Monday, January 31, 2011

Stone #31

Anansi took the heat and put it in a pot and hung it in the silk cotton tree. That's why we have winter storms, I am sure of it.

Home   Different, yet Same   Soirée of Poetry   Videopoetry   Celestial Dancers   Photopoems   Birthdance   Bliss Queen   Bio   Life Drawings   Earth Rising   Creative Process   Recent Work   Links   Comments

A Promo Player

Hey, cool! A promo player with 4 sample tracks (though it looks like it doesn't travel by RSS feed or email subscription).

From my latest poetry album: Starfire.

Home   Different, yet Same   Soirée of Poetry   Videopoetry   Celestial Dancers   Photopoems   Birthdance   Bliss Queen   Bio   Life Drawings   Earth Rising   Creative Process   Recent Work   Links   Comments

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stone #30

A lit, white, outdoor patio curtain billows, and I, videotaping it, frighten the owner in my black hooded coat and huge Sorrel boots. The night blasts.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stone #29: Opposite Women Who Are The Same

Spring generates below the frozen ground. The green, the brown rising. Darkly.

The stone, drawn from the stream-of-consciousness writing in the drawing.

In the endless greys, browns, taupes and whites of winter, I seem to be deeply missing the green! My subconscious offering compensatory imagery - or that's what it seems. Buried in masses of green.

While working on this drawing, I spilt half a bottle of olive green India ink, a colour that I had mixed from a sepia and a bright green, onto my La Cache tablecloth (the store no longer exists). That was a disaster. India ink is extremely permanent. Did I get it rinsed before doomsday in green? About 10 separate squirts of dish soap and rinses and me scrubbing with my hands. Finally I put it in a bucket with laundry detergent to soak.

Green floods my life.

I would say there is a black and a white sister here. They are a study in contrasts. Two very different lives and takes on life. Yet they are the same woman.

The drawing is overdone, I think. I began by using some pens that contain archival ink but work like markers and discovered that I don't really like them. At least now I know I prefer the more unsure and difficult ways ink flows from the nibs of fountain pens or dip pens. So much of what happens when it doesn't begin quite right is that you spend a lot of time 'saving' the work - a process that is sometimes successful, sometimes not. I added eggshell-coloured framing digitally. I like the close-up in the last scan.

Dark Women, 2011, 20cm x 28cm, 8" x 11", India inks with dip pen and various fountain pen inks.

Scrawled, embedded words:
Who are we in our shadows? Explore a darker terrain. Welcome complexity, seething underbed where spring is already generating below the frozen ground, snow-filled land of ice. The green, the brown rising. Darkly. Look at the half-seen and explore the invisible. Does mystery make us apprehensive? Go deeper. Plunge.

Wrote the words that are embedded in the drawing next to it so that I would remember what they were. Yes, could be edited down, but later. The eggshell framing lines are drawn digitally.

I like the detail, click on it - it looks better larger.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stone #28

...when the light casts two shadows, and you hear footsteps within footsteps, and you realize you're following yourself...

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.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stone #27

the draft you deleted | remains an absence | in the final version || deleted images | indelible absences | in what remains


the draft you deleted
remains an absence
in the final version

deleted images
indelible absences
in what remains

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stone #26

One rich, round, ripe Sardinian olive. Green, stuffed with pimento, steeped and plucked from a pot of salt, garlic and oil. Redolent.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stone #25

sky, a grey wall of light against which trees are sculpted, fills, halftone, chiaroscuro, then the crumbling darkness

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dog Walk

I think we're going for a walk. My dog thinks we are going out to search for edible garbage.

Stone #24

snow gloss white Carrara marble word waves in vein fizzures quarry cracks flattened snowdrop the deadly chiselled delusions bootstomp


snow gloss  white  Carrara marble  word waves  in vein fizzures  quarry cracks  flattened snowdrop  the deadly chiselled delusions  bootstomp


snow gloss
       Carrara marble

              word waves
       in vein fizzures
         quarry cracks

         flattened snowdrops

   the deadly chiselled delusions


(a shiny field of iced snow)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Stone #23

To lie down, pull the sheaves of powdered words over me, a bleached sheet of snow in the sun.

A self-portrait in ink: process

Self-Portrait, 2011, 20.5cm x 25.5cm, 8" x 10", archival, Rotring and India inks on archival paper.

And it's not finished yet, I don't think. Or, who knows? Words, a poem, may appear, or not.

Instead of a slideshow of the process of this ink drawing, I've opened the images in Photoshop Elements and taken a screen capture. The plain pencil sketch upper left and the black and white one in the middle are the 'real' ones - the others have been filtered with Sepia (and currently used for profile pics at Identica, Twitter and Facebook ♥:). I know, so many of one image is a bit much. :)))

click on image for larger size

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stone #22

Snow the quality of white weightless rocksalt falls. The ground silts with sifted snow, around the strewn rocksalt are meltspots.

