She, transparent to the sun (finished)

'She, transparent to the sun,' 8.5" x 11", conte, chalk, pastel, art pen on Pentalic neutral pH 25% cotton 130 lb drawing paper.

This drawing is finished. The poem written into the drawing was recorded over a mix of sounds, with a slight theatrical flavour. Both the drawing and the poem refer to something specific. Do you see it?

direct link: She, transparent to the sun.


The real story of recording 'She, transparent to the sun'

Ok. Truth is this 'little' 1:33min recording took most of the day. I hit Record and said the short poem a few times and nothing was recorded but a blank line. Plugging and unplugging things, resets and upsets, hours went by as I struggled with my system made of old and newer components. Checking and re-checking System Preferences, everything always looks fine, even the Mac's internal microphone worked, but not dear old GarageBand. In increasingly dire frustration I deleted it. Deleted it! And then the Apple App store wanted to charge me $14.99 to re-buy it! Snarl and growl. I went and found iLife '11, hoping it was the latest version, and anyway, if it isn't Apple is usually decent enough to update if you've bought the product in recent history. Being by now thoroughly versed in the checking and re-checking of everything multiple times, I did open the App store again, and finally, under Purchases, there was my Garage Band, uninstalled, ready to install. So I didn't have to re-install iLife.

Did the re-install work? No. GarageBand has become the most finicky mistress, or, in my case, master. It certainly recognized my mic, but allow recording to occur through it? Not on your iLife.

I think in the process of clicking anything and everything I clicked Input over to the internal mic and viola, recording real sound. Then I clicked it back to my mic. And it worked!

No idea if it ever will again, or if I have to jump through X number of hoops before the software responds correctly.

Ok. So we got recording. I recited my little poem. Almost too fatigued to care about the quality emotion wrapped up in the tremor of voice. Perhaps too shrill; perhaps not contained enough. I don't like my voice, but few of us do. It's too high. I try to remember to speak more deeply. And so on and so forth as I recorded the scant minute and a half a few times.

I did choose a recording that wasn't too bad but the weird thing is that the sound was a bit 'tinny.' I had recorded the piece I read on open mic last sunday at Nik Beat's HOWL at Q Space in preparation for my performance and the sound had been crystal clear and very life-like. Try as I might, with moving the mic from desk to lap, tilted up, and down, the 'tinny' sound remained.

So finally I plugged in another mic that, look we're talking low end stuff here, but there are subtleties, is not as good as the mic that had become 'tinny' for no good reason.

It was getting dark. I had to take the dogs out. I hadn't eaten, neither had they. And I kept at it, tenaciously.

Yes, as I said yesterday, while I'm not fully satisfied with the final recording, IT WILL DO (take that, GarageBand!). And yes I spent some time finding tracks on and mixing and re-mixing them. By the time I'd saved a version and uploaded and shared to Facebook and posted on my blog, it was 9pm, and when I took the dogs out the slush that had fallen all day was becoming lethal slippery icy under foot and I didn't have my cleats on and so we gingerly walked around the block, not enough of a walk for any of us, but we all came home nearly an hour later soaking wet, and even this morning their leashes and harnesses and dog coats are still damp.

Here's the recording again.

You'll forgive me for posting it twice.

  direct link: She, transparent to the sun (the title is taken from the quote from Legends of the Bible by Louis Ginzberg on Noah's birth, but also describes the painting, which became an integral part of the meaning).


Little recording of, 'She, transparent to the sun'

Really I don't quite like the way I read this poem, but it's getting there (and SoundCloud may have done some uninvited ducking). It's the poem written into the drawing I posted earlier today. For the background, I mixed some tracks from See if you can guess the riddle in it.

Resisting a multi-media rendition of Palmistry, a Psalm

After I began this painting, a prose poem became 'an inner pressure,' and so I spent a few days writing one, and even made a little recording, and while I would have finished the painting last week by writing the poem onto the canvas, the 'inner pressure' now is to make a video poem. I don't want to! I argue with my muse: It's too much work; no-one watches them. Who needs a video? But though I have tracing paper taped to the painting for a 'dry run' on the writing - want to make sure I space it properly so it all fits on - and have sat to work, that da*n muse won't let me! So now I need to create a video space with canvas or something around it and video the act of writing, pen on parchment for the spacing, pen on canvas for the final, up close. Do you think I can manage this little task? I'm so in resistance.

