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.


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. ...