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Dinosaur Book of Green Fire Featured at Moving Poems


Featured yesterday at a great site for video poetry, I'm honoured, truly, and humbly, at Moving Poems... Dave is amassing a fine collection of the best videopoems on the NET and it is totally a site you should subscribe to... you'll find much inspiration for your own art in whatever genre you work in.



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A Dance in Purple, in Folio Leaves


A Dance in Purple, in Folio Leaves from Brenda Clews on Vimeo.

(Recommend watching 'fullscreen' - movement and detail clearer.)

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

Late afternoon on Saturday, 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 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 dances to the same tune: 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.

The figure is me mostly because I am a very private person and those closest to me, extended family I guess, don't want to be videoed. I see the figure as not me, though me.

I always leave space for text, but perhaps, there won't be any, it's unnecessary. Though it does need a title, and perhaps an inscription at the beginning, a quote, an image, not sure.

When this video is finished (and it might already be, not sure), I'll upload to YouTube (Picasa's great but doesn't offer an embeddable player like YouTube does, and without paying Vimeo you can only upload videos up to 500MG a week there, so YouTube for a higher resolution and potentially more viewers).

From The Canvas Backdrop

(The Picasa version, which is showing a blank green screen to some viewers, hence uploading to Vimeo this morning.)

___
After I'd finished this version of the video, I thought of this painting and poem, from 2006:




   
Dancing of the Selves, painting and
   photographs, ©2006

Dancing of the Selves

What is the self?

Peel away to nothing.

Only energies,
inner winds and flames
streams of thought
a body of cells of earthdust.

Who am I?

Am I my memories
shifting and changing like ice flows
or the sand of the desert?

We are transducers, relay switches,
cross-currents of selves.
I deconstruct in paint across the canvas.

Am I what I offer--
scrawl of words, strokes of paint,
a flash dance through the air, a few ideas, a point of gravity
where the light bends? 


My children who
tumbled out of me?


I am a link
in the generations,
an ancestor's granddaughter,
great aunt of the future,
a name for genealogists.

A living person
breathing over the

page where I write.

A slight tangle
in the ganglia
of neurons, and
my memories,
gone.

That's not me.

I am who I am
loving you.




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Dance of the Selves

A poetry of motion today...

From The Canvas Backdrop
Birth of the Self


From The Canvas Backdrop
Contemplating the Muse


From The Canvas Backdrop
Saboteur of the Self


From The Canvas Backdrop
Protected Search On


Photos from an earlier version of the video I'm working on - still 5 hours to render on the current version, before saving as a movie file or uploading to a temporary place for possible feedback before I finish it.


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No poetry tonight!

It is the poet's duty to keep the poem from spinning off into speculation.



"Three guys came, drunk, and the drunkest said he couldn't find his mother's gravestone, and they started a fight."

"Ed went out and they threatened to beat him up because they said we got rid of her grave."

"Did you find it?"

"Yeah, it took awhile to get the proper name, and, of course, they were in the wrong graveyard."


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On the Street at Night

slow through yellow roses
that haven’t bloomed yet
or budded

slow, the flank, the nostril

I follow you while I guide you

as you amble close to a ground
soil, edible, marks, scents,
a brambly riot of last year’s
dried pods, grasses

I cannot know

stained,
with passings by,

tendril of fur
soft,

your eyes, milky
with age.


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A Day, any day

A poetryless day where the
morning smolders with cold
mist. White shadow glides
around trees, cars, buildings;
figures emerge and disappear
as they walk to moments
of meeting.

The sun roves white
as the moon, then
becomes a thin rind
of lemon.

In the afternoon, lit by
its brilliance through
windows we eat
cheesecake and fresh
blueberry sauce
with crisp
sweet tea.

_

(NaPoWriMo #7)

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Videopoem Contest at Moving Poems

A site on the forefront of multi-media poetry today, Moving Poems, is having a videopoem contest. Dave writes, "I thought it would be fun to have a contest where everyone would use the same poem in its entirety, either in the soundtrack or as text (or both)." The poem, "Fable," by Howie Good is short but full with metaphoric possibility. The deadline is April 15th; there is no limit to the number of times you can submit entries. Do submit. Details: Moving Poem's First Videopoem Contest.

