poetry in motion



In some way every challenge we face is beautiful.


Original footage filmed with Kodak Super 8, Canon C100 & Canon 7D


NASA Archives
Prelinger Archives
Pond5 Public Domain
David King, vimeo.com/dking
H. Lee Waters Collection

SOUND MIXED BY Tommy Mokas @ Casa Nova Studios
MUSIC BY Experience (Starkey Remix), Ludovico Einaudi Experience, Ludovico Einaudi

POST PRODUCTION Final Cut Pro X, Adobe After Effects, Protools


Alyssa Monks
Christian Douglas
Christopher Stone
David King


STORM > Tim Minchin

In the confines of a London dinner party, comedian Tim Minchin argues with a hippy named Storm. While Storm herself may not be converted, audiences from London to LA have been won over by Tim’s wordplay and the timely message of the film in a society where science and reason are portrayed as the enemy of belief.

Written and performed by Tim Minchin @timminchin. Directed by DC Turner @dcturner. Produced by Tracy King @tkingdoll. http://www.stormmovie.net

NOW AVAILABLE AS AN ILLUSTRATED BOOK WITH ALL NEW ART! http://www.timminchin.com/stormthebook



“In the future
the history books will study us

our cities will have been renamed
our languages slanged into something new
and this moment
will one day
be ancient

The future ancients
dig theoretical trenches between settlement and invasion

shoot rifles at each other from across the plains
and place prayers within the screaming bullets

they shroud their heads in mourning

and afterwards line their soldiers up in cemeteries like voodoo dolls for God

The future ancients
will be encased behind glass in museums

Greek ragtag squadrons
with backpacks
gas masks
and shards of Athenian columns for weapons
will be installed in exhibitions
of either terrorists or freedom fighters
depending on who it is that wins

this time

they will stand side by side
with wax dummies of ‘good men’
in shirts and ties
who never leave their suburban blocks
but are called to duty through computer screens
shooting unmanned cannons in far away places
and are called things like
and Lieutenant

The future ancients
will have their artefacts locked in storage
shards of Molotov cocktails
from the Egyptian revolution
will be tagged and filed
next to Michael Jackson albums
Playboy magazines
and the Australian Flag

The future ancients
will be found by future archaeologists
preserved and embalmed
in tequila and Chanel Number 5
alongside pop-star prophets
who thought they were somehow saying something new
this time
they will find them
praying to gods who believe in Science
on a planet of do’s and don’ts
of factions and fractions of us’s and them’s
and we’s and whatever’s
and maybe never’s
and never again’s
the future ancients will be found in tombs
of cheap liquor

in databases of tradition

on screens called culture

as relics of broken signals

They will hardly be visited as bones
but remembered
in the symbology of pixel
and paranoia

The Future Ancients
will be remembered or lost depending on what we decide

Since democracy has been paraphrased
sustainability called primitive
refugees criminalised by the first invaders
and Indigenous cultures lined up side by suicide
in prisons
like voodoo dolls for the future
the textbooks will study us
our cities will have been renamed
our languages slanged into something new

and our stories will be the only link left
between objects
and their meanings

They will try to twist and turn our histories
based on what they find of us

so our voices are the only artefacts worth keeping

So whose lips will we honour?
on whose tomb will we lay our tears?
those that risked everything to speak
but spoke anyway
those that gave meaning in the darkness
those who not only spoke
but gifted us a moment of silence in this madness to so that we could learn to hear

Those thoughts are your artefacts

your jewellery
and bronze
and your words are your monuments
your stone
and bone
and Colosseum
everything worth leaving behind

In silence is how we surrender
speech is the architecture of fate

So are we pharaohs of fallacies
empresses of nothing?

What will they engrave below our statues?

In the ancient future”

Dante’s Inferno rap adaptation by Hugo > Canto 1-4

A unique poetry/rap crossover project adapting Dante’s Inferno into a rap by the ever innovative hip hop artist Hugo Farrant (http://hugofarrant.com/) who is also known as Robert Foster of Juice Media’s Rap News (http://thejuicemedia.com/).

