Orchids by Diane Lockward

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https://vimeo.com/89698273

A poem by Diane Lockward from The Poetry Storehouse, in what Nic S. calls a still image remix — the first of two videopoems she’s made so far with the digital artwork of Adam Martinakis. Nic has just posted some process notes for the two videos. A couple of snippets:

I loved [Adam Martinakis’] weird and wonderful images as soon as I saw them. His website pictures are downloadable (not everyone is so open, even though the files for online viewing are necessarily quite small), so I was able to download the ones I liked and privately get a good sense of how I might work with them before I asked Adam for permission. He gave it at once, and went so far as to say there was no need for me to clear the final version with him. (I did, though – things work better if you keep folks posted all the way, I find).

[…]

A subset of Adam’s images were more rawly sexual, almost predatory, and these came together in my mind as a great backdrop for Diane’s lush, voluptuous poem about orchids, but not about orchids. The poem is couched as a warning to the predator against obsessive pursuit of the object, and I thought I could present the corollary of that – the vulnerability to exploitation of the object, whether a woman or an orchid in the wild. Adam’s image of the falling girl in a fetal position wrapped in gold foil struck me as exquisitely vulnerable and a wonderful way to wrap up this ‘story’.

This genre, to which I have perhaps inappropriately applied the term kinestasis — basically, fancy slideshows in video form — probably accounts for 90 percent of all poetry videos on YouTube. Most, of course, are thoroughly unimaginative, so I told Nic in an email that I was happy to see her elevating the genre a bit. Much to both of our surprise, however, the four still-image remixes she’s made so far have already surpassed almost every other videopoem she’s ever made in the number of views they’ve racked up. I would suggest that’s because, when the artists whose work she uses link to the videos, their artist friends on Facebook actually go and watch them. Poets trying to get other poets to watch videos is always going to be more of a struggle. At any rate, read Nic’s full account on her blog.

2 Comments

  1. Reply
    Nic S. 24 March, 2014

    “I would suggest that’s because, when the artists whose work she uses link to the videos, their artist friends on Facebook actually go and watch them.” Yes, exactly. The net result is that a whole group of non-poets are exposed to poems that would never have crossed their paths otherwise – surely a win for poetry! Thanks for for the shout-out, Dave. Best, N

  2. Reply

    […] I was absolutely thrilled with Nic’s video interpretation of my poem “Orchids.” She got it just right, although I had no idea what “right” was until […]

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