Moving Poems is a special site because, unlike all the other video poem sites that I've browsed, which really are more 'short films for festivals' sorts of sites and which don't show you the video poems that win their contests, Moving Poems collects the best video poetry at open, public sites on the NET. It's an available treasure house of flicks.


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NaPoWriMo Day 6: When day and night merge

Day is late; it is too late. The latte evaporates,
dry coffee grounds lie in the cold mug. The
thump when the car hit your body remains, as if
the echo effect is broken and repeats, thump,
thump. Metal, soft tissue, bone splinter.
Concussion of my heart.

When antelope dance over rock, smudges of
charcoal. In the cave day and night, and I
wouldn’t come out.

You were alright. You walked away, a bit
bruised.

I bled internally in my dreams, the pillow, the
sheets, under the car tire grown large as a
ferris wheel. My blood sometime ran like
Van Gogh’s wheat fields, the residue of burnt
souls. The ferris wheel ran day and night,
even in deathly winter when everyone
was absent.

Each day the sun comes later; no, earlier.
The green fury of spring is nearing like a
virescent bush fire.  The sumacs are pregnant
with multiple birth buds.

Who is reading me on this day that is later than
all the other days slipping under the wheel
as the tire drags on.

This woven bone, these smudges
of burnt wood,
these buds of spring.



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Dinosaur Book of Green Furor



direct link: The Dinosaur Book is Green Fury

And the dinosaur’s book is green fury.

Promethea's curls and flanks, her energy, combustible.
Promethea has been dancing on the 200 billion year old
dinosaur skull in the glass box that hangs on the wall
since the beginning. Petrescent, converting into stone,
from water. What isn't liquid suddenly flows.
Like lava. Boiling.

Ancient skull without skin, or legs, or beating organs.
Body without organs. The body whose. Stone. Whose
bones are petrified. In fine volcanic ash, for billions of
years. I can read pathways on your bones, a scored
map of the earth, embossed hieroglyphics. Your garrulous
breaking voice in the sparking dust of fireworks, like
millions of dancing fireflies, an exploding outwards.
Your carapace is prophecy, what bends time in on itself,
grounding. You are earth stilled to wisdom. Ancient,
shell of secret signs, messages from the eons.
Mesozoic creature. Who lived happily on the
banks of the stream that was blocked by volcanic mud
creating a 12 mile lake that lasted for another 80 million
years before volcanic eruptions buried it.

Where is your riverbank? Slow mulching of sweet
grasses, sipping freshest of fresh water, dear ancestor.
Another bit of corporeality in the drama that began billions
of years ago when we all, our possibility, came to be in
the expanding light and the fiery dust that settled
into our solar system, and into the earth, and into your
exoskeleton, with its oracular markings, star charts,
which is now rock, condensed history.

"I am writing it just behind the burning bush, by the light
of your blaze," says Hélène.1

And I see you, remembering the warm fertile lush land
of 200 million years ago, growing a body, organs beating,
a fury of blood, following Promethea across invisible
mountains, down hallucinated valleys, into the heart
of the volcano that continually explodes,
bursting you forth.


From Poem Paintings


__
A time-lapse art video: drawing in India inks in my beloved Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4; pulsing green kalaidoscope in the background; text of the poem moving slowly up the screen at a diagonal; and a voiceover poem. The world is a green furor of creativity - the green fire of life.

I shot the video with a Canon HF S100 and speeded up about 800%.

Twenty min of footage became a 2.5 minute video. A longer drawing would use a huge amount of space on the hard drive, and so, except for short films, I don't recommend this technique.

I edited the footage in Final Cut Express 4.0.1. Because of the camera angle, I rotated and cropped the sketch clip, and underneath added a layer of footage with a kaleidoscope filter, and also ran the text of the prosepoem over the paper at an angle, motion keyframing it, and changing the opacity from light to dark letters over the duration of the video.