Read Hugo’s artist statement below:

Dante Inferno – The Rap Translation – Canto 1

A poet regains consciousness in a terrifying dark forest. How can he ascend out of it? When he comes across his all-time literary hero (dead for 400 years) he realises he has a hell of a journey ahead of him…

It’s seven hundred years since Dante Alighieri penned his epic poem, Commedia, in which he describes in breathtaking detail a journey into three realms of the Catholic afterlife. So insanely inspired was this poetic undertaking, that swiftly after its printing its giddy readers added the epithet Divine to it, and ‘La Divina Commedia’ has never been surpassed in scope or style in seven centuries of poetry in any language.

Dante made use of a poetic form described as the ‘Dolce Stil Novo’ which translates as The Sweet New Style. He was determined to prove that the collection of unrefined dialects of the peninsula that we now know as Italy were just as appropriate for writing poetry as the Latin which all other writers of the time felt obliged to favour. He called this principle ‘De Vulgari Eloquentia’ – the Eloquence of Vulgar Languages (i.e. the eloquence of the vernacular). In exile from his beloved Florence, he set about writing the Commedia, and over the course of 100 canti, not only proved that the disparate dialects were up to the task, but effectively created the Italian language in the process, and immortalised himself to boot.

Over the epic journey, in effortlessly flowing and ingenious rhyme form, he shows the language’s ability to run the gamut of tones from the brutal and disgusting tortures of Hell to high flown and awe-inspiring visions of Paradise. So great was his prowess with rhyme, that he effectively placed himself at the top of the all-time great rhymers that humanity has produced for seven centuries.

However, when in the latter half of the 20th Century, in New York, an upstart group of young musical innovators gave birth to a style of music and a subculture called Hip Hop, all of a sudden, in the form of Rap, there arrived poets who took the art of rhyming to obsessive extremes, finally presenting a poetic form that, in terms of rhyming at least, could hold its own alongside and perhaps even surpass that of history’s greatest.

Immortal innovators of the artform such as Rakim, Talib Kweli, Eminem, KRS One, Mos Def, Nas, Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur and Pharoahe Monch, took this rap rhyming to incredible depths, exploring all angles of their own vernacular, spitting intricate multi-syllable rhymed verses over irresistible hip hop beats and delivering their version of the Dolce Stil Novo to an insatiable world, and in the process proving, like Dante, that their Vulgar vernacular could have global relevance in its eloquence.

So, to this project. The basic agenda being simply to retranslate the Inferno using some of the forms of Rap – Multi-syllabic rhyme patterns, driving beats – to reengage with this epic medieval poem, and maybe contribute to garnering it a new audience. Of course, being a mere beginner in this art form myself, I have done my best to do justice to both the form and the source material. Any seeming deficiencies in either are in fact mine, and I apologise in advance.

With this in mind, I humbly present the first Canto of the Inferno, translated into Rap, using the hip hop mix-tape convention of rhyming over existing beats.

The beats respectfully used are
‘Agent Orange’ by Pharoahe Monch
‘Call to Arms’ by Harmonic 313

As references to the original poem, I have used the following editions

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Volume I Inferno, edited and translated by Robert M. Durling (Oxford University Press, 1996) – an excellent side by side translation with great commentary

The website Danteinferno.info which places the translations of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), Henry Francis Cary (December 6, 1772 – August 14, 1844) and Charles Eliot Norton (November 16, 1827 – October 21, 1908) alongside each other for easy comparison. I have to admit I favour the Longfellow translation, and have made liberal use of his ideas for this piece. http://www.danteinferno.info/translat…

Finally, the superlative performance/lecture series ‘Tutto Dante’ from Roberto Benigni, in which he appeared night after sell-out night in the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence to deliver a commentary and reading (from memory) of the entire Inferno. It has been an indispensable resource, and is available on dvd http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tutto-Dante-0…

I would very much appreciate knowing if you feel this type of presentation is listenable, enjoyable and makes you curious to hear more.


The Conditioned

Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho was homeless in São Paulo, Brazil, for nearly 35 years, and became locally known for sitting in the same spot and writing every day. In April 2011, he was befriended by a young woman named Shalla Monteiro. Impressed by his poetry and wanting to help him with his dream of publishing a book, she created a Facebook Page to feature Raimundo’s writing. Neither could have expected what happened next.

See more about Raimundo and his poetry on his Facebook Page maintained by Shalla: facebook.com/ocondicionado

This short film uses footage from a documentary about Raimundo shot in São Paulo in 2011 and 2012, along with interviews and scenes filmed in Goîana, Brazil, in January 2014.

