Image

Wear White Paint for the Moon

We draw back,
it is not easy but there is no other way.

White fire spills from the cauldron of the night.

A pregnant belly of illumination where spirits gather before they arrive and after they return.

Moths against the lantern, our scorching hearts. Clouds skein like silver wool. Earth and stars spin falling into the vortex of whitening and darkening.

The moon is a rock that flew from our oceans and seeks to return to her womb within us.

Stark, startling, as I round the corner of a busy street. A spotlight in the charred sky. In the moisture of my eyes, squinting, a gleaming halo moon.

A barren rock of mountains and dried seabeds up there, dragging the oceans with her, her dress of tides. A queen of debauchery, a mythos of dark permissions. Or the purity of a white goddess worshipped by the skyclad among the trees dancing in naked circles drawing her power.

She is a pearl like a grain of sand in the oyster of the night that opens, a mystical lamp for the mutterings of poets and visionaries and the crazed in a world of forgotten harrowings. In the perigee moon what is untamed reigns.

Wear white paint, my love, so we may dance savage across the stage lit by the moon in the night sky.

Wear white paint, my love, so we may dance before the dawn draws us away.

A crystal ball for seers, the beginning of time crumbles into the end.

And as we sleep, faint and far apart,
we guard the moon in our dreams.




Music background, a slight re-arrangement of Jose Travieso's, "Shinigami's Dream, No. 7."



moon image from the daily bite
_
If you'd like to read about the process of this poem, I wrote a long post in the next entry. Go here.

If you'd like to download this recording, try here, though I think the link expires after 90 days: WearWhitePaintForTheMoon-320.mp3 (6.64 MB)[/url]


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Comments

Videopoem: a Neruda love sonnet with footage from an African jungle



One Hundred Love Sonnets IX was written in 1958 by Pablo Neruda.

Besides loving Neruda's famous sonnet, I went into hyper-heaven with the footage. I've never seen anything that's 'exactly' like my childhood in Kafue National Park in Zambia until this video. This footage was daily life, exactly like that. I'm spinning with joy, this is it. Takes me back, oh so far back, to my beloved jungle, and beloved wild animals, giraffes, zebras, buck, hyenas, and the lions, my friends the lions...

____




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Comments

Dream Photograph

Shadows in the Backyard


This is like a dream I once had. Maybe it is the dream that waited for you to photograph it.

__
photo, Shadows in the Backyard, by Olli Kekäläinen.


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Comments

Earth Angel

Learning to Fly

a massive earth angel, aloft,
sky swooping to earth


___
photo, Learning to Fly, by Olli Kekäläinen, one of my favourite photographers on Flickr


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Stone #49

turned a corner to a spotlight pressed the voice memo and spoke of the startling light white in the close sky for blocks moon talking
Comments (2)

nest of hair, of broken golden eggs


nest of hair, of broken golden eggs from Brenda Clews on Vimeo.

[Video shot entirely with my iPhone and edited on a subway with the iMovie app. With no training in film or photography, I guess and fret my way through, but surely Apple was aiming at folks like me with these gadgets and programs.]

What made me cut my hair in 1981?

It was time for a transformation, and it shocked people. I went from curly tresses to a near brush cut. I wanted to divest myself of that Farah Fawcett sex appeal look; I wanted to be a hermit. Perhaps I was a little crazy in those days. I was working on a thesis that was secretly about my visions, which of course no-one knew and which of course I didn't finish.

Perhaps a cat got into the basket and tumbled out with a golden egg. Afterward, it became a divine cat that glowed in the dark. I think maybe that happened to one of the cats over the years... Bastet, the ancient Egyptian feline goddess, hung around, yeah, for sure.

