Thursday, May 21, 2020

City Hawk - feature length authorial videopoem



City Hawk - original and spoken word versions
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Statement: My first feature length authorial videopoem can be seen via the link just below. It’s almost five years old —  which, given how much my cameras have changed, feels more like twenty. 

The original project, entitled City Hawk, was based entirely on footage and stills shot in Toronto - either around the neighborhoods of St. Lawrence and Regent Park (the latter not yet gentrified) — and along the Don Valley.

The latter footage is the basis of the video.  Wanted to capture something of the tension between poor and wealthy neighborhoods, as well as the general excitement/ tension of urban life.

Urban life has its advantages: its energies are real. But it lacks meditativeness ... at least, unless you’re willing to accept the poverty that results from a “chronically peaceful mind.” Meditativeness can only be consistently found in natural spaces; have found this living in Toronto. My wife and I find it living near a nature reserve in Seoul.

And a very recent spoken word version of City Hawk is also below via YouTube. It’s much shorter - but I couldn’t have made that first project without all the footage, the music, and the sturm und drang of editing on a wheezy laptop.

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From my collection of ambient and authorial movies. My focus is on videopoetry; however, I work in other genres and art forms as well.

Text: 

CITY HAWK

August 21.15

Original authorial videopoem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkDpdJzjkq4


I
The towers are
Flat to the touch
And the clouds are cotton
In blue clay.

The towers are phat
With money
And ambition
And steel –
Monoliths, weeds
Sprouting from dirty gardens
While a squawking raptor watches.

II

Flat reaches –
It disdains its poor before,
Its dimly-remembered door.

The people here
Don't understand
All that,
And so they walk happily
Under Flat.

III
But in the hard furrows
Growth
Goes down.
Renovations
Are generally
Built on souls,
While new weeds
Raised in the pyschic garden
Of Farmer Dough
Spread wildly.

IV
But there's a temporary okay
When you know how to escape...
It's the flower road,
The trail,
That will, today,
Save you.

V
These trails
Are specific
But their origin
Is general.
And the perception of them
Is based on ears,
Eyes,
Skin.

VI
All skies fly
But humans
Must portion out their stretch;
It is the clouds
That are solid
And the machinery
That will wilt.

VII

The monoliths
Refuse to sway –
That is their way.
But the green in the city
Busts out
And is regular.

Weeds prefer to love
Messily,
But any flower part will do
Including containers of brick,
The matrix kind.

The towers rule
Like government
But they have no stem,
No voice.
They are dependent
On the smallness
Of life.

VII

Asphalt is the original Flat
But it is just a servant now,
Possibly a beggar.
The more Some Thing is ignored
The more it resembles the natural....
The plant world,
The animal
And the zone
Of anonymous humans.

Poverty is grey
But grey precedes brown
And brown precedes blue.
Even concrete
Ultimately surrenders.

Every decent pathway
Knows the importance
Of proportion;
Some grey
Is A-okay.
But the Golden Rule
(also now green)
Must be respected.
The trail
Has stages
Of commencement.

VIII
It is the length –
length –
Of the path
That makes healing whole.
Forget its jumble –
That is actually good.
Its pot-holes
And its cracks
Are part of its
Existence-deal.

IX
The path seems endless
Because it should.
It has no short version.
It – bumpingly – rolls,
Like a petite volcano's thin river.

The sky
In the afternoon
Is Canadian-deep
And clear.
Its blue does not compromise
And its clouds are shredded
And amazing and intense.

The people on the trail
Ride
Or stroll.
They, too
(River, river),
Roll.

X
The path continues
To another path.
It splits
And becomes
Two.

The greenery expands here
And passes beneath a bridge
That is like a tall gate.
The remnants of a castle,
Or some old town,
Are entered.
(Is this true? Look in the distance –
And see what remains of the great walls.)

XI
The greenery further expands
And softens.
This quality extends, it seems,
Right down to the molecular.

How can this be so?
But the green –
At this point –
Is full
In its confidence
And it takes its land
Expertly.

The mood
Becomes
Naturally religious
The mood becomes perfect,
Pure.

XII
And then at the end of today's daily,
Listen again
For the strength
Of overhead
Squeal and squawk.

There are no emergencies
That are
This high.

- Finn Harvor





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