Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Poetic of Light/Une poétique de la lumière

This meditative video poem is dedicated to all of you. With thanks...

Poetic of Light/ Poétique de la lumière uploaded by Brenda Clews to YouTube.

The poetry is addressed to the lover, the soul mate, you, the viewer.

My videopoem is finished. After a week of nearly nonstop work, most nights till 3 or 4 am and up again at 7 or 8am and working right through, I am happy with it. For your enjoyment, I have uploaded both the final version with poetry, and the silent version too.

I searched through my writing for nearly a whole day to find what might work. I decided on 
'White Fire,' a meditation on soul mates since I had been vaguely dancing with that poem in mind on the day that I taped this, and had printed it on fine paper and threw the pages in the air and danced on them during the videoing of my dance session last June.

White Fire now has a web page at my Art & Writings website, where you may read the prosepoem in its entirety. In the video I have only used a few quotes on the creation of the universe out of light. I wrote this prose poem nearly a decade ago, and at that time I was invited to read it on the radio and it nearly became a performance with 8 dancers and musicians!

The celestial and ecstatic piano is from "Spring" in the album, '
Piano Paintings' by the brilliant Russian composer and pianist, Lena Selyanina. It holds a Creative Commons license and may be listened to, and downloaded freely, at Jamendo (it's also available on the Internet Archives, and as a torrent on Mininova). Lena came by my website, since I had left a note at her site on Jamendo that the music in my videopoem, Venus Enroute, is hers, and wrote: "I am impressed by your art and happy that you have found inspiration from my music. I am looking forward to see how the Spring dance will evolve....with warm greetings from Helsinki, Finland, Lena." How wonderful.

One of the challenges I set myself in this videopoem was to create a self-contained movie. I have, therefore, included the text of the prosepoetry being recited 
in the movie itself. You will see that I have worked very hard to produce this video in a way that the text becomes a design element in the video itself.

Except at the end, where I felt darkness was most effective.

I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I have enjoyed making it.

Earlier version without words: Poetic of Light/Poétique de la lumière (a poetry without words) at Vimeo.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Poetic of Light/Poétique de la lumière - In-progress

This clip isn't finished yet. I hope to add poetry -I'm thinking of not just voice, or maybe no voice at all (that piano so beautiful), but having the words float down the screen, especially during intervals when I 'disappear' from the 'room'- I'm sharing this earlier version because it has charm... when I finish this video I'll upload to YouTube... but I thought you might enjoy this stage in the creation, a little clip, this simplicity.

If you'd like to see a screenshot of the Final Cut Express window with the filters I used, you can see it at TwitPic (press the + sign to see full size). This video, taken in June 2009, was shot with an older DV camera, a Canon GL2.

The celestial and ecstatic piano is from "Spring" in 'Piano Paintings' by Lena Selyanina. It holds a Creative Commons license and may be listened to, and downloaded freely, at Jamendo (it's also available on the Internet Archives, and as a torrent on Mininova).

I also tried unsuccessfully to upload this video to Blogger for two days! I'm hosting it from Facebook. Yes, I have a YouTube account, but I prefer to keep that site for finished videopoems. I don't think a Facebook url will work, but you can try: Poetic of Light/Poétique de la lumière - In-progress (will work for fb 'friends' & send an invite if you're there- I'd love to connect.) The embedded video doesn't travel by email, and so I like to offer a direct url. I may upload to Vimeo when my 'new week' starts.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Video: 'Venus Enroute' from "The Botticelli Venus Suite of Poems"

Venus Enroute uploaded by Brenda Clews to YouTube.

The poetry is an excerpt from my "Botticelli Suite of Venus Poems":

She stopped to rest. Momentarily, in the field of pure possibility, her position unfixed, indeterminate.

Without hovering, or insecurity.

It was an image of being in the vast field of life.

Without knowing. In a position of unknowing, positionless, I suppose. Existing without location or momentum. Vibrating with possibility. It wasn't exciting or fearful, just what is.

