Friday, 19 February 2016

Sometimes I receive an email enquring about my arts based therapy practice and/or requesting information about interventions. I received one such mail this week. As I so often am when I engage with creative interventions, I was reminded of the significant value of arts based therapy in journeying into self awareness, particularly its ability to manoeuvre the journey with us.

I happened to come across your article in Network Ireland and was interested in what you say about 
recording the story. I have always found, I've been running on a story which I believe to be true and is at times believed in, so much so, that the story never ends, meaning the now can be taken up with the story from the past sometimes charged with more thoughts

I wonder is your idea of recording it a way of putting it to bed, so to speak . Or even seeing it from a 
different perspective?

Yes, I do believe our stories are continuous. We also have much control over how they continue to play out, which is why I like to keep the book open - so that we can add to the chapters/scenes as we journey through life and watch how different ones may intersect. This doesn't mean that the book is always an active part of our lives but it is there and we can pick it up or put it down as we wish.

Sometimes we remember at a later time, seemingly very significant aspects of a story, and these we can then weave into that narrative, oftentimes changing perspectives. The lifestory book can be a continuous commentary of our lives, one we can review and expand upon as we see fit. We are taking control of the story, seeing that it is not inflexible, moulding and shaping it according to our developing self awareness and, in the process, watching how certain patterns and sub texts may re-emerge.

With regard to 'putting it to bed', remember, that we have the power to arrange the chapters as we wish. Nothing is fixed except the awareness that we are creating our stories. If we find ourselves replaying a particular story in our minds, we can break it down into smaller scenes and address these individually with a therapist. Perhaps there are particular scenes that we are fixed on, and in seeking answers, we are replaying an entire chapter in our minds, looking for solutions/understanding. My suggestion is to explore these scenes in particular, using the tools arts based therapy provides, and remember, we have the ability to create art from our stories. Art and writing can be the way in and also the way out.


People often say that this or that person has not yet found themselves. But the self if not something one finds. It is something one creates. (Thomas Saasz)

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Great Changeover

One wonders and imagines, and sometimes, it seems to be exactly so!

there is no higher form of spirit than love, the white light of the sky matte, diffuse, everything is other yet whole, within, erasing all distinction, surrender... 7

via 7 - merci

Étienne Balibar

Thursday, 28 January 2016

lone man fighting the blizzard 
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, January 23rd 2016

pic by Eabha

Tuesday, 26 January 2016


The city has been buried under two feet of snow, the landscape is transformed, the white reflective light has a therapeutic effect, gently uplifting. Lack of definition and sharp boundaries blur emotional affect. We may still have thoughts but they may also become blurred, less defined with words. We are very much lost...perhaps we cannot explain.. The snow also affords a visual and bioemotional externalization of interiority. These inner states which somehow cover all pasts, presents and futures, timeless emotional sovereignty, are now visually represented everywhere the eye can see, and the sound absorbent texture of snow muffles reflections, generating the gentle immediacy we so desire. Being is colonized, but without force; nature speaks without speaking.  (Seven Nova)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 loses both interest and patience with individuals who cannot cleave to any grounded sense of identity, who cannot genuinely convey any sense of comfort within themselves that transcends the pleasure/pain principle, that transcends reactive nature/contrast, who constantly require emotional noise and attention to know who they are/might be, as if identity required the constant drama of narrative flow, tension and counteractive forces. Sanctuary, one dreams of, an ocean of souls who have forfeited identity to the degree that being is optional. Instead, one is at liberty to disappear into the spatial awareness of invisibility. 
(Seven Nova)

Sometimes people move to a particular place because it provides the necessary probable futures that catalyze personal evolution. But once those catalysts are exhausted, the realm boundary gaps formerly inviting those experiences become filled in and cause dissonance. This dissonance automatically evokes from the hologram varied catalysts for separation. In other words, when it is time for someone to move to a more fruitful area, improbable events manifest to force relocation. 
(Tom Montalk)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

a beautiful piece of wisdom

“To bring about peace in the world, to stop all wars, there must be a revolution in the individual, in you and me. Economic revolution without this inward revolution is meaningless, for hunger is the result of the maladjustment of economic conditions produced by our psychological states; greed, envy, ill-will and possessiveness.
To put an end to this sorrow, to hunger, to war, there must be psychological revolution and few of us are willing to face that. We will discuss peace, plan legislation, create new leagues, the United Nations and so on; but we will not win peace because we will not give up our position, our authority, our money, our properties, our lives.
To rely on others is utterly futile; others cannot bring us peace. No leader is going to give us peace, no government, no army, no country. What will bring peace is inward transformation, which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace. An Ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is.
To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need; food, clothing and shelter, is destroyed.

Some of you will nod your heads and say, “I agree”, and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world’s miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be only stopped when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform yourself.”
Krishnamurti (spoken over half a century ago)

Sunday, 17 January 2016

5th Sadho Poetry Film Festival, India

by Shrikaant Saxena 

Nice to witness this beautiful attempt to bring the best poetic films to cine lovers.These short films from across the globe evoke subtle imagery. There is a noticeable difference between home made films and some of the foreign films e.g. The Elephant is Contagious and some others, I believe, in this very special category, where emphasis is more on imagery, where thought is largely abstract and where sound matters more.

HT Syndication - Sadho Poetry Film Festival

Net Indian News


Sadho Poetry Film Festival
Benoit Courti


She watched from the window as he crossed the street, guitar hanging loosely from his shoulders. It swung from side to side as he climbed the hill towards the pub.

She bit her lip as he disappeared into the crowd. ‘I’m sorry,’ she whispered, folding the letter and slipping it into an envelope. She pulled on her coat and followed him outside.

From the stage, he tipped his cap as she walked in, her dark hair swaying loosely behind. She caught his eye and smiled. My girl, he thought, beaming proudly.

His calloused fingers stretched across the strings as he played to the local hotshots; the nouveau riche, he called them, their voices loud against his blend of sea shanties and folk.

It was the first day of May, the beginning of summer. He’d wanted to sing about hope. Weddings weren’t his thing (he’d had a few of his own), but he knew better than to turn down a nice bit of cash for the so-called wedding of the year.

He watched the pitiful faces lined up against the bar, over tanned, overstretched, bleeding lipstick. They watched their husbands eyeball his girl. She didn’t bat an eyelid, smiled discreetly as oversized men made lewd comments to each other and frustrated hands grabbed pints of Guinness. Wives pretended not to notice while showing off gold on crepey skin, hands swaying exaggeratedly in chat as they directed gazes away from her. She didn’t seem to notice, just tapped her foot in time to the music. 

Glancing in his direction, she gave a consolatory wink as she slipped a hand into her pocket. He raised his voice, eyes fixed on her…‘you and me babe, we’re one of a kind…’

‘Been paid for,’ announced the barman, handing her a glass of red wine.

‘Can you tell him thanks and give him this, please?’ She handed the barman an envelope before smiling graciously in the direction of the stage.

‘Sure thing’, he said, placing it on top of the cash register.

‘…You give this hoary head a crown of glory… ’ His voice quivered as he strummed.

She took a large sip of wine before moving cautiously towards the door. Bodies pressed against her as she forced her way through the drunken revellers