Textually Yours

Of poetry and performances

Posted in admiration, fartsy, Film, Hampshire College, Literature, phillum, poetry, san francisco, Uncategorized by arpitaincuba on July 26, 2009

Yesterday, I attended the San Francisco International Poetry Festival at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and was transported back in time to Amherst, MA where I had first experienced that undiluted pleasure of poetry in performance. I had thought I had moved away from poetry because I had stopped performing it infront of an audience but yesterday watching the poet Ziba Karbassi helped me realize how I had used performed poetry in every film that I have made  and it was the throw of the voice and the poignancy of the words that created the magic for my images. What a serendipitous moment for an artist! I realized how I make films for poetry–so that text as a visual element and poetry as performance consummate on screen to create the magic of cinema!

I am going to CalArts this fall to creat many more  such films but I will talk about that later.

I want to use this post to introduce to you three poets that moved me greatly last night.

First was Ziba Karbassi.

Ziba Karbassi at the Iranian Literary Arts Festival

Ziba Karbassi at the Iranian Literary Arts Festival

Her poem,Love is lemony, was performed by her in farsi. The eroticism of the poem manifested itself through the spoken short sudden words that mimiced the breathlessness of lovemaking and the languidness of her voice that reminded one of gentle yet all encompassing love.

Here is a youtube link of a translator reading her poem

The second poet is from Ecuador and her name is Carla Badillo Coronado.

Image is from her blog

Image is from her blog

She is 23 and she blogs! Her poetry still not at a place as Ziba’s is but her performance definitely is there.

Here is one of her poems in Spanish that I really enjoyed last night:

3.- Carla
Phoenix. 10: 30 am. Escribo este poema mientras viajo en un Greyhound camino a Albuquerque.

Viajo en autobús
de Arizona
a Nuevo México.
Entre los pasajeros
varios migrantes latinos:
tres mexicanos
dos ecuatorianos
una peruana.

Escucho su conversación
desde mi asiento:
jornadas completas
de lunes a lunes
feriados, reemplazos
horas extras.

A lo lejos, veo pasar un tren de carga
cientos de vagones repletos de mercadería.
Uno de los migrantes se queda dormido.
A su lado, un hombre blanco
señala el tren con orgullo.
“Ahí viaja nuestra economía”, dice.
“Ese tren es el retrato de nuestro progreso”.
La frase retumba en mi cabeza.
El tipo ignora que su economía
también viaja en este autobús
Y que el retrato más humano del progreso
lo encarna el rostro
agotado y seco
del que duerme a su costado.

And finally the third poet that I fell in love with is Ferruccio Brugnaro.


He is that “fuck you all” poet. Why wouldn’t you love him?
Here is a short passage from my favorite poem written by him:

“Buy, Always Consume.”

Buy, buy more than you can
consume. Consume. Fuck over
any relationship.
Step on everything and always
buy everything up. Carry home
As much as you can.
Stuff, stuff yourself with greed.
Don’t look anybody in
the eyes.


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