Nothing is fixed or certain, though there are always solutions to problems.

Then she continued on.

She didn't doubt her certainties.

The music clip is from Lena Selyanina's 'Sarah's Dance,' from her album, "Piano Poetry," which carries a Creative Commons license and may be found here: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/45056.

The chair sequence and the poem added to it had no original connection. I cut the clip from two hours of footage as perhaps 'workable.' Then I searched for a poem. It's amazing how the poem 'fits' the movement, huh? Creatively perhaps we are a gesture, a gesture where here poetry and dance are an aligned fusion.

Albeit, the resulting video is a bit comic. The tag on the back of my dress? As soon as I saw the footage I grabbed the dress and cut it off. The other camera? Ahh, I'm still just learning how to make videos and don't have a clone plugin to remove these elements. Enjoy the humor!

(Or perhaps, in context of the poem, since Venus has swung her scallop shell around to enter the world of experience, we could say the tag on her dress reads: 'If this Vintage Venus is found wandering, send her back to "Mount Olympus"!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

What is most significant about us is not our brilliance, inventiveness, creativity or our rich civilization, but our capacity to love.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

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: brendaclews.blogspot.com/2009/03/ericas-dance-our-way-home.html

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: danceourwayhome.com

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

Videotaped, edited & prose poetry by Brenda Clews: sites.google.com/site/brendaclews

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

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.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The poet dances over her poetry

All photographs taken today, at my first ever rental of a beautiful room to videotape dance. I can't believe I've done this. It's been a wish for 7 years.

(You will note that I lack the energy at this hour with the dog still to walk to clone-tool out the camera that the camera records in two of these stills from the video :-)

(click on any to see larger size in a new tab)

The poet is dancing over her poetry

Since 2002 I have wanted to rent a room and videotape dancing for footage for videopoetry. Today I finally realized my wish in a beautiful room that I rented for a few hours in a nearby church. Though it's taken 7 years, and I'm older now, I am celebrating my courage.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Videopoem (1:56min): Solstician Rain

Direct link to YouTube video: Solstician Rain

The light was beautiful, but ripe, fruity, dense, as if walking through a film in technicolour. Light swimming to us through veils of vapour high up, some particles clear, others refracted. Colour magnified. Air, rich. The streets a vision under a distant roar of stratospheric surf. Then it poured.

The woman I passed saw the light, its ominous hush, picked up an umbrella on her way out. I didn't.

We, my dog and I, stood under a tree cover while thunder broke its drums.

We weren't slicked and soaked by the time we reached home, only dampened with large drops: she, smelling of happy wet dog; me with my khaki green long soft Indian cotton skirt, spotted, juiced.


'Solstician Rain' is a description of my walk yesterday evening. An hour or so after getting caught in the rain, I went out and recorded the video. It was dark by then but with various filters I was able to achieve something resembling the feel of the atmosphere earlier. Holding a microphone out of the window, I recorded the rain and thunder. Working in Final Cut Express, I layered video and audio tracks to form this videopoem. I love the rich fertility of this time of year.

The music under the thunder is by AlFa. It's approximately the first two minutes of an eighteen minute piece, 'Poème de la forêt,' from their album, Nuance Khaki, Fiber Lily, which carries a Creative Commons license and may be found here: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/10688.

Here is a screen capture of this video in Final Cut Express.
Click for a larger size.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Making another dance video...

(I put some filters on the video, which is why these stills from it look fuzzy... not so bad in the actual clip, really!)

Busy, in my own quiet way...

Over the weekend I wrote a dance article, submitted it by email at 2am Saturday morning, after dancing and before dancing yet again, had a belated Mother's Day dinner with my son Saturday night, and worked on a little dance video from a clip I took at Erica's Summer Solstice Ecstatic Dance for Women. It's a sweet down-home video. I'm going to try to finish it soon!

