Coronal Holes


On creative process...

In whatever it is that I'm currently working on I am exploring a kind of 'found' poetry in that whenever I remember to, I compose little images of what I see around me, and then place them together in a piece later on. The prosepoems are not written in one sitting; I don't know the theme that they will cohere around beforehand. It's like preparing your palette before you paint. Or putting together some fabric with certain colours and patterns before you sew.

BrendaClewsNotebookMy little collection of images will find their way into a prosepoem, shifted, buckled, smoothed out, layered; however it is, they become part of the fibre of the prosepoem, expressing the nuances of the complexity of the underlying emotion.

In this way I am not an Imagist, nor a Minimalist, nor a Zen writer of haiku. I like to think that the little images keep their integrity of simplicity despite becoming part of a larger more complex thematic pattern.

When I hadn't any images collected for today, and not knowing what to write about, I thought, oh, ok, a post about creative process...

ps Click on the photo to enlarge. Not that I always write this way! I thought those lunar images would cohere around the 'settling into the tedium of what is' but instead something else was more urgent and about which I cannot directly write but which formed the emotional underlayer of the piece that I posted. And I can see from the little notebook that, working on a computer in the library during lunch, when I was composing the writing from various sources, I forgot to include that image of the clouds that are grey up top with choral undersides...

Now that was beautiful! Though I couldn't decide whether to leave the "h" in choral, or not. It was a coral colour, but a symphonic movement through the fit more with "cadences of the voice" which I used elsewhere, so a dangling image, and where will it come to be?

Unlived landscapes that are unfamiliar. How is the miracle to be performed where it's hidden, where no-one knows?

In the pre-dawn the moon fell into dark clouds rising over its floodlit. Whiteness dipping in and out of black veils.

Later striations like shredded tendons grazing the moon; in the distance dark thundering clouds of muscle.

Then, stillness. Mist, veils of light, white-gray, bright, shadowless. Obscuring the upper atmosphere, upper stories gone, the unshadowed light, stark clarity to everything below, where we are.

I wait. Navigation that should have didn't fit; I am lost. A familiar cycle, yet the drives and their effects, different. What I saw in the shadowless clarity was a map that wasn't grid-based. When evening came it became a moonlight of mist clinging to the falling leaves I pass under.

In the beginning of the turn-around, a fragility of time. Take me slowly through the awakening. I am unfamiliar.

The remnants of the Summer's heat when a harvest moon the colour of apricots rose, and the feasting of Thanksgiving to come round the overlaid table, at the mid-point of the equinox, a cold front came and the weather turned towards the new season of the year.

Tribal Dance

Video Peek, we laughed quite hard at work, and then at home again. My daughter, when she was younger, said grownups look crazy when they dance, and, um, yeah. But we're having such a great time! Delightful, Julie's Tribal Dance, and I do love to go whenever I can, and won't point out who I am either!

Poetry Recordings

The silliness continues. Really, I've never followed anything like this in my life. No music, and not my best recording and the writing needs pruning perhaps though it does seem to build through a momentum, and so the rise on the charts is intriguing. Still #1 in Poetry; up to #9 in Talk. Hopefully by next year sometimes I'll have a new iMac or Mac Mini or something and be able to add some sound tracks. Since I don't play any musical instruments, it'll be interesting.

Voicings (2:49min)

# 9 in Talk (highest position was 9). Total songs: 5,366
# 1 in Poetry (highest position was 1). Total songs: 1,242

Over at Ourmedia, you can download "On Paintings in the Sand," which has been downloaded 1,590 times, "In the Uncertainty of Every Moment" has 594 downloads, and why I decided to charge for the recordings on my poetry reading site: Aural Pleasure, where, naturally, no-one has bought anything.

How do artists make money? Ahhh, another topic...

Word Painting Soirées

Forgive me for my enthusiasm of this morning, I was being a bit silly, but usually the ones at the top of SoundClick's Spoken Word Poetry section are with music and I don't have the ability to make different sound tracks and combine them, so I was rather pleased to be a poet-voice-only at #1 on this little chart.

My daughter's returned home, weary and weepy, and I am much relieved.

She says the dog and I have both lost weight, but she may not exactly remember us in our volume. Or it could be our 5km hefty hikes at night.

I went out and bought a futon frame for her mattress, the one we agreed on just before she moved to her Dad's in early June, lugging it back through an alley on a heavy-duty luggage rack (who'd pay for delivery when it's a 3 minute walk?), and then, strong women that we are, we carried it up the stairs. Next I'll get out myBCSep30-07-3 electric drill and put it together.

Maybe tomorrow this blog will return to its Rubies In Crystal prosepoetry...

Yeah, there's the Bloch™ leotard with the black lace sleeves, a portrait-in-the-mirror-type arte shot, which I took on 'chatty Sunday'...