This is one of 10 stories celebrating Facebook’s 10th anniversary and a decade of connections made possible through the platform. See the rest at facebookstories.com/10

Presented by Facebook Stories
Production Studio – Already Alive
Director – Michael Marantz
Director of Photography – Tim Sessler
Producer – Jason Oppliger
Post Producer – Drew English
Original Music – Michael Marantz
Edit – Michael Marantz
Assistant Edit – Drew English
Local Brazil Producer – William Guimaraes
Local Brazil Production Company – Southside Productions

Footage of Raimundo at The Island by Tiago Venturi

Special Thanks to:
Shalla Monteiro
Raimundo and his family


My Story Is Your Story – Poem by Alice Eather

Djiya wiba yinyirra
Ngana Maningrida yo
Djiya wiba yinyirra

People ask me for my story
but my story is your story

My feet are in the dirt
and the dirt it speaks in dust
and the trees they speak in leaves
like the people speak in trust
and the water speaks in waves
and the dust is in the wind
so the Country covers my skin
and this skin covers this body

And this body has a message in this chest that carries messages from my ancestors on what to do against a threat

And these messages come to me in dreams
and I’ve collected so many now
they’re asking me to speak

People ask me for my story
but I thought my story was your story

When I see a map of Country
I see land, sea and family

When they see a map of Country
they see mining fantasies

When I see the sea-beds
I see sacred sites

When they see the sea-beds
they see dollar signs

When I see exploration permit 266
I see them trying to reduce my country into three digits

When I see Yirridja and Dhuwa Country
I see everything that is our Moiety

When they see Yirridja and Dhuwa Country
They see the future of the oil and gas industry

When I see the tides rise and fall
Kabalala karapa kakaja
I can read the storms

When they see the tides rise and fall
They just want to find out
what’s under it all

It’s funny how they want to dig deep
but act so shallow

So I say

Saltwater people say

Wùnal Clan say

People ask me for my story
but my story is your story

When you cry
Don’t you cry the ocean?
When you sweat
Don’t you sweat the ocean?
When you drink
Don’t you drink the rivers and the rain
And when you wash
Don’t you wash into that ocean
so the cycle can start again?

When we cry
We cry the ocean
When we sweat
We sweat the ocean
When we drink
We drink the rivers and the rain
and we wash into that ocean
so the cycle can start again.

Published on 24 Nov 2014

Support the Protect Arhem Land Campaign:
Written and Performed by Alice Eather
Filmed and Assisted by Luka Lesson
Additional Footage and Edit by Toby Finlayson
Audio Mixing by Joel Westlake
Filmed on Kabalko Island and in Maningrida, West Arnhem Land, N.T.

FATHER > Marshall Davis Jones

An original piece written and spoken by Marshall Davis Jones. Shot on the Red Epic and Scarlet with Canon Cinema Primes.

Read about it on the blog: stillmotionblog.com/2013/09/12/animation/

For licensing inquiries, please contact discovery@storyandheart.com

TROLL > Shane Koyczan

From the album and Graphic novel, ‘Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To’ available for purchase, here http://shanekoyczan.shop.redstarmerch…

Purchase the album here: http://www.smarturl.it/qvro78

Troll Video:
Written and Performed by Shane Koyczan
Music by: Cayne McKenzie & Hannah Epperson
Artwork by: Gareth Gaudin
Animation and Editing by: Amazing Factory Productions

MU(SICK) by Madiha Bhatti

Circles in the Sky > Bob Hicok

Circles in the Sky from Motionpoems on Vimeo.

A poem by Bob Hicok, animated by Keri Moller for Motionpoems.


The Painter > Dobby Gibson

THE PAINTER from Motionpoems on Vimeo.

“The Painter,” a poem by Dobby Gibson, adapted for Motionpoems by Mark Rubbo.


Either Or > Maxine Kumin

Either Or from Motionpoems on Vimeo.

A poem by Maxine Kumin, adapted by Adam Tow for Motionpoems.



THE TREES—THEY WERE ONCE GOOD MEN a poem by Todd Boss from Motionpoems on Vimeo.

This motionpoem was created by Emma Burghardt. Music composed and performed by Debra Barsha and Daisy.

Motionpoems is a volunteer organization that is made of just two people—me (Angella Kassube – designer/animator) and Todd Boss (poet). I started animating Todd’s poems and it was such a great experience for both of us, we decided to bring more poets together with other animators and filmmakers.