Doing a piece in three media, painting, writing, and video is way too much work for one woman and yet, resist as I might, the muse is stronger and is resisting my resistance and will win out. Due to a busy week, likely won't video until next week. Oy! Is it like this for you?

The layered x-ray (real, of my wrist) and the painted hand (I was looking at my actual hand when I painted it) that you see in the first image was done digitally and would be fun to work with in a video, fading in and out of one or the other. I could do some found footage of Nazis, also. Coatlique, Ophelia, yes, if I find public domain images. Oh, and those great drawings of the hand for palmistry, palm readings. That would be fun. And so on. Lots of ideas, no will to do it. Lol.

Below is the prose/poem for if you hadn't already read it and wanted to take a look.

A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.

testing a super easy way of embedding an MP3 player in Blogger with html5

A Palmistry, a Psalm: see previous post.
Background music by Aymeric, from their album on Jamendo, 'Sometimes,' cut 03.

just testing a super easy way of embedding a player in Blogger with html5, thanks
Amanda Kennedy!

Ruminations on Mystical Consciousness

'Ruminations on Consciousness' (9:41min) as I prepare to write a prose poem to be called Colour of Near Death for a forthcoming videopoem.


White Fire on Nik Beat's show in 2000

A reading of White Fire on CIUT FM in Toronto, 2000
on Nik Beat's show.

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Poetry Recording with Music: La Luna

Brenda Clews, poetry, voice, mix; background music, zero-project, 'Forest of the unicorns,' from their album on Jamendo, Fairytale.

My very first 'found' poem ever! However, the lines are all mine. A poem I composed from lines found in three of my tightly written, packed journals from 1980. I may or may not make a video poem, but if I do, having made a recording will help.

La Luna

Razors of lightning press my eyelids.
Your white love, the pearl shell seas.
The sky peels back like a scroll.
You are mine, unsplitted, fleshless.

Cornucopias, hot-bed undersea growths of things
joined to other things in sections, in shell lines.

Mad shadows. My blood is full of alcohol.

Memory is internally roused, without evasion.

I open the door to your shadowed face, dark hair, beard-
those fluid sea-algae, jade-green eyes.
Do they absorb or reflect light?

Light is a tumbling ball.
The moon is a lunatic.
There is a lady on the telegraph pole.

Each man or woman who enters has to leave
their personality behind like tossed clothes.

Pastel lightning crosses the sky.
The moon is a fetish.
A fat, marshmallow moon.
The moon contemplates itself,
a blood moon.

Words are a wash of waves;
waves of a ceaseless alphabet.

My throat is a silent, howling hyena;
the illness of passion.

I've been caught.

Where is the land; where is the vessel?

Lapped wind and frothed cloud;
mutant moon
- a glowing field of electrical fabric -

Vision is dangerous.

This fragile moon letter of white light.

The white imagination that you have to travel
through the prism to get to.

When I'm in love I'm outside of what
I'm inside of the rest of the time.

I follow the moon
am nothing but motion
streets marked by lights
as round as moons

am nothing
but shadows of light

as the moonlight
careens drunkenly in the sky

shrouds hide me
while the moon dances

a hallucinated ball

of white wind

shorn of darkness
dance naked night
my eyes flutter
in the tops of trees

spirits gather and flee

you have gone

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Comments (2)

The Wall

While I sound quite depressed, I think I am actually facing the wall now. Before, I wouldn't look at it, or acknowledge it. It's invisible, but wholly impenetrable.

It cannot be cracked, splintered, knocked down, for I've tried all this and more; it can only be burnt.

Like karma, though it is not like karma because there is no cause and effect. No lesson. Rather, irrational, what we can never fully know. It sounds like glass, but it's not. There isn't anything it's like except for an impenetrable, invisible wall. There is no reason for this, none at all. Kafka's trial.

I typed this text into the box at the P22 Music Text Composition Generator:

the wall of resistance the impenetrable wall the wall that is invisible that is everywhere around me the wall of permanence try to imagine no wall I cannot I have lived behind this invisible wall I have flung boiling water at it I have attacked it with hammers I have attempted to pierce it with the lasers of my consciousness the wall stands tall higher than I can climb deeper than I can fall the wall is real  the wall is karma the wall is what I cannot surmount I can touch the world

That's not all of it, but it still made for a midi track longer than the recording. I did a lot of things to the midi track to make that background, which came out the way I had hoped in the end.

