Image

untitled love poem (see comments, suggestions welcome)

I

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

The folds of your corduroy
like ridges and hollows
furrows where the Spring runoff
sculpts a geology
in a landscape of tundra.

"passageways and connections that
happen deep within us when in relation
to another..." Nancy Otto

In our Klondike, cross and beams
hold the tunnels we dig through
to find the gold in each other,
rich veins tracing through the rock
like sunlight.

II

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

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

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

What is
underground
is what holds us.

The deeper passageways
and connections.

III

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

The sharp edges
in each moment
bind us.

My Adoni, my Aholi,

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


©Brenda Clews 2006
Comments (9)

Update on my life...

A few days ago, I spoke to the company that moved us from Vancouver to Toronto last year. Very good news. What I can afford the moving company will accept. Negotiations couldn't have gone better. Now my kids don't have to carry guilt over returning to TO (they did not want to stay in Vancouver, even for another year and even though I had a job), which is the only important thing, and the only real reason I'm picking up my burden of possessions and continuing on.

I just have to figure out housing, meaning more space, a lot more space than my daughter and I have at present, to move it all into in the next couple of months. Even if housing doesn't happen as soon as that, I'm still okay with the storage company and the monthly rental we agreed on (the original amount, not the $200./month they tacked on once my stuff got to their storage warehouse in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto).

Do I feel a sense of relief? Not really. More like I'm putting my heavy turtle shell back on and moving slowly ahead. That I can't just 'leave,' 'exit,' 'start over,' but have to continue on. It'll be nice to get my books back; I've missed them. And my clothes, oh yes. And my paintings - I'm not used to such bare walls as I have here. The family photographs. A dining room table. Stereo and TV. Kilim carpets. My Salton espresso/cappucino machine. Ah. And my yoga mat. My whole alter. Large desks. And bed. It's all nice to consider. Not necessary, as I know now, but nice. The comfort of my 17 year old sectional Italian leather couch from the Art Shoppe. The whole panoply unfolds. And my kids are happy that I've decided to reverse the loss, prevent it from happening, and to land, to stay.

Not there quite yet, but I'll figure it out. Along with some magic. For it's always ultimately about magic, isn't it.
Comments (4)

Alpha Beta of Scripts

We writers love our scripts. The shape of the letters that form our words are delightful in themselves. Don't you love the sensuality of writing little figures on paper and having them grouped together into meaning that someone else can read, meander, slide, buckle, careen off on? The sounds that those little scratchings correspond to is amazing too.

Our natural landscapes lie behind our alphabetic typographies. The fonts of our language reflect the pure forms of nature:

...scientists have pooled the common features of 100 different writing systems, including true alphabets such as Cyrillic, Korean Hangul and our own; so-called abjads that include Arabic and others that only use characters for consonants; Sanskrit, Tamil and other "abugidas", which use characters for consonants and accents for vowels; and Japanese and other syllabaries, which use symbols that approximate syllables, which make up words.

Remarkably, the study has concluded that the letters we use can be viewed as a mirror of the features of the natural world, from trees and mountains to meandering streams and urban cityscapes.

The shapes of letters are not dictated by the ease of writing them, economy of pen strokes and so on, but their underlying familiarity and the ease of recognizing them. We use certain letters because our brains are particularly good at seeing them, even if our hands find it hard to write them down. In turn, we are good at seeing certain shapes because they reflect common facets of the natural world.

from: Alphabets are as simple as...

In Arabic I see deserts and mirages, genies, a spirit that is as boundless as the open sky, tents under hot sun and blown by sandstorms, lyrical dwellings sculpted out of baked, whitewashed sandstone; I see the sinewy motion of Middle Eastern belly dancers, the crowded markets of barterers. In Hebraic I see a nomadic people, Hanukkah candles, the flame of an inner deified light. Chinese pictographs are as beautiful and intricate as the detailed landscapes of China, and in them I see also pagodas and monuments; they reveal a complexity of thought that I can only marvel at. If our letters mimic plains, mountains, streams, trees, branches, rocks and are shaped by our natural landscapes, our architecture is most certainly a gesture of the typographies of our alphabets.

We are drawing our world when we write.

Our architectures are our calligraphies writ large.

Meaningful marks on the page, jottings limning our natural environments, our sensory apparatus' translating our world into symbols that we can think through.

Arabic calligraphy and architecture


Chinese (Mandarin) pictograms and pagodas

(images courtesy of Google :)
Comments (5)

Dancing Clock

This inexpensive but clear clock gets a hammock of intricate interlacing metal filligree to tick in. The belly dancing belt that I bought at Dancing Days in Kensington Market has a place to hang.




And the next time I dance to the earthy sounds of African drumming, I can become a tambourine and jingle can't I.


