poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Category: Poetry

One Thing Leads to Another

When I created the ‘wordless poem’ Never More Together (120 linocut prints – The Porcupine’s Quill) in 2014 I sometimes needed to answer questions like, ‘How is this a poem?’

So I wrote the poem Meditations on a Wordless Poem. In earlier versions I related it to the silent process of carving in lino and creating non-linear poetry via images. I recall describing how I warmed lino under a hot lamp (during a heat wave!) so it would be easier to carve. In the poem found below I abandoned such descriptions, focusing more on the metaphysical. One thing leads to another.

In 2020 Konrad Skreta and I co-directed a 32:28 poetry/art (animation) video based on this poem. Because of Covid, and disruptions, or so I tell myself, I am just now getting around to submitting the video (titled Ode to a Wordless Poem) to festivals.

I watched it again today. Konrad embellished my poetry and images (text-art & visual poetry) by composing ever-shifting & evocative geometric and organic designs. & Within a landscape of psyche, perception and shadow the music too, as well as Konrad’s soundscape, is hypnotic. One thing leads to another.

Meditations on a Wordless Poem

The poem is an image & the image is a poem

Poem is an image passing through the body.

Image contains the rhythmic incantation of voice manipulating shapes

And visual balance –

Image passes into and through the body, embracing rhythmic incantations.

The alchemy of poetry transfigures a blank page into a sequence

Of comprehension –

A sequence of psychic incantation configures the blank page.

The process of transfiguring dross and creating gold

Is recorded two-dimensionally –

A sequence of shapes and visual balance enter your body as

Two-dimensional alchemy.

Symbols meet texture in a relationship spanning theory and time.

Theory and time, in place of words, pass through your body.

Epic poetry resembles line and movement

An ancient voice extends invisible realities into song

Songs of prehistory rush forward, intersecting with our surveillance state.

A visual poem is like a city

As the lights go off, a new sound emerges of all that has gone before

Missing words, animals, plants and civilizations are replaced

Epic poetry rushes forward containing new information.

Poetry, pulsing, aims within a sequence of images

Invisible line responds, summoning persona, questing,

Transmitting erotic signals

Light hollows any false reflection

New information transmits erotic signals

The lights in a city fade

Street by street.

As the image is read the pulse of the work transfigures

Surrealism speaks of fragrance and desire

Alchemy embodies fragrance

The alchemical poem juxtaposes human need and the impossible

Human desire interfaces with the surveillance state

The white of the page recorded two-dimensionally

The fragrance of light a dreaming of desire.

Subconscious language is dream entwining both image and word within

Phenomena as natural as the elements.

Original idea & mind entwine both image and dream

Negative space surrounds the image suggesting a missing fragment of verse.

Ecology and psyche blur in the composition of the wordless poem

Suggesting a missing fragment of verse.

The alchemical juxtaposes with the social.

Missing plants and animals pass through your body, a type of social architecture

A type of shorthand evolves, culturally recognized as poetry.

Stanzas and passages translate visually within atmospheres of memory.

Images float in a psychic space of precognition.

Pictograms evolve in the composition of the wordless poem, as ecology and psyche blur.

The fragrance of light is an image passing through your body &

Recognized culturally, in social architecture, as a poem.

Blink your eyes while you turn the page in torchlight & you realize

You are within early cinema.

GIF Experiments: 25 (Exploring Five Lines from Lyon by Pierre L’Abbe)

In the traboules of the Croix-Rousse
the shuffling silk weaver
the bile of vertigo rising in his throat moves left
in the stairwell only the balls of his feet
on narrow circular steps

(from Lyon, Pierre L’Abbé)

Pierre L’Abbé is a poet and fiction writer, he recently translated Palestine, a novel by Hubert Haddad.  

A Memory from July 10, 2013

I am working on a new GIF to accompany 5 lines from Lyon by Pierre L’Abbe. The stanza he sent me is so evocative I keep creating new images. So a few more days until I post that.

In the meantime, in a file folder, I found a poem & drawing from July 10, 2013. Close to eight years ago. My dryer was broken, though not the washing machine, so I went to the laundromat with bags of wet clothing. I brought a pen and paper.

The memory of writing a poem in the laundromat impacts me more than re-reading the poem. The poem touches on loss. It was a big deal at the time. As big as the universe. The drawing seems to be about the future. And loss as well.

He examines something, a memory, maybe it belonged to somebody, while his body transforms. He’s growing wings made of fossils or maybe a spiked spinal column has departed. Disappearing. His tears fall channeled into ancient patterns. Or maybe those channels teach him new patterns. Giving him fuel. Leaves, or flames, grow from his eyes. A drawing about vision.

