Friday, February 27, 2015

February Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery tomorrow, the 28th!

Tomorrow! FUNtastic and brilliant afternoon! Come and warm your poetic souls at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St E, doors 2:45pm, readings 3-5pm. Two poets whose poetry intermeshes styles, spoken word, slam, literary poetry, love poetry, cultural events and icons, you name it, these guys, Kevin Fortnum and Stedmond Pardy are very special. We will project video during some of the readings. And Amoeba Starfish's Quantum jazz... is wow. You will slide gently into and swim and fly in otherworldly realms. Very inspiring, beautiful. They like poets to speak what their music evokes into the mic. They are a tremendously interactive band. And we promise dancing at the end! Yes!

After we go to a nearby Chinese restaurant with good food and inexpensive prices, for a glass of wine, or some nibbles, or a dinner of shared plates of scrumptious food. The menu has both vegetarian and meat options.

PWYC pass-the-pouch. Around 7 open mic spots of 5 minutes each, sign-up before 3pm.

Facebook Event Page:

KEVIN FORTNUM is a nightmare dressed like a daydream who wishes he could be like the cool kids. He only came here to say, 'hello'. When this show is over, he will drive his car into a bridge.

AMOEBA STARFISH’s bio is bio-degradable. Phil and Jeff met in 1988, began collaborating on various experimental, sometimes controversial, multimedia projects thinly veiled as "bands," They created Amoeba Starfish in 2009 to simply return to the ideals of "play." Quantum Jazz is about being sincere and having fun without fear, limitation and expectation.

STEDMOND PARDY’S first chapbook, "Drugs,” was self-published in 2013, and his next volume "Beached Whales" will be published in late Spring. He has had two one man Shows held at Reg Hartt’s, "The Cineforum,” appeared on Howl 89.5 FM twice, and has read his work at various venues around the city since he started writing 8 years ago. He was born and raised in the Mimico/Lakeshore area. The quotes, "an Artist is an Instrument through which the Universe reveals itself" and "word poetry is for everyman, but Soul poetry, alas, is not heavily Distributed" are the words he lives by.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Journal Entries, 1-4


A small art journal for quick Journal Entries... mixed media, and on a prepared surface. Because I've been blocked, this is a way to gently move into the stream.

The theme that's shaping seems to be Mind Maps. Each one is a picture of the inside of my mind at that moment.

©BrendaClews 2015, 5.5"x8", mixed media, Strathmore 80lb toned gray sketch paper, acid-free.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Drawing of Tara

A drawing of Tara, February 17, 2015, 11" x 14", graphite and Derwent InkTense blocks on Strathmore 80lb cream acid-free drawing paper.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Matt Mullins: Ten Notable Single-author Videopoems

Matt Mullins writes:

"I really enjoy all forms of videopoetry, and collaborations have certainly led to some of the most groundbreaking and vital work out there, but I also have tremendous admiration for those people who work primarily as singular “videopoets.” To have the skill and talent to write a compelling poem and the ability to place that poem into an equally compelling visual and sonic context is an impressive artistic accomplishment.

But as I sat down to compile a list of ten single-author/author-made pieces that have influenced me, I quickly realized that there’s a tremendous amount of excellent work of this type out there. So I decided to narrow my list even further to focus on those poets who have demonstrated that they have the skills I mention above, and the ability to read their own poetry convincingly, and the ability to deliver the whole package in four minutes or less."

Comment I wrote:

An amazing list of videopoems, Matt. Each one is remarkable in its own often understated way. I appreciate the quietness of this collection overall, that there isn’t a lot of bright poppy snazzy editing and so on. The intent of the force or drive that produced the poem and the video is stronger when they are produced by one artist and perhaps more completely enmeshed as a unity of word and image. When the poet makes the video there is an inner cohesion to the experience of the words, the voice, the visuals and the music. Thank you. I’ve been sharing this page. – and I was truly taken back to find a videopoem of mine among them – so often one feels like one is working in a vacuum.

After I posted the comment, I thought what I mean is that not only do we enter into the personal world of the poet/videopoet, there is a rhythm between the poem, its reading, and the video, it's style, images, cuts, overall feel that, when it works, works in ways that collaborative pieces usually never do for me. But, then, I operate from my own private aesthetic on this issue and really have not elaborated on what that is, and, due to the complexity of trying to explain my position, might never.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

January 2015 Poetry Salon: Photos and Videos

At last, here are the photos and video from my Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery on January 31, 2015.

It was another wonderful, warm, talented, supportive afternoon of poetry and music! The rich imagery of the poems and the warmth of the Salon remain with me. Many thanks to our great features, Karen Shenfeld, Bänoo Zan, Michael Oesch and Saskia van Tetering, and to all the poets who shared their poetry on open mic, Susan Helwig, Mike Lipsius, Pat Connors, Norman Bethune Allan, Charles Taylor and Elaine Waddell. A rich tapestry of poetry and music indeed!

