Wednesday, 15 April 2009

je est un autre (colours 1)

This is the first post of a longer project on which i have been working, entitled je est un autre ('i is another', a famous quote from Rimbaud). It deals with the double and the other, symbolizing the multiplicity of the self and its thousand refractions (not a surprise, i hear you say :-).

There is also a poem which i once wrote on the same topic. And thanks to the endless creativity interplay on this web, the poem evolved into a 'poem for two voices', a gift that the ever amazing swiss (am i quoting you here, Joanne ? :-) made me soon afterwards. He echoed each line of mine with his words (an answer, which leads to many other questions - forever open):

the untold stories

those stories

plunging their roots

growing out of you

into the bone of


my heart


poisonous and hungry

that foliage

the unwritten sisters and

that becomes sibling

daughters of mine

child, your flesh

agitating their dark foliage


in me


listen to me you

listen to me

to whose feet my untold

there are stories


washing around you

my unwritten

unheard, un-noticed

bodies of despair command

their loss

me to kneel

forces you to your knees

they put a rope around

chokes the breath

my neck

in your throat

they take my

stuffs your mouth


with despair

they want revenge

what is it you want

they tear me

to fall


to go

in search of


hear me out you


to whose feet I don’t

i am not

The strange dialogue which emerged therefrom compelled the readers to hear it spoken, as all poetry should basically be: living, breath-born word. Joanne-of-a-thousand-skills made a marvellous first audio version, to which you can listen here:|pe1|S8LTM0LdsaSgY1C1Ymk

Of course, being very curious myself and swiss - i dare say - not very far from this when it comes to playing with different materials, we couldn't refrain from wondering how we - the humble authors :-) - would enact it. If you are curious, you can listen to us here, but i must warn you: firstly, Joanne is a pro and we can't even dream of comparing ourselves with her and secondly, this is my first attempt at editing audio (even mixing our voices was a hell of a task for me). and we didn't even know that one needs 'stereo mikes' for something like this, as i was told later. So don't be too harsh on me/us :-)
(i have the courage to let you listen to this only because swiss liked it very very much)

poems for two voices, poem 2 (the unwritten stories)
Roxana & Swiss

Oh, and here is a slideshow for the ones who are really hungry for images (click on the small slideshow icon for full screen view):


  1. and you say you are not musical? it may be poem for you but surely music for me

    also, changing "width" and "height" parameters in the markup for "object"
    would make slideshow regular size

  2. eneles...
    you mean the recited poem is music for you, or the images flowing like this?

    oh, thank you!!!!

  3. not to take anything away from Joanne's excellent version, but i rather prefer the play of your and Swiss's voices, and the varying rhythms playing off one another. (all this of course, beyond the shock of hearing your voice...)

  4. :-)

    do you really really like it, pensum? oh -

    (why shock)

  5. WOW GUYS your version is AMAZING it left the hairs on the back of my neck standing up! maybe that's why pensum was in shock? From the PILES of COOLNESS that it is? lol!

    p.s. i know it's a good day when i get name checked on the floating bridge of dreams! :-D

  6. indeed i do, but i have a penchant for split voices and this sort of thing, and though Joanne's production is more polished, there is an honesty to your version which is the charm, not to mention the fragile timbre of your voice dancing over Swiss's baritone.

    (why shock? well after carrying on an extended, but silent, dialogue i think any sound would be a shock at this point, but it was enhanced by how much you sound here like one of the Icelandic gals in amiina or Mum)

  7. ah, Joanne :-) your joyful disposition always brightens my day :-)

    I am sooo glad you liked it!!! but really, we are just beginners :-)

    swiss was very much surprised to hear my voice too, but i don't know if he allows me to tell here why :-) so we'll have to wait for him.

  8. Salut Roxana!!!

    Do you know the Poems of Florbela Espanca??? (the portuguese poetess)

  9. you address like summer breeze on the beach under parasol.. appreciate much.. I love you talking.. as well as your great project of journey into ourselves.. through your magic view frames.

