'Ink Ocean' performed live at HOWL@QSpace



Ink Ocean: http://youtu.be/w4Xs2dIt2m4

On Nov 25, 2012, I performed my prose poem 'Ink Ocean,' on the Gulf Oil Spill, as one of the featured poets at Nik Beat's HOWL@QSpace in Toronto. I had memorized the prose poem. The image of the ink drawing, from which the poem emerged, only appears in the still for the video (I've included an image at the end of this post for you). I'm actually quite happy with the performance itself - passionate, intense, and yet clear enunciation.

Ink Ocean is about the oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when nearly 5 million barrels, or 210 million gallons, of crude oil were spilled into the sea due to an explosion of an off-shore drilling rig. It remains the largest marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Over 5 months, hydro-carbon eating bacteria devoured 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas in the Gulf, and then stopped. Despite the massive cleaning efforts by the oil industry and governments, and the efforts of the bacteria, as of 2012, 40% of the spill remains in the waters.

This prose poem began as writing in an ink drawing. It took 6 - 8 months to finish, and was revised in preparation for this reading.  It is an experimental poem structually. A poem of utterance, of cross-currents and paradoxes. It is composed of many voices, and perspective shifts.

There are two parts. The first is on the oil spill, and the second is about love in a world bordering on oblivion, a world that's half spirit. We are in the 6th Mass Extinction on the earth. This is the backdrop.

The poem starts out in the Gulf and moves with the Gulf Stream to the Atlantic Ocean where it becomes a love poem. Can we love in a world inviting extinction? Yes, of course we can, and must.

---
With thanks to Nik Beat, Q Space and Luciano Iacobelli. It was a great evening.




Ink Ocean, 2010, 13" x 16", India ink on archival paper. My prose poem on the Gulf Oil Spill, Ink Ocean, emerged from this drawing. The poem was revised in 2012.

___

 brendaclews.com
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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.






 brendaclews.com
Comments

A Palmistry of Signs

What do you think? I plan to write it into my painting. Once there, the words can't be changed.


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.

__

I made a recording of the prose/poem, if you like to listen while you read.



(Background music by Aymeric, from their album on Jamendo, 'Sometimes,' cut 03.)




___

Some notes on writing process.

(Is this a defense of my style, or a rough explanation of my aesthetic?)

While I like to offer depth and complexity, for the record, I don't do 'stream of consciousness' - I've been working on this for a while, the images, the feelings, the meanings - even if it only took 20 or 30 minutes to write. Nothing comes out of a vacuum, and the semiotic undercurrent in our subconscious minds has not got the metaphoric order of a poem (or prose poem). I like to radiate out to divergent images, spark their neuronal connections, get the whole mind thinking, sometimes puzzled, sometimes recognizing. My poetry hopefully gives the reader a bit of a ride into an imaginative world, a ride that also offers exercise of those faculties of imagination, and the extraordinary ability we have to find meaning in divergent things. And be inspiring, of course. Emotionally, we are a very complex and nuanced species, and our emotional reactions and apperceptions cohere our lives. I like to tell it as it is, in all its paradoxes, ambiguities, irresolvable inconsistencies, its terrors and beauties - this is life, how we live.



brendaclews.com
Comments

When I closed my eyes...

When I closed my eyes and lay back on the small, soft down pillow, I fell though it, and the sheen of white sheets, the mattress, hard foam and wood, plunging into hardwood floor, down into the dank earth, until I was falling in deep space far past the planets or our solar system or even our galaxy.

Sometimes I sleep when I nap; sometimes I don't.

brendaclews.com
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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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Wet Trees

A mute shifting, like the slide from a light-dimmed sky
to darkness in the slanting rain. I am
wordless. The dead hover over me
as we commune.

When we are here, fully immersed, time unravels
properly. Otherwise
it knots.

Knots of not-enough time tighten. Tasks pile on tasks and
we forget the spirits
who wait for us:

To remember our remembering.

The falling rain sleets and turns to snow;
the boughs of the black trees glisten wetly
in the night.







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Comments (2)

A Floral Opera

A Floral Opera is a nature poem. An ecosphere of mind and nature. A portrait of a woman singing in a garden. Quite hallucinatory, combining Deleuzian philosophy, surreal images.

My plan is to add this poem to the poems I'll be reciting in my long videopoem, Tangled Garden. If you'd like to read it, and offer response or feedback (I'll probably start recording on Friday, so before then if possible) email me for the password. (brenda [dot] clews [at] gmail [dot] com).

