By Swoon and Heather Haley

Swoon’s Artist’s Statement: The text/voice of the poem comes from Canadian poet, musician and filmmaker Heather Haley. The poem appears on her first spoken-word album, Surfing Season, which Heather sent to me after we wrote to each other about a possible collaboration. I picked out “Where Sins Are More Sinful” because it was the first poem that ‘gave me images’ right away. I blogged about it (in Dutch) here and here: The ideas for these images came fairly quickly. I had the associative thought, “Wash in innocence.” So I went searching for “shower” images and found one by Erica Scourti. Then I made a “rushing” background by processing images from recordings I made ​​half a year ago from a boat, then I added the more diverse things, faces, and symbols.

Heather’s Artist’s Statement: Poetry exists beyond media; always has, always will. Though most of us in the West are visually literate, it is brave—foolish, some say—to adapt the oral tradition to a medium where image is metaphor. I’m drawn to it simply because it’s natural for me, having grown up with television and cinema. I define a videopoem as a wedding of word and image. Achieving that level of integration is difficult and rare. In my experience the greatest challenge of this hybrid genre is fusing voice and vision, aligning ear with eye. For me, voice is the critical element, medium and venue secondary considerations. Unlike a music video—the inevitable and ubiquitous comparison—a videopoem stars the poem rather than the poet, the voice seen as well as heard.



Where Sins Are More Sinful
A river flows down to the Atlantic-
the Matapédia-
Irish and cathedral
on one side,
Québécois and cathedral
on the other.
They all know sin.


Jeanette walked to the pier
every day to buy a lobster,
hid the quarts of beer
from brothers
Ed and Reggie
in the toilet tank.
Hung a rosary there,
to atone for the bastard
she nourished
with lobster and beer.


Tiny filligree iron cross
laced with lines of rust.



About Swoon: Swoon is a Belgian video-artist/soundcreator. Poetry, words and dreams form an important basis for his work. As a stranger in our midst he recycles ‘virtual’ internet images, shoots his own, creates soundscapes, and makes dreamlike, moving paintings out of it all. A dream made real out of vague bits. Swoon’s work has been featured at numerous festivals. He’s also an autodidact…

You can hear Swoon here:
You can see Swoon here:
Dutch Blog:


About Heather Haley: The Siren of Howe Sound, Canadian poet, author, musician and media artist Heather Haley has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including Geist, the Antigonish Review, sub-Terrain, the Vancouver Review, ROCKsalt: Anthology of BC Poetry and the Verse Map of Vancouver. Haley is the author of the poetry collections Three Blocks West of Wonderland (Ekstasis Editions) and Sideways (Anvil Press). Host and curator of the Visible Verse Festival at Pacific Cinémathèque, her own works have been official selections at dozens of international film festivals.



Photo Source: Patriot Lobster