Sundays... when we have our
'Word Painting' soirées, where we gather and drink white wine and nibble on hors d’oeuvres, and, dressed like flagrant muses, flirt and discuss our art... We’ll celebrate each other as the afternoon shimmers into evening in the lavishly rich studio you're welcomed into.



Many thanks... beautiful readers: #1 on the poetry chart!

Hey, what a lovely surprise this morning! My little recording has made it to #1 at SoundClick!

# 1 in Poetry (highest position was 1). Total songs: 1,242
# 13 in Talk (highest position was 13). Total songs: 5,363

I'd like to thank all my readers and listeners for such beautiful support. Blessings all round. Love every one of you. xo


A recording (2:49min):

Voicings:Hi-speed, cable


Comparing the creative processes of words, paint, voice...

The various art forms are intriguing. Today I'm thinking in terms of editorial capabilities with words, paint, or voice.

Words are easiest, as long as you've kept earlier versions, it's possible to go back, or follow a thought forward to something else, to change the piece of writing entirely, or add to, clarify, work on it until the words sit still (this can take a little time, and only happens after the words stop nagging you with their undoneness).

Paint is a less forgiving. If you go too far or not far enough the paint will give you some leeway, but there's a point where overdone is overdone and there's no going back. Paint has a Rubicon, and I go in fear of it. It takes a long time to plunge into paint for this reason. Gathering the ideas, sketching, this takes time, erasing is possible and I do it often, buying or selecting the paint, this is important, like creating a little medicine bundle against what is to come. It's all laid out on the floor, one is in one's overalls, hair tied back, no phone, the jars of water, the tubes of paint in a row, the palette awaits. It's what I imagine it's like to get into a racing car, or to climb to the very end of the highest diving board. You wait. You steady yourself. Then you go into a Zen frame of mind. You let everything go, you hit the accelerator, you dive. You trust your body will know what to do. You are fully present and completely alert. It is not time to hesitate. The flow begins. I paint with my fingers, my hands, and I can't see what I'm doing in that everything is so wet and sliding that form hasn't begun to emerge. That comes later, as it dries, and there is a paradoxical sense of disappointment, discovery, and a newness, accepting what's emerged, and working with it more slowly, with a paint brush, to make things go in or come out, to echo colour or form, to balance or unbalance, the finishing touches. It's like letting a tornado spin through you. It's the most utterly fearful thing I do, putting my life on the line like this.

A recording of words are the least forgiving of all. A run-through, it has to be all of a piece. Due to the cadence of the voice, which keeps changing, each moment it changes, the air or the particular openness of the glottis or the emotion pushing up or disappearing make the voice different, and so you can't add a word or a phrase here or there and have the piece maintain it's consistency. Subtraction is possible, but again, tricky. The listener will hear it. The momentum is lost. And so with my recordings I find I grate at sections, like other bits, and have to go with whichever version somehow is 'listenable,' that I can bear to live with. It's hard to say what the criteria for this 'listenability' or 'bearability' might be because in a year I might feel very differently.

Unlike with words, where you can diddle endlessly, going over and over a piece, leaving it, coming back, rewriting, polishing, or with paint where it is possible to work patinas over the original whirlwind, you can't with a recording, not the particular track that captures the cadences of the voice, but you can record the same piece over and over.

Perhaps the process of writing is like creating a medicine bundle that you can contiue to compose, add to, pick away at, shift or change; whereas, the process of painting (for moi) is like throwing the contents of a prepared medicine bundle onto the canvas to do their transformative work; and the process of recording, with the ability to re-record, like endless medicine bundles of the same, until finding the one that holds the spirit?

As I speak of these processes, it seems that they move towards the performative.

With all three forms, the final criteria is 'Can I live with it?'

If so, it's bearable.

Recording of "Voicings" (2:49min)

Voicings: Hi-speed, cable
Voicings: Dial-up

A recording, the text here. I did feel like I was riffing a bit, but then not really, the chords fairly well laid out in the end. This woman is NOT a Minimalist! Rah! It's been almost a year since I've recorded anything, but this piece insisted on it. The recording I've posted is the first run through, there were a couple more, but they lacked the quiet building that happens in this version, where the movement of words, a gliding multi-coloured school of words or like a display of flecks of coloured lights, the words stream, I hope, prisms in a spectrum, or at least this is how all the "new music" I was listening to that night felt, the momentum, perhaps finally overtakes the listener (who is me imagining you, ah so, forgive me for being so bold), hopefully taking the listener (can we merge? can we? can we?) to another level of, of ...consciousness of language, of the deep connection through our body of words, love...

A question I'm often asked, Who, who is the~

And it's no-one specific. It usually isn't. An imaginary muse. An almalgam of the men I've loved. It's hard to say. So I would say it is you, dear reader.

Chatty Sundays...

Sunday Chats, that's what I should call these 'splices-of-life' posts that seem to occur on Sundays and that I find unendurable on one level, yet seem apropos for the lifewriting of the blogosphere.

