A Bigfoot Poem, revisited

Direct link to the video on YouTube

Poet Nic S.’s reading of my poem at Whale Sound — her marvelous audiopoem blog which was already becoming one of my favorite online poetry sites even before she asked if she might include one of my own pieces — prompted me to revisit this poem and see what I might do in the way of envideoing it. This is just one idea, and perhaps not a particularly good one. I looked at a bunch of YouTube videos purporting to show Bigfoot, and after a while I realized they reminded me of some shaky, fuzzy footage of my own…

It was actually another poet-blogger, Scott Standridge at The Sonnet Project, whose reprint from the Via Neg archives brought the poem to Nic’s attention, I think. As I said to Scott when I found his post, I’d pretty much forgotten the poem. I’m grateful to both of them for helping me rediscover it.

12 Replies to “A Bigfoot Poem, revisited”

  1. Go, you!! I totally get where you are coming from with the ‘shaky, fuzzy’ thing – very bigfooty. Very happy to collaborate on your, er, my, er, our poem. Thanks for sharing, N

    1. Hey, I’m glad that worked for you. I had my doubts after the first draft (or whatever the equivalent term is for filmmaking), but I slept on it, and this morning it still seemed O.K. It’s tempting to try another version with just forest footage, but then one might expect a a more literal soundtrack with saw-whet owl calls, a trout splash, etc., and excessive literalism makes for boring videopoetry, I find.

      The two main things I learned from your reading was that this poem might also be a statement about poetics (isn’t it odd how authors often have the poorest idea of what their poems are about?) and that long pauses can not only create space, but can help focus the reader’s attention — especially in a poem that has so much to do with listening.

    1. Thanks, Carolee! Nic does read well, doesn’t she? And it’s always a pleasure just to hear one’s poems in a voice different from the voice we hear in our heads, which in my case is a low monotone.

  2. Loved the ambiguous video, like an old-style fetish carving which could represent any of a number of animals. Did find, however, that the forest sounds distracted me from Nic’s masterful handling of the spaces.

    Dear God, she is the T. Monk of readers, isn’t she? And she marries the intelligence of her reading with what surely is (given timbre, grain, humor, diction) a professional-trained voice. Has anyone ever pronounced “poem” so beautifully? And “you know – those interlopers” has lodged itself in my brain.

    O for a CD-length collaborations between the two of you. Would love to hear her take on “Grave Dug by Beasts” or “The Celibate Couple Pursued.”

    1. Hi Julia – I’m glad you share my high opinion of Nic’s readings. I know I would buy a CD of her reading the poems at Whale Sound — and if the site continues to attract the attention it deserves, she may have a ready market for such a spin-off by the time she’s done.

      I actually never tried seeing what that video would be like without the original soundtrack. Interesting suggestion. I should also see what it sounds like with just the pileated woodpecker alarm calls removed.

    1. Thanks, Sherry. And I know you can be a tough critic of videopoems. I guess what made me think this would work was the part where the bear sits down and tilts his head back, enjoying the morning — very poet-like, I thought.

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