    Actually I coudn't count how many I's have been being squeezed inside of me.. sometimes get along well each other.. but mostly conflict, hate then compromize.. hopely I see these guys reconcile with each other and reach some sort of harmony for synergy.. but not easy AT least for now.. :p

  10. not a surprise, on fact.
    barcelona 20-26 april
    rome 2-7 may
    and you?

  11. It works. At first I was freaking out (sensory overload), then it worked it's spell on me.
    My friend HarvestBird calls this, the new poetics...when we use this web medium to take poetry to new horizons.

  12. haha! it's funny coming back to these after a bit of time. i'm still onto jo's version, esp the other one, but the one with our two voices - i'm still not wure what's going on with that! lol

    i agree with merc tho. it's great to be able to use this form to push back the horizons, do things that would never have been possible otherwise. it makes me walk thru my day with a big fat smile!

  13. I wish you would have spoken in German or Romanian. Somehow, this was how I had always imagined you would sound.

    Take care,


  14. both versions are incredible, so spooky, they make me want to hide under my duvet!!

    the contrast of male/female, scottish/romanian heightens the strange darkness of the poem, feels like something out of Wuthering Heights!

  15. the poem, although I like a couple of the pictures. could be interesting to synchronize changes of voices with changes of pictures

    also, there is a new camera which might be even better solution for you - except that you wouldn't be able to use the old lenses with it.
    otherwise it is cheaper than d90 and has a flip screen, which is very useful at times.

  16. pensum, "a penchant for split voices and this sort of thing" :-) i can understand why, i love this too.
    right now I am listening to Mum - you make me discover such fabulous music... i can't judge myself if my voice really sounds like that, though :-)
    (i can't get enough of that Thomas Feiner either...)

    thank you.

  17. Marc., salut :-)

    no, i don't know her - but taking into account your previous suggestion about the Francesca Woodman affinity you see in my works, i am more than intrigued. i am trying to find some texts on the net, i will get back to you about it.

  18. peter, "summer breeze on the beach under parasol" - that's sweet :-)
    (we could however say: summer breeze on the beach in early evening, and then we wouldn't need that parasol anymore, it ruins the wild landscape :-) unless you really need it, of course, then i won't object to it anymore :-P)

    (of course i can imagine that about you, those squeezed selves - they need more than 10 blogs to unfold, or how many series do you have? :-)

  19. oh, JPJ - you are here... i would have never imagined that...

    i am more than touched.

    those fabulous southern countries, you make me dream... daydreaming in craiova...

  20. merc, why sensory overload? :-) why, because i posted voices and images together? or because of the slideshow? or because the mixing of the voices?

    but i am happy that you talk about 'spell' :-)

  21. swiss, take a picture for me of that "big fat smile" :-)

    yes, we have another poem to show you, but a bit later, so that you don't get bored from the beginning :-)

  22. b, hi :-)

    really, you imagined that?

    but of course i understand why you want romanian or german - your ears must be hurt by that 'english' of mine :-)

    well, i could give you a romanian adaptation :-) i made one with gentle, but she is so shy about it - let me see what i can do about it - but i don't know if other people are interested to hear romanian?!

  23. ahahah Sorlil, Wuthering Heights - i so loved it when i was a child, i must have read it 5 or 6 times. i am honoured by the connection!!!

    and i am totally in love with that swiss/scottish accent, the close vowels have such a magic charm for me.

  24. eneles, i am happy that you liked the poem and upset that you don't think the series is beautiful :-(

    but yes, i had initially wanted to make a slideshow with the poem, but then i changed my mind, i thought it would be too much 'sensory overload', and distract from the images.

    what camera?