Encrypted poem:


Comments

'dance/ ...indigo folio leaves'


direct link: dance/ ...indigo folio leaves (with poem)

A dance that is creative movement, a moving meditation. Brenda Clews: prose poetry, dance, video. Music: José Travieso's track, 'Monster,' on his album, "No More Faith."

Music

...enters your backbone, joints, plucks the
cartilage holding you together. Music is the
moon of the red tides of your bloodstream.
Drift to and fro, a willow tree, or sway, bend,
a flamenco, stretch, purple morning glories
on the vine, jump. Sway your hips, delta of
fiery flow. Express yourself, woman. No-one
is watching. Say it all. The lyric travels tenderly
through your wrist, a memory of the wind on the
hill. You are an instrument of the musician who
is absent, gone. Whose music plays on; who
does not know you exist. Orphean muse. Twirl
on the floor, the beat in your ankles, room
spinning, see the canvas walls, luminous see
the sun, moon, stars that are always there.
Spin on the clock turning. Give everything.

Wanton woman. Harlot of the night. Mother of
angels. Insufferable radiance. Black hole of
emptiness. Sweet moan nectar.

Mystery dangles like your silver bracelets,
the ghosts are present. Approach yourself by
disappearing. Undulate your liquid bones.
Beautiful sensuality. Seek invisible illumination
in your writhing steps. Leave time, transform in
your multiplicity, a seer searching the spheres.
Manifest your dreams. Shake them out of the air
to materialize before you like light forms. Shimmy,
wet sweat, a flag in a wind storm. Thunder the
floor. Witch, werewolf, Goth beauty, fragile
starchild, cyberpunk, pull the sky down. Sway
those hips, woman. Sway them until you ignite.
Dance with your ineffable muse. Just, dance.

I pull purple veils over my vision, indigo
blue silk lights and shadows.

Listen: dance on the stage of your
imagination.


© by Brenda Clews, 2011



Contemplating the Muse

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dance/ ...indigo folio leaves


direct link: dance/ ...indigo folio leaves

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

Late afternoon, 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 goth 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 two different dances to the same music: 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.

I see the woman of the dance transformed into figures that are, but are not me.



I wrote to the Spanish musician, José, on his track, 'Monster': 'This piece is so beautiful, like the passion of angels, pain and transcendance in the music that you play, what is the monster? Is beauty the monster?

How can beauty be a monster?'

He teaches all day, and at night, the music. Stressful, hard. He rarely has time to read, walk, visit friends, relax. "Everyday I work on it with passion... or maybe just obsession. So, everyday, when I'm recording an album, I feel more and more tired, it consumes me... Music is my own monster, my search for the perfection and the beautiful thing is my own monster. This is my explanation."

'I understand. A consuming passion. A beauty that devours its creator in consummation.

I, too, prefer art that is vulnerable, without pretence.'



[still working on this prose poem]

Music

...enters your backbone, joints, plucks the
cartilage holding you together. Music is the
moon of the red tides of your bloodstream.
Drift to and fro, a willow tree, or sway, bend,
a flamenco, stretch, purple morning glories
on the vine, jump. Centre in your hips, your
delta of fiery flow. Feel your pain, power, joy.
Express yourself, woman. No-one is watching.
Say it all. The lyric travels tenderly through your
wrist, a memory of the wind on the hill. Be the
hands that play you. You are an instrument of the
instruments of the musician who is blind, absent,
gone. Whose music plays on; who does not know
you exist. Orphean muse. Twirl on the floor, the
beat in your ankles, room spinning, see through
the canvas walls, stars, sun, moon luminous
on the clock turning. Give everything.

Wanton woman. Harlot of the night. Mother of
angels. Insufferable radiance. Black hole of
emptiness. Sweet moan nectar.

