In seeming counter-intuition to the usual process of listening to poetry and allowing each reader to supply his or her own internal imagery, I’ve been experiementing with making photo poem montages set to music. I’ve been blessed to work closely with photographer Robyn Beattie for more than seven years now. At first, I simply posted her images to accompany blogposts, a process that then extended to a static collaboration for which we added her images to accompany the poem, Ananda’s Line, published by Connotation Press (writer Nicelle Davis also interviewed Robyn and I about our indiviudal and collaborative process).
It seemed a natural progression to mine the talent at hand in the family and to add music to the images and poetry, resulting in what we like to call micro-movies, or photo poem montages. She Dressed in a Hurry, Nefertiti on the Astral and Nefertiti Among Us feature my father, Stephen Pryputniewicz, on piano. In the works are montages for a Guinevere Series, Marilyn Monroe, and a poem based on the Italian fairytale, The Three Oranges. We provide links to the completed montages below and will announce new montages as we finalize them.
In 2012, three of our photo poem montages, She Dressed in a Hurry (for Lady Diana), Amelia, and Nefertiti Among Us were part of a 2D/3D visual poetry show held at the LH Horton Jr Gallery at San Joaquin Delta College October 4-November 1, 2012 (Gallery Director, Jan Marlese); the montages took Juror’s Award for Best of Show (Chandra Cerrito juror). For backstory on obstacles barring our acceptance of the award in person, read Ladder to the Moon. Our eventual post-reception gallery visit and our joy at finding, in the artwork of other poets/artists, potential images for future projects (from the Guinevere series: Corridor and Mordred’s Dream) can be read about at November Notes from a Closet Art Pirate .
The poems you hear being read in the photo poem montages listed below will appear in my debut poetry collection, November Butterfly, forthcoming from Saddle Road Press in November of 2014.
*Please note that all of the images are the artistic property of Robyn Beattie and that of the individual artists represented; the photo poem montages (these micro-movies) are also the artistic and collaborative property of Tania Pryputniewicz and Robyn Beattie. Please respect the work by emailing us to secure permission before using or reproducing the images in any context so we can also contact the appropriate artist for permission.
View Thumbelina, the photo poem montage. Text of poem appears in the debut issue of NonBinary Review, and can be viewed along with other contributor interpretations of Grimm’s Fairytales on ipad (requires ipad 2 or higher and ios7) for free in the app store as a Zoetic Press app, download here. On keyboard, Stephen Pryputniewicz performing an adaptation of Mort Garson’s “Taurus: The Voluptuary” from Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds. Studio recording also by Stephen Pryputniewicz.
View Corridor, the photo poem montage. Text of poem forthcoming in November Butterfly. On flute, Lori O’Hara, performing the traditional, Lonely Hills of Aughrim.
She Dressed in a Hurry (For Lady Diana)
or perhaps never wore a slip. The photo
the press loved: a girl in a skirt, distance
between her thighs backlit by the sun,
a circle of children in her care birthed
by other mothers. The obvious
didn’t escape him: she could bear heirs
and be advised on attire, as they headed for
the silks of coronation, the duress of his mistress…
To view She Dressed in a Hurry, photo poem montage, visit my channel. To read remainder of the poem, visit Salome Magazine. Montage originally published at The Mom Egg. On piano, Stephen Pryputniewicz performing music of Scriabin.
though how lovely: my daughter’s daughter’s
etc., daughter, sitting beside the Nile, sun falling
on the brown half moon of her nipple, the blue-
veined tributary of her breast flooded with milk
at the wet clamp of her newborn’s mouth.
I would choose it all again: those fevered bonds
of motherhood, the pharaoh’s celestial gaze
when he chose me, the roots of my hair copper,
eyelashes fringed with pollen from the shook
disks of sunflowers…
To view Nefertiti on the Astral, the photo poem montage, and read remainder of the poem visit Prairie Wolf Press. On piano, Stephen Pryputniewicz performing the music of Bela Bartok.
of spice, to burn,
in the circle of my domain:
the open miles of sky,
my body—and edges
of a stranger’s forged
at the cusp of dawn,
Amelia, the photo poem montage, and full text of poem originally appeared at V’s place, a blog by E. Victoria Flynn. I wrote a bit about the process of making this montage with Robyn Beattie’s gorgeous photos here on my blog at Feral Mom, Feral Writer. On guitar, with his original score, Michael Greenberg; poem read by Lori O’Hara.
Nefertiti Among Us
The TV’s neutral male voiceover
covers what we love about Egypt
and their pharaohs: house-sized rocks
that formed the pyramids dropped in place
without machine, sentries to this day
guarding the embalmed dead, the slight
queen’s beauty and betrothal to her cousin,
the nested outlined peacock rings binding