  25. roxana, hello! :-)

    Yes, I did. I know it might sound incredible to you & your readers but it was *exactly* that. Don't ask how I know. Just more 'oriental' magic, I guess! :-)

    Oh, you were speaking in English? My computer isn't very good (must ask Nabil to fix it)..I thought it was French! (sorry, this is what you get from growing up in Wales: everyone either sounds Welsh/Pakistani or French)

    No, you must thrash this gentle gentle and get her to speak as well.

  26. i definitely think you should put up the romanian version. did i hear this or was it english? i certainly seem to have some memory of it.

    i'm still into the idea of a mixed language version.

  27. trebuie sa ma strecor printre lianele freudiene...

  28. frumoase portrete.
    frumoase culori.
    cadre de film.
    Paste fericit.

  29. b, somehow my Cartesian side warns me to be suspicious of such form of 'oriental magic' :-)

    but French! (i remember a time when i tried to pass for a french girl talking in english - don't ask!!!) i don't think so, definitely not!!!! and no, i am not going to post a version of this one spoken with French accent :-)

    but what is the Welsh accent? i don't think there is any (true) Welsh visitor among my readers, otherwise i could ask for a recording...

    and if i did you that romanian favour, would you make one version with me in ... what was your 'oriental' language once again? :-P

  30. swiss, give me some (more) time, it is not that i am lazy, but so many things to do... i'm curious too :-)

  31. yes yes i remember your fascination for the multiplicity of selves. i like the first picture very much, and also the first one from the slide show. There are some though, that remind me too much of movie posters or wallpowers.

    The poem is very powerful. But I was right about what i had thought about your voice...;-)

  32. cornel, hai sa ne imaginam niste liane non-freudiene, te rooog :-)

  33. dan.
    paste fericit si tie.
    ma bucur sa vad ca ai postat din nou.

  34. zuma, i don't see anything wrong with movie posters :-), especially when they look like this one:

    but hey, is that a smile or a grin after your last sentence... hmm - i'll take my chance and ask: what is it that you had always thought about my voice???

  35. amazing poetic counterpoint (& yes, the poem thus recited is music to me)

  36. I love the delicate counterpoint of the dialogue poem. So many things to say, but in the context of Je est un autre and thinking about twins and doppelgangers, I'll just give you this quote from a 1692 treatise on fairies and the fairy world by Robert Kirk, The Secret Commonwealth. Kirk says that every being has a secret double (from "another Element"). "They call this Reflex-man a coimimeadh or Co-walker, every way like the man, as a Twin-brother and Companion, haunting him as a shadow... This copy, Echo, or living picture, goes at last to his own herd."

  37. Des photos de toute beautée j'adore le taitement style film ; aussi le reste cette poésie entre des les yeux transforme mon Emoi.

  38. Ce lumina si culori frumoase!!umbetiExcelente!!

  39. ffflaneur, i am so glad you like it, i really didn't know what to think of it...

  40. Neil, so good to hear from you. you like it... i am humbled...
    and such a perfect quote too, from a fairy land... i love those words: Co-walker, and Twin-brother - yes, how true.

  41. Allan, merci de tout coeur! le 'traitement' est pourtant presque inexistant, tout est du au film "kodak portra 400', qui a cette admirable texture et donne ces couleurs dans certaines conditions de lumieres (je n'en avais aucune idee moi-meme, c'est le pur hasard qui a decide de ca)

  42. edith :-)

    multumesc - ce inseamna 'umbeti'? stiu ca e greseala de tastare, dar nu imi dau seama ce trebuia sa fie in loc :-)

  43. such an odd thing has happened since i heard this one week ago. your voice (as in the recording) has become a presence for me. i hear it in the most intimate of places like the forest or along the railroad tracks. even once beneath a layer of frost. i can not help but wonder on it.

    you make vital, important, necessary art.


  44. erin, what a surprise! and what you are saying here... i am humbled. but, even more than this, i have this sudden and intense wish to be able to share with you a walk in the forest one day, and not only as voice - this forest that i seem to know, i believe i know, through your wonderful images of trees and shadows and delicate light...

    thank you...