Be loose as a cigarette on the lip in Rio de Janeiro.
The ruffle on a lacy skirt in Dusseldorf. Like the
ruins of the Colosseum in Rome. Glide as
diamonds on the Aegean Sea. Icy tundra of the
Arctic. Emerge and submerge a dorsal fin in the
Caribbean. Become a stone age myth, a magic
amulet hewn from rock. Goddess of the Oroborus
serpent, undulate your liquid bones. Mystery dangles
like your silver bracelets, the ghosts are present.
Approach yourself by disappearing. Rhumba to
this moment; tango to the other side. Primavera of
being. Beautiful in your sensuality. Seek invisible
illumination in your writhing steps. Flee time,
transform in your multiplicity, a seer searching
the spheres. Manifest your wishes - your dreams.
Shake them out of the air to materialize like light forms.
Shimmy, wet sweat, a flag in a wind storm. Thunder
the floor. Cross mid-section through a Pythagorean
theorem and come out the other end of Leibniz's prisms.
Play on Goethe's colour wheel. Trip like a stream
dashing over rocks as smoothly as a Shakespearean
sonnet's sexual ambiguity. Witch, werewolf, Goth
beauty, fragile starchild, cyberpunk, pull the sky
down. Sway those hips, woman. Sway them until you
ignite. Be you while you dance; don't let them
touch you. Dance with your ineffable
muse. Just, dance.

I pull purple veils over my eyes, in love with
indigo blue silk lights and shadows.

I dance the white and black keys of a harpsichord
while it dances me.

Listen: dance on the stage of your
imagination.



© by Brenda Clews, 2011 (a sort of inspirational poem for women, but there's a lot going on in it, too)

            


___
If you're fascinated by the way videos evolve through versions, there are two earlier versions at a Picasa album: The Canvas Backdrop

I've entered this poem in the Big Tent Poetry's Ring of weekly poems. 'dance, ...indigo folio leaves' is a performance piece that includes video and poetry. One, a poetry of motion; the other a written poem. They are on the subject of dancing, and the poem is still being drafted.


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Comments (10)

Photographer of White Clay

Your clay-whitened bodies covered with cracks like dry riverbeds on the surface of the moon.

Cracked and dry as a desert. Denuded of identity, warmth, flush skin tones. No bright highlights, no glamour. Bodies risen from clay pools, an earthen pottery.

No colour, erase difference. Frozen white ghosts on the edge of time, a sea of pale mud, a genesis.

You are Adam and Eve, the beginning of all beginnings, or the end of all endings. Face each other, relinquish your loneliness.

Your skin hardened like living statues in a dissolving Garden of Eden, the smeared powdered rock, breathing clay, imprisoned in your own beauty.

Or Butoh dancers, the anguish of the bomb that whitens into ash,
pain rising as dying reeds sway in the blackened river,
encase yourselves with white wet dust,
obliterate yourselves

In it, roll in it, emotion, explosive,
hidden in those primal masks,
naked in your ghostly forms,
raw spirits rising.

Pass beyond the eye
of my camera

To the dark side of the moon.

Sink into your bodies,
into each other.




(background music, a tiny section of 'Bodydrama at The Nave,' by ARTSomerville)

Statues in Profile (photograph will open in a new tab)

photo by Marko Kulik


-
In response to a Big Tent poetry prompt: Write a poem about a portrait photograph that you did not take yourself: "The strategy this week is that you will imagine the photographer and write about the subject as if from the point of view of the photographer."

As a photographer, I am a director of the shot as I describe the poetry of the scene to the actors so that they can become what I am looking for.

See here for the prompt and links to the other poems.
Comments (16)

Ink Ocean

I don't expect anyone to actually like this, but it should read interestingly. My last cut on my upcoming poetry album. In process, still to be finished, recorded, and so on.

[When I write, I am a wreck. Wonder if this long piece written thru interspersed months will pull together? I read aloud; crawl into a ball; write with my shaking bones.]

Ink Ocean


In the burning ocean. Where plumes drag through the world's gloom. Swoop of feathers, 
tarred. Or metal wings of dispersants. Gloss the rocks. You can't know where we go at 
night. Or why the morning shines. Or the glimmer of gold before sunset. Relentless tidal 
cycles. Let me tear at the crests and troughs. Go in. GO IN. Shiver. Sin. Dark water, grey 
clouds. A rain of black in falls from the sky. Drips. Rips, slashes the wet heaving page. 
Heat of sandpaper on fire. Burn the slick, salt water on fire. Coral crevices to hide. 
Grottos like vowels. That invite. Come in, why don't you. Open. Open. Open. Arms 
reach up. Seeds rain down. Wash the foam. Pray forests. Burning despair of illusion. 
Fruit of veils to burn in. Salt washes open eyes. Deltas fog. They said GO IN.
.