I've never showed anyone this nest before. Oh, my kids have seen it -and agreed that it's a bit weird, but that's it. I didn't want anyone to think me too strange. It's sat, covered and unnoticed on a bookshelf in all the places I've lived since making it, grad residence, a condo, a couple of houses, a couple of apartments, it's been across the country and back. At the time that I created it, I wasn't consciously thinking of divine things; in retrospect, though, I recall being immersed in that mythology, the divine conjunctio, and was good friends with a woman professor of English Lit who was studying to become a Jungian Analyst in Zurich. The Divine Conjunctio is quite a universal mythos, and so in my voiceover I read back into the nest of hair and golden eggs. Giving it a context it never had. Thirty years ago I thought of it as a magical ritual piece, and as conceptual art. Now I show the whole thing on-line! The cut lock had something to do with Isolde, but the version of the voiceover mentioning that was too long for the video.

[You do not see the sound wave in the iMovie app for the iPhone, so deleting the ums and ahs wasn't possible.]

A nest of your hair from three decades ago, it's certainly quite a memento. Something strange, and magical about it. I can see this image, these metaphors sparking the imagination; even in me, revealing this hidden basket evokes images, thought, wonderings. And perhaps the phoenix that emerges is the revealing itself, a video, a speaking, an uncovering of a fled spirit -for the remaining egg is cracked and broken, and the other has disappeared.

If I was better at filming, it would be interesting to make a poetic video with my HD Canon Vixia camcorder and Final Cut Express. Perhaps someday I'll give it a try.

__
The bits and pieces that compose this post came from my responses on a thread at my Facebook page (with thanks to Boris, Dave, Stirling, Kim and Bent).
With special thanks to Dave for a humourous and inspiring conversation at his Facebook site on his yearly haircut, a total head shave.


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Comments (2)

Stone #48

Fantasy matters.


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Stone #47

Without memory, the fragile present disappears.

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Whirling Stillness

Where time clots, a stillness whirling
in the motion forward. Points
of condensed age in the meridians.
I look to see

a dissolving mirror
bones, skin, neurons

the self-image.
This is not a poem neat as intact
fishbones, mysterious as dinosaur
fossils. The poem writes through
me. Rises from ruminations, dried
flowers on my spine
bursting seeds.

Are memories nomads wandering
our minds? Seeds of recollections
reflecting whole scenes from our past,
or partial images in the distorted ways we
compose and re-compose our lives?

Is memory how we narrate the stories
of our lives? Where we describe
our experiences to ourselves...

Do some experiences burrow like
bulbs in the network of capillaries,
memories memorizing themselves,
knots in the ganglia?

Replays of moments we've lived
that change as the story changes.

We are forever changing our stories,
aren't we.

Is that the river? Our blood
of experience?

Our collections of images,
re-iterating ourselves,
recalled, recollected, replayed.
Memories are slowed time,
knots in the Chi of
our neurocircuitry.

In the forever now, memories
where time recoils and coils slow eddying
resisting the rush.

Who I am is my memory of myself.

I remember you remembering yourself in me.




Wandering Nomads Bone Image, 2011, 19cm x 16.5cm, 7.5"x6.5", mostly archival inks, sepia, black, red, orange, and oil pastels, Moleskine sketchbook. Fishbones, dinosaur bones, ivory piano keys of the mind playing its strange music, I don't know. When I sat to draw an image for this poem, a vertebrae emerged. Click for actual size.

__

Big Tent's poetry prompt this week was to use the "stories or ideas" of science "as a metaphor for something in your own life or a made-up life. The odd mix of fact and fiction is poetry in the making." I've kind of combined a physics of time - suggesting that, like time slows down in black holes, perhaps it also does in the creation and maintenance of longterm memory in the onrush of the present - with a neuroscience of non-localized (nomadic) cerebral processes where memories might be compared to pockets of stillness in the constant flow of cerebro-spinal fluid, the sparking of chemical pulses. And then I did a drawing where a vertebrae emerged. It was all as strange as any Science Fiction. Ultimately, my piece becomes a philosophical poem about the nature of memory, of subjectivity, of the self. For other responses, see here.

(Picasa's a bit strange these days. Below a thumbnail for 
services like Facebook to read feed readers)





(Readings of the poem didn't, um, didn't, and need more tries, but the afterward, which is more like a pre-amble, was kind of fun.)


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Comments (20)

Writings of 'Who'



direct link: Writings of 'Who'

A videopoem performance piece.