The Mysterious Arrival of an Unusual Letter > Mark Strand

The Mysterious Arrival of an Unusual Letter from Motionpoems on Vimeo.

A poem by Mark Strand, adapted by Scott Wenner for Motionpoems.

MAKING ORDER > Dora Malech

Motionpoems – ‘Working Order’ from Gentleman Scholar on Vimeo.

poem by Dora Malech
video by Gentleman Scholar

Check out Motionpoems.com

FUCK SHIT STACK > Reggie Watts

One of the comedic geniuses of his generation, Reggie Watts’ work is not quite spoken word, not quite rap, it’s hilarious.

Looping his own vocals, beats and quirk, Reggie takes the loop pedal artform into his own dimension by means of his sense of humour. After a string of unique apartment based live videos, FUCK SHIT STACK is his most ‘official’ music video, and it takes apart the gangsta lexicon that now dominates popular cultures as effortlessly as Jay-Z creates a hit record – and the two aren’t disconnected.

See more of Reggie’s work at the URL named after him, here:

If I should Have A Daughter > Sarah Kay @ TED 2011

“If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B … ” began spoken word poet Sarah Kay, in a talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011. She tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. — and gives two breathtaking performances of “B” and “Hiroshima.”

LOOK UP > Gary Turk

A message for the online generation…

Written, performed and directed by Gary Turk


Spoken Word Poem written by and performed by Adriel Luis
Directed and Edited by Karen Lum
Starring Karen Lum and William Tsang
Filmed by Karen Lum, Andrew Baxter, German E. Rodriguez

Shot entirely in my hometown of Oakland, CA in the Summer of 2005

Check out the poet, Adriel Luis, at http://drzzl.com.


The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.
Performed by BLACK ICE.

Inspired by the Motion Picture Free Angela and All Political Prisoners

FREE ANGELA is a feature-length documentary about Angela Davis.
The high stakes crime, political movement, and trial that catapults the 26 year-old newly appointed philosophy professor at the University of California at Los Angeles into a seventies revolutionary political icon. Nearly forty years later, and for the first time, Angela Davis speaks frankly about the actions that branded her as a terrorist and simultaneously spurred a worldwide political movement for her freedom.


The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Produced by Desmond ‘DSP Powell for DSP Operations in association with ArtistLive LLC.
Written and co-produced by Black Ice


NPR’s Snap Judgment Performance of the YEAR! Snap Judgment veteran Jamie DeWolf smashes against a towering family legacy with a breathtaking performance.

Original score by composed by Alex Mandel. Performed by Alex Mandel and the Snap Judgment Playaz (David Brandt and Tim Frick).

Film Editing by Will Urbina.

Snap Judgment Productions. All Rights Reserved. http://www.SnapJudgment.org

TO BE A POET > Warrior Poet

“To Be A Poet” by the Warrior Poet


“To be a poet is to wake up every morning and file the callouses from your senses. You scrub them until they are so raw that your familiar lover smells of lust and danger, a cup of coffee is like a warm hug from an old friend, and morning sunshine still tickles with the light of unmanifested dreams.

Stephen Dunn says, “All good poems are victories over something.” The poet trades 1000 days of idle leisure for any adventure. A chance at victory. A chance that their entire life can be an epic poem that echoes in the halls of eternity.

If on this path a poet suffers a tragedy, she does not claw in panic from the depths of despair. She breathes… and digs deeper. For she knows that her only salvation is on the other side of that hole, where there are no demons left unmasked, and no poisonous tears unspilled.

To be a poet is to have one true enemy with many names. Emptiness, numbness, apathy. When a poet feels these things he throws himself into a passion, a challenge, a fight, a dance, anything to make him feel. He despises those ameliorates that dull his senses, and heralds that which fuels his fire. And if that which fuels his fire is fire itself, he cares not. For as Soren Kierkegaard says, “A poet is not an apostle; he drives out devils only by the power of the devil.”

A poet can express unimaginable joy, but he never brags. A poet can express unimaginable heartbreak, but he never complains. A poet is a tuning fork that resounds the human experience, and Fortune herself, the striker.

The difference between a poet and a soldier, is that the soldier’s heart is full of scars armored in Spartan red. Whatever pain he might feel, whatever innocence he may carry is guarded by his impenetrable ethos. A poet goes to life without armor because he knows only when you are vulnerable to injury are you susceptible to bliss.