Today hasn't been very fruitful. I've only been sifting through a few pieces I've written for Summer Solstice to see if something might work for this little video. The piece I like best, The Earth is Teeming With Becoming, might not be poetic enough and too, too... dense... and the perfect piece, the Amaterasu one, is too long. Perhaps Bramble Rose, though too short. Then there's The Sun's Trailing Veil... (which I didn't post at Blogger but at Xanga in 2004 & its long been privatized so no link). And perhaps the little video needs no poetry. Or perhaps I need to write a new piece for it. My kids will tell me - in their decisive, kind ways.

I've rented a beautiful room to video myself moving, dancing, but panicked today, it was booked for tomorrow for 2 hours, and had it changed to next week! Terrified is the word. And I'm having trouble figuring out what Creative Commons music might work in case I make videos of any of the clips. Oh, that was Sunday, after the 12 hours I spent on the video, listening to music on Jamendo for hours, downloading albums, not sure, not sure. With the article and working on a dance video (which wasn't planned, I set the video camera up only to pick some stills from it, but I guess making dance videos is my passion), I wasn't quite ready to video tomorrow anyhow.

You can see from these photos, stills taken from the short video clip, that it was joyous, we were joyful. We'd danced ourselves into our ecstasies.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Facebook Reminds Me To Join Myself

(but I've had fun with it nevertheless)

I have removed all active links, so dondwary.


Also if anyone knows of a direct and easy way to alert real Facebook of this phishing scam, I'd appreciate it. I've already spent close to half an hour trying to find which help form would apply to this issue. Facebook makes it so difficult to contact them about an email scam, I've given up. (You mean you think perhaps the *real* Facebook is behind the scam, then? Hmnnn...:)

The following person recently invited you to be their friend on Facebook:
Brenda ClewsBrenda Clews
330 friends
9 photos

Other people you may know on Facebook:
Cliff WarnerCliff Warner
Michael CoveyMichael Covey
John BeckJohn Beck
New York, NY
Ian Paul MarshallIan Paul Marshall
Toronto, ON
Melissa NoventaMelissa Noventa
Toronto, ON
Patry FrancisPatry Francis
Boston, MA

Facebook is a great place to keep in touch with friends, post photos, videos and create events. But first you need to join! Sign up today to create a profile and connect with the people you know.
The Facebook Team
Facebook is free and anyone can join.
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To sign up for Facebook, follow the link below:
This message was intended for *-----------*@*---------*.com. If you do not wish to receive this type of email from Facebook in the future, please click here to unsubscribe.
Facebook's offices are located at 1601 S. California Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94304.

Has anyone else received an email from Facebook reminding you that you invited yourself to become your friend? And suggesting you add friends who are your own Facebook friends? Duh?! Scam?

Hahaahha... no, I didn't consider actually joining myself on Facebook! I'm still wondering why Facebook sent a "Reminder" that I, myself, invited myself to join myself and that I might like some of my own friends and become friends with them too.

Note: I found 3 other "Brenda Clews's" in the turning world of Facebook, and sent invites some months back, but they all ignored me - wacko Brenda Clews from Canada I guess - I thought it'd be fun to be "friends" with women with one's own name, but I swear up & down and all over Facebook that I DID NOT send an invite to myself. No. I did not.

BTW, *Facebook* sent this email to an email that I didn't list with Facebook but have at other sites, an email account I have set to automatically forward to the email account I regularly use. So it's a scam.

And here I thought Facebook was becoming existential on us! Theatre of the Absurd, and all that. The Surrealism of Facebook life. :-)


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One of those days of running around, chores, places to go, rehab to visit, and now a moment with a thick French press espresso with cream and then my brother arrives for a barbecue. I'm almost too tired to begin preparing coals and food, so we'll see how it goes. As long as he's not in any hurry, it'll be a few hours of slow and fine...

The day is nearly perfect in sunshinyness and heat, and I'd love to have gone to the beach.

Soon, and I promise some photos or a video of Lake Ontario waves...