For a backdrop, I slung a rich, red Chinese satin cloth over a room divider, pulled my iMac up close, and recorded a recitation of the poem ten times in PhotoBooth, each time adding more jewelry, a swath of orange beads across the neck and shoulder, a rhinestone dangly tiara. The excesses of perhaps too much expression decreased as I became tired and the speaking of the poem emerged more clearly as it rendered through me.

Besides preparing for a performance piece, I used a number of techniques and filters in the editing of the videopoem. In PhotoBooth, Apple's fun camera still and video program, I used a spotlight plugin, which was cool; unfortunately Photobooth's resolution is low. The video was imported into Final Cut Express where I layered it in curious and idiosyncratic ways, adding a vignette to the base layer, and color emboss to the other one. Both those layers also received a maximum de-interlace flicker filter. The lens flare title and credits were done in iMovie and added as tiny clips to the timeline. I used FCEs scrolling text option for the poem, adding a light rays video filter to it. Finally I added a caustics render video generator track to the whole piece.

__

For textual influences, in comments on the original poem post I wrote:

Kristeva did a lecture at the University of Toronto in the late 1990s on the question of 'Who' that I attended, but didn't connect then to the 'who' of the muse. Blanchot's 'The One Who Was Standing Apart From Me?'... is my particular inspiration here.

On the 'coded' "unconscious" of the Freudian/Lacanian school: I, too, incline towards a phenomenology of consciousness, whatever that may be. How often do I access my own personal symbols to write? References that might be opague to others. From Célan I learnt much on interweaving the personal myths in such a way that my symbol stream is only hinted at and whose full meaning remains just out of reach.

Kristeva is where I first learnt of the 'speaking subject,' the 'speaking voice.' Can we take it further to the 'writing subject,' the 'writing voice'? Though I don't want to get trapped in semiotics either.

John Walter wrote, in response to the poem, and it is worth quoting: "You ask the hard problem that Beckett asked throughout his entire oeuvre, especially the trilogy of novels Malone, Malloy Dies, and The UnNameable as well as his classic one man play, Krapp's Last Tape: "Who is the voice speaking within me, if it is not me, and it speaks when I don't, all my life, up until my last breath."

You pose it in a variety of fascinating ways here."

__


Poem, written in 2006; videopoetry performace, 2011.




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Comments

Wear White Paint for the Moon

We draw back,
it is not easy but there is no other way.

White fire spills from the cauldron of the night.

A pregnant belly of illumination where spirits gather before they arrive and after they return.

Moths against the lantern, our scorching hearts. Clouds skein like silver wool. Earth and stars spin falling into the vortex of whitening and darkening.

The moon is a rock that flew from our oceans and seeks to return to her womb within us.

Stark, startling, as I round the corner of a busy street. A spotlight in the charred sky. In the moisture of my eyes, squinting, a gleaming halo moon.

A barren rock of mountains and dried seabeds up there, dragging the oceans with her, her dress of tides. A queen of debauchery, a mythos of dark permissions. Or the purity of a white goddess worshipped by the skyclad among the trees dancing in naked circles drawing her power.

She is a pearl like a grain of sand in the oyster of the night that opens, a mystical lamp for the mutterings of poets and visionaries and the crazed in a world of forgotten harrowings. In the perigee moon what is untamed reigns.

Wear white paint, my love, so we may dance savage across the stage lit by the moon in the night sky.

Wear white paint, my love, so we may dance before the dawn draws us away.

A crystal ball for seers, the beginning of time crumbles into the end.

And as we sleep, faint and far apart,
we guard the moon in our dreams.




Music background, a slight re-arrangement of Jose Travieso's, "Shinigami's Dream, No. 7."



moon image from the daily bite
_
If you'd like to read about the process of this poem, I wrote a long post in the next entry. Go here.

If you'd like to download this recording, try here, though I think the link expires after 90 days: WearWhitePaintForTheMoon-320.mp3 (6.64 MB)[/url]


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Comments

Videopoem: a Neruda love sonnet with footage from an African jungle



One Hundred Love Sonnets IX was written in 1958 by Pablo Neruda.

