Tuesday 26 June 2012


A while ago Qarrtsiluni dedicated a whole issue on 'immitation'
(Imitation: issue summary and index of imitative models)

One of the poems there was 'Orphanage' by Matt Hetherington (Matt Hetherington is not a poet, but he writes poetry, and has so many sides he’s round. He lives around Melbourne, Australia and his last book of poetry was called I Think We Have (Small Change Press, 2007) - said the Qarrtsiluni blog.

 I liked the poem and, even more so, his great reading of it for the podcast.
(People who follow my work know how important I think a good reading or voice is for a good videopoem)

Anyways, I asked Dave Bonta if I could use the podcast. He gave me Matt's mail so I could ask him for the use of the poem. Both agreed, yes. Here I go again...

(For Ian, Again)

Old enough to remember.

Your silence woke me.

Lights out.  Nobody at home.

His hand got stuck in the postbox.

In the dream, you made me go to the front.

You can’t return what you stole.

Each heart, side by side with night.

He hunts himself.

Liquid from both ears.

Were there receipts for slaves?

The petals were bait.

I was untouchable; you were unreasonable.

A friend knows when to turn the lights out.

Briefly, wounds are touched.

Slim, rusty.

They themselves are proof.

Show me a pub with no fear…

A pool in the liver in which to drown.

It’s not my business, but it pays.

You’ll never sleep alone.

Nightmare: everyone stayed.

Atheists feel like bastards sometimes.

So many feet!  So slowly!

We are all going home.

Again and again and again and a gain and…

In your dream, you were still alive.

In one night.  All.

Inspired by the poetry of Ian McBryde, particularly his book of one-line poems, Slivers (Melbourne: Flat Chat Press, 2005).

I wanted to keep the pauses he made in his reading, so I didn't change a thing.
Just added the right track;

and went on a searh for the right footage or images. I needed empty houses and remembered a great video I once saw by someone who calls himself Tschmite. He gave me his consent to use footage of it.
I added some of my own recordings and also found amazing images in a series of films made by Graham Gilmore about Tsjernobyl.

I edited all I wanted and needed for the right atmosphere. Gave the words by Matt, the space and the room they needed to unfold themselves. Happy with this one...

Orphanage from Swoon on Vimeo.

Words & voice: Matt Hetherington
Camera: Graham Gilmore, Tschmite & Swoon
Concept, editing & Music: Swoon
Thanks to Qarrtsiluni for the series and the podcast.