While the voice may be a little flat (I was lying flat on my back), I went with this recording because it suits the words.

Whether I add this to a video I haven't yet conceived, I don't know.

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Lacemaker: An Early Draft and Sketch


I wrote Lacemaker in July 2007. A week ago I recorded it on my iPhone, a quiet reading, and added a track in the background from the Music Text Composition Generator that I had entered the poem into. While the midi file that the MTCG created is layered a few times, the poem is its own music, yes.

A few days ago I was tidying my desk, and came across a notebook from that year, and found a drawing I did in Starbucks during lunch and a draft in pencil of part of the poem. Click for larger size.

You can read the poem here: Lacemaker (it'll open in a new tab or window, which won't interrupt the recording if you're listening to it).



I wrote this prose poem in July 2007. Today I recorded it on my iPhone, a quiet reading, and added a track from the Music Text Composition Generator that I had entered this poem into. The poem is its own music, yes. I'm thinking to go back to the way I was recording before I got freaked out by, oh I don't know. A feeling that I was over-reaching prescribed bounds with layering voices, readings, allowing passion in my voice, that sort of thing.


In a moment words will appear from which everything unravels.

Or begin with an explosion of lace.

Lace that is white, or whitened with the sun's steaming. Looped, twisted, braided threads, sewn with sharp needles, shaped like a cutwork of leaf veins in the sky. Finely-woven stitches, not broken or lost. Florals in white; sun-rises in white; waves in white. Spider webs of lace floating, an organic garden of cotton and linen and silk.

How many fine stitches I see everywhere.

Seams of perfect clothing, backs, shoulders, arms, waists, hips, the tight stitching of form-fitting shoes, the interlapping folds of purses. Fabric. Like skin. Woven tightly or loosely. Draped, tucked, formed, fitted. The soft velvet of the armchair in the cafe in which I sit, rounded, plush.

Colours in swathes, patterned. Different attire for different scenarios. Layers of warmth or mere covering if it's cold or hot. Whether a garment can open or close or covers in one swoop. Pieces of cloth fitted to hold the shape of the wearer. Clothes that adhere, drape, flow for sitting, walking, sleeping, dancing.

Looms and sewing machines and bobbins. Billions of miles of thread around the world. Stitching, this way of composing, holding together, covering ourselves, these metaphors, textual narratives.

What if I don't want to take a stance? What if I don't want to weave a garment out of these threads? A story out of all the stories filling my mind? If "Narratives, or more precisely plots, synthesize reality," (Snaevarr) can I exist without telling a tale of myself to you, or even to myself?

The flow of language like clothing, fashions that encase shaping how we present ourselves. Can we be naked without the speaking that stitches the world together, seam by seam, reams of bolts of cloth, patternings?

What was lost in the scrap lace pile, discarded, worn-out, old, the remnants, unraveled in the tears and rips, bleached out by wear?

How do I hem these words so they don't fray?

Shawls of Shetland lace are knitted first in the middle and then out to the edges and is so fine it can be pulled through a wedding ring. Can we marry ourselves to words that knit us to ourselves, each other, the world?

Social customs inform the attire of any given era and shape the body, but does the weave of worsted wool or soft cotton follow the curves and hollows of the skin and shape the wearer?

Or are the words we clothe ourselves with what we hide under?

Presentation and fashion. The way I compose myself every day; every piece of writing. Gathering myself in this historical time, a product of my age.

All the stitches of the world held in syntactical rhythms of meaning, social fabrics.

Is that why we want words to unfold in comfort from us? Wave-white words wedded. Words that aren't performative; that are dream-like, real.

Unraveling, I came to this, and I can't obscure it, truth, death, the words of the lover, and she who knits, knots, tapes, crochets, sews the world into being with her openwork, the lace maker.

Dave's 'How to Read a Poem' read by Brenda

This afternoon I recorded a reading of a prosepoem of Dave Bonta's, and found a 23 sec clip of chimes by morgantj on ccMixter, which was slowed, split, re-arranged, pasted, joined, and enrichened by a multivoice filter and other auditory magics until it became a rendition of what I was hearing in my mind when listening to the reading.

The reading wasn't planned. I read his series of images of poetry for reading poetry and turned on the voice memo of my iPhone and recorded. While I did do another take, the first one had an openness, and as the spoken recording was my second reading of the poem, the sense of discovery remains, I hope, within it.

