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, 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.

Monday, May 18, 2009

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


Saturday, May 16, 2009


Home Videopoetry Celestial Dancers Photopoems Birthdance Bliss Queen Bio Earth Rising Links Comments

A photopoem page is now up.

My kids are at their Dad's, but will my dog forgive me? It's nearly 11pm and she still hasn't had her walk!

The photopoem page is okay, I'm not crazy about it. I embedded a slideshow, and then a selection of photopoems in a hidden table below that open out to new windows if clicked on. The table that they are in is being sticky about its left margin and not giving me enough leeway to space the photographs as I'd like. It's not bad. Servicable, as they say.

It's nice to get the ones I liked best in one place. I've tried to embed the 'poem' in the photograph "info" and Picasa kindly unfolds that in text below the image at the album at Picasa's site, but centred, which is a bit weird.

Anyway, I've been at this since lunchtime (which I forgot to eat, though I did throw some eggs in a pan for dinner), between locating the images, updating info, resizing, saving into a new file, and then trying to figure out the html - yes, I pasted all of them in the table in the html box. Way easier that way. I use "Stickies" on my desktop and find it very handy to paste URLs and codes and stuff, and that's where I worked out the html for the images.

It's a matter of keeping organized, isn't it.

It feels like I'm organizing work mostly over the last 3 or 4 years, but am finding things that go further back than that.

A kind of scrapbook of my path to here, I suppose.

'Night all! Oh, oops, doggie walk first!


Serpent Rising: "Promethea Un/Bound: The Thirty-Six Million Year Old Turtle"

A new webpage: Earth Rising.

Earth Rising

I was looking for an image on my old hard drive, and found this writing, "Promethea Un/Bound." I'm glad this piece wasn't lost. It is the only time I have ever written about a temp job, and if you read it you will see that it is composed of an inner dialogue. It was in a protected post at another blog site for a month or so, in August 2004, and it's been completely private/hidden for nearly 5 years since then.

In the piece, I am in intense dialogue with Hélène Cixous', The Book of Promethea, trans. Betsy Wing (University of Nebraska Press, 1991), and a 36 million year old turtle.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Angel of Links

It's amazing to find these old paintings and how they 'work' as sidebars, or backgrounds, or navigation buttons, or whatevers, for my new Art & Writings Website.

This one will (yes, yes, a self-portrait from perhaps around 1989 in a large painting of about 5 self-portraits in varying guises as I attempted to re-find the painter within who had disappeared for a decade at that point). She 'oversees' a "Links" page.

And links to whose sites will I place there? Oh, this is so exciting!

trying a simpler version, wishing I could make this into a card (painting from 1989, photo of rose probably 2004, prosepoem & recording from 2006, put together in 2009)

recording of this poem
(or click the 'click to listen rose':)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Navigation Buttons for Website

Home Videopoetry Celestial Dancers Photopoems Birthdance Bliss Queen Bio Serpent Rising Comments

They may not look like much, but I spent the greater part of 2 evenings and a night composing and attempting not just to link these little navigation buttons to their respective pages, but to have mouse-over text appear too. My html was a mess! I had embedded them in tables and the tables became like little replicating viruses! They spawned more tables, secretly, until I discovered the whole webpage was within a large cell! Spreadsheets aren't called what they are for nothing, I learned.

If it wasn't for 'Liv' at Google Sites help, I'd never have managed the feat you see above. And a tech whizz called Steegle who's left very simple guides to specific html needs in perfect little web pages. Without those two, oh forget it.

Tables were all stripped. Yay! Even the big 'mother-sucker' got deleted away, sure it took a few tries but eventually it succumbed.

The NavBttns, isn't that a cute name, were touched up multiple times in Photoshop before coming to sit nicely in a row I can live with.

Yes, Google offers free websites. It'll be one of the most interesting journeys you'll ever make!

My website is coming along, yes siree, and tonight I be happy with it.

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. ...