On the graphic images of violence on the news

On the graphic images of violence on the news.

I can accept seeing videos or photographs of uprisings, rebellions, bombings. Sure, I cringe in horror and shame. These images make me aware in my non-violent world of how bad it can be. They keep me from forgetting the horror of our actions toward each other in times of trouble, resistance, battle or war. It grieves my heart to see the senseless hurting of each other. The desire to control. What power does.

Perhaps seeing these images, their contexts, keeps me from becoming ethically flaccid.

Watching riot police beating dissenters is hardly a pleasant activity, yet the news floods my vision with such depictions.

This is the world we live in. It's a tough world. Behave or be beaten.

Forceful subliminal training. Of a sort. The theory is either you emulate it, which horrifies everyone even more, or it makes you want to stay under cover, stay out of trouble, be an ordinary person doing whatever whatever regime or government mandates.

In Canada, our news is nowhere near as violent as American news, but that's another story.

What I wanted to get to with this post is that while watching some of the atrocities in the political world is perhaps passable, the images of terribly wounded, dying or dead people crosses the line for me. It becomes a voyeuristic media circus that takes enjoyment in human suffering and which does not take into account a person's privacy.

If someone said, 'Sure, take a video of me screaming in horror and shock in the street with my arm blown off, I want the world to see my pain,' that would be fine.

But to blast images around the world of people in the throes of violent mutilations, for I don't know what else one would call the effects of guns, machetes, and bombs, robs them further of their power.

If I was shot in the street does that mean I would lose my right to privacy and that in my weakened and wounded state it would be permissible to take photographs of me and stream them in international newscasts?

What a horrible thought.

Yet this is what we allow our news reporters and producers to do daily.

It's demeaning to all.

The graphic depiction of violence does not reduce violence.

It further dehumanizes an already dehumanized landscape.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My mother was moved to rehab last week. Everything's fine. Her memory is decreasing, though. She keeps telling me that she can't remember where she lives (which may or may not be entirely true, you'd have to know her to understand this). I tell her where she lives. She says she can't picture it. She's been living in her condo for 28 years. We had her checked a year or so back, and it's not Alzheimers, but dementia, what Margaret Thatcher has. Her recollection of the past has never been better and we're hearing lots of stories we hadn't heard before, including finding out recently (actually when one of my brothers was checking her email) that she had two brothers who moved to Australia that she'd never mentioned before. I think they are both deceased now, but their progeny know my mother, apparently she's visited them in Australia in past years. We knew about the sister who was 6 foot tall and died of cancer of the throat (because she smoked my mother admonishes again and again) who had a daughter who has a son (now in his 20s or 30s or something) she won't leave even to come to Canada for a vacation, and a brother who'd entirely disappeared - no-one's heard from him or of him in at least 30 years and he's presumed dead - in South Africa, where she's from. It's all somewhat odd, to discover we had two more uncles we didn't know about on yet another continent, but then that's my mother.

Anyway, she's tiny and frail and holding her own and doing her physio apparently (she had been refusing in hospital), which she has to do if she hopes to be released. My brother who's considering moving in with her may have his hands far too full, though, and we are considering the possibility of a nursing home, though she continues to threaten suicide -"I'll die if I go into one of those, I won't live!- as the spectre looms.

She's an extrovert and has always been very social and as she is already finding rehab much more fun than hospital with so many similarly recovering patients (she's on a hip floor), so she may find a nursing home more congenial to her gossipy nature.

I hope so, because I can't imagine as her memory slips away how my dear and sweet brother, a brother who has been more kind to me throughout my life than can be expressed, will be able to cope.

It's one step at a time, however. She's in rehab. She's in fairly good spirits. She's doing her physio without complaint. She wants to come to my place for a barbeque before the Summer's finished, and she may just do so.

So this is the line, and we laugh:

Granny's in Rehab on a hip floor.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Laurelled Petals

Browsing old sketchbooks when I was making navigation buttons for my new Art & Writings website, I found this poem. It fits quite well with the Botticelli Suite of Poems, and I'll probably add it as a 'page' to that manuscript. You can see I've been into ways to combine words and image for a long time! I must have written this piece around 1976 perhaps... I think the poem was published in a university mag too.

(click on image for readable version)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

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.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My 86 year old mother who broke her hip on the weekend is doing fine after her operation. The fractured bone only required a pin, which was good. Thank you all for your kindnesses and support.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Paraphernalia of daily living

This has been one of the strangest weeks of my life, and there's not much more to say than that.

Psychic energies are strange things. You never know what people are thinking, that was made clear this week. I think I'm through the worst of it though.

In general, my lesson this week is that the net holds, even when you fall. That's been the most amazing experience. I'm still not used to it.

The hot water tap developed a terminal leak last night at 1 am, when my daughter was using it. I turned it off under the sink. Haven't called the landlord about it yet. Soon, maybe late tomorrow, or the next day.

Tonight my key wouldn't turn in the front door lock. After I finally got in, I sprayed it with WD-40, which will help for a bit. I've had locks go before, I know the signs.

My iPod is jammed and won't turn off, or play and my computer doesn't recognize it.

Bits and pieces of the paraphernalia of daily living. How we keep our worlds operating.

The air is humid and therefore warm tonight and I had an unexpected walk with a fellow dog owner. Usually I prefer walking alone, but his dog ran out into the street to meet my dog, though they don't know each other, and once together in the park, ignored each other. We started talking, though, and he told me about animal rescue guys, guys who crawl in little spaces with miner's lights on to move racoon families who've moved into the eaves. We spoke of Vancouver, where he's from, and Kafue National Park, my childhood home in the African bush, and then compared responses to the Brazilian film, City of God, and Slum Dog Millionaire. I had been speaking of the depravity of the shantytowns in old apartheid South Africa, and so the conversation turned to movies about slums, and now I have to watch City of God again. The violence was bad, but it was such a brilliantly directed and edited film. Remember that strobe light scene...

I want to join the 20 hour a week challenge. An artist on Twitter has started a challenge where we try to spend 20 hours, in any kind of configuration, and no pressure, only if it helps, working on our painting or writing. While I do manage to accomplish lots, I haven't started on this one yet. Hoping Saturday to have some time to work on a painting. That'll contribute some hours to that group's weekly tally.

My brother comes every Thursday and does hypnotherapy sessions with my son and I, separately, since he now is fully certified and offering free sessions for a year before he starts a practice. It is helping much more slowly than I thought it would, though I do feel closer to my youngest brother and that's almost the best part.

Tonight he wanted me to remember a time of joy, and I couldn't. It's not that I'm unhappy. I just couldn't connect to what the immediate feeling of joy feels like, the full sensation of it.
Working feels like joy these days.
One day it will return.

In the meantime...

My daughter has finally finished a course, a night course and yes she is very bright and did very well, tied for first place at 87%. I want to celebrate her. I want to buy her a dress and see her smile with joy. She's worked hard and deserves it.

I've been exploring piano on Jamendo, looking for music to pair with my longer poem, White Fire. I read it on the radio once, on a poetry show, and the host of the show asked me out afterwards (no, I didn't) and phoned me for months after that but I always made excuses. Don't ask why. Wasn't attracted I guess. White Fire takes about 20 minutes to read, so it'll be a half an hour recording with music. I've found some beautiful, impromtu piano that is really quite incredible because it seems to 'fit.' White Fire should have dramatic flaring music with long stretches of smooth tones composed for it, I know what I'd like, but my envisioning far beyond my musical skills.

I like to scoot posts through to Facebook, but an image really helps, which is why I've taken to posting so many postage-sized images. :Grinning:

Every night I listen to a 'paraliminal' hypnotherapy recording as I fall asleep. It helps with sleeping, and I often don't wake for 6 hours, almost unheard of before this recording.

But not tonight. My iPod's jammed. It has a lot of juice. Maybe in a few days when the battery's dead and I recharge it, it'll come back to playable life.

Sure hope so.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Podcast Banner that's Not-To-Be

Silly, and I don't mean to be *so* silly, but I quickly made a silly banner to upload to a podcast site (trying a new hosting site, podbean, yes - prefer their embeddable player), only after making it I discovered you've to upgrade to a premium basic account if you'd like to add your *own* banner, so I'm posting it here. *Ra*

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Go Away Blues," by Jazz Street Trio added to "Light Catches Diamonds"

Light Catches Diamonds

I wrote this prose poem in June 2007, and a year later, in June 2008, recorded it. And, as seems to be a yearly tradition, now that it is almost June 2009, I have paired it with a beautiful Jazz recording, "Go Away Blues," from the album, Because, by Buz Hendricks of Jazz Street Trio, who has licensed this album with a Creative Commons license on Jamendo.

Hope you like it!

Links (that open a pop-up player):
DSL or Cable

(click on image to read
poem-about ½ way down,
gosh didn't notice that was
the image I created for my
website, anyhow, I've linked
it to Celestial Dancers page)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ai!R's 'Insomnia'

Jamendo is now the #1 Creative Commons Licensed Music site in the world. There are true finds at Jamendo, too. Like Ai!R. This is Ai!R's second album. (I also posted on his first, Waxworks.)

Ai!R writes, in his description of Insomnia: "The album presents a four-part suite for chamber orchestra, piano, a few symphonic orchestral instruments, choir and perscussion. Its polyrhythmic musical language is both classically-shaped and modern and mostly addressed to lovers of chamber music. At the same time, all listeners may, hopefully, find it interesing as well."

I wrote (yes, I'm posting comments, it's a way to highlight artists whose work I really like): "I wrote a review some time back and lost it in the posting process. The stars showed up, but nothing else.

That night I was inspired to share images of your music that came while listening.

It hasn't come back again, that 'whatever-it-is'... but I feel I need to respond anyhow.

The title worked well for me - the pieces are beautifully woven into the hours of a long night when one can't sleep and travel through the hours in reminiscences, partial dreams, hallowed moments of visionary light, tiredness, a slow waiting for the unconsciousness of sleep.

There was a syncopated element in the music that was more Jazz-like than your earlier album.

I like the rhythms in these pieces. They are poems of the night. Sonorous. Slow. Fast. Beating with rhythm through the endless dark hours. When it is quiet. When you can free yourself from the constraints of space and time and drift and dream. While awake. On the edge of sleep. That profound state, my favourite one.

Thank you for these pieces, their harmonies that sooth and yet entrain with the strange harmonies of our inner lives. Where we transmute our darknesses into subtle and steady and holy light."

And now that I am again listening, of course Stravinsky and the strings. Chamber music, yes. I think I meant ambient jazz, which can have a classical soundscape.

Anyway, I post because I love Ai!R's work. Deep, complex, covering a huge tableaux in its sweep in the spirit of Russia's greatest artists. What isn't here, in his panoramic tonal vistas?
Direct link: Ai!R's Insomnia, in Four Parts.

Aural Pleasure: Poetry of Brenda Clews (playing with a widget)

Aural Pleasure: The Poetry of Brenda Clews
Aural Pleasure:
Poetry of Brenda Clews

rich text with pleasing undulating voice and music
poetry readings

I am truly amazed that you can open 'View "page source"' & swipe html & twiddle with it bending it to your purposes & post it. Like I've done here. Damn it, it works.

(No idea whose description of my readings that is... found it at SoundClick. Seems okay :-)

Photopoem: Diversity of Us, and the Non-feeling Edges

I've added writing to this image, which goes with the written piece in the last post, Diversity of Us, and the Non-feeling Edges.

Click on it for a larger size.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Diversity of Us, and of the Non-feeling Edges

The diversity our species has evolved into is fascinating. There are a huge range of differences and yet we form a co-extensive and exciting, complex humanity.

I'm thinking of psychopathologies. Not schizoid schisms, or those who are broken, but of the empty ones.

Those without remorse or conscience.

While I can't imagine living without my turbulent emotional depths, and the guidance of an acute moral sense, a psychopath lives without that emotional range, and without the navigation of conscience, though has learned how to give appropriate responses in social/relational situations.

They think psychopathology largely genetic - not as a 'genetic defect' but as an actual 'genetic pool.' A predisposition to psychopathology can be cultivated if a child passes through numerous foster homes before the age of 3. Such an early life is like a key, an entrance into the zone of non-feeling, a zone without exit.

So much harm in our culture seems attributable to violence without remorse that I wonder about the prevalence of psychopathology in the general population.

The diversity of our genetic variations. As a species we are a full spectrum.

An unfinished sketch, water-soluble oil pastel and graphite on paper, 12" x 16", from late last
year, 2008, and photoshop filters. (click on image to enlarge)

Celestial Dancers, revisited

Detail, Cambodian Dancers, from the
background image for my website, 4' x 5',

Celestial Dancer III, sketch, graphite &
pastel on paper, 2004

Off to BLOSSOMING with women, dancing to Erica's sweet music & musings in an all-day
urban dance retreat. Happy day!


Haahhhaaaahahahaha... oh, yes, showered, cooked a buttery good 'breakfast' (cheddar cheese & basil omelette & sausages, shhhh, yes I do eat that) to take with me, made coffee, grabbed bags of raw almonds and Thompson raisins, an apple, filled canteens & thermos' and a huge bottle of Spring water with fresh lime juice added to it, lugging a big bag of goodies for the day, only no-one was there! haahhaahhhaa... and I was *late* - more like a week early!!! I walked home carrying my heavy bag, laughing all the way...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Celestial Dancers webpage

Celestial Dancers

It's taken 8 hours to put the Celestial Dancers webpage up... these images are from 2004, during the time when I was painting those paintings. Silly, & fun.

I 'lost' the entire file of images in my Picasa folder on my computer, after hours of scouring two hard drives in search of them. I tried to delete one repetition and somehow managed to 'hide' the entire folder - oh, I could see it in Finder alright, but couldn't open anything, or access it in any way. Picasa finally relented when I asked to 'see' all 'hidden folders.' But by then I had two albums up on Picasa on the web and who knows what's what anymore. I'd better leave them, both with the same images but probably different URLs, otherwise images will disappear :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

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, 2005..............click to play
(click on this image
to enlarge)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I have to be formless to write; dissolved to paint; non-existent to create. It's always a risk.

But an aesthetic operates. The aesthetic, way of shaping, what negotiates the creative forces and the tools, the diverse & complex language structures, the brush of paint by a sable brush on canvas, how far the back will bend in the speed of the movement, offers structure to the emerging poem or painting or dance.

It's like trying to hold a sail in a high-force wind.

Sometimes we just can't make it.
Sometimes we do.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rebirth, 1989

When I taught yoga in 1987, since I was following a theme of how to unite one's lifepath and soulforce, I used to bring "SoulCards," and we each picked one, and then spoke on what it reminded us of, or what message it might contain that would help us in our direction.

When I pulled this card, I knew, after my marriage had ended, that I had to open all the closed places within and re-find myself as an artist and poet, and continue on whatever strange and difficult but hopefully fruitful path that would take me.

I painted the image that you see above onto the large canvas I began working on, and from which I have posted an Angelic Whorl. She is a flying, whirling seed who has landed, who must begin the process of what would turn out to be a long, and painful rebirth, a process which still hasn't completed itself, ten years later.

Deborah Koff-Chapin

Dance of the Solar Wind (2:28min) makes it to #2 of 1,929 on SoundClick poetry chart

Poetry recording site:
Aural Pleasure.