In the night, I covered the words. Ink sheets. Sheets of the net of ink. Even I couldn't 
read them anymore. I forgot the words, or they forgot me. Or I had to make them up 
when you asked. They washed up from the black ocean, those words. Spun out of black 
thread with black foam on a wave darkly. Ocean of words lapping on the beach,
reckoning.
.

Love isn't a silky bliss mist, more like the suture we sew our wounds with. The bloodied 
scapula-feathers of angels.
.

Language summons us to speak.

Speaking cascades from depths
like wells of water overflowing.

Water eats away at order, rivers
erode their banks, deltas silt.

Our words silt in the paddies
of time, flooded with being.
.

...the ocean
tempests, salt
waves seep
from the rug
under my feet...
.
This strange sea birdsong on love.
.
Coded words. Words that conceal what they reveal, that hide their message in plain sight. 
Invisible essence of the world. We are seeing what is invisible. The falling butterflies. 
Our hands full of snow. Or white feathers in the heat. What do we hide behind? What 
can we not forget? The way we perceive the lives we live are our realities.
Don't make it up.

When I lift the lip, water drops of me, my desk, the paper.

The salt burns.
.

We could be stars burning through the night
or phosphorescent fish glowing without starlight in the deep.

I am a fisherman of words, dragging my nets through your oceans, trawling your schools
of lexicons.
.

Love is the twine that binds our bones together.

Let the cold water fill our eyes until we swim in vision every night.

Oil swirls, coating.
.

Under sheets of sea in the frozen Atlantic we found each other.

You came in me like a wave of love.

My heart dances crill.

Whalesong of life.

Salt falls from feathers under this pen writing its words on the dark side of the moon
in the abandoned ocean beds.


Wet, heaving page.

Ink sheets.


Love is an aorta. A pounding surf of consonants like blood cells in the syrum falling from
rising wings.


It's a clash of shell, bone, hunger, physics, troughs and crests, blinding moments, the
sight of psychics.


Into. The explosion of who we are.
Our oily words. Crashing waters.
Choking the river streams. Fish bulging, dying.
We eat the world.

We go out each night and net the catch. Clean up the mess. Retain memories. Under
our gold skin, arms flap like wings of waves.
.

Let me flow over you while you drown me.

...in your love. in your love. in your love...
.


The dream of us opens.

I fold the ocean over my head. Spy on our dreams. Within dreams we liquify. We are gone 
at night. Wings of sand on fire. The lovers' grotto, held together with crab claws, filament 
of gold feather shafts. Gilded ink. Love wakes
you every day. Into
your
body, body
of words.

Seeping, lines of tar on the sands.
Crumple the paper of wind.


Find darkness; bring it in. IN.


An opencast poem, working from the exposed surface.

Taking images from what appears.
.

we anchor in the swells.

we are sky, sun, moon, stars, wet kisses of wind, sailing birds, flying fish, glittering ocean


we are nothing


we will wash away
drops in the ocean
without memory

nets of words
dissolving

knowing
this strange song of
love loves
through us...

love loves
through us...

love loves
through us...








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Salt of the Sea




direct link: Salt of the Sea.
Livio Amato's, 'Dream Opening,' from his album, "Sensitivity"


Salt of the Sea

             She said seawards-
"Salt in the seas
like the blood in tears,
a forced forment of waves:
our cries, rushed into
life, and death,
a barge that carries
souls to the other side
of nowhere."

The moon slides
into a shell
conch, cone, harp, volva
that hears
our whisperings-
breeze, seafoam.

This season of weathered wood, amniotic
scent.

Inner forces drive the ocean.

Mystery emerges and recedes like waves
opening dreams.

Osprey and clouds sail high over surf.

Print the soul in the flag to fray.
Rocks rubbing in water become sand.
Wet sand under the pincers of crabs who burrow.
The warp and weave of the ocean slapping
at our consciousnesses.

You came, on a minion of steel, the noise
of condensed crowds. Like an engine
of grief. Imprinted with caustic
wax winds. Ripe as a
salt flower.

With blue love on your lips
the colour of seaspray.



The sea drops its showers
of diamonds on our skin.

We waited for each other
in the violins
of wind.

The water
thick with history.

I placed my heart
in your stone
chest.

A wave gives to another wave
its white wedding foam.

Here in the depths of understanding
among the seahorses and anemones,
graves, lovers, sunken dreams,
buried treasures.


"Love, love until the night
falls swiftly."
Pablo Neruda



(I took this photo in North Vancouver, 2003)

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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.

xo






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

I

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.