Besides loving Neruda's famous sonnet, I went into hyper-heaven with the footage. I've never seen anything that's 'exactly' like my childhood in Kafue National Park in Zambia until this video. This footage was daily life, exactly like that. I'm spinning with joy, this is it. Takes me back, oh so far back, to my beloved jungle, and beloved wild animals, giraffes, zebras, buck, hyenas, and the lions, my friends the lions...

____




thumbnail for email subscriptions, facebook, etc.

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Comments

Dream Photograph

Shadows in the Backyard


This is like a dream I once had. Maybe it is the dream that waited for you to photograph it.

__
photo, Shadows in the Backyard, by Olli Kekäläinen.


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Comments

Earth Angel

Learning to Fly

a massive earth angel, aloft,
sky swooping to earth


___
photo, Learning to Fly, by Olli Kekäläinen, one of my favourite photographers on Flickr


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Comments

Stone #49

turned a corner to a spotlight pressed the voice memo and spoke of the startling light white in the close sky for blocks moon talking
Comments (2)

nest of hair, of broken golden eggs


nest of hair, of broken golden eggs from Brenda Clews on Vimeo.

[Video shot entirely with my iPhone and edited on a subway with the iMovie app. With no training in film or photography, I guess and fret my way through, but surely Apple was aiming at folks like me with these gadgets and programs.]

What made me cut my hair in 1981?

It was time for a transformation, and it shocked people. I went from curly tresses to a near brush cut. I wanted to divest myself of that Farah Fawcett sex appeal look; I wanted to be a hermit. Perhaps I was a little crazy in those days. I was working on a thesis that was secretly about my visions, which of course no-one knew and which of course I didn't finish.

Perhaps a cat got into the basket and tumbled out with a golden egg. Afterward, it became a divine cat that glowed in the dark. I think maybe that happened to one of the cats over the years... Bastet, the ancient Egyptian feline goddess, hung around, yeah, for sure.

I've never showed anyone this nest before. Oh, my kids have seen it -and agreed that it's a bit weird, but that's it. I didn't want anyone to think me too strange. It's sat, covered and unnoticed on a bookshelf in all the places I've lived since making it, grad residence, a condo, a couple of houses, a couple of apartments, it's been across the country and back. At the time that I created it, I wasn't consciously thinking of divine things; in retrospect, though, I recall being immersed in that mythology, the divine conjunctio, and was good friends with a woman professor of English Lit who was studying to become a Jungian Analyst in Zurich. The Divine Conjunctio is quite a universal mythos, and so in my voiceover I read back into the nest of hair and golden eggs. Giving it a context it never had. Thirty years ago I thought of it as a magical ritual piece, and as conceptual art. Now I show the whole thing on-line! The cut lock had something to do with Isolde, but the version of the voiceover mentioning that was too long for the video.

[You do not see the sound wave in the iMovie app for the iPhone, so deleting the ums and ahs wasn't possible.]

A nest of your hair from three decades ago, it's certainly quite a memento. Something strange, and magical about it. I can see this image, these metaphors sparking the imagination; even in me, revealing this hidden basket evokes images, thought, wonderings. And perhaps the phoenix that emerges is the revealing itself, a video, a speaking, an uncovering of a fled spirit -for the remaining egg is cracked and broken, and the other has disappeared.

If I was better at filming, it would be interesting to make a poetic video with my HD Canon Vixia camcorder and Final Cut Express. Perhaps someday I'll give it a try.

__
The bits and pieces that compose this post came from my responses on a thread at my Facebook page (with thanks to Boris, Dave, Stirling, Kim and Bent).
With special thanks to Dave for a humourous and inspiring conversation at his Facebook site on his yearly haircut, a total head shave.


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

Wear White Paint for the Moon

We draw back,
it is not easy but there is no other way.

White fire spills from the cauldron of the night.

A pregnant belly of illumination where spirits gather before they arrive and after they return.

Moths against the lantern, our scorching hearts. Clouds skein like silver wool. Earth and stars spin falling into the vortex of whitening and darkening.

