Trees by Michelle Bitting

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The most recent of four “poem films” uploaded to Vimeo so far by Los Angeles poet Michelle Bitting. She succeeds where most filmmakers would fail in a fairly literal match of film image to poem, remaining just allusive enough to hold the viewer’s interest. (Also, as a tree lover, I admit the subject matter holds a special attraction for me.)

I found out about Bitting’s project thanks to a blog post by Robert Peake, “The Film-Poem.”

Large Red Man Reading by Wallace Stevens

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This has to be one of my favorite found footage-poem match-ups ever. It’s one of Nic Sebastian’s first solo efforts at videopoem-making (though she doesn’t appear to have blogged it). Here’s the text of the poem.

Under a Man Made Sun by R.W. Perkins

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In the video description at Vimeo, poet-filmmaker R.W. Perkins writes,

“Under A Man Made Sun” is the second video-poem installment of what I’m calling the “Vista Poems”, four poems examining how the the past and future collide and how in my opinion we are dealing with it. “Under A Man Made Sun” is a brief history of our digital past, honoring and criticizing our predecessors, while pointing out our own unwritten future is still very much up in the air.

I thought the use of text and old home-movie footage here were especially effective. (Tip to videopoets wanting to get work on Moving Poems: include banjo in the soundtrack! I do love me some banjo.)

Consumed by Cynthia Cox

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Cynthia Cox used some public-domain footage from the Prelinger Archives, as she notes in a blog post:

The primary video appears to have been test shots for a dollar store commercial — I did not copy and repeat those zoom-out shots of the fishing lures, they were actually all filmed and strung together one after another in the original film, as were the numerous shots of the woman looking at — and this part made me fantastically happy — the exact same dress over & over. The party shots were worked in mostly to utilize the transitions provided by the movie clapboards, quite honestly; the incredibly phallic balloon-blowing contest was a bonus. But maybe that’s sharing too much.

Click through to read the rest of her notes, as well as the text of the poem.

When I Don’t Love You Anymore is a Wasp by Donna Vorreyer

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This comprises the first panel of Propolis, the videopoem triptych produced by Swoon Bildos, Whale Sound (Nic Sebastian) and Cello Dreams (Kathy McTavish). According to the extremely interesting process notes for the project, Swoon took the lead in determining the artistic direction (inspired by Turner, Goya and Bacon, he says) and finding and getting permission for the footage to fit that vision, but his two collaborators took an active role in shaping it, in addition to providing the soundtrack, so I’ve listed all three of them together as filmmakers. I’m departing from tradition and putting up three posts today, because the three videos in the triptych belong together (but the poet-centric format here prevents me from putting them all in one post). Please visit the Propolis website for the full experience, which includes a special mashup of all three videos which I won’t share here, plus the aforementioned process notes and a paragraph on each of the contributors, including this one about Donna Vorreyer:

Donna Vorreyer spends her days convincing middle-schoolers that words matter. Her work has appeared in many journals including Weave, Cider Press Review, qaartsiluni, and Rhino. She is the author of the chapbooks, Womb/Seed/Fruit (Finishing Line Press) and Come Out, Virginia (Naked Mannekin Press) and a contributor to the blog Voice Alpha. You can visit her online at her blog Put Words Together; Make Meaning or her website

The site also includes the text of the poem.

The Lights Are On In The Museum by David Tomaloff

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This comprises the second panel of Propolis, the videopoem triptych produced by Swoon Bildos, Whale Sound (Nic Sebastian) and Cello Dreams (Kathy McTavish). Here’s the contributor’s note about David Tomaloff:

David Tomaloff (b. 1972) is a writer, photographer, musician, and all around bad influence. His work has appeared in fine publications such as Mud Luscious, >kill author, Thunderclap!, HOUSEFIRE, Prick of the Spindle, DOGZPLOT, elimae, and many more. He is the author of the chapbooks, A SOFT THAT TOUCHES DOWN &REMOVES ITSELF (NAP) Olifaunt (The Red Ceilings Press), EXIT STRATEGIES (Gold Wake Press) and MESCAL NON-PALINDROME CINEMA (Ten Pages Press). He resides in the form of ones and zeros here.

Visit the Propolis site for the text of the poem.

Sunday Services by Lisa J. Cihlar

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This comprises the third panel of Propolis, the videopoem triptych produced by Swoon Bildos, Whale Sound (Nic Sebastian) and Cello Dreams (Kathy McTavish). Here’s their contributor’s note about Lisa Cihlar:

Lisa J. Cihlar‘s poems have been published in The Pedestal Magazine, Green Mountains Review, In Posse Review, Bluestem, and The Prose-Poem Project. One of her poems was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in rural Southern Wisconsin.

Visit Propolis to read the text of the poem.