A self-portrait in ink

Self-Portrait, 2011, 20.5cm x 25.5cm, 8" x 10", archival, Rotring and India inks on archival paper.
A bit rough, but that's okay (pen is unforgiving and the nibs on both Rotring pens clogged with the
paper and even lines weren't even but I don't mind the effect). Surely some writing will emerge on
this page, though presently I have no idea what.

click on images for a larger size

Screen shot of my Photoshop Elements page - thought this might be an interesting way to display the different stages of this drawing, from pencil to finished. The pencil sketch in upper left and the black and white center are the 'real' ones - a Sepia filter used with the others. A bit much, so many images of one drawing but...!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stone #21

With a wind chill of -21°c, I think the Westerly wind is angry and howling cold words against our cheeks, our bodies.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ruminations on Creating Videopoetry: Unities

Einsenstein criticises Griffith for...having conceived of...unity in a completely extrinsic way as a unity of collection, the gathering together of juxtaposed parts, and not as a unity of production, a cell which produces its own parts by division, differentiation; for having interpreted opposition as an accident and not as the internal motive force by which the divided unity forms a new unity on another level....Eisenstein retains Griffith's idea of an organic composition or assemblage of movement-images: from the general situation [situation d'ensemble] to the transformed situation, through the development and transcendence of the oppositions. But it is true that Griffith did not see the dialectical nature of the organism and its composition. The organic is indeed a great spiral, but the spiral should be conceived of 'scientifically' and not empirically, in terms of a law of genesis, growth and development.

Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1, The Movement-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (first published in France in 1983). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986, pp.32-33.
In my exploration of the potential of video in the production of a visual moving-poem, I have surely relied on juxtaposition. The field of film is so vast I didn't know where to begin. I had to teach myself the editing software as I sought ways to present my poetry in an enhanced videopoetic form. With the little footage I shot, I created videopoetry montages of essentially juxtapositions - images, moving or slowed or stilled, layered over each other with various opacities, tracks of the reading of the poetry and sometimes the visual text itself, and music. I hoped that through intelligent juxtapositions I might arrive at a unity of form that disassembled even as it assembled a series of images and thoughts through its duration (meaning in the techniques of layering where there is a new unity that, because you can see the different layers, maintains a separation of the parts that constitute it).

I tried to keep my videopoems short. As I strived for simplicity and enough activity to keep the viewer watching, I perhaps forgot what Deleuze speaks of.

I constructed rather than composed. I layered juxtaposed images rather than creating from a vision that emanates its unity from within.

But this is modern art - collages of images, juxtapositions of ideas, thoughts, various forms of intersplicing the conversations of the culture. It's okay to allow oneself to swim in this field of rich imageries in diverse fields and to take from here and there as one constructs a piece.

When I write a poem, I begin with an image and then allow the images, ideas to develop of their own volition - I never know where the poem is going, or how it will get wherever it might. I do not live my life with teleologies (goals, ends in mind) and nor does my poetry proceed this way. This way of working is also how I compose videopoems. I don't storyboard, or have any preconceived ideas of what images or footage I might go out and videotape to express whatever it is that is emerging.

Rather, my videopoetique is closer to something created out of found art (even if I've shot all the video), or at least that's how I've approached it thus far.

In my profile at YouTube I wrote:

To me, the videopoem turns back the monstration of film, in which narrative develops visually without language. It attempts to marry word and image. The true videopoem, in my view, is not of pictorial scenes illustrating the narratorial sequences of poetry, but of unique and different partners who combine in a new art form. We move beyond the illustrator's art. We are not 'giving a visual' for 'a poetic line.' The two, visual and verbal, connect not as simile, like to like, or allegory, this represents that, but as metaphor, surprising leaps that unfold new possibilities.

And this I still emphatically mean. We are exploring a new art form.

But reading Deleuze's book -Deleuze, where I turn for ideas, for philosophical depth- has caused me to think of ways to express unities by considering opposites like these: construction and composition; found and built; accidental and planned; juxtaposition of found images and organic unity; and so on.

A small collection of my videopoems, beginning with the most recent.

Stone #20

A path of fallen, frozen red Maple leaves slowly slides and eddies before me like a stellar star cluster, while I remain still.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stone #19

Like a La Scala, the old one in Milan, I spend a sleepless night reviewing repertoires, operas, songs, stories, but it's inconclusive.

A River
of Stones

Poem Paintings album at Picasa

A poetry of what we do in our ordinary hours. I find the process of film interesting, especially relationships between characters-those interconnections, in their imagined and real manifestations. Sometimes (when I make myself get out pen and paper) I pause a film and quickly sketch the characters. These sketches are not meant to depict the actual film or actors in any kind of realistic way, or even be recognizable. They are dramas, really, to which I add my own words. You can imagine what is happening. If anything, these simple pieces are meant to be evocative: springboards, synchedoches, inductive rather than deductive, they need you to finish their stories.

