be bop shout– rhythm–blues– eight to the bar– oompah oompah groove– boogie-woogie back beat jingle jangle jive talkin double time front line howl growl whine– interlude solitude riff raff boom– whistle whomp wah wah zoomba zoomba zoom
The Kick-About’s challenge #14 was a short film by Norman Maclaren called “Boogie Doodle”. It really reminded me of Matisse’s Jazz collages, and I used his abstracted figures as inspiration to create my own dancers based on photos of jazz dancers I found on the internet. I also wanted to recreate the shadow effect for both the dancers and the dots. Primary colors seemed a natural fit for both dots and ground, and I cut out the figures in black and white as contrast, inspired by the film.
For the poem I wanted to use music and musical sound words. It was much harder than I anticipated, but I like the idea of a poem composed mostly of sounds, and may visit it again. I found a great onomatopoeia dictionary online too.
I recently came across a video that talked about asemic writing, and using it as a prompt for extracting poetry from your unintellible scribbles. I decided to use Sue’s photo as a guide for my asemic composition, first using fine point markers in colors that echoed the landscape. I then freewrote what I thought my marks were trying to say.
After that I took watercolor pencils, dipped them in water, and wrote asemically again over the markers, blurring both. I looked at what I had written in my initial response, extracted some of the ideas, and formed them into a shadorma chain to go with the final composition.
When I saw Sue’s photo, the first thing I thought of was the traditional Scottish song “Wild Mountain Thyme”. Joan Baez did a famous version, but I think the one I remember most from my youth is by the Byrds. It’s been covered and reinterpreted by artists as varied as Van Morrison, the Clancy Brothers, and Ed Sheeran. I listened to a lot of them, but I really like this one by Kate Rusby.
Trying to draw Little Richard as a young man made me realize just how beautiful he was beyond the exuberant music. I couldn’t do justice to the fine bone structure of his face, the eyes that had so much to say.
As his obituary in the NY Times pointed out, one of the early criticisms of rock and roll was that it increased integration between people of different races. Little Richard crossed many boundaries–racial, social, gendered–opening doors that had long been locked.
Perhaps empathy plants its seeds in the music that rocks our souls. Time to get up and dance!
carry the end
back to the beginning?
who will remember the lost, re
the disappeared? Who will fill life
with futures, release those
fragile wings to
I decided to do my May grid and a butterfly cinquain for both the NaPoWriMo Day 30 prompt, “something that returns”, and Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday prompt theme, chosen by Elizabeth from Tea and Paper, “the day after”.
When Nina and I first started blogging at memadtwo, one of my recurring themes was endangered species. I posted twice (here and here) about the Monarch Butterfly, and wrote in one post:
Most people know that monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada to central Mexico to hibernate in winter. This can mean a trip of nearly 3,000 miles!
Between 2012 and 2013 the amount of butterflies who wintered in the Mexican forest decreased by 40%. The forest habitat itself is disappearing as a result of illegal logging. But the extreme weather conditions of the last few years, due to climate change, have also caused lower hatching rates. Another factor is the loss of milkweed plants, the primary food source for monarchs, killed by agricultural herbicides.
Perhaps the coronavirus will provide these beautiful creatures with some respite from human destruction.
When looking for music about migration I remembered Steve Earle’s song. Monarchs remind us that borders are only the lines that we ourselves choose to draw.
Thanks to Maureen Thorson and all the participants in NaPoWriMo 2020 for helping me to travel all over the world and creating bridges that reached far beyond the walls and borders of our politics and our forced isolation.
I open my grandmother’s trunk and the smell of cedar recalls my father’s woolen army blankets, faded and frayed. The inside of the chest had become their home, a refuge from the memories woven into fibers that had crossed the ocean twice.
My father would not talk about the war itself, but he brought home with him both blankets and cots. We never used the blankets.
On hot summer nights my brothers and I opened the cots to sleep in the basement, unaware of the secrets they could tell us, the images seared into our father’s eyes and carried in his bones.
all those silences–
invisible ink written
on the wings of birds
Day 28 NaPoWriMo–the prompt is to describe a significant space from your life.
Some words from the Oracle for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above. Most of my collage references are in storage, so everything in this collage except for the cosmos photos were taken from newspapers from the past month.
What I saw when going through the news reflected on how our stories may change in details, but remain similar in form.
we are making
stories out of star
broken through holes
that sail us home
a swarm, a flock, a host–
Bjorn has us going through out bookshelves for his dVerse prompt. I brought very few books to my temporary apartment, thinking I would make frequent visits to the library. Most of what is here are art books with exiting titles like “Matisse” or “Chagall”. Still, I managed to put together a haiku-like book poem.
Then I did one with CDs, which offered a better selection.