I created the music in a cool program, the 'P22 Music Text Composition Generator (A free online music utility).' In this program, each letter has a sound. When you put text in, you can choose the BMP rate and instrument you'd like, and the program generates a midi file, with the sheet music. I layered my track in GarageBand 6.0.2 using different instruments, bmp, splicing and re-arranging.

Even the reading of the writing was speeded up, in Audacity 1.3.12, using the tempo filter.

From start to finish took about 12 hours, there were many layers, of image, text, and sound, each with filters, and I had to render a few times, which took hours, to see if what I had produced worked.

While this method for creating an art video works, my camera battery can only tape for 1½ hours, which is not long enough for most art projects.
__
This video poem was featured at Moving Poems, an "anthology of the best videopoems, filmpoems, animated poems, and other poetry videos from around the web" (check it out if you haven't already): http://movingpoems.com/2011/04/the-dinosaur-book-is-green-fire-by-brenda-clews/


__
Notes: 1Hélène Cixous' The Book of Promethea

Go to "The Book of Promethea (European Women Writers)" page
The Book of Promethea (University of Nebraska Press, 1991)
by Hélène Cixous, trans. Betsy Wing (quote used, p.23)


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NaPoWriMo Day 4: Alicia Ostriker's 'Birth of Venus'

Venus, or really Aphrodite, for Aphrodite seems more sensitive, more of a fragile beauty, has been on my mind all day. I have taken out my unfinished manuscript, along with a pile of papers three times larger of research, and the poem which originally inspired me.

Alicia Ostriker's 'The Birth of Venus' (only a few lines I found on-line due to copyright restrictions):
I

Huge shell the remnant of my great-grandmother dragon,

Split open to form the world,

They have made a boat of it

And set me here.

The effect is of scarcely tolerable pleasure.

II

If I am anything I am young, so young.

As I arrive on this shallow scalloped sea

Zephyr huffs flowers at me, frowning.

The effect is to deepen my reverie.

My face emerges from another world

Behind the picture plane, a world

Of light and clouds, volumes of clouds.

The artist has set it at an impossible angle

Upon my impossibly swanlike

Neck, my impossibly sloping shoulders.

If I am anything I am un...

I will offer excuses and not give you a critique of the poem which inspired me to begin a series of poems in 2008 that I am now trying to finish.

In 2006, I met Alicia Ostriker at a conference, and as I was watching the book table, and she was spreading her books over a section, we chatted a little about how to arrange poetry books for sale. She was quite old, slender, in matte black, her hair, her clothes, her bags, a bit fussy with the books she'd brought to add to those of a local bookseller and whatnot, but very nice. It's not her personality that I remember. It was the darkness in her that surprised me, I guess. The density of energy around her. I don't think I've ever been in a room with someone who's energy was like that. I felt there was something raw about her connection with life. Alicia Ostriker had an emptiness to her that was yet full of intensity, poetic passion, a fury of living that I can't describe but that was remarkable. Later I bought the book with the Venus poem in it, No Heaven, but she'd already caught her flight home and so I didn't get an autograph.

Alicia Ostiker's poem about Venus, and my sheaf of research, is pulling me back to this project, but, still, no poetry. With apologies, for what is happening here at Rubies in Crystal during NaPoWriMo, the month designated to writing a poem every day.

Who knows, but I may write a long poem and so catch  up. Yah. Who knows. (Chews sugary gum and blows a real big bubble.)


Today I worked on a video, an unplanned exercise, sigh. I called it, 'The Dinosaur’s Book is Green Fury.' It is another 'learning' video, which is currently rendering, and I'm fairly exhausted with the work it's been, videoing, editing the footage, editing the writing, reading it a few times, editing the reading, and the music, and creating text for the video and title and credits, and the layers of tracks in audio and video have taken hours and hours, and I offer this by way of excuse.

The video should be up by tomorrow at YouTube or Picasa. I'll embed it here.

Botticelli's Venus, as I understood her, is figuring dimly and slowing in the back of my consciousness again.



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