Showing posts from June, 2011

July 'River of Stones'

Lots of people are joining, about to toss pebbles of poetry --- haiku-like moments of noticing, meditating, writing --- into the river. You should too:
Why you should join the river: Because having a notebook, or a blog, and a vow to write one small stone in it each day can help you keep a sense of wonder about the world. Deciding to take part in the July challenge, to notice something each day and write about it, sets in motion that willingness to reach out - that willingness to really look and listen to the world - and to stand in awe.
On the black river,
a pair of great-crested grebe nod
towards the ceremonies of spring.

Kate Noakes
Kaspalita Thompson and Fiona Robyn, beautiful, newly-wedded couple, are the inspirations behind River of Stones.

Documentary: "Call of Life: Facing Mass Extinction"

View this movie at

Watching this, while of course I already knew, but the summer heat, the late hour, half in the dreamtime, I understood at a deeper level. While a pessimistic part of me does not believe that we can change the path of destiny that we are creating for ourselves as the world-force we are, as a species, the speakers in this video offer hope at the end. Already the facts and issues raised in this video has brought into focus a deep anxiety, a life-threatening worry, something indefinable, troubling and thus Call of Life is a life-changing video for me. I urge you to watch it.

And, though we are not world leaders, nor run vast multi-nationals, we are the grassroots. Dance, drum, meditate daily on mass extinction...on unimaginable numbers of species dying out, life force, soul fleeing an uninhabitable world...

And march when there are marches, and sign petitions, and write letters, emails, and post in all the places you can.

Synopsis of the documentary:

Call …

Silver-Tint Photo

...the mask was exactly what she was searching for, exactly
what she needed: a face threaded over her face,
a light threaded over her light.

You speak, and the mask begins to speak,
and the listening takes fire.

Dale Favier
Slipping away, between restraints.

(click photos for larger size)

Dale's Mask slightly paraphrased, a change of pronoun

Stone #50: Is Rosette's

After the rain, roses everywhere, their thorn-bitten thick lips, petals falling like tricks, lipstick red pistils around their bushes.

... (a wee note to myself, if you ever want to see them, just email me for the key)

Breathtaking Poetry Theory

In a book review, Ali Alizadeh reviews Maria Takolander and Claire Potter | Cordite Poetry Review, I found this paragraph:
Badiou’s strategy for a philosophical investigation of the arts – and of avant-garde poetry in particular – relies on a belief that art is one of the key conditions for the emergence of universal truths. Accordingly, a poetry capable of hosting such an exigent possibility must negate both the mimetic impulse (to represent/express emotions, images, experiences, etc.) as well as the lyrical demands of conventional prosody such as form and sound, the unity and cohesion of an authorial voice, poetic subject matter, etc. As Elie During has recently written in Alain Badiou: Key Concepts (Acumen, 2010), “Badiou’s underlying poetics is at once anti-mimetic and anti-lyrical. Hermeneutics and aesthetics are thereby rejected in the same stroke.”
It's been awhile since I read any breathtaking poetry theory, so this hit a good spot. I'm in the middle of Deleuze and Gua…

Cryptic Messages to Self

Cryptic messages to self. Do you do this? It's so easy with a cell phone to send memos back to yourself for later. I sent this message to myself by iPhone at the end of January, so it must mean something. But what? Clearly I was using the app, Dragon Speaking, which sometimes is a bit strange, and didn't correct the writing. Was I meditating? Did I just wake up from a dream?

Who knows. Seems to be instructions of some kind for recording a speaking, perhaps...

Now I know was thinking over in between the molecules recess voice and then become waves and then let it pass through and then let themselves to be become part of the speaking a care in the sound of the passes through the M waves like wave as you like service that glass that means of angels

Untitled(2) by Eduardo Cuadrado

direct link: Untitled(2) by Eduardo Cuadrado

Eduardo, I am moved beyond comprehension by your Untitled (2). Your sculptures? Realist, the realism of poverty. Yes, I know this world. A beaten world; people who are usually ignored in the busy city. The shadows. The shadows who you have given solid form to in metal and other materials appear everywhere, as sculptures. Magnified. They are worthy of focus. They have their stories. People stop and look for a moment. It is strange. They are the poor, lost, downtrodden, forgotten; it is as if they call to their gods in the moments of silent suffering you have represented. They ask the existential questions. Why? Why me? How did this happen? How do I rise from this place of despair? I am in tears. I want to protect all of these beautiful people from the harsh life they have been cast into by circumstance, drug abuse, violence, or a soft incessant falling away of belief in the status quo until there is only raw existence left.

