Twenty Second Filmpoem (the 22nd Filmpoem) is twenty 20 second Filmpoems; it was conceived when I was asked to do a Pacha Kucha night. An interesting concept, you present 20 slides for 20 seconds; I thought I'd do something a little different, actually create some work for the event. I commissioned 20 writers, all listed below, to write flash fiction against some 1960s found footage I'd edited. It's ambitious and inevitably some bits work much better than others, but for me it is imperative to push this a little, to leave my comfort zone. And invariable, all the writing is superb, and for that I am thankful.
I also took the opportunity of using Vladimir Kryutchev's binaural field recordings, for which I thank him. His amazing binaural map of Sergiyev Posad in Russia is here: oontz.ru/en
Writers involved and their work, in order:
1 Andrew McCallum Crawford
Our first house – Athens, Ohio.
Dolores came to stay.
She was more than we bargained for.
2 Mary McDonough Clark
Polyester red with white efflorescence,
black stamen and pistil.
3 Al Innes
How can I write those summers you asked me for?
Without father there are no words, only debts.
4 Guinevere Glasfurd-Brown
Tell you the game I'd like to play. The game that goes, kiss the man.
Kiss the man and take a bite of his sweet, white bum. Aye, lad, you can laugh.
5 Elspeth Murray
Exlantic, noun. The contested coastal zone between historical and contemporary shorelines created by man-made climate change and associated sea level rise. Exlantic.
6 Janette Ayachi
Breaking branches, testing steps in a place that once pounded
wolves, an empty-handed hunter-gatherer still in his school uniform, and in the hidden frame he lifts back the crenelations of gorse, uncradles the sword he swore he would find in his vision.
7 Jane McCance
We came here to play, do you remember? And play we did. But now it seems we turn around and ask the waves to chase us, competing for a place upon the sand.
8 Donna Campbell
Wind of change
A deluge of men.
9 Ewan Morrison
He shot the children. The scene seemed benign. The week before he had seen the Pathe news. The children there, in Hungary, fighting over bread rations. A gun had been fired. He lowered the camera from his eyes and stopped shooting.
10 Angela Readman
Even now I breathe her, head rubbed against the fauna of soft surfaces- coats, cushions, beds. I recall the white river of her neck. And lost men show, stumble through a fog of musk, holding little pale flowers.
11 Gérard Rudolf
This is a dream. What a dream it is. What a dream should look like.
12 Zoe Venditozzi
Even now that summer blurs out and fades in– I’m stuck trying to find the clear version.
You’re long gone, but the mountains still loom.
13 Jo Bell
"Let's raise a glass to Nan!!!!" says Billy as he croons her on his knee. And let's pretend, let's all pretend that no-one in this sweaty room has slammed a door or closed their voice or slapped the face of any other in this party space.
Choose truth or family; who'd choose the truth?
14 Sally Evans
Turned out of our village for by-pass and reservoir -- my brothers fished in the beck -- the silver shadow, the confirmation. I've forgotten all my Welsh.
15 Pippa Little
Afterwards he rides me home. Everything's as always, except for everything. I'm shaky and blurred, a memory before it happens.
16 Tony Williams
Benji thought later that maybe the hostages hadn't twigged that they were hostages. If they did, why would they come and visit him, and bring him a coat, and cry with him?
17 Robert Peake
We'll do it by the book this time,
and piece by whiz-bang piece,
reassemble a life.
18 Stevie Ronnie
And the arch soothes him by slipping loose those fountains in his stilling head.
19 Sheree Mack
And you -
how long will you listen to this whiteness
before you hear the bloom of edelweiss?
20 Emily Dodd
Is this really me?
Forever. Love. Forever.
Is this really me?