Friday, October 31, 2008

veil of sky

whitened edges and solid infinity above, the clear, blue, serene sky,
this day when the veils between worlds thins

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nanowrimo this year?

With the impossibility writing has been presenting for me these last months, I wonder if joining Nanowrimo this year would be a good discipline and challenge?

The first year I began where I was, and let a story unfold. Of course the manuscript is huge and unwieldy! I've never edited it into something more reasonable. Though it's possible that the urge to do at least one complete rewrite will overtake one indolent day.

Nanowrimo begins Nov 1st - enough time to decide.

The first one began in a temp job matching files to original ledger entries in a vault at a funeral home in Vancouver. A natural title was Book of the Dead, and I incorporated a couple of other texts, the Egyptian and the Tibetan ones, into the writing.

That was fun, discovering each day what was to happen, and layering the text with references to other texts.

We build on ourselves.

I find it inspiring to be among those who are running their own writing races separately but together as a group - last year of the 100,000 who enrolled world-wide, 50,000 participants made it to the finish line.

It's interesting to reflect on my own Nanowrimo path. In 2004, "Book of the Dead," was more of a 'novel' and 50,000 words; in 2005 my writing was shifting to prose poetry and I wrote that year's in smaller numbered segments that I still haven't finished but it came in at 50,000 words and then I spent a few days reading it and deleted a third of the manuscript, never mind (the first pages can be found at my art website here); in 2006 my writing moved even more towards the poetry end of the spectrum and while I wrote "EnTrapped WOR|l|DS" in November of that year I didn't enroll it in Nanowrimo since it's only 17,266 words, and too short for the contest, but poetry's like that - though it is a completed manuscript, which made me happy.

I wonder where this one might start and what the writing style might be?

The Keys

If I take off my readers, can I write? A disjuncture between life and writing, or that I want to hide? Without seeing the keys or the screen. Write blind. Behind where words form. The words that shape reality even as I speak them.

Glide through the world of words with a dancer's ease. My body is a word, a gesture, a line scrawling across the horizon of time.

Am I purple, or aubergine? A curve of a back before a computer, hitting keys I can't see?

And how many mistakes before we get it right?

And how many times are the crystal glasses broken before we can---drink, see, touch?

It's cyclical, the years go on, some good, some bad. There is no will to it. Whatever you want to happen happens; you are a consequence of your past; and each day is a surprise thrown up by the fates of fortune.

When I sat down to write I knew nothing,
and less now.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


water drizzles over slats
onto rocks

iron ivy
crawls over the lamp

I'm tired
of the restriction
of vulnerability, sensitivity,

walking in the warm,
light rain

before the seasonal cold
sets in

I look out through slats
hiding or revealing myself

or you do

rocks become water
that float away


Tired of protecting my knees when I dance, I didn't. For a number of weeks. Bending low, I used my knees, experienced the freedom of a fuller movement, bliss. My knees are now so sore I'm on Ibuprofen, which helps reduce the swelling, constantly and a prescription anti-inflammatory, as well as icing them fairly frequently. So this poem, the first I've attempted in what seems like a long time, was triggered by that, tired of the iron ivy on the lamp, not wanting to protect one's sensitivity, and whatever the emotional corollaries are, the rocks are water that float away.

ps I think I have a 'stretched' tendon, that it's just a regular sort of minor injury anyone who participates in sports or dance gets. Not serious and with a bit of pampering it'll heal fine.

But an interesting process in terms of our emotional proclivity for protection of our sensitivities.

[Okay, okay... last night I danced with my jingly silver belly dance belt over a black danskin at Tam Tam like a dervish. Shhhh...]

[No, no. I arrived late, 10:30pm or so, to a dark hot dance studio of drummers after seeing the Tibetan Lhapa documentary, changed into black sweats, danced, realized that there were only a few dancers, some as old as me, and so I put on the belly dance belt and let go, it was fun, I left around 12:30pm, some people thanked me for dancing, said it was beautiful, and walked home by myself, arriving home at maybe 1:30am; this pattern is normal, I go, dance, rarely join the group for food after. Arrive alone, leave alone. Now what that had to do with emotional corollaries, who knows.

It's all connected though, isn't it. :)]

Monday, October 20, 2008

Toronto Zombie Walk

Toronto Zombie Walk 2008 family in Trinity Bellwoods Park

Ahhh, now that's motherhood!

A great scene photographed by Roger Cullman during the Toronto Zombie Walk 2008 Postmortem. A Zombie Walk of a thousand-strong in Toronto yesterday emerging from Trinity Bellwoods Park. Which I missed! Oh, bomb! ZombieZoots! The march of the Zombies on the Zombie Walk passed by my apartment yesterday! Munching on brains, gore galore. The ghoulishly lively undead! Where was I?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rachel Getting Married

An intensely emotional film that explores and exposes family dynamics in ways you might not be prepared for; an ultimately healing film. I recommend it.

And the hot chocolate with whipped cream at the Starbucks buried in the IndigoChapters bookstore afterwards with your daughter with her newly dyed deep fuschia pink hair who has recently gone Vegan and so had tea with soy-milk before seeing her off on the bus where she was traveling to another city.

And the books you bought, finding yourself guiltily in the Philosophy section, where you always find yourself when everybody else reads fiction. You left the Tofu-cookery book behind since she convinced you by cell phone that she had bookmarked all those recipes on her laptop.

You carried Rachel with you for maybe 5 or 6 city blocks home to the madly lonely dog who became madly happy, thinking Anne Hathaway is really a superb actress, remember the "Screen Test" where she said that of all the ways she could have played Rachel she decided simply to try to make her real.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On to the next step...

