‘you never thought’ – videopoem

you never thought
by Nic Sebastian

you never thought
that I could rear so high and bite
your head off your shoulders like
puffed corn that I could grab
your life like some

shirt from the dryer snap
shake out your life fold it so
small drop it off so
easily at the thrift store

striding by
on my high long legs
for Jupiter

Animation: Sterling Sheehy
Music: ‘Reverence’ by Vospi and the Tunguska Electronic Music Society.

OK, this was awesome fun! I remembered that in Tom Konyves’ videopoetry manifesto, he categorized videopoems according to their usage of text, with two key distinctions drawn between sound text and visual text. (He also asserted that visual text is ‘charged with leading’ the videopoetry genre, although I’m not sure I agree with that.) I realized that what with Whale Sound and Voice Alpha and now this interest in videopoetry, I’ve been engaged with ‘sound’ text almost exclusively for months now. The idea of making a videopoem without voice and with only visual text was therefore appealing.

The quest for footage is never-ending. After having fun with Claus-Dieter Schulz‘s wonderful animation, which I used in part for yesterday’s Gabriel in Love , I began looking for material that was similarly abstract and came across Red Opus by artist Sterling Sheehy , and asked him for permission to use it. I initially thought I would write something in response to the footage, but after watching it several times, I decided I already had the perfect poem – you never thought, from Forever Will End On Thursday. To me the poem and the animation had the same sense of hustle and energy and kinetic making/unmaking/remaking. Red Opus is only 48 seconds long, so it didn’t take long to break up the text, place it, and animate it along that length. Then to the archives of the Tunguska Electronic Music Society at Jamendo for a similarly hustling piece that had the same feel (I swear they have a piece of music for every mood and have become my music source of choice). I particularly liked the way the animation at times looked like wacky piano keys, right when the music itself was at its wackiest piano-ness.

So there it is. I’m using Windows Live Movie Maker, so the text animation possibilities are fairly basic. I suppose one of these days I’m going to have to get serious about my movie-editing software.

Published by

Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

4 thoughts on “‘you never thought’ – videopoem”

  1. What fun! I recalled the poem instantly from your book — one of my favorites from it. The music and animation here do it justice. I do like how, in the case of this poem, the written words get preeminence.

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