How to read poetry (notes to self), by Dave Bonta

As if it were any other kind of communication that means what it says, not some kind of code to be deciphered.

As if it were code, where a single mistyped letter can change everything, and turn a webpage into the white screen of death.

As if you had nothing else to do: no news to skim, no email to hurry through, no other work, no purer entertainment.

As slowly as a lover performing oral sex: forget about me, what does the poem want?

As fast as a sunrise on the equator, so the mind won’t have any time to wander.

As if each line were an elaborate curse in some nearly extinct language with only four elderly speakers left, all of them converts to evangelical Christianity.

As if the stanzas were truly rooms, and not houses lined up on some quiet street.

As if the spirit killeth, but the letter giveth life.

As if it were perfectly useless and irrelevant to the cycle of discipline and indulgence we think of as real life.

As if each poem were an oracle just for you: a diagnosis from a physician, an interview with Human Resources, the suggestions of a therapist, the absolution given by a priest.

As if the real poem were buried like a deer tick ass-up in the flesh of your ear.

I like the edges of surrealism in How to read poetry (notes to self), the variety of images, all quite rich and meant to evoke the reader's imagination, that the only extended metaphor is the poet who is dreaming up a series images of the world that emerge with a cadence of similes, analogies, that, if followed, bring the reader (who is reading or speaking) back to the poem, the poem's reading.

And the touches of humour, as in the last line.

If you were inclined to record this poem, I'm sure Dave would be delighted!

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The blocked poet strips herself, reveals a technique only to be used in desperation

Although I've dealt with long blocks in my life, for the last decade, writing has been easy. When an image arose that caught my imaginary, I'd begin writing, and the piece flowed almost of its own accord. Sure, there was lots of editing, tweaking, re-arranging, re-orienting, and a piece might go through many minor revisions, but the original image came easily and as if my magic. The last couple of months have not been like that. Key images have not been emerging of their own volition. In the creative cycle I am currently in, I have to work a lot harder to pull the material out of my visions, unconscious, knowledge, wherever it comes from.

Because so many poets wrote about the recent perigee moon, I also wanted to contribute a piece. For days, nothing. Staring at day and night sky. Nothing. Went for walks. Nothing. Looked at images of the fabulous moon. Nothing. So on the night of the greatest fullness, I went out with my dog late, my iPhone with me. As we rounded a street corner, there the moon was. A bright spotlight in the sky. I turned on the Voice Memo, and talked for two blocks. Anything and everything that came into my mind. From that chatter, I created this poem. It went through dozens of revisions. I am happy with the poem.

For your interest, loathe as I am to 'show all' -such nakedness!- I also paste in the transcript I typed from the monologue in the Voice Memo at the end of the post.

While I don't recommend recording a monologue as a poetic technique because it is laborious, it will generally give you enough images to write a poem. It's an aural brainstorm. I like to walk the dark streets and whisper into my phone recorder. People passing think I'm on the phone. Yet, and this has happened to me, what if the Voice Memo isn't on and doesn't record your words? Remember to remember enough of the trail to re-evoke it or grab the tail ends of images. When using this technique, think of Yeats, who wrote his poems from prose he had written first.

Here is the finished poem. I spent some hours memorizing it trying to use a 'palace of memory' technique. The recording is different to my other ones in that as I am reciting from memory (mostly) the reading is less dramatic, slower. Since your eye reads way faster than the recording, I recommend closing your eyes to listen.

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

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.


OMG, this is so funny! YouTube is offering some 'video-making' sites. This one is a text-to-video animation by xtranormal. It took 3 tries, but eventually a video appeared. It was free. Do try it!

direct link: Free Animation of Wear White Paint for the Moon

moon image from the daily bite

What I spoke into the Voice Memo as a way to deal with my current writer's block, which is impossible to read, impossible! The blocked poet strips herself, reveals a technique only to be used in desperation:

