You can view the new film HERE.
The poem is taken from my as-yet-unpublished second collection of poems, Counterglow. PFL also asked me to include Process Notes for "How it Starts," which you can find on the website and also below.
Following an artist’s residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute in 2013, I began expanding my idea of what poetic speech was. What registers as “poetic” reaches beyond text and sound, so it was only natural that I eventually moved past the page, merging language with film clips and soundscapes.
First comes the language. That is the foundation. Then the videopoem builds upon that language, goes to war with that language, prompts that language to shed its skin and become something new, albeit still grounded in voice, breath, and the body.
I take all of the film clips myself as a kind of of moving-picture journal, recording snippets of life and death whenever I encounter something in the material world that feels like a poem, or is atmospheric or evocative in some way. The images are patchworked together intuitively and associatively in sequence with the spoken poem in a way that is similar to a dream. Dream language is more real than waking language, so when I arrange the visual elements alongside the spoken poem, that process balances the left-brained activity of making sense of and through language.
I compose the soundscape last, but it is never in the same way that I approach song. I construct the soundscape with an ear for both tension and complementarity to draw out the tonal elements in the poem’s content that aren’t immediately expressible through language.
In my view, videopoems are multi-sensorial, but instead of merely “fleshing out” the words of the poem itself, the kinesthetic experience of a videopoem can create a space of encounter with language that more closely resembles the actual groping towards meaning and understanding that goes on in our minds on a day to day basis. This groping is always both within and beyond language, and these new poetic forms make that process more transparent even as they seek to complicate it.