Oh, hey! Another post so soon? Who dis?
While I await the publication of my next short story, I thought I’d share a poem I “published” on social media back in July. I don’t know why I never put it here before.
In early June, I attended two virtual writing conventions over the same weekend. I don’t really recommend it, by the way, but I did end up enjoying myself. One of those conventions was the Indiana University Writers’ Conference. I’ve attended the conference in the past and was so happy they decided to do it virtually this year.
I learned a lot from the daily afternoon classes, especially the poetry classes taught by Tiana Clark. One was devoted entirely to ekphrastic poetry. Simply put, an ekphrastic poem is written as a description of and a response to a piece of art, usually a painting, a photograph, or a sculpture. Tiana, though, challenged us to try responding to other types of art, like music or movies. I took this to heart and wrote an ekphrastic poem based on a music video, specifically my favorite music video by my favorite band, Glass Animals.
In order to understand the poem, it’s best to watch the music video first.
The song is entitled “It’s All So Incredibly Loud.” And below is my attempt to respond to it.
Dave Bayley, the lead singer and songwriter for Glass Animals, wrote in the comments for the video:
This entire song is about only three seconds of life. I think most people have been in a position where they have to say something to someone that they know is going to devastate them and change their life forever. It’s about the silence between those words leaving your mouth, and their reaction as those words register and the full weight rolls over them…until they say something back. its probably the most deafening thing I’ve ever experienced. the video is meant to be a physical representation of the build up before that and then the sudden explosion of quiet that seems to last forever.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyx0YftuyDU&list=PL8tkzXKlhGxn8vedFOKUngfcdnz6MV40M&index=11
Dave’s comments resonated with me just as much as the song and the video did. There really is something hard and weighty and almost deafening about that moment between when something’s been said and the response to it. Sometimes, we keep those weighty moments to ourselves, for fear of what the response might be. And sometimes, we’re brave and let the heartbreak occur as it may.
In interviews, Dave has said the title of the song came from the title of one of his favorite books. So, my poem is art responding to art responding to art.
One thing I miss from the Before Times is feeling safe enough to attend live performances. Glass Animals is touring around the world as I write this. I would love to see them in concert someday, but I don’t know when given the current state of things. I was very happy when they decided to live stream through TikTok their concert at the Alexandra Palace in London on November 19. It’s one of the best things to come out of the pandemic, I think: shows and events being made accessible to everyone through live streaming, Zoom meetings, or video recording. The concert was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon, rocking out to my favorite band in my own living room. I screenshotted a few images of the band while they played, because I couldn’t help myself.
We live in the future, y’all, and sometimes, it’s glorious.
Thanks for watching. And listening. And responding to art along with me.
And thanks for reading.
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