On Invisibility

For me to keep everything in one place. I do apologize, but I'm at a point where I need to keep my poetry beyond the reach of certain people who have plucked from my work here and there as it pleases them as if they were vultures and I a fresh carcass.

(An image one of them will probably lift. I cannot imagine being so bereft of words and having to literally steal; or, alternatively, being so desperate to appear 'brilliant' that you have to trawl poets on the Internet for whatever you can scavenge.)


Morning Pages: Starlings

what remains after the starlings have flown?

leaves shaking to stillness
where they held

Every day, with my morning coffee, I shall try to write a few lines in my 'writing' Moleskine. I have not made this task more difficult by insisting on an image as well. :)

After reading the news, and the issues that come up in Toronto City Hall's Council, which we are hearing far more about due to our strange and contrary mayor, and sitting by an open window, I wrote this little poem.
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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.


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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Bramble Rose

Petal edges
butterfly wings
blue powder.

from the hips.

hip-hop shaking
struggle with closed bud
of a cocoon.

Here to blossom.

A whole life
to unfurl.

Unexpected, that.

It never gets boring.

The unflown flying.

Petals in the wind, pink,
blue dusting to indigo.

This sun, this rain
never felt before.

Be the valley of women dancing.
Be the flowers, and the earth,
and the wind, and the moon.

Tattoo me on your skin.
Ink me in colours of the meadow,
a blossoming bramble

As I dance the opulent
of you.

a little ditty written at Erica's recent "Blossoming" workshop.

Image of gorgeous dancing women - a stylized version of a photograph at Erica's Dance Our Way Home website.
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The Bird Who Couldn't Land

shirt, belt, thin body
cigarettes, names unknown, but known
I meet you in your dreams
the forest is blue-grey with fog, palms, fronds
in the day of being wild
I read your hand
for signs
who knows you better than yourself?

sketch from 2008 while watching Wong Kar-wai's
Days of Being Wild (1990), © Brenda Clews

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Starfire in the Night

A little painting, still wet, that I quickly painted
to accompany the poem...
(posted with the 'accented edges' photoshop filter)

sliding around the world
through many crowds
Mumbai, New York, Rio
like an image from a billboard
flat like film
a projection of light
these burning neurons
their shadow prism shifts

no separation

a market in Madrid
harsh sleet of Himalaya
blade of grass in the prairies

I could be dying

or in a spacesuit on the moon

no separation between me
and the world,
which is my dreaming paradise

nothing was lost

release the inner hold
there is no tight control
write by cell-light

dark hours of running
on this side of living
in the bright world
of the lion's mouth

flying into outer space

where the universe
contains such combustion

stars burn for billions of years
keeping galaxies alive

I searched for you
and found you

if you could set all your dissolves
to a fifth of a second
the mathematical regularity
would be bliss
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Videopoem: Vishnu on Chinese New Year's

Fun piece. A combination of poetry, painting, GarageBand jazz. A friend, Doug Carroll, & I were playing with my camera, Final Cut Express & GarageBand. A neophyte, I spent a further 6 hours editing. 2nd attempt at a videopoem, and the first one using Final Cut Express (which I'm learning by watching You Tube tutorials, see my playlists). Poem, "Vishnu on Chinese New Year's" (Dec, 2007), painting, "Women in Spring," (May, 2008). Many thanks!
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