As I turn the corner from the busy street into the tree-lined street with bare branches I am stricken by the spotlight in the sky. The white, round, full moon. Athena is close tonight. She sends her arrows of protection; her arrows of strength; her arrows of forbearance; and her arrows of delight in self-empowerment. I walk down this street and feel the full white perigee moon, the largest in decades is watching even me, even my insignificance, smaller than a cell as I crawl the face of the earth. Gazing across planets, from my darkness into the light. She is blazing white fire. I bow down before her, on Lent, on Purim. The generosity of the light that guides us in the darkness, whiteness of the shadowed world. Pregnant belly of the world. Where souls gather, before they arrive and after they leave, to watch the pageants of life on earth. Who pulls the tides of the earth's oceans, and who caused the nutrients of life to flow together and combust. The moon. The moon. The moon. Celestial sister so close, exerting a large gravitational pull on the earth at this moment, so close I could touch her and I am fully magnetized with moon power, I am drawing the moon down, down. I am being drawn up through the moonbeams, up, up. The earth falls into the sky, the earth falls into the moon. The earth falls into the moon's eye in the sky. The moon is clear-seeing. The moon may be gazed upon. The moon is mystery. The moon is water. The moon is water. The moon pulls the waters with her as she travels through the sky. Her white wedding gowns flowing. Dazzling moon beams She is a queen of the night. And she guides me along the white sidewalk, shadowed, mysterious. Magic is afoot. Magic is everywhere. The moon is the mystical lamp of the mystics. The moon is the feminine; the moon is the masculine. The moon is a rock in the sky that was cast off from our ocean and who is forever trying to return to her womb within us. The moon the moon is a majestic tutelary spirit circling the earth protecting the earth watching over us. The moon reflects of the sun whitely. The moon in its whiteness reflects the light of the sun. The moon is a combustion of white fire. The moon sparkles in the whiteness of the round whiteness of the dark sky. The clouds flow like silver ghosts about her; the smoke about her is silver, is the grey clouds, the grey white clouds. She is stark and startling in the sky. She is a spotlight in the sky. She is bright. The moisture of my eyes causes her to gleam, her white halo. Moonbeams. She is heavenly. She is earthly. She is barren. She is full. She belongs to the realm of ghosts. She is of the beginning of time; she will crumble like a pearl at the end of time. She is a pearl of great price; she is the alchemist's pearl. She is the pearl that is like a grain of sand in the oyster of the night that causes poets and visionaries and madmen to induces reverie and madness when the moon is full the wildness begins. She is queen of the debauchery of the night. When the moon is full the sky clad people emerge from behind the trees in the forests and they dance and they have rituals and they bathe in moonlight on their bare skin. The moon is a psychic force. The moon is a crystal ball. The moon portends the future. The moon is past, present and future. The moon is the Buddha, the cool light of the intellect. The moon follows us, everywhere we walk the moon, the moon is following, a spotlight. Our way is lit. The moon is the white goddess, the triple goddess, White Tara, Kuan Yin. The whiteness of the spirit in its purity. The moon is a paradox. The moon has caught our imaginations and gathered them and spread them to the stars. The moon is our guardian. We guard the moon in our dreams.


By way of apology, or perhaps explanation, though many poets included reference to the terrible Japanese tsunmai in their perigee moon poems, mine has no reference to the tragedy. They were 8 days apart. I blame violent tectonic plates, the Ring of Fire, not the moon. The moon was a few inches closer to the earth than usual, and could not possibly have caused the earthquake which caused the tsunami. I wrote a long prosepoem on the Sumatra tsunami in 2005, and may write another on the terrible Japanese one, but it did not find its way into my meditation on the huge full moon that just passed. 

I'm including this as a piece in this week's Big Tent Poetry prompt: "to take a piece of your writing, or some other bit of written text, and try out one of the toys or tricks (on our new Poetry Toys page) to generate (reformulate) new work." The prompt sat in the back of my mind fertilizing ideas for how to write a poem on a topic this week (the perigee moon), and while I didn't attempt to try any of the 'toys,' I definitely used a technique to generate imagery for a poem. See here for other responses.

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Comments (15)


Secrets, 20.5cm x 25.5cm, 8"x10", India inks, archival pen inks, graphite, coffee spill, and some digitally drawn lines as well as text, January, 2011.

A voice recording (2:48min) as I was writing the words (you can hear the pen scratching on paper in some of it, my flipping through pages looking for written images, and the slowness of the process of writing). The speaking follows the writing fingers. I'm discovering the story of the drawing, the poetry of it as I write the words which are a mostly unreadable pictorial element around one of the characters like a cloud or veil or tree of words. But I didn't want a drawing of only dream words: words that are inaccessible because the viewer cannot read them.

It is an invisible intersection, where the words are slowly voiced as they are being written, created enroute, without knowing where they'll go, and the viewer/listener's responses which are evoked by the slow reading that allows time for meditation, for the meandering of thought.