Comments (4)

A Story of Butterfat Cream

Pulling the tab on a small coffee cream, the last of the four I grabbed as a handful from the box in the fridge, my stainless steel half litre coffee mug sitting in the slot where it is receiving an individually brewed Columbian coffee, it breaks. I look at it in my hand, a butter yellow container of 10% cream, and think of getting a knife to pierce it. Instead I use my fingernail, pushing in one edge. The cream explodes, milk-white drops splatter the arm of my black jacket, slurps of thick cream slide across the faux green marble counter, and over the dark tile floor.

I think of the udder of the cow, of pastures, of bees, of lazy country days, even though I know the cows are milked by machines in highly proficient dairy farms.

Of Krishna, the butter thief who would steal and eat this cream by the thimble-full, even though I know the gods of India don't belong among the fierce warrior gods of capitalism.

Of the greening world flowing over its boundaries and seeping into the corporate surfaces of this high tech kitchen on the 20th floor of a skyscraper in the business core of downtown Toronto, even though nothing organic grows in this controlled environment.

Of gulping the pasteurized cream, the entire boxful, finger broken container by container, letting it pour down my chin, over my business suit, splattering, sliding, oozing.

But I don't. I contain myself, wipe my jacket, the counter, the floor, and pluck out one more cream, pull the tab off, pour it into my coffee.

It is enough that I tell the women that it takes me an hour and fifteen minutes to walk home through the city.

They keep coming and asking me each day how it went, my walk, the air, the sun like dreams in the trains they take to and from this building to homes in the outer suburbs.
Comments (6)

Recycled, a hypertext

A whimsical but quite brilliant hypertext I found on my search for hypertexts:

RECYCLED by Giselle Beiguelman, 2001.

Postmodernim at its recycled, self-conscious re-construction of rubble (when the text is fully deconstructed surely we finally find the alphabet). A Borgesian script of cyberstream poetry. Everything is second hand, open source. I could play all day in this playground.

I found it through the Electronic Literature Organization:

In “Recycled,” Giselle Beiguelman has taken an “artifact” of electronic technology, the object-follow-cursor feature, and transposed it into a moving metaphor. Across a field of bright yellow, the letters RECYCLED enter the screen, track the cursor, disappear if gathered, and finally clump together and vanish, only to begin migrating, again, from the margins. The letters, then, are constantly being “recycled” — and the reader is the agent in effecting the transformation. Beiguelman’s piece is an example of the way in which minimal text can join with technological trope in a “reading” of e-lit.
Comments (1)

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untitled love poem (see comments, suggestions welcome)

I

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

The folds of your corduroy
like ridges and hollows
furrows where the Spring runoff
sculpts a geology
in a landscape of tundra.

"passageways and connections that
happen deep within us when in relation
to another..." Nancy Otto

In our Klondike, cross and beams
hold the tunnels we dig through
to find the gold in each other,
rich veins tracing through the rock
like sunlight.

II

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

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

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

What is
underground
is what holds us.

The deeper passageways
and connections.

III

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

The sharp edges
in each moment
bind us.

My Adoni, my Aholi,

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


©Brenda Clews 2006
Comments (9)

Update on my life...

A few days ago, I spoke to the company that moved us from Vancouver to Toronto last year. Very good news. What I can afford the moving company will accept. Negotiations couldn't have gone better. Now my kids don't have to carry guilt over returning to TO (they did not want to stay in Vancouver, even for another year and even though I had a job), which is the only important thing, and the only real reason I'm picking up my burden of possessions and continuing on.

I just have to figure out housing, meaning more space, a lot more space than my daughter and I have at present, to move it all into in the next couple of months. Even if housing doesn't happen as soon as that, I'm still okay with the storage company and the monthly rental we agreed on (the original amount, not the $200./month they tacked on once my stuff got to their storage warehouse in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto).

Do I feel a sense of relief? Not really. More like I'm putting my heavy turtle shell back on and moving slowly ahead. That I can't just 'leave,' 'exit,' 'start over,' but have to continue on. It'll be nice to get my books back; I've missed them. And my clothes, oh yes. And my paintings - I'm not used to such bare walls as I have here. The family photographs. A dining room table. Stereo and TV. Kilim carpets. My Salton espresso/cappucino machine. Ah. And my yoga mat. My whole alter. Large desks. And bed. It's all nice to consider. Not necessary, as I know now, but nice. The comfort of my 17 year old sectional Italian leather couch from the Art Shoppe. The whole panoply unfolds. And my kids are happy that I've decided to reverse the loss, prevent it from happening, and to land, to stay.

Not there quite yet, but I'll figure it out. Along with some magic. For it's always ultimately about magic, isn't it.
Comments (4)

Alpha Beta of Scripts

We writers love our scripts. The shape of the letters that form our words are delightful in themselves. Don't you love the sensuality of writing little figures on paper and having them grouped together into meaning that someone else can read, meander, slide, buckle, careen off on? The sounds that those little scratchings correspond to is amazing too.