Poem Paintings

(I had thought to collect my artpieces with poems, words, where the visual and verbal combine, that I've uploaded to Picasa, but, ahh. So it's growing of its own accord. :-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Stone #18

the thickest boughs, heavy with Titanium white spread with a fat brush - no paint falling out of the sky at the moment

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stone #17: The Sun Falls Before Dark

'The Sun Falls Before Dark,' 17.8cmx 23.9cm, 7" x 9", India ink, pencil, archival paper.

...the sun falls before dark,
folds of grace.

(written in the bridge: 'walls, walls, walls, indecision, indecision'; in back of bridge, 'dirt, dirt'; on the grass, 'grass, grass.' etc.)

'The Sun Falls Before Dark,' the barebones sketch, 17.8cmx 23.9cm, 7" x 9", archival ink, archival paper.

I drew it in near-dark without proper reading glasses with a Micron 05 pen that I've not used before. (The finished one up top was drawn in with India ink, and coloured with Castelli-Faber watercolour pencils.)

Who are they? what is happening?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stone #16

The train slices the Wedgewood blue and white,
a metal icicle.

Blowing snow dust glitters,
ghosts sweeping the windows.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stone #15

My wandering thoughts crumble in the reflections of a mirror placed between the snow landscape and white sky.

A River
of Stones
My habit is to turn off the heat every night. After the power failure at dawn this morning, man it was frigid, I am reconsidering.

(I live on an upper floor in an apartment with electric heat. Très expensive! The heaters are controlled in each room by a thermostat. The lowest setting is 5˚C. A lot of heat travels upwards through the building. My daughter and I both have winter weight down duvets that are super warm. If the heat is on, she will open the window, even in the middle of winter! I have a heated blanket that I use to warm up my bed, though even on low it is usually too hot for the whole night. However, a 3 hour power failure in an already cold apartment was downright frigid. When the electricity came back on, I turned up *all* the thermostats to 20˚C for awhile, just because.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stone #14

At night I turn off the heat, crawl under a heated blanket. The room air is grey at dawn, the cat, dog and I, shivering, cold, a power failure.

A River
of Stones

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stone #13

...the wind whispers ice, waves of snow blow, a few streaks of fragile light. These old lovers, a poetics of winter.

A River
of Stones

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Secrets, 20.5cm x 25.5cm, 8"x10", India inks, archival pen inks, graphite, coffee spill, and some digitally drawn lines as well as text, January, 2011.

A voice recording (2:48min) as I was writing the words (you can hear the pen scratching on paper in some of it, my flipping through pages looking for written images, and the slowness of the process of writing). The speaking follows the writing fingers. I'm discovering the story of the drawing, the poetry of it as I write the words which are a mostly unreadable pictorial element around one of the characters like a cloud or veil or tree of words. But I didn't want a drawing of only dream words: words that are inaccessible because the viewer cannot read them.

It is an invisible intersection, where the words are slowly voiced as they are being written, created enroute, without knowing where they'll go, and the viewer/listener's responses which are evoked by the slow reading that allows time for meditation, for the meandering of thought.

And, these words are interconnected with thoughts and feelings that occurred during the drawing, which was done in three sessions over a month.

In the recording, which is 'real time' (mostly, I did stop and start my iPhone's voice memo a few times, and I cut out some dead space in editing), I'm reading what's being written rather than composing out loud. Unable to post as is, the flat voice, so I had to. Bamboo Music, a background.

Moi, words, voice, mix; background music, Bamboo Music's 'Last Flute,' a free mp3 download on

Raw drawing; raw recording. No performance or finesse here. As it was happening.


a cloud of light
swept over the land
across the expanse

bare branches of trees
against a winter sky

    ocean drifting overhead

            dark minnow streaks

                     my mug of sand

                               roots, sky, solid

                     tense, open, terrible,


       cross hatching of ink lines

secrets, secrets,
          secrets, secrets

secrets of women

              of women

secrets   secrets   secrets 

there are no secrets

and then the veil descended
like a cloud of light

sea curls, foam

what is the moment of belief?

how long does it last?

does it matter?

and then,
     and then…

and then.

Stone #12

the chunks of snow that fly off needles, like bits of coconut meat flying from whitened fir trees in a northern oasis

A River
of Stones

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stone #11

scooped white dragon fruit, grated and tossed, swirling the night wind, and the black seeds, invisible, smacking my face, coat, hands

A River
of Stones

Home   Different, yet Same   Soirée of Poetry   Videopoetry   Celestial Dancers   Photopoems   Birthdance   Bliss Queen   Bio   Life Drawings   Earth Rising   Creative Process   Recent Work   Links   Comments

'Pull Down the Northern Lights for Chandeliers,' Zoom video August 20, 2020

   "I'd dance to death to evoke it." "Who in me writes?" It was a rich, varied poetry evening where we read, talked ...