Everybody — a video poem by Dennis E. Bolen


Everybody knew somebody
Age of battered pickup
Cigarette load ashtray butt
Everybody knew
Grease coif armpit stain
Snagglepick match tooth

Beyond the unconscious ethic
Only the responsibly parented survive

Everybody knew belt free toddler
Unrestraint seat bench projectile
To the outskirts of wisdom

Everybody knew somebody dead
Of car crash

Undershirt men
Cross-eye sway fatigue
Pace toward a next shift
To hew and draw and maintain
Skirted metal box with wheels
Rented concrete

Smoke death and like it
Everybody knew
To cull those lucky not otherwise demised
Of proud ignorance
Everybody knew
None should crave education
Drop out by 16 or you’re not a man

Everybody knew alcoholic
Frowning drink burp asleep
Door-slam solitary

Everybody knew men curse pregnant women
Things broken

When the truck flew everybody off the road
Swat the kid who wouldn’t shut up
Fiddle the dial radio
Leaden sad song
Soon silenced

-Dennis E. Bolen

The invention of the video poem, not unlike that of a music video, gives the reader, now a viewer, an entirely new means of experiencing poetry through sonic, visual, and textual layering. And just as music videos liberated music in the restrictive era of radio and corporate labels through their unique visual perspectives and quickly edited presentations, brought a new audience to music, so does the video poem usher in an whole new demographic to poetry by liberating poetry, its practitioners and enthusiasts, to explore this exciting a new genre.

So what exactly constitutes a contemporary video poem? Some video poems are videos without the presence of poetry as text, while some video poems utilize words in motion, emphasized in their iconic and typographical aspects — these pieces are elaborated digitally using animation software and computer graphics. Still others combine audio recitations of poems with photographs to a soundtrack to complete their video poems.

Such is the case with Dennis E. Bolen’s video poem, “Everybody”, in which each element — Bolen’s poem and oratory, Gabor Gasztonyi’s iconoclastic photography, Soressa Gardner’s music, Tara Flynn’s direction and editing — form a gestalt by which each part adds to the essential excellence of the whole.UG

Copyright (c) 2012 Gabor Gasztonyi

Dennis E. Bolen’s seventh book of fiction, Anticipated Results, was published by Arsenal/Pulp Press in April, 2011. He is currently working on a poetry manuscript and a novel while assisting Vancouver’s Pandora’s Collective annual Summer Dreams literary festival.

Gabor Gasztonyi’s most recent book, A Room in the City, highlights Gabor Gasztonyi’s iconic images taken inside the hotels rooms of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside from 2004 — 2010. The photographs are intertwined with Gasztonyi’s narration of poetry and the diaries he kept during that period. View ‘A Room in the City’ trailer, here. Gabor is currently working on a collection of photographs about rodeos in small native communities and other smaller towns in British Columbia, particularly in the Chilcotin and in the Nemiah Valley — “trying to discover the true essence of the rodeo life as it relates to native traditions, a way of life which apparently is dying away, as there are less and less cowboys and the old rodeo and cowboy life is slowly disappearing.” Images from the series can be viewed on Gabor’s website. The future rodeo book will also feature a collections of poems Gabor hopes to meld with the imagery. In addition Gabor is also working on a future exhibition of portraits of Sudanese immigrants to the lower mainland, particularly to New Westminster and Surrey. This has been an ongoing project which Gabor hopes to have enough black and white images to have a reasonable exhibition.

Tara Flynn graduated from Capilano University’s Documentary Film Program in April 2009 and has since enjoyed collaborating on independent film projects in Vancouver. She has also contributed film content to the First Nation’s House of Learning, Aboriginal Web Portal at the University of British Columbia. With an interest in creating both Documentary and Narrative films, playing with the Mockumentary genre has been a good fit. She can be contacted via her website.

Soressa Gardner is an electronic music and soundscape composer, improviser and vocalist. She is a performing member of VEE (Vancouver Electronic Ensemble), and maintains collaborative relationships with authors Dennis E. Bolen and Daniela Elza, violinist Janine Island and laptop artist/performer Ross Birdwise. In 2010, Soressa won second prize in the 2010 Untwelve Microtonal Composition competition out of Illinois. It was this success that lead her to create a 31-tone microtonal piece which she re-worked to accompany the video EVERYBODY. Her compositions can be heard on her website, and on her MySpace page.

Note: the differences between video and text versions of “Everybody” are the sole discretion of Dennis E. Bolen.

Posted on by urbangraffito Posted in Art, Ephemera, Photography, Poetry, Video, Writing

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