This is a great …

Solstice Photos

Two Druids on Salisbury Plain at Stonehenge at Summer Solstice. I love this photo! They are wild; their outfits quite something.

A silly photo from yesterday's re-take of dance footage in High Park - taking a water break. My daughter, unseen, sits in a Director's Chair, reading.

Wishing you a beautiful Summer Solstice

direct YouTube link: "Green Goddess" Masque

Wishing you a lovely day as spring turns into summer! Midsummer Night's Eve, or Summer Solstice is a magical time!

For those of you who might like to read a longer post on the process behind making this video poem: "Green Goddess" Masque.

Terre Verte

Pale green stretch lace, shimmer of embroidery, like Japanese watercolours catching the spring sun through pale green trees.

A Wedding Stone for Fiona and Kaspa's nuptials today.

Note: Besides 'Green Earth,' Terre Verte is a painter's paint colour.

Treats on Bloor Street

Since I may return to High Park to dance before the camera again, with the track of the video, Tangled Garden, on a speaker - the movement would embody the words of the poems in my own idiosyncratic way, I decided to go to Fabric Land for some notions, patterns, fabric.

On the way, on Bloor Street in Toronto, I passed some young, gorgeously dressed people, men in grey business trousers and white shirts and a woman in a small tight red dress giving out boxes from cartons on the street.

Naturally, I joined the line. The man behind me wore a purple T-shirt and cool mirrored purple sunglasses - I laughed that he looked appropriate for 'Mink Mile.' Never mind, he didn't understand either. Though I asked people in front and behind me, no-one knew what we were lining up for.

It was so Beckett. So Godot. I loved it.

"Perhaps a glass," a woman said.

I had to show my ID (haha) to the gorgeous lady in the tight, short, red dress, and she stamped the top of my hand with …

In the Hands of the Garden Gods

One of the poems I'll be reciting in the video poem I am still working on, "Tangled Garden." I wrote In the Hands of the Garden Gods when I was 27 years old, and it fits beautifully. I guess I've been working with the themes of a Tangled Garden most of my life. It will be the poem in the middle, after A Floral Opera, and before, Tangled Garden. The video poem is 21 minutes long, and I have been working on it for quite awhile. As many hours, days, go into it I see it emerge slowly, slowly.

You'll have to email me for the password.

Encrypted poem:

In the Hands of the Garden Gods

Still from my video poem, Tangled Garden, which I'm currently working on.
(click on image for larger size)

A draft form of the video is up at YouTube (update Thurs June 16th).

direct link: Garden Gods

This video is not finished. It has no title or credits and is 'Unlisted' at YouTube. The final version will be much higher resolution. I've posted it for critique purposes only.

"Green Goddess" Masque

direct YouTube link: "Green Goddess" Masque
"Chthonic goddess of the greening earth. Wrinkled, like tree bark, painted, an exotic glade. Process, the recycling of Nature, life emerging from death. An organic art. The mask's fronds as if growing out of the forest floor in the Spring. Papier-mache, mulch: paper, or leaves. The face as landscape; the face carrying the landscape with it. Flower colours framing her face; the iridescence of insects, sheen of dragonfly. Feathery wings, plumed serpent, vestiges of living vines. A vision of a Nature spirit, Summer Solstice, a Midsummer Night's Dream. Shaman of the forest. Tutelary guide in the rainforest. Jungle of the imagination. Then the Surreality of the sky-blue mask on the greening gold fields of her face: I offer you a masked mask."
After the papier-mâché green goddess masque was finished, I wrote some of the thoughts I had while making it. That became the prose poem.

