Filmmaker: Matt Mullins

There Are Bullets in This Poem by Jan Bottiglieri, Chris Green, cin salach, and Tony Trigilio

This is Semi-Automatic Pantoum, directed by Matt Mullins, made to accompany the collection Semi-Automatic Pantoums: A Collaboration on Gun Violence [PDF] by the Chicago-based collective Poetic Justice League. According to their origin story,

In 2018, in the season of Donald Trump and longing for another time, Chris Green was driving down a Chicago road to see his poetic super heroes Jan Bottiglieri, cin salach, and Tony Trigilio. He proposed The Poetic Justice League, a group for poetic non-silence on the big issues of the day. They dreamed up PJL to unfold group poems, to wake up poets and readers to a sense of newborn responsibility. [links added]

The pantoum is one of those forms with repeating lines, which makes it a good if macabre fit for the subject of semi-automatic weapons and the semi-automatic reactions of various political factions to the American epidemic of mass shootings. Matt Mullins added some lines of his own to the video, but otherwise the text is the same as “There Are Bullets in This Poem” (page 5 of the collection). As Matt said in an email on Monday,

It’s intensely disturbing that these horrific mass shooting events just won’t stop happening (I write you this the morning after we realize that families can’t even go to a food festival without being murdered by someone with an assault rifle.) American gun violence has gone far beyond insanity, and yet, as we all know, the politicians in the palm of the NRA will do nothing.

To write your own semi-automatic pantoum, see the collective’s instructions for teachers.

The Poetic Justice League hopes that high school students form their own PJL chapters! You will receive a PJL hat and will be included in all publishing and promotional ventures . . . and we will continue to include you in all future PJL political poetry adventures.

The only requirement is that students contribute their own collaborative political poems modeled after PJL projects. For now, we’re seeking semi-automatic pantoums–we will post the pantoums on our site.

Still There by Lucy English

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A recent addition to Lucy English‘s collaborative, online poetry-film anthology The Book of Hours by the Indiana-based multimedia poet Matt Mullins.

Aubade by Lucy English

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A collaboration between Matt Mullins (audiovisual composition) and Lucy English (poem, voiceover) for English’s Book of Hours project.

After Image by Matt Mullins

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Poet Matt Mullins shows how to make an effective videopoem out of a single photo. The text, voiceover, and audio-visual composition are all his own here; the original photographer is unknown.

Landmine in a Field of Flowers by Matt Mullins

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A recent videopoem from filmmaker-poet Matt Mullins. This is the way the meadows look now where I live, in central Pennsylvania.

Monster Movie by Matt Mullins

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A new author-made videopoem from Matt Mullins. Poet as Godzilla (rather than poet as god, à la Vicente Huidobro) is definitely a concept I can get behind. For the first couple of minutes, I was puzzled by all the different screen arrangements, but it eventually made sense… in fact, using videopoetry to critique movie making and movie watching is something that should happen more often, I think.

The Final Neural Firings of the Eternal Starlet by Matt Mullins

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An internet-enabled collaboration between Matt Mullins (poem and video-audio composition) and Marc Neys, A.K.A. Swoon (editing, original footage and music). The voiceover is by Raquel Falcon.