Our natural landscapes lie behind our alphabetic typographies. The fonts of our language reflect the pure forms of nature:

...scientists have pooled the common features of 100 different writing systems, including true alphabets such as Cyrillic, Korean Hangul and our own; so-called abjads that include Arabic and others that only use characters for consonants; Sanskrit, Tamil and other "abugidas", which use characters for consonants and accents for vowels; and Japanese and other syllabaries, which use symbols that approximate syllables, which make up words.

Remarkably, the study has concluded that the letters we use can be viewed as a mirror of the features of the natural world, from trees and mountains to meandering streams and urban cityscapes.

The shapes of letters are not dictated by the ease of writing them, economy of pen strokes and so on, but their underlying familiarity and the ease of recognizing them. We use certain letters because our brains are particularly good at seeing them, even if our hands find it hard to write them down. In turn, we are good at seeing certain shapes because they reflect common facets of the natural world.

from: Alphabets are as simple as...

In Arabic I see deserts and mirages, genies, a spirit that is as boundless as the open sky, tents under hot sun and blown by sandstorms, lyrical dwellings sculpted out of baked, whitewashed sandstone; I see the sinewy motion of Middle Eastern belly dancers, the crowded markets of barterers. In Hebraic I see a nomadic people, Hanukkah candles, the flame of an inner deified light. Chinese pictographs are as beautiful and intricate as the detailed landscapes of China, and in them I see also pagodas and monuments; they reveal a complexity of thought that I can only marvel at. If our letters mimic plains, mountains, streams, trees, branches, rocks and are shaped by our natural landscapes, our architecture is most certainly a gesture of the typographies of our alphabets.

We are drawing our world when we write.

Our architectures are our calligraphies writ large.

Meaningful marks on the page, jottings limning our natural environments, our sensory apparatus' translating our world into symbols that we can think through.

Arabic calligraphy and architecture


Chinese (Mandarin) pictograms and pagodas

(images courtesy of Google :)
Comments (5)

Dancing Clock

This inexpensive but clear clock gets a hammock of intricate interlacing metal filligree to tick in. The belly dancing belt that I bought at Dancing Days in Kensington Market has a place to hang.




And the next time I dance to the earthy sounds of African drumming, I can become a tambourine and jingle can't I.


Comments (4)

A Story of Butterfat Cream

Pulling the tab on a small coffee cream, the last of the four I grabbed as a handful from the box in the fridge, my stainless steel half litre coffee mug sitting in the slot where it is receiving an individually brewed Columbian coffee, it breaks. I look at it in my hand, a butter yellow container of 10% cream, and think of getting a knife to pierce it. Instead I use my fingernail, pushing in one edge. The cream explodes, milk-white drops splatter the arm of my black jacket, slurps of thick cream slide across the faux green marble counter, and over the dark tile floor.

I think of the udder of the cow, of pastures, of bees, of lazy country days, even though I know the cows are milked by machines in highly proficient dairy farms.

Of Krishna, the butter thief who would steal and eat this cream by the thimble-full, even though I know the gods of India don't belong among the fierce warrior gods of capitalism.

Of the greening world flowing over its boundaries and seeping into the corporate surfaces of this high tech kitchen on the 20th floor of a skyscraper in the business core of downtown Toronto, even though nothing organic grows in this controlled environment.

Of gulping the pasteurized cream, the entire boxful, finger broken container by container, letting it pour down my chin, over my business suit, splattering, sliding, oozing.

But I don't. I contain myself, wipe my jacket, the counter, the floor, and pluck out one more cream, pull the tab off, pour it into my coffee.

It is enough that I tell the women that it takes me an hour and fifteen minutes to walk home through the city.

They keep coming and asking me each day how it went, my walk, the air, the sun like dreams in the trains they take to and from this building to homes in the outer suburbs.
Comments (6)

Recycled, a hypertext

A whimsical but quite brilliant hypertext I found on my search for hypertexts:

RECYCLED by Giselle Beiguelman, 2001.

Postmodernim at its recycled, self-conscious re-construction of rubble (when the text is fully deconstructed surely we finally find the alphabet). A Borgesian script of cyberstream poetry. Everything is second hand, open source. I could play all day in this playground.

I found it through the Electronic Literature Organization:

In “Recycled,” Giselle Beiguelman has taken an “artifact” of electronic technology, the object-follow-cursor feature, and transposed it into a moving metaphor. Across a field of bright yellow, the letters RECYCLED enter the screen, track the cursor, disappear if gathered, and finally clump together and vanish, only to begin migrating, again, from the margins. The letters, then, are constantly being “recycled” — and the reader is the agent in effecting the transformation. Beiguelman’s piece is an example of the way in which minimal text can join with technological trope in a “reading” of e-lit.
Comments (1)

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