And, these words are interconnected with thoughts and feelings that occurred during the drawing, which was done in three sessions over a month.

In the recording, which is 'real time' (mostly, I did stop and start my iPhone's voice memo a few times, and I cut out some dead space in editing), I'm reading what's being written rather than composing out loud. Unable to post as is, the flat voice, so I had to. Bamboo Music, a background.

Moi, words, voice, mix; background music, Bamboo Music's 'Last Flute,' a free mp3 download on

Raw drawing; raw recording. No performance or finesse here. As it was happening.


a cloud of light
swept over the land
across the expanse

bare branches of trees
against a winter sky

ocean drifting overhead

dark minnow streaks

my mug of sand

roots, sky, solid

tense, open, terrible,



cross hatching of ink lines

secrets, secrets,
secrets, secrets

secrets of women

of women

secrets secrets secrets

there are no secrets

and then the veil descended
like a cloud of light

sea curls, foam

what is the moment of belief?

how long does it last?

does it matter?

and then,
and then…

and then.


Secrets - a draft

Secrets, 20.5cm x 25.5cm, 8"x10", India inks, archival pen inks, graphite, coffee spill, uploaded January 11, 2011 - a doodle, though I did make a stop and start voice recording as I was writing the words (you can hear the pen scratching on paper in some of it). I'll see about hosting the recording somewhere, and transcribing it I guess. I don't think this piece is finished yet, though maybe it is.

If you click on the drawing, it'll open to a larger size in a new window. It's later, and I've made an .mp3. You can listen. The words are in the drawing, all of them and I'm reading them to you via a 'voice memo' on my iPhone as I'm writing them.

Raw drawing; raw recording. No performance or finesse here. I had to try this once, and once is enough truly.

Not sure how listenable... recorded while composing the writing in the drawing, and you can hear the pen scratching, me flipping pages to look for written images, and the slowness. Voice following the fingers. Reading what's being written, rather than composing out loud. Unable to post as is, the flat voice, so I had to. Bamboo Music, a background.

Brenda Clews, words, voice, mix; background music, Bamboo Music's 'Last Flute,' a free mp3 download on

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Starfire in the Night

direct link to the recording of the poem: Starfire in the Night.
Moi, poetry, voice, mix. Music: Frank Harper's beautiful 'Moon's Eve,'
from "Fingerstyle - Set 1":

Album cover from a painting of mine - see original poem and painting,
from a post on Feb 27, 2009. (And actually I think I threw out the painting
in a funk one day.)

click on images for larger size

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Hieroglyphic of Purple Lotuses

direct link: Hieroglyphic of Purple Lotuses.
Music, the last half of Ka eN's, "Oriental Dreams"
(shortened for the length of the poem, do listen to the whole track,
it's lovely):

A poetry recording - I continue experimenting with vocal patterns. :-)
My son called this one "trippy." Rather a compliment, I felt. :-)

A poem on poetry. Surreal, with an interweaving love poem.

The first writing ever discovered is of accounts, financial dealings. Not myth, or poetry:

"First our bodies; then our souls.
I owe you; you owe me; they owe us; we owe them."

History - the Rossetta Stone, the key to reading the hieroglyphics of Ancient Egyptian language. Translation.

How we translate each other.

The strange and mystical magic of Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses, their stately and regal motion, on a barge in the landscape of our surreal dreams:

"Or why the barge transporting
stone still gods with the heads of
wearing Khonsu headdresses,
full moons on crescent moons,
is heaped with purple

great snake who
fertilizes the
cosmic egg.


click images for larger size

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direct link to 1min recording: disappearing

into a world
of disappearing forms
where figures
thick viscous glass
melted sand granules

falling into dream

Brenda Clews' poetry, voice and mix. Background music, a section from: "Trio for Flute, Cymbals, and Glass" by Matt Samolis -

blog banner, left, for feeds like facebook; 
 below, icon links to my webpages
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'from the Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems': a collaboration

direct link: from the Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems

a love story...

...where Botticelli's Venus, ideal of beauty, the goddess who ushered in the Renaissance, bucks her scallop shell and in pursuit of erotic passion, experiences love in the world with its betrayals, deceptions, rejections... how our hearts of purity suffer like Venus pursuing the intrigues of passion, its tempests, for the love in her life... the poetry of our life is our love...