The moon is a rock that flew from our oceans and seeks to return to her womb within us.

Stark, startling, as I round the corner of a busy street. A spotlight in the charred sky. In the moisture of my eyes, squinting, a gleaming halo moon.

A barren rock of mountains and dried seabeds up there, dragging the oceans with her, her dress of tides. A queen of debauchery, a mythos of dark permissions. Or the purity of a white goddess worshipped by the skyclad among the trees dancing in naked circles drawing her power.

She is a pearl like a grain of sand in the oyster of the night that opens, a mystical lamp for the mutterings of poets and visionaries and the crazed in a world of forgotten harrowings. In the perigee moon what is untamed reigns.

Wear white paint, my love, so we may dance savage across the stage lit by the moon in the night sky.

Wear white paint, my love, so we may dance before the dawn draws us away.

A crystal ball for seers, the beginning of time crumbles into the end.

And as we sleep, faint and far apart,
we guard the moon in our dreams.




Music background, a slight re-arrangement of Jose Travieso's, "Shinigami's Dream, No. 7."



moon image from the daily bite
_
If you'd like to read about the process of this poem, I wrote a long post in the next entry. Go here.

If you'd like to download this recording, try here, though I think the link expires after 90 days: WearWhitePaintForTheMoon-320.mp3 (6.64 MB)[/url]


Home   Different, yet Same   Soirée of Poetry   Videopoetry   Celestial Dancers   Photopoems   Birthdance   Bliss Queen   Bio   Life Drawings   Earth Rising   Creative Process   Recent Work   Links   Comments
Comments

Videopoem: a Neruda love sonnet with footage from an African jungle



One Hundred Love Sonnets IX was written in 1958 by Pablo Neruda.

Besides loving Neruda's famous sonnet, I went into hyper-heaven with the footage. I've never seen anything that's 'exactly' like my childhood in Kafue National Park in Zambia until this video. This footage was daily life, exactly like that. I'm spinning with joy, this is it. Takes me back, oh so far back, to my beloved jungle, and beloved wild animals, giraffes, zebras, buck, hyenas, and the lions, my friends the lions...

____




thumbnail for email subscriptions, facebook, etc.

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Comments

Dream Photograph

Shadows in the Backyard


This is like a dream I once had. Maybe it is the dream that waited for you to photograph it.

__
photo, Shadows in the Backyard, by Olli Kekäläinen.


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Comments

Earth Angel

Learning to Fly

a massive earth angel, aloft,
sky swooping to earth


___
photo, Learning to Fly, by Olli Kekäläinen, one of my favourite photographers on Flickr


Home   Different, yet Same   Soirée of Poetry   Videopoetry   Celestial Dancers   Photopoems   Birthdance   Bliss Queen   Bio   Life Drawings   Earth Rising   Creative Process   Recent Work   Links   Comments
Comments

Stone #49

turned a corner to a spotlight pressed the voice memo and spoke of the startling light white in the close sky for blocks moon talking
Comments (2)

nest of hair, of broken golden eggs


nest of hair, of broken golden eggs from Brenda Clews on Vimeo.

[Video shot entirely with my iPhone and edited on a subway with the iMovie app. With no training in film or photography, I guess and fret my way through, but surely Apple was aiming at folks like me with these gadgets and programs.]

What made me cut my hair in 1981?

It was time for a transformation, and it shocked people. I went from curly tresses to a near brush cut. I wanted to divest myself of that Farah Fawcett sex appeal look; I wanted to be a hermit. Perhaps I was a little crazy in those days. I was working on a thesis that was secretly about my visions, which of course no-one knew and which of course I didn't finish.

Perhaps a cat got into the basket and tumbled out with a golden egg. Afterward, it became a divine cat that glowed in the dark. I think maybe that happened to one of the cats over the years... Bastet, the ancient Egyptian feline goddess, hung around, yeah, for sure.

