, from their album on Jamendo, 'Sometimes,' cut 03.)




___

Some notes on writing process.

(Is this a defense of my style, or a rough explanation of my aesthetic?)

While I like to offer depth and complexity, for the record, I don't do 'stream of consciousness' - I've been working on this for a while, the images, the feelings, the meanings - even if it only took 20 or 30 minutes to write. Nothing comes out of a vacuum, and the semiotic undercurrent in our subconscious minds has not got the metaphoric order of a poem (or prose poem). I like to radiate out to divergent images, spark their neuronal connections, get the whole mind thinking, sometimes puzzled, sometimes recognizing. My poetry hopefully gives the reader a bit of a ride into an imaginative world, a ride that also offers exercise of those faculties of imagination, and the extraordinary ability we have to find meaning in divergent things. And be inspiring, of course. Emotionally, we are a very complex and nuanced species, and our emotional reactions and apperceptions cohere our lives. I like to tell it as it is, in all its paradoxes, ambiguities, irresolvable inconsistencies, its terrors and beauties - this is life, how we live.



brendaclews.com
Comments

When I closed my eyes...

When I closed my eyes and lay back on the small, soft down pillow, I fell though it, and the sheen of white sheets, the mattress, hard foam and wood, plunging into hardwood floor, down into the dank earth, until I was falling in deep space far past the planets or our solar system or even our galaxy.

Sometimes I sleep when I nap; sometimes I don't.

brendaclews.com
Comments

White Fire on Nik Beat's show in 2000



A reading of White Fire on CIUT FM in Toronto, 2000
on Nik Beat's show.


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Comments

Wet Trees

A mute shifting, like the slide from a light-dimmed sky
to darkness in the slanting rain. I am
wordless. The dead hover over me
as we commune.

When we are here, fully immersed, time unravels
properly. Otherwise
it knots.

Knots of not-enough time tighten. Tasks pile on tasks and
we forget the spirits
who wait for us:

To remember our remembering.

The falling rain sleets and turns to snow;
the boughs of the black trees glisten wetly
in the night.







Home  Green Fire  Different, yet Same  Soirée of Poetry  Videopoetry  Celestial Dancers  Photopoems  Birthdance  Bliss Queen  Bio  Life Drawings  Earth Rising  Creative Process  Multiplicities  Links  Comments
Comments (2)


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