...this love story interweaves the purity of Botticelli's Venus, and Venus Pandemos of myth, her lover Mars, the story of Psyche and Eros, a personal story, and how we clothe ourselves with shimmering presence,  'translucent robes' of poetry:

beauty, fragile, on the lip of, edges, knowing loss's inevitability, a flower blossoms, scented, fragrant and soft vivid colour of petal drifting away, it can't remain, you knew, Botticelli, and

yet, she is, borne by the Zephyr on the scallop-shell and wrapped in veils of flowers by the Horae

washes of colour, seaspray of roses,

translucent robes

poetry we weave ourselves with


Writing is a deeply
meditative act.

A language of love.

A listening.


This recording is a collaboration.

I recorded a poem drawn from my manuscript-in-progress, The Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems, and sent it to Buz Hendricks (whose track, 'Because' I had paired with my prosepoem, 'Light Catches Diamonds').

Buz composed a beautiful jazz/orchestral score. I listened in wonder- he is very gifted. He writes: "I started with a piano and just improvised while listening to the poem. The same for all the other tracks, just played to your voice. That's why it was able to ebb and flow with your voice."

I have a videopoem planned for this piece, too.

Buz Hendricks' website:

Buz on Jamendo:

The cover is a detail of a painting of mine.

From Women In Summer - the process of painting

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Ravishment of Light (1:10min), a recording

I love this little player! This recording of Ravishment of Light is from July 2007. I wrote it after watching the movie, Sunshine.

It's short, and I would like to make it into a videopoem, though who knows?

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Dancing an Unwinding after a Solstice Celebration

Dancing an Unwinding after a Solstice Celebration from Brenda Clews on Vimeo.
This is my first videotaping of dance, something I've wished to do for a long time. After the Solstice DOWH (Dance Our Way Home) session finished, and most of the women left, a few kindly stayed to dance so we could get some stills for an article, but I liked the footage and created this little video dance poem. You can read the prose poem here:

Dancing Women: Erica Ross, Laura Nashman, Angela Greco, Jade Niemczyk, Linda Robinson & Brenda Clews

Event: Dance Our Way Home (DOWH), June 20th, 2009, at Dovercourt House in Toronto:

Background music from *Collection Hapa* by Keli'i Kaneali'i & Barry Flanagan:

Videotaped, edited & prose poetry by Brenda Clews:
Comments (4)

Meridians of Culture

Direct URL: Meridians of Culture

(I have added experimental avanteguard music in the background: 'Lambkins Black,' by Alphacore, which carries a Creative Commons License. It may be found at Jamendo.)

It's my daughter's favourite of all my recordings, and I think it is mine too. More like a Joycean inner dramatic monologue. I am hoping it moves in the direction of a deeper, richer writing that hints at vast underlying energies the way stream-of-consciousness, surrealist and dream-time writing does...

Hope you enjoy this recording! I am hoping, somehow, to add video to it, though the thought is daunting, just daunting. Any ideas or suggestions for video would be muchly appreciated.


Wrote this poem in the intensity of the afternoon on that day and I wouldn’t describe it only as stream-of-consciousness or surreal or dream-time but as an inter-splicing, like synapses crossing the brain to create strange formations and patterns, of different meridians from the world in which I am embedded. From the sonic to metaphors of natural substances, processes and systems that express thoughts about life and death and consciousness to cultural events, such as the recent tragic death of Michael Jackson and the paradoxes he represents, or personal ones, like my 86 year old mother’s recently broken hip, to historical revolution. The way it is in the deeper speaking, behind which. Life enters. Renovation going on outside my window, which you may be able to hear, became the renovation in the poem. The poem spans many meridians. I’ve decided to call it,

Meridians of Culture


In the deepest speaking. Clone the element. Tarry the fishnet. Slice swordfish swording slices. Cut the knuckles. Chuck the jade. Be verbs to your object. Sledge hammer the screwdriver through the wood grain fibres until the wood splits into columbines. Spin with the wind machine. Pan is wandering the forest like a komodo dragon. Whiteness of the clouds pushes in on vision. Tinsley sound, boot scratches soil. Dirt, rocks. Fecund upper being outflowing volcanic rubble. Don’t laugh. You’re next.

Line up; fall out of place. Jump off turning ferris wheels. Neverland never was. Don’t turn a black-eyed cheek on me.

Roth your socks. Mildew doesn’t grow between our toes.