I've never showed anyone this nest before. Oh, my kids have seen it -and agreed that it's a bit weird, but that's it. I didn't want anyone to think me too strange. It's sat, covered and unnoticed on a bookshelf in all the places I've lived since making it, grad residence, a condo, a couple of houses, a couple of apartments, it's been across the country and back. At the time that I created it, I wasn't consciously thinking of divine things; in retrospect, though, I recall being immersed in that mythology, the divine conjunctio, and was good friends with a woman professor of English Lit who was studying to become a Jungian Analyst in Zurich. The Divine Conjunctio is quite a universal mythos, and so in my voiceover I read back into the nest of hair and golden eggs. Giving it a context it never had. Thirty years ago I thought of it as a magical ritual piece, and as conceptual art. Now I show the whole thing on-line! The cut lock had something to do with Isolde, but the version of the voiceover mentioning that was too long for the video.

[You do not see the sound wave in the iMovie app for the iPhone, so deleting the ums and ahs wasn't possible.]

A nest of your hair from three decades ago, it's certainly quite a memento. Something strange, and magical about it. I can see this image, these metaphors sparking the imagination; even in me, revealing this hidden basket evokes images, thought, wonderings. And perhaps the phoenix that emerges is the revealing itself, a video, a speaking, an uncovering of a fled spirit -for the remaining egg is cracked and broken, and the other has disappeared.

If I was better at filming, it would be interesting to make a poetic video with my HD Canon Vixia camcorder and Final Cut Express. Perhaps someday I'll give it a try.

__
The bits and pieces that compose this post came from my responses on a thread at my Facebook page (with thanks to Boris, Dave, Stirling, Kim and Bent).
With special thanks to Dave for a humourous and inspiring conversation at his Facebook site on his yearly haircut, a total head shave.


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

Stone #48

Fantasy matters.


Home   Different, yet Same   Soirée of Poetry   Videopoetry   Celestial Dancers   Photopoems   Birthdance   Bliss Queen   Bio   Life Drawings   Earth Rising   Creative Process   Recent Work   Links   Comments
Comments

Stone #47

Without memory, the fragile present disappears.

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

Whirling Stillness

Where time clots, a stillness whirling
in the motion forward. Points
of condensed age in the meridians.
I look to see

a dissolving mirror
bones, skin, neurons

the self-image.
This is not a poem neat as intact
fishbones, mysterious as dinosaur
fossils. The poem writes through
me. Rises from ruminations, dried
flowers on my spine
bursting seeds.

Are memories nomads wandering
our minds? Seeds of recollections
reflecting whole scenes from our past,
or partial images in the distorted ways we
compose and re-compose our lives?

Is memory how we narrate the stories
of our lives? Where we describe
our experiences to ourselves...

Do some experiences burrow like
bulbs in the network of capillaries,
memories memorizing themselves,
knots in the ganglia?

Replays of moments we've lived
that change as the story changes.

We are forever changing our stories,
aren't we.

Is that the river? Our blood
of experience?

Our collections of images,
re-iterating ourselves,
recalled, recollected, replayed.
Memories are slowed time,
knots in the Chi of
our neurocircuitry.

In the forever now, memories
where time recoils and coils slow eddying
resisting the rush.

Who I am is my memory of myself.

I remember you remembering yourself in me.




Wandering Nomads Bone Image, 2011, 19cm x 16.5cm, 7.5"x6.5", mostly archival inks, sepia, black, red, orange, and oil pastels, Moleskine sketchbook. Fishbones, dinosaur bones, ivory piano keys of the mind playing its strange music, I don't know. When I sat to draw an image for this poem, a vertebrae emerged. Click for actual size.

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Big Tent's poetry prompt this week was to use the "stories or ideas" of science "as a metaphor for something in your own life or a made-up life. The odd mix of fact and fiction is poetry in the making." I've kind of combined a physics of time - suggesting that, like time slows down in black holes, perhaps it also does in the creation and maintenance of longterm memory in the onrush of the present - with a neuroscience of non-localized (nomadic) cerebral processes where memories might be compared to pockets of stillness in the constant flow of cerebro-spinal fluid, the sparking of chemical pulses. And then I did a drawing where a vertebrae emerged. It was all as strange as any Science Fiction. Ultimately, my piece becomes a philosophical poem about the nature of memory, of subjectivity, of the self. For other responses, see here.