A quickly sketched ink drawing might express many secrets. Something unknown always at work.

GIF Experiments: 22 (The Charge of the Light Brigade)

Although the title in the GIF looks like a book and the GIF looks like a book trailer it’s not. However I created poetic text after the fact.

*

The Light Brigade

As in

Let There Be Light.

Witness

The mechanics of charging light.

Witness traction activate

Clouds of unknowing known

As muscled determination.

The mechanical opposite to A sucker born every minute.

Touch your tongue to the tent of your mouth. Announce

Charge

Pronounce light

As in

Let There Be Light.

*

Notes on the GIF: Intimations of Runic script transform into curvilinear vegetal design indicating a charging beast. It happened visually by itself (so to speak) during the design process.

Finding ‘his’ footing. Gaining traction. The irony of a ‘massive’ beast doing double-duty as charging light. Charging like flashlight beams in a force field? Surely he is not disembodied.

This GIF ponders our pressing situation, universal as it is, and the question of something, anything, out of the blue in reply.

*

I have been slowly working my way through Marina Tsvetaeva’s ‘Art in the Light of Conscience – Eight Essays on Poetry’ and read yesterday about Zhukovsky’s translation of Goethe’s Erlking. There is a child, on a horse, held in his father’s arms… All new to me. I borrowed the image and added that bit about ‘the only city’ and related the child’s emotions to String Theory. To not do justice to Tsvetaeva’s essay titled Two Forest Kings I’ll just call it mesmerizing.

Transfiguration

A poetry video from eight years ago I made with a professional camera operator and video/audio editor, location sound mixer, a drummer, public domain silent film (masters!) footage, Spanish & French translation, urban footage…  

I am Goya by Andrei Andreyevich Vosnesensky

I am Goya
of the bare field, by the enemy’s beak gouged
till the craters of my eyes gape
I am grief

I am the tongue
of war, the embers of cities
on the snows of the year 1941
I am hunger

I am the gullet
of a woman hanged whose body like a bell
tolled over a blank square
I am Goya

O grapes of wrath!
I have hurled westward
the ashes of the uninvited guest!
and hammered stars into the unforgetting sky – like nails

I am Goya

Translated by Stanley Kunitz in Antiworlds

Vosnesensky recites I am Goya in Russian accompanied by an image of Goya:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcGwdfsTDas&feature=emb_rel_end

I received a book on the Spanish artist Goya – the biography by Robert Hughes – for Christmas. It’s in the queue. I’m finishing a book on Picasso set in Paris in the early 1900s. He’s working on Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and in competition with Matisse. The author, Miles J. Unger, puts a  fair amount of detail into Picasso’s Spanish youth and trips home.

During the first lockdown I watched many (contemporary) Russian TV (episodic) programs about WW2. Some incorporated archival footage. Vosnesensky, born in Moscow, was 8 or 9 during the Nazi invasion, encirclement, and Battle of Moscow.

 

 

 

It Predicted Everything

Prologue by Luciano Iacobelli

To create angels

Is to slice pie and name wedges:

difficult angles of light preserved in heart’s jelly

teenaged crushes trapped diagonally

undirected love felt in the presence of music

infatuation without object

movement in the skull

turtles waking in the mind’s mud

grape cluster the past becomes if artfully remembered

not images

but the script under them

negative space written in spelling errors

negligence that amends the soul

a family of perspectives driving a cumulative death

into the oncoming traffic

whole note in a black triangle on a blue background

disappearances denting the air

weather not noticed by the self absorbed

ignited visions

kissed ashes

barrel in the cellar

parallel fermentation of grape juice and darkness

the strong red taste of every humanizing event

stolen hour at the church dance

when a hard father’s daughter meets the one

who steals her from home

mines and quarries dug with the eyes

dream’s mailman

slipping letters through the slot

the white surrounding this

word

Luciano Iacobelli is a Toronto poet, publisher and editor. From 2007 to 2019 he was involved with Quattro books as both publisher and editor. He still runs a micropress entitled Lyricalmyrical press, specializing in hand made poetry chapbooks. As an author, he has published 6 full length books of poetry, his most recent book DOLOR MIDNIGHT was published in 2018 and deals with the subject of gambling. His next book, NOCTOGRAMS is due to be published in the fall of 2020 and deals with the subject of night and transformation.

Prologue begins THE ANGEL NOTEBOOK (Seraphim Editions, 2007)

Wind