Monday, March 8, 2010

Film: Where Is The War Plays D.C.!

Moisés and I are pleased to announce that our short film, Where Is The War?, has been selected to be shown in the Film Program of the Split This Rock Poetry Festival, in Washington, D.C.!

Thursday, March 11, there will be two (2) screenings:
-- 2-3:30 p.m. FREE
-- 10:30 pm.-midnight. Cost: $8
Location: Busboys and Poets Café @ 14th & V.
2021 14th St
NW DC 20009

(202) 387 - POET (7638) Map and parking info:

Please pass the word on to your friends in D.C.!

Where is the War?, based on my poem of the same title, follows a work commute as we hear the poem asking, "Where is the war?" The camera searches for where the war lives in our daily lives. As we move through roads, phrases from the poem are transposed on the screen, over images of blue sky and cars crossing the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

The journey is based on the lines:
does it live, this war
in one hundred thousand commuters
each sheathed in her metal, gliding
glissando, fearing no danger?

The soundtrack is my reading the poem, accompanied by Moisés on guitar.

The end of the film is Moisés’s haunting playing as we return by night in the tunnel. Red brake lights fill the tunnel with red.

In the final shot, we end in a schoolyard, with a tire swing swinging, still looking for the movement of where the war lives in us.

In Where is the War?, our intention is to show by absence. There are no people in the film, only cars with invisible drivers, moving soundlessly through that most familiar of rituals, the morning commute. By feeling the absences, we feel presence. Augmenting the voiceover, key phrases float in objects, so that poetry appears to emerge from landscape.

Split This Rock Poetry Festival Public Event Listing:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Go Out of the Burning House

Go out. Go out of the burning.
Go out of the burning house.

Smoke in the air, and the horizon
Of trees lit up orange.

You can stay and defend it.
Many have.

You can linger a while over
The possessions. Consider

Photographs, coffee cup,
Computer, diaries.

Where is your soul in these?
Go out, go out without them.

Do not return for the dog,
I know her, she will find

Her way out. Go out
With nothing but your soul

In your hands. It is light,
It is not much to carry.

It is what you came here with,
Remember? With suffering

And time, you have made
It better. You can be proud.

Now go out, go out
Of the burning house.

You’ve become more generous.
We can see it in your hands,

Swinging by your side,
Opened toward the sky,

As you stride out, out
Of the burning house.

Your memories live in skin,
Future also dwells in cells.

It is not the thing
But the becoming.

You and I, we are making
Something beautiful together:

Music on the horizon.
Walk toward it.

It fades, and you’re alone,
On the smoldering earth.

Press your face onto it.
In a thin t-shirt

Leave, leave, walk out
Depart from the burning house.

Possessionless you’ll sleep
Tonight. Lay your head down.

Bed of the earth, shifting
Sounds of the desert.

It takes you, it’s been waiting
For you. Finally you have come.

You lay yourself
Down upon it.

Like a prostitute,
You hold nothing in your hands.

You murmur, The rattlesnakes…
As you fade to sleep.

Cracks in the earth
Searing your cheek.

In the wind, you hear:
Trade fear

For faith.
In what?

You ask. The desert gestures
Around you. Anything

But this, desert says, placing

Its hand, hot, on your chest.
You wake. What is it?

You turn to see. Behind you,
Lifting from the desert floor, arching across black sky,

Smears of light, magenta-blue.
It is the soul of something that is not you.

Soul of the universe. Not
The thing but the becoming. It lulls

You back to sleep. You wake,
Hand on your back. Turn to see

Friends, kneeling beside,
Who say, Been wishing for you all night.

You snooze.
Wake to the dawn,

Yellow-red. This time it might be real.
You ask, Which one are you? It answers:

Nothing but the love you have loved,
Love you have made between others.

Alone, you nod, and rise, brush
Yourself off, prepare to walk

Toward them.
You’d do it again:

Go out, go out
Go out of the burning house.

You hold nothing,
You hold

In your hands.