Undead


Direct link to video.

I got some half-decent footage of crows mobbing what turned out to be a red-tailed hawk this afternoon. I wasn’t quick enough to get the hawk, so it didn’t make for much of a nature video even by my low standards, so I decided I’d mess around with it and try to make a videopoem instead. Here’s the text:

If the dead can’t rest,
it’s because we won’t let them.
We storm,
we harry,
we decry,
we implore.
We make them star
in our horror shows
for that surge of adrenalin
that lets us know
we’re alive —
as if they our dear departed
were the ones out for blood.

Jamendo.com was down, so I went to the Internet Archive’s Open Source Audio collection instead and quickly found some suitable music. The main advantage of searching on Jamendo is that you can filter out Creative Commons licenses that specify “no derivatives.” But I think from now on I’ll probably try the Internet Archive first, because it seems to have much more of the kind of music I’m looking for.

*

For what it’s worth, this is my 3,000th post at Via Negativa. Granted, 466 of those are just quote-and-link posts in the Smorgasblog category. And this figure does not include the 719 Morning Porch posts, which are in a separate blog. I mention them because, in my first several years of blogging, I almost certainly would’ve included them as part of the Via Negativa stream — and someday when I stop keeping the Morning Porch record, I will probably import all those posts into the VN archives.

As luck would have it, we just passed another milestone a week ago: the 12,000th approved comment, which was left by Dana Guthrie Martin. That excludes the several thousand comments that were lost when Via Negativa moved to WordPress on April Fool’s Day, 2006. And just to keep things in perspective: I’ve logged 1,118,233 spam comments during that same period.

10 Comments


  1. Three thousand posts! That’s impressive Dave, and indicates just how much excellent future reading there is in the site archive for a relative late-comer to it like me. Keep up with the good work.

    Reply

    1. Thank you. I’ll try! Knowing that folks like you are reading is pretty much the only incentive I need… though it is scary sometimes to think about some of the half-formed monstrosities lurking in the archive.

      Reply

  2. Oh, great stuff, Dave – this works so well. Blair Witch poetry, no less!

    Reply

    1. Hey, thanks! It’s probably a good thing I never saw Blair Witch (even though the filmmakers were from the local area) — I don’t think I would’ve been able to escape the influence here.

      Reply

  3. An evocative poem/song/photo-narrative, Dave. Just in time for Halloween.

    Another movie comes to mind. Zorba the Greek, in which the black clothed female crows of the village sat patiently waiting for the chance to storm and harry, and finally pick the dead woman clean.

    Reply

    1. Never saw that one, unfortunately. (As I just told a friend on Facebook who tagged me with a “15 movies in 15 minutes” meme, I haven’t seen very many movies. Which makes it all the more ironic that I’m attempting to make movies, not to mention curating a videopoetry site.)

      Reply

  4. Nah.

    Congrats – what’s scary is thinking I’ve read all of them. Hope I haven’t taken your writing here for granted, Dave, since it’s become a fixture in my intellectual life.

    Reply

    1. it’s become a fixture in my intellectual life

      There’s a blurb if I ever need one! Thanks for being here, Beth. It means a lot.

      Reply

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