(Picasa's a bit strange these days. Below a thumbnail for 
services like Facebook to read feed readers)





(Readings of the poem didn't, um, didn't, and need more tries, but the afterward, which is more like a pre-amble, was kind of fun.)


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Writings of 'Who'



direct link: Writings of 'Who'

A videopoem performance piece.

For a backdrop, I slung a rich, red Chinese satin cloth over a room divider, pulled my iMac up close, and recorded a recitation of the poem ten times in PhotoBooth, each time adding more jewelry, a swath of orange beads across the neck and shoulder, a rhinestone dangly tiara. The excesses of perhaps too much expression decreased as I became tired and the speaking of the poem emerged more clearly as it rendered through me.

Besides preparing for a performance piece, I used a number of techniques and filters in the editing of the videopoem. In PhotoBooth, Apple's fun camera still and video program, I used a spotlight plugin, which was cool; unfortunately Photobooth's resolution is low. The video was imported into Final Cut Express where I layered it in curious and idiosyncratic ways, adding a vignette to the base layer, and color emboss to the other one. Both those layers also received a maximum de-interlace flicker filter. The lens flare title and credits were done in iMovie and added as tiny clips to the timeline. I used FCEs scrolling text option for the poem, adding a light rays video filter to it. Finally I added a caustics render video generator track to the whole piece.

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For textual influences, in comments on the original poem post I wrote:

Kristeva did a lecture at the University of Toronto in the late 1990s on the question of 'Who' that I attended, but didn't connect then to the 'who' of the muse. Blanchot's 'The One Who Was Standing Apart From Me?'... is my particular inspiration here.

On the 'coded' "unconscious" of the Freudian/Lacanian school: I, too, incline towards a phenomenology of consciousness, whatever that may be. How often do I access my own personal symbols to write? References that might be opague to others. From Célan I learnt much on interweaving the personal myths in such a way that my symbol stream is only hinted at and whose full meaning remains just out of reach.

Kristeva is where I first learnt of the 'speaking subject,' the 'speaking voice.' Can we take it further to the 'writing subject,' the 'writing voice'? Though I don't want to get trapped in semiotics either.

John Walter wrote, in response to the poem, and it is worth quoting: "You ask the hard problem that Beckett asked throughout his entire oeuvre, especially the trilogy of novels Malone, Malloy Dies, and The UnNameable as well as his classic one man play, Krapp's Last Tape: "Who is the voice speaking within me, if it is not me, and it speaks when I don't, all my life, up until my last breath."

You pose it in a variety of fascinating ways here."

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Poem, written in 2006; videopoetry performace, 2011.




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Wear White Paint for the Moon

We draw back,
it is not easy but there is no other way.

White fire spills from the cauldron of the night.

A pregnant belly of illumination where spirits gather before they arrive and after they return.

Moths against the lantern, our scorching hearts. Clouds skein like silver wool. Earth and stars spin falling into the vortex of whitening and darkening.

The moon is a rock that flew from our oceans and seeks to return to her womb within us.

Stark, startling, as I round the corner of a busy street. A spotlight in the charred sky. In the moisture of my eyes, squinting, a gleaming halo moon.

A barren rock of mountains and dried seabeds up there, dragging the oceans with her, her dress of tides. A queen of debauchery, a mythos of dark permissions. Or the purity of a white goddess worshipped by the skyclad among the trees dancing in naked circles drawing her power.

She is a pearl like a grain of sand in the oyster of the night that opens, a mystical lamp for the mutterings of poets and visionaries and the crazed in a world of forgotten harrowings. In the perigee moon what is untamed reigns.

Wear white paint, my love, so we may dance savage across the stage lit by the moon in the night sky.

Wear white paint, my love, so we may dance before the dawn draws us away.

A crystal ball for seers, the beginning of time crumbles into the end.

And as we sleep, faint and far apart,
we guard the moon in our dreams.