They floated by the Great Wall of China, and then fell. Mao had thick fat lips and I never trusted him. He killed millions in the name of revolution, a tyrant like any other.

Go green. Like everyone. Green, keep greening. I don’t mind my status. Neither should you. Hips are beautiful; why do they crack & crumble? We will all have metal hips in the new utopia. Where we clone with steel. Pins. Motherboards. Chips. Design element.

I don’t want to make this easy for you but it should be fun. Today I’m a bit of vibrating anti-matter; tomorrow I could be a gold statue by the pond of orange fish. Fish float freely through Freon.

Rainbow my world.

The world is sweet. Layers of sweetness. I get caught in the honeyed loving of it all. Birds sing my heart. Happiness.

‘Let me in,’ the man renovating says to his bud. Clatter of sheet metal.

It’s a cool summer of bliss.

But there I go. Not undercutting myself enough. People live different realities.

When you’ve been tortured, wounded and set free every day is a gift.


In this speaking, no I don’t. You do wind, wood, fire; I, metal, bone, water. If you can sustain the listening. Where the flames roar.

Punctuated sentences. Punctured.

Eyes of meridians cool the water you pull the sword out of.

Acupuncture of the soul, which can’t be pinned.

Our souls are wind, fire wind.

Burning through life.

The birds in the trees never tire of their singing. Speaking to sing.

Hush rush of cars sleekly sliding by.

Clouds of gold
fall on me.


The ear is a nautilus shell out which the ocean pours. Roar of seawater. My spine is brine. Mollusk, exoskeletal dancing on the flashing rock-star studded stage. Sliding into Motown. Ho-town. Show town.

In-earbuds. Listen.

The deep speaking is song. The burning bush sings of nautilus souls sweeping the burning deserts of ruin.

Ozymandias, crumbling.

Dust is the most creative substance on the planet. Ground rock. Galvanized gallantry. Silica strands. Igneous dreams. Encrusted crystals. Embedded dreams. We are miners of the ore.

We come from what we go to. Everything that takes form dissolves.

What is the intuition of the cloud-bank? It’s so white it brights my vision.

Most days I am dissolved and barely resolved.

Hailing baby cries. Rush of thunderbird. Ignition. Trains rocking. Laughter. Baby glee. Sun. Wind. Tree. Out of the dust storm of life. How can a life be fragmented? It can’t unless it cuts into death from life, like a zipper. Maybe we do, death-teeth, life-teeth, hailing our baby screams. Flesh cuts both ways.

It’s irresolvable. Nothing to hold onto.
This ragged bone-edge of the world.


I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be scattered. I want to be collected.


Frosted tip of emeralds shining in the raw rock that slips like soapstone.

Green, greening.

He is black, with green cat eyes. Fur over bone.

Hiding in the rocks. Under your toes. Ground bits of the ground world. Greening its grounding. A planet greening its grounding. Magma slips. Seawater steams.

I don’t think I’m living in a forest fire but I could be.

Forest fire of flaming souls.

How can the liquid light of being be honey glossing the fires? Sweetness, beauty.

Comments (6)

Love Letters on Sand Manadalas (1:01min)

Added a background of ocean & shells to this older recording for the Photopoem page of my Art & Writings website. An improvement over the plain voice in this one. I worked on this recording (shells & distant tinkling bells are mine) because I thought this poem needed some 'pizzaz.'

(But, yes, I forgot to 'master fade out' & this version is gone because I continued fiddling in garageband & saved a later version... it bothers me, but, ahhhh, it's late... & I did manually 'fade out' each of the six tracks (yes, yes, there are that many)...

Love Letters on Sand Mandalas, to play
(click on this image
to enlarge)

Comments (4)

Dance of the Solar Wind (2:28min)

A recording of a prosepoem. While I made the recording in 2007, I never posted it. This morning I played with it in Garageband, adding loops (actually, this is the first time I have ever done this - a new direction perhaps). Surprisingly, I like it. Not sure about the image, oh, not the sun, the sun is beautiful in its golden fields of fire, but, hey, I don't have a whole lot of images of myself.

Read the text here.


DSL or Cable

Comments (5)

Fragments towards a meditation on the body...

A recording that's bobbing back on the SoundClick charts, unexpectedly, momentarily.

If the embedded player doesn't appear (it's mysteriously absent on RSS feeds), click on these links to listen: DSL or Cable;
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