Many thanks to Josef Hochleitner, who kindly came and took photos, some of which I've uploaded here, that are superb. Thank you to Urban Gallery, and to Glenda Fordham, their wonderful publicist, who came and photographed the early part of the Salon. Full Picasa album with the names of everyone here:


January 2015 Poetry Salon in its entirety! No more fussy clips - from now on, one video of everyone (who permits posting). Below are the poets and musicians and the time the introduction to them and their reading begins. (direct link:

:40 - *Susan Helwig*:
1. Wartime: more stories
2. I need to know

3:23 - *Mike Lipsius*

7:25 - *Bänoo Zan*:
1. Azän on a Toronto Streetcar
2. Payäm-där
3. Allah-u Jamil va Yoheb-o Jamal
4. Letter to My Father
5. Namäz
6. Battle of Books
7. Letter to God
8. I die for you, I live for me

28:00 - *Brenda Clews*:
1. Light Catches Diamonds, from 'the luminist poems'

31:47 - *Norman Bethune Allan*

37:26 - *Charles Taylor*
1. Hey Jim Morrison

43:47 - *Pat Connors*:
1. Bluebottle Fly Trapped in a Blue Bottle
2. 35
3. Unattainable

48:46 - *Elaine Waddell*

52:12 - *Karen Shenfeld*
1. Brief Note to an Engineer
2. Companion Poem
3. Circumference
4. They Praised Her to Pharoah and She Was Taken into His Palace
5. The Standing Prayer
6. Bathurst Manor
7. Confession
8. "Theatre Doctor

1:13 - *The Minions: Michael Oesch and Saskia van Tetering*

A fun 16 second silent timelapse video of Josef's photographs of moi dancing to The Minions' 'Iceland' Pong. (direct link:

Backstory: I had heard MOesch perform with his theramin and Saskia and Michael were vacationing in Iceland, and so I asked if Saskia had a poem that they could do with the theramin at the Poetry Salon where they were featured because I had a mask that might work and I could do some dance/creative movement to accompany their Pong (what The Minions call their poem songs). I heard a version of the Pong the night before where they were performing in Kensington Market and the next day danced to it. Since they had also just created the music for Saskia's poem, the whole piece, music and dance, were pretty much ad lib, impromptu.

The Split Mask came from 'the depths' - out of the unconscious, however that is - an image which I carried for months and then began making the mask which demanded a poem that took a year to write - but that is all another project and not this fun romp at my most recent Poetry Salon.

You saw this one a few weeks ago... it's the 'Iceland' dance from another camera (direct link: and has the poem and music as well as the dance.

The Features:

Toronto's KAREN SHENFELD has three books of poetry to her credit, published by Guernica Editions: The Law of Return, (1999), The Fertile Crescent (2005) and My Father’s Hands Spoke in Yiddish (2010). Her poetry has been published in numerous poetry journals in the USA, UK, South Africa, Bangladesh and Canada. She won the 2001 Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry and was long-listed for the Relit Award in 2005. Along with being a poet, Karen is a widely published magazine journalist, editor (both print and screen) and filmmaker. Her indie documentary, Il Giardino, The Gardens of Little Italy, screened at several film festivals, including Planet in Focus. Karen is currently working on her fourth book of poetry, two documentary films, and a screenplay for a feature, which has been optioned by Canadian director Bruce McDonald.

Writer, translator, teacher, and poetry organizer, BÄNOO ZAN, landed in Canada in 2010. She has over 80 publications. As managing editor, she doubled the number of submissions and made Voices 2012 anthology financially solvent. She hosts Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), the most diverse poetry series in Toronto bringing together people from different ethnicities, nationalities, religions (or lack thereof), sexual orientations, ages and poetic voices, visions and styles. She believes her politics is her poetry.

MOesch is a most unique dynamic artist. You never know what will come from him next. He has a back ground in blues and folk. And is one of a few musical artist who have toured across Canada on foot. In 2002 and 2005 MOesch walked over 11,000 km traveling through every province and even venturing into Labrador. "14 month on the road felt like 50 years, I'm ready to settle down." Even Though MOesch has settled back in Toronto he has not settled, his musical output has expanded into trance, electronic and he has started a Celtic band and plays in a rhythm and blues band, but more than anything MOesch loves to just sit back and play his lap steel guitar.

Author SASKIA VAN TETERING is a lifelong lover of words, especially poetry. In 2008, Saskia fulfilled a lifelong dream by self-publishing her first book, life unmasked, comprising poems and short stories. Swimming to the surface, her second collection of poetry was published in 2009 by In Our Words, Inc., and in January 2012, bojit press in Toronto, Ontario, published After Philosophy. Saskia is currently working on her fourth book of poetry and short stories, River of Ghosts. She describes herself as a Renaissance woman, balancing her own business, the anticipated completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree after a 30-year hiatus, with finding time to write, volunteer, and to travel with her soul mate and husband, Michael. Saskia is a member of the Canadian Federation of Poets, of The Ontario Poetry Society, and of the Peel Chapter, CFP. She resides near the Beaches in Toronto, Ontario, with Michael and their fluffle of bunnies.

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. ...