II

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.

III

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.

IV

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

V

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.

Sustaining.
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In the Early Evening

I draw deep red curtains over the dimming remnants of fire opal in the sky as darkness sweeps over the continent I live on.
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A Love Affair

This series of poems is about a love affair a few years ago. The gentleman and I haven't been in touch since. Enough time has passed for me to release this recording, made in March 2006. Most of these poems can be found in the archives at Rubies In Crystal.

I would add a Parental Warning Advisory, but only to the first poem.

A Love Affair (15:53min)



















Broadband: A Love Affair

Dial-up: A Love Affair
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Burning Star

Writing stopped its ceaseless flow and I don't know why. Something occurred in my interior life that jolted me severely and I lost the imaginal figure who fired my desire to write. I'm shifting, transforming, unable to see or know what's ahead. The shock remains. I am sundered, unsure. Is it that the star came too close?

But perhaps the point is the obscurity, confusion, incomprehension. Inside this burning star where I blindly feel exploding energy without graspable form.
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Lacework

When I came back to writing, a simple image. Proustian, perhaps, but I shall let the lace unravel. It's taken me back to my grad school days, at the little apartment in the Annex area of Toronto I rented after the university year had begun and almost nothing was available.


I
t could begin with lace.

Lace that is white, or yellowed with the sun's steaming. Threads that are looped, twisted, braided, 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. Spiderwebs of lace floating, an organic garden of cotton and linen and silk. Threads weaving the world...

That hangs over the door's casement glass.

On the hot Summer's night I pass the house that resembles the one that I remember.

The same brickwork, windows, placement on the land. Perhaps the orange lilies are descendants of the those when it was a boarding house and I lived in the kitchen become a bachelor apartment in the little room out back without insulation where I put my bed and had visions.

Upstairs the Vietnam vet who once a month shrieked for hours at the guerrillas in the napalm drenchings of his mind. He deserted what could never desert him. He became a Peeping Tom and I kept my curtains shut at night, long, deep burgundy red velvet curtains, redolent with smoke and cooking oils, that were there, perhaps, from the house's inception.


-

He only looked in the window once, at night, it was very dark, but I knew who it was. I was writing in a journal, non-stop writing that I did every spare moment. My hair was blonde and long and curly. When I lifted my knees on the couch to hold the book while I wrote there was an audible gasp -though I wore shorts- and he ran away. That was when I began keeping the long, dark velvet curtains shut, and I told a man who had lived in the house and who knew about the man who shouted at the air for hours every month or so and we agreed he was a bit crazy but harmless.

Once when I went upstairs to see the kitchen that my friend used his door was open and he was lying in the middle of his large bed without a shirt on, fat, big white belly and a fuzz of dark chest hair, tortured with memory, flashbacks, fury, the incendiary mess of the Vietnam war, a victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and he looked very hot, it was a Summer heat-wave, and sorrowful.

The look on his face at seeing me peering at him was a surprised interruption of an unending tangle of thoughts that always occupied him. Perhaps he received a government cheque every month and paid his rent and got drunk; perhaps that was when the shouting began.

It was like he was yelling at a commando, someone who didn't do what they should have done, or didn't look after everyone as they should have, an unending invective of recrimination, scattered words, repetitive, without coherency.

The whole house shook with his shouting. It was from a place of such deep pain no-one ever called the police. Or complained to the landlord. Canada was a safe haven from the American obsession with a pointless and horrific and endless war. It's hard to imagine that he felt we were taking care of him, but in our own way we were.

Of course, in those days, the door didn't have an exquisite, expensive layer of lace, it was bare.



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Light Catches Diamonds

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The Pool of Gazing



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Dance of the Solar Wind



"...behind thought I have a musical core. But even further back there's the beating heart. The deepest thought is, then, a beating heart." (Clarice Lispector, Stream of Life, 36)
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The day illusions fell

This prose poem is dedicated to that magnifique intellectual and poet par excellence, John Walter. Some of the lines in this piece came from a comment I left at his moving poem, Nepenthe. It's also dedicated to my close confidant, Kaj, who received this prose poem as a voice mail message when he didn't answer his Treo, and for which I was generously thanked. Thank you, such beautiful men...
And to Sky, whose photographs and writing of the flowers in her garden inspired the imagery of the last paragraph, so sumptuous they ebulliently began blossoming over here.



Early March 2007, Toronto
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