Last Spring I had wanted to make a danc…

Stills from "Green Goddess" Masque Videopoem

Last Spring I had wanted to make a video with the mask and the prose poem, but it didn't happen. The video poem is from a 4 min clip of the only usable footage from a shoot in High Park in Toronto yesterday with my daughter sorta on camera, well at a distance from the tripod, but she was affecting things.

It's not too long, 2:37min, and moves quite quickly, and, perhaps it's because I'm a little light-headed after the 18hr stint editing this video, but I find it quite funny, and so it's ok if the photos make you laugh a little too.

(Currently it's uploading to YouTube and Vimeo, but you never know exactly when things will appear. By tomorrow, I expect.)

No, she's not in it. People remain adamant about not appearing in my videos, and so I apologize, it's just me.

A 59 year old woman prancing in the woods? Oh, yes, you bet. Only one jogger about my age jogged by twice, and a fellow on a bike came rather close when I was changing out of my white strapless …

Costume for Tangled Garden

Composing a simple costume, sewed some lace,
put on the green goddess masque, for a little video
of dance to layer into my long video poem, Tangled Garden.

This test iPhone photo shows the woman  in something pinned
and strapless. I will likely layer over a white bodysuit for the little
bit a movement I may add here and there to the video.

(with thanks to Bent Lorentzen for the suggestion to add dance
to the video)

I quite like the photo I created this evening, though.

C'mon, the woman is texting.... who? Isn't this just such
a 'now' photo? The mirrored self snapped by cell phone.
Something ... I like about this little composition. A surreality.

Vision Trees

direct link: Vision Trees

A time-lapse art video. I thought to paint some trees of significance to me for the Festival of the Trees which I hosted on my blog June 1st, and so hooked up the camera and recorded. The footage is sped up 1200%!

'One of the most beautiful pieces of art on earth is the bird's nest. Your video reminded me of a bird building her nest,' William, a Pastor who blogs, wrote. The sped-up video, ink, pen, paint, fingers, constructing the nest, the voiceover story, a nesting story - yes, I see it, and love the description.

The voiceover relates a tree story. The magnetism of certain trees. A story of my vision trees. About finding home through those trees. The voiceover is perhaps a bit loose - I begin by reading a piece and then just start talking - but I wanted something colloquial, expressing the extraordinary in the ordinary, a vision in a rambly monologue. It's a real story. I hope the way I've layered it into the video works for you.

This p…

Wedding Small Stones

The Festival of the Trees -60 took over my blog on June 1st, and what a fine festival! Luckily, it's not too late to post this call to participate in a wedding on the River of Stones by adding your own small stone to the celebrations.

Kaspa and Fiona are both on a mission to help the world connect with the world through writing. They are also getting married on Saturday the 18th of June.

For their fantasy wedding present, they are asking people across the world to write them a ‘small stone’ and send it using this form. You can also post the stone on your blog, or facebook or on twitter using the #aros hashtag.

A small stone is a short piece of observational writing – simply pay attention to something properly and then write it down. Find out more about small stones here.

This is their request, in their words:

If you’re willing to help, we’d love you to do two things:

1) Re-post this blog on your own blog any time before June the 18th and give your readers a chance to hear about w…

Festival of the Trees - 60

Not that we are trying to project our consciousness everywhere, but there is an affinity. Trees speak to us. You might call this the genii loci, or indwelling spirit, or devi, or just the hum of the bark. Roots dig deep and branches reach like arms to the sun. Trees are natural worshippers. Look at them, brazen ringed wood and leaves breathing the planet clean.

There is no wedding like a tree in flower. Bouquets were born from the wishes of trees.

This month I had asked us to record an engagement with a tree or trees, preferably in video, but any form. To talk to the trees and bring back what transpired. This communing I knew would reflect us back to ourselves as we projected our way of seeing things onto the arborescent consciousness, and so that self-consciousness was part of it, seeing how we shape what we see. I also knew that what I was asking was a type of vision quest. For you to seek out the tree of your dream consciousness, the tree that is singing to you, or to tell us about…