Walt Whitman wrote the prayer for the soul of a poet. “Sail Forth- Steer for the deep waters only. Reckless O soul, exploring. I with thee and thou with me. For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go. And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all.”

What is life then, but one grand adventure, one epic poem? To be a poet is to embrace the story of your life as it unfolds. To play the hero, to fall in love, to have your heart broken, to fall in love again, again, again, to fail, to despair, to inspire… To be a poet is to live.”


Not exactly a poem, more a tour de force of revolutionary conceptual explorations through words and image by French Situationist philosopher Guy Debord. This film pioneered a technique of video montage we might now call a ‘mashup’, in a complex and challenging prose that explores the relationship between society, culture, politics, art, media, and the abstraction of values that becomes almost a riddle of it’s own self. It is a manifesto in the form of experimental video. Philosophy presented so originall it almost becomes one extended theoretical poem. Almost.

“On the Society of the Spectacle (Original Announcement for the Film)”

Until now it has generally been assumed that film is a completely unsuitable medium for presenting revolutionary theory. This view was mistaken. The lack of any serious attempts in this direction stemmed simply from the historical lack of a modern revolutionary theory during virtually the entire period of the cinema’s development; as well as from the fact that the potentials of cinematic composition, despite so many declarations of intent on the part of filmmakers and so much feigned satisfaction on the part of a miserable public, have as yet scarcely been liberated.

Published in 1967, The Society of the Spectacle is a book whose theoretical insights have profoundly influenced the new current of social critique that is now more and more openly undermining the established world order. Its present cinematic adaptation, like the book itself, does not offer a few partial political critiques, but a total critique of the existing world; that is, a critique of all aspects of modern capitalism and of its general system of illusions.

The cinema is itself an integral part of this world, serving as one of the instruments of the separate representation that opposes and dominates the actual proletarianized society. As revolutionary critique engages in battle on the very terrain of the cinematic spectacle, it must thus turn the language of that medium against itself and give itself a form that is itself revolutionary.

The text and images of this film form a coherent whole; but the images are never mere direct illustrations of the text, much less demonstrations of it (cinematic “demonstrations” are in any case never reliable due to the unlimited possibilities of manipulation offered by the unilateral editing of the material). Instead, the film’s use of images (whether photographs, newsclips, or sequences from preexisting films) is governed by the principle of détournement, which the situationists have defined as “communication that includes a critique of itself.” The images through which spectacular society presents itself to itself are taken and turned against it: the spectacle’s means should be treated with insolence. As a result, in a certain sense this film, coming at the end of the cinema’s pseudo-autonomous history, incorporates all the memories of that history. It can thus be seen simultaneously as a historical film, a Western, a love story, a war movie, etc. Like the society it examines, it also presents a number of comical aspects. In talking about the spectacular order, and about the commodity domination that it serves, one is also talking about what this order hides: class struggles and strivings toward real historical life, revolution and its past failures, and the responsibilities for those failures. Nothing in this film is made to please the fashionable blockheads of leftist cinema: it has equal contempt for what they respect and for the style in which they express that respect. One who is capable of understanding and denouncing an entire socio-economic formation will denounce it even in a film. Objections to our “extremism” are meaningless, because current history is already on the verge of going beyond the most extreme possibilities imagined.

Theses that have never before been presented in the cinema will now appear there in a never before seen form, simply because for the first time a filmmaker has undertaken an uncompromising critique.

In the socio-economic context, the total freedom required to create such a film obviously means that the producer must renounce any claim to exert any preliminary control over the director, whether by insisting that he present a synopsis or by seeking to obtain from him any other sort of meaningless commitment. This has been recognized in the contract between the filmmaker and the producer, Simar Films: “It is understood that the filmmaker will carry out his work in complete freedom, without any control or supervision whatsoever, and without even being obliged to pay the slightest attention to any comment that the producer might make regarding any aspect of the content or of the cinematic form that the filmmaker feels appropriate for his film.”

Considering that this film itself expresses its meaning in a sufficiently comprehensible manner, the producer and the filmmaker believe that it is unnecessary to provide any further explanations.




Vocals, Lyrics, & Appearance by Aja Monet
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Visuals & Video by LiVen
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Music & Composition by Sleepin Giant
“Glitch” is included on Sleepin Giant’s ‘Purple’ EP, forthcoming Original Cultures, March 2014″ + http://www.originalcultures.org
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