I’ve been seriously remiss in not posting some of the 57 poetry videos uploaded by Forkergirl at YouTube, A.K.A. Thylias Moss, a major contemporary American poet. This one caught my fancy because it riffs on the first lines of a favorite poem of mine, Federico García Lorca’s “Romance Sonámbulo.” Moss includes the text of her piece in the notes below the video on YouTube. Made for Valentine’s Day 2007, it’s been played more than 3,900 times.
Toronto-based painter and poet Brenda Clews has recently begun to explore videopoetry, with some very interesting results. Concrete or visual poetry often strikes me as more art than poem, but I like what this one says about rain — and about poetry. The words are right at hand, but remain out of reach. (If you have the bandwidth for it, this is available in HD, as well — click through to view it on YouTube.)
Another exciting thing about this production is the double-blind collaborative way it came about, alluded to in the title and explained in the credits at the end:
Brenda created a short film
for unheard music
Gabriel created music
for an unseen film
Gabriel is the avant garde musician Gabriel G, a.k.a. Alphacore.
See Brenda’s lengthy description and analysis of the piece at her blog, Rubies in Crystal.
The most ambitious film by a poet for his own poem I’ve yet seen. It even has its own website; go there for the complete credits. Here’s McCabe’s description of the poem and the project:
At the moment of the fatal shots Jacqueline Kennedy was seen fleeing into prehistory, dancing ritualistically, time-traveling to the wild-west and documenting landscape. The film’s running time of 11:22 mirrors the date of the events precipitating the film’s thematic concerns.
‘My Story is Not My Own’ intertwines art forms; featuring four performers (including two dancers), narrators reciting poetry, one singer chanting Javanese-inspired incantations, electronic-ambient music and ‘found’ Super 8 footage from Kashmir in the 1960s.
The film blends scenes of journey, intimations of ritual, emotionality and American political history within an overarching sense of earth’s mystery. Personal and national grief juxtapose with archival footage of distant landscapes evoking a sense of loss.
Archetypal images of grief pervade the film’s imagery via the symbols of starfish, stones and veils. A mythological texture envelops the various manifestations of the ‘widow.’
Wearing her pink outfit, from that tragic day in 1963, she bursts through a saloon’s swinging wooden doors followed by the swelling ocean crashing wildly in faded footage. Linked to nature her story is truly not only her own.
‘One string snaps, this is the sound of what was new, and the oldest vibration of all, following its twin.’
‘My Story is Not My Own’ is a first film from a poet remembering the ‘feeling’ of November, 1963. Watching black & white TV with his mother nearby tending to small children. The film makes an unspoken connection between chemical attacks on the jungles of Vietnam which soon followed and the spirituality of disappeared Neolithic culture.
Though my creative process is committed to experimentation and research, and my subject matter often deals with things such as the Guatemalan Civil War, the results are often absurd and humorous. I have found that refugees and survivors of war are often that way; nothing in life is ever so dire as to be unworthy of a joke or two.
An experiment in found poetry with a distinctly populist flavor. As the filmmaker describes it:
I Am is not only a film but a social experiment that took strangers in Philadelphia and asked them to finish this sentence. “I am ___.” Through these responses, the film-maker was able to create a montage of answers and then delve deeper into a select few and allow them to explore their answers even further, creating not only written poems but a visual metaphor of these responses. (Premiered at iLLReality’s STEW event on March 21, 2010). Be sure to check out illreality.com
The three poems embedded on the piece were written by Smith, based on the stories told him by Kelly Turner (“I Am Constantly at War with My Body”), Sanja Blazevic (“I Am Proud of My Parent’s Resilience”), and Jared Martin (“I Am an Actor, Once Upon a Time”).