Music background, a slight re-arrangement of Jose Travieso's, "Shinigami's Dream, No. 7."



moon image from the daily bite
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If you'd like to read about the process of this poem, I wrote a long post in the next entry. Go here.

If you'd like to download this recording, try here, though I think the link expires after 90 days: WearWhitePaintForTheMoon-320.mp3 (6.64 MB)[/url]


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Videopoem: a Neruda love sonnet with footage from an African jungle



One Hundred Love Sonnets IX was written in 1958 by Pablo Neruda.

Besides loving Neruda's famous sonnet, I went into hyper-heaven with the footage. I've never seen anything that's 'exactly' like my childhood in Kafue National Park in Zambia until this video. This footage was daily life, exactly like that. I'm spinning with joy, this is it. Takes me back, oh so far back, to my beloved jungle, and beloved wild animals, giraffes, zebras, buck, hyenas, and the lions, my friends the lions...

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Dream Photograph

Shadows in the Backyard


This is like a dream I once had. Maybe it is the dream that waited for you to photograph it.

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photo, Shadows in the Backyard, by Olli Kekäläinen.


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Earth Angel

Learning to Fly

a massive earth angel, aloft,
sky swooping to earth


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photo, Learning to Fly, by Olli Kekäläinen, one of my favourite photographers on Flickr


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Stone #49

turned a corner to a spotlight pressed the voice memo and spoke of the startling light white in the close sky for blocks moon talking
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nest of hair, of broken golden eggs


nest of hair, of broken golden eggs from Brenda Clews on Vimeo.

[Video shot entirely with my iPhone and edited on a subway with the iMovie app. With no training in film or photography, I guess and fret my way through, but surely Apple was aiming at folks like me with these gadgets and programs.]

What made me cut my hair in 1981?

It was time for a transformation, and it shocked people. I went from curly tresses to a near brush cut. I wanted to divest myself of that Farah Fawcett sex appeal look; I wanted to be a hermit. Perhaps I was a little crazy in those days. I was working on a thesis that was secretly about my visions, which of course no-one knew and which of course I didn't finish.

Perhaps a cat got into the basket and tumbled out with a golden egg. Afterward, it became a divine cat that glowed in the dark. I think maybe that happened to one of the cats over the years... Bastet, the ancient Egyptian feline goddess, hung around, yeah, for sure.

I've never showed anyone this nest before. Oh, my kids have seen it -and agreed that it's a bit weird, but that's it. I didn't want anyone to think me too strange. It's sat, covered and unnoticed on a bookshelf in all the places I've lived since making it, grad residence, a condo, a couple of houses, a couple of apartments, it's been across the country and back. At the time that I created it, I wasn't consciously thinking of divine things; in retrospect, though, I recall being immersed in that mythology, the divine conjunctio, and was good friends with a woman professor of English Lit who was studying to become a Jungian Analyst in Zurich. The Divine Conjunctio is quite a universal mythos, and so in my voiceover I read back into the nest of hair and golden eggs. Giving it a context it never had. Thirty years ago I thought of it as a magical ritual piece, and as conceptual art. Now I show the whole thing on-line! The cut lock had something to do with Isolde, but the version of the voiceover mentioning that was too long for the video.

[You do not see the sound wave in the iMovie app for the iPhone, so deleting the ums and ahs wasn't possible.]

A nest of your hair from three decades ago, it's certainly quite a memento. Something strange, and magical about it. I can see this image, these metaphors sparking the imagination; even in me, revealing this hidden basket evokes images, thought, wonderings. And perhaps the phoenix that emerges is the revealing itself, a video, a speaking, an uncovering of a fled spirit -for the remaining egg is cracked and broken, and the other has disappeared.

If I was better at filming, it would be interesting to make a poetic video with my HD Canon Vixia camcorder and Final Cut Express. Perhaps someday I'll give it a try.

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The bits and pieces that compose this post came from my responses on a thread at my Facebook page (with thanks to Boris, Dave, Stirling, Kim and Bent).
With special thanks to Dave for a humourous and inspiring conversation at his Facebook site on his yearly haircut, a total head shave.


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