Double Life In REM State
by Cindy St. Onge
The sleeping woman
is not the dreamer
because the dreamer smokes
and not from hunger
but for the mouth feel, perhaps
in absence of craving, or
maybe to consume
a conflict she’s having.

She questions nothing
and isn’t questioned.
Doesnít age or wonder why
her doors will neither shut
nor lock and she murders
with impunity.
Her teeth are loose, she’s
not ready for the test, is
late for a job she’s not sure
how to do, naked.

She could hold God accountable
at any lucid moment, but
even her awakening is
smoke disappearing from
what would be the sleeping
woman’s breath but
the dreamer doesn’t breathe
and there’s no reason to pray
or petition or accuse.
Dreams are always
about the dreamer.

Notes from Marie
I read Cindy St. Onge’s paradoxical poem, ‘Double Life in REM State’, at the now-defunct Poetry Storehouse website, where poets and readers made their work available on a Creative Commons remix license, thereby encouraging the production of poetry films. It was a marvellous project for the couple of years it lasted, and started me making videopoems.

After initially reading Cindy’s poem, the memory of it stayed with me over several months. Then, searching the Prelinger Archives, I found a 1940s film advertisement photographed in a noir style that I thought might work with the written piece. Like many films at the Prelinger Archives, it was available in the public domain, so I was able to incorporate it into my video. The advertisement also had an espionage theme that I felt drawn to in relation to the poem.

I selected key shots and slowed them down, and created two mirrored screens from the single images. I then changed the synchronisation on the images so that the femme fatale was seen to be following herself in her mirror world. By doing this, I wanted to create a greater sense of ‘dream time’ to follow the themes of the poem.

The music is by Purple Planet, otherwise known as Geoff Harvey and Chris Martyn. It’s a track called ‘Slowly Creeping’ that, along with other music, was available for free use in video projects from their website.

For logistical reasons related to available footage and duration of music, I took a lot of liberties with the text of the original poem in this video remix, performing a kind of ‘erasure’ or distillation. This I presented as subtitles to an otherwise ‘silent film’ with music.

The poet, Cindy St. Onge, is also a film-maker.

Marie Craven
Australian film-maker, Marie Craven, assembles videos from poetry, music, voice, stills and moving images by various artists around the world. Created via the internet, the pieces are collaborative in a way that belongs to the 21st century. Social networking and open media licensing are key to the process. Since 2014, Marie has created over 40 video poems. In addition, she has collaborated for several years as a vocalist with electronic musicians globally, also via the net. During the 1990s and early 2000s she wrote and directed short narrative and experimental films that were screened and awarded widely at international film festivals. Most recently her film, ‘Dictionary Illustrations’, won the Ó Bhéal Poetry Film Competition in Ireland. Her earliest involvement in media was in the mid-1980s with super 8 film-making in Melbourne.

Cindy St. Onge
Cindy is a multi-media poet whose video poems have been screened in video festivals in the US and Europe, and have been showcased at Her video poem, ‘The Comfort of Gravity’ was a juried winner for Linus Gallery’s online Angst exhibition in 2015. Her poems have appeared recently in Timberline Review, Dappled Things, Right Hand Pointing, Gravel, Apeiron Review and other print and online journals. Her poems have also been used in video remixes by multi-media poets Dale Wisely, Othniel Smith, Nic Sebastian, and Marie Craven. Her eighth chapbook, ‘Season of Bright Sadness’, was published December, 2016, by Grizelda Press. She resides in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

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