Perhaps an index is in order?

The Contents therein...

On the disc thing in thine neck...
On the Grind & Brew (a sad story), and the Saeco™ (a happier story)...
On the SuzyShier™, Malabar™, Block™ shopping expedition...
On the contents of my freezer (don't ask)...
On the slightly surreal trip down Duncan Street...
On the olde King streecar...

The back of my neck and shoulder still extremely sore, since Friday night, I think it's the stuff between the discs that's been stretched, or squashed, or bruised: let's say stressed. Sharp pain alleviated by pressing hard with my fingertips on the offending spots. Not too bad now that I'm up, but I may have to forgo my afternoon at the beach, sob! My dog pulls hard on the leash, and then there's stuff to carry since I buy nothing there. Toronto has many beaches, the water beautiful.

And my beloved coffee maker died last night - I rinsed it with the hand-held shower in the bathtub and then stupidly ran it through a cycle. It must have been wet and short-circuited. Usually I do it the other way around, run it through a rinse cycle after the de-scaler and then rinse it out 3 or 4 times in the bath, and by the next morning it's well dry and working perfectly. One of my neighbour's said he can fix anything electrical, and I wonder if I can ask him?

I'd just go and get another one (Cuisinart™ Grind & Brew with a metal thermos carafe), they have them for half price at an electrical outlet store just around the corner, but I'm short this week since I bought my daughter a lovely grey pencil-style dress and a white shirt, and a teal one at half price for myself, because I had a $5.00 off coupon that had to be used, and then I get 10% for being a member (SuzyShier™). Then I had it in my mind to purchase a long-sleeved black leotard that I could wear under jackets at work and to dance in cooler weather, so I checked out Malabar's™ (a costume and dance-supply store) website and found some in the $20. range, okay, so I rushed out at lunch, up to Queen St., caught the streetcar, got off at McCaul's, an area in which I owned a house for 20 years, many memories, all my dance gear from that store over the years, and went through racks of leotards, not finding any of the ones advertised on the NET. But there it was, black lace 3/4 sleeves, a black nylon bodice cut on an angle so that the lace covers the top of the shoulders but tapers to the underarm, gathered a little at the bust so it's not the usual round cut but more of a "v" and not too low at the back, meaning I could take my jacket off at work when I get too hot. Oh, not what I was looking for but perfect, Block™ dancewear, nice, but more, naturally, and then, well there's food in the freezer, 2 bacon-wrapped Fillet Mignon's from St. Lawrence Market, a large pork chop, one slice of spinach and feta cheese and tomato pizza, a small stuffed chicken breast, oh and 2 eggs and 2 sausages, a few veggies in the fridge drawer, 2 bags of milk, orange juice, a litre of coffee cream, that'll get me through the week, just some fruit, cheese, organic dark chocolate and my seed and nut mixture (slivered almonds, walnut bits, salted sunflower seeds and tons of flax seeds, whole and ground), I have a full 18 litre bottle of spring water, lots of dog food, it'll be fine, only now my coffee maker's gone ping. I drink a lot of coffee and am armed with a stack of studies to back up my love of this black liquid gold and am devastated, literally. My Grind & Brew! Sob! Since I de-scaled my Saeco™ espresso/cappuccino machine yesterday too, and it is finally working after 2 years of non-use, I made a huge cappuccino for breakfast. I think I'll go and get one of those cheapy carafes that you pour boiling water through to get by this week until I either get the broken Grind & Brew fixed or purchase a new one. (Is there a metaphor for my life here?:)

The journey back to work from Malabar's was a little surreal. I had 20 minutes, and waited at least 5 and no sign of the Queen streetcar, so hurried down Duncan to King St. where the streetcars run more frequently. Firstly I stepped over the outstretched legs of a man sleeping upright on a concrete tree planter, his legs entirely taking up the sidewalk, his head against the spit of a tree, and then was stopped en-route by filming-in-progress. All pedestrians had to wait while a scene was being shot, a guy sitting on a director's chair on the other side, tons of huge lights all over the street, the great gray concrete blocks of the buildings are emblazoned on my mind, you could see the actor's make-up from where we were standing, mouthing the words of the script, which we were too far away to hear, and we couldn't slip by on the opposite side of the street due to the effect of shadow on the lights. I was impatiently waiting, and then a bright red fire engine roared up the street into the lights and sirened on and they stopped the shoot and let us through. Why I rush I don't know. At King the traffic was heavy, meaning faster to walk than take a streetcar, but I was tired, so waited, and arrived on time. I'm usually so frantic about time that I get back to work after only 50 or 55 minutes, and I'm not paid for the hour that is lunchtime, so I should have lots of time saved up, but it doesn't work that way, and who cares about such trivialities anyhow.

Why have I taken to posting such chatty things on Sundays? Splices of life, the ongoing daily stream. Often I come by and take them back down.

Forgive me, dear reader.
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