My Costi employment counselor loved my idea for an independent business. Of course with clarification. I know I need to take some courses which unfortunately won't be covered and I'm not sure how I'll afford that. But a green light go to the next step: an orientation session at OSEB (Ontario Self-Employment Benefit Program). I felt that life was almost possible as I emerged into the light of the Autumn day.


Appointment with a Costi employment counselor today to see if my idea for an independent business is viable.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Warnings by David Allen Sullivan

This came in The Writer's Almanac this morning. It's "found poetry" - had me hooting over my morning coffee. Sharing...


by David Allen Sullivan

A can of self-defense pepper spray says it may
irritate the eyes, while a bathroom heater says it's
not to be used in bathrooms. I collect warnings
the way I used to collect philosophy quotes.

Wittgenstein's There's no such thing
as clear milk
rubs shoulders with a box
of rat poison which has been found
to cause cancer in laboratory mice

Levinas' Language is a battering ram—
a sign that says the very fact of saying
is as inscrutable as the laser pointer's advice:
Do not look into laser with remaining eye.

Last week I boxed up the solemn row
of philosophy tomes and carted them down
to the used bookstore. The dolly read:
Not to be used to transport humans.

Did lawyers insist that the 13-inch wheel
on the wheelbarrow proclaim it's
not intended for highway use? Or that the
Curling iron is for external use only?

Abram says that realists render material
to give the reader the illusion of the ordinary
What would he make of Shin pads cannot protect
any part of the body they do not cover

I load boxes of books onto the counter. Flip
to a yellow-highlighted passage in Aristotle:
Whiteness which lasts for a long time is no whiter
than whiteness which lasts only a day.

A.A.'ers talk about the blinding glare
of the obvious: Objects in the mirror
are actually behind you
, Electric cattle prod
only to be used on animals, Warning: Knives are sharp.

What would I have done without: Remove infant
before folding for storage, Do not use hair dryer
while sleeping, Eating pet rocks may lead to broken
teeth, Do not use deodorant intimately?

Goodbye to all those sentences that sought
to puncture the illusory world-like the warning
on the polyester Halloween outfit for my son:
Batman costume will not enable you to fly.

"Warnings" by David Allen Sullivan from Strong-Armed Angels. © Hummingbird Press, 2008. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Videopoem: Vishnu on Chinese New Year's

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

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

An FCE Apple... :)

The footage comes from October 2nd, when I videotaped a 'poetry reading,' and it's taken this long to figure out how to import it from the DV camera into Final Cut Express, and then to take one tiny 37 second clip from the 16 minute video and freeze frame either end and add titles - a process of probably 5 hours after "capturing" the video itself. It would be so easy to do this in iMovie but I am determined to learn FCE since one can do vastly more with it. Last night, desperate, I spent an hour searching on-line for an affordable course on FCE in Toronto, finally emailing a friend who'd taken one through Continuing Ed at a local college last Winter, and he emailed back el pronto with the details and so I shall enroll for the January session. I can't imagine I'll manage to learn that much between now and then since my main source for learning is You Tube FCE tutorials. This entire silly little clip, which I post to let you know I am still flailing away here, was done following the directions of a few kindly You Tube posters.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

On Criticism

If you have criticism to offer, offer it in a loving, supportive way. Give constructive feedback to help the other succeed rather than to point out what they did wrong. Sometimes people who love us give us the opportunity to hear rare truths that can improve our lives.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes)

I saw Vanilla Sky some time ago, enjoyed it. Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes), written and directed by Amenábar, the original Spanish film that Vanilla Sky was a re-make of, however, has shaken me. Intersplicing of love, betrayal, loss, anger, desire with an attempted murder/horrible scaring accident, dreaming, virtual reality, insanity, and the struggle to re-find the self and the real world from inside an illusion - it's a powerful tale.

When the actors can reveal the underlying emotional complexity of a story like this, as this cast does, in particular Noriega, it makes for theatre that crosses the bounds of 'on the screen' to us, our lives.

Seeing a younger Penélope was delightful too.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Vlog: about 7:11min of chitter chatter

If you read this on a RSS feed, don't hit "enclosure" because that'll start a download, just pop in to the site to view. I'm not uploading these little sessions to You Tube, they're not "serious" enough.

As the title says, more chitter chatter. Spent most of the afternoon draping my space in fabrics and recording a poetry reading and trashed the whole lot, ah well. Much to learn. This chat refers to that, and then goes off to discuss how meditation (for me) is nothing, all rather vague. But there it is.

Overexposed night scene, again. Have to do something about the lighting. But then I am middle-aged and the lighting is rather kind. As I do these videos I'm losing shame, it's true. Daylight is still too stark, and anyway who feels like chatting when the photons are pouring through the atmosphere in the masses they do during daylight?

Yes, I am wearing a red bra - the black one is drying on the rack hanging on the shower rod after being laundered earlier today. Normally I wear black with black, red with red, you understand. Gaffs.

The post I refer to in the vlog, which is a good post of substance (unlike mine) on Buddhist meditation is Dale's.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Playing with the Still Image

From Rubies In Crystal
That was fun to do in Photoshop Elements. I wonder how you do it in FinalCut Express, or can you? It was an overexposed black & white shot that I did about 50 things to, including the red colouring & cropping at an angle (without distorting the central image). The final photo is kind of fun, and a story could be woven from it. When my children were at a Waldorf School for the short time they were, I recall not only many puppet shows by the early grade teachers, but that the puppets had very minimal features or were faceless, and this was so the child could better imagine the character in the tale being told.
From Rubies In Crystal

Archeology of Water

This began with an image of memory scrawled in a notebook in April 2019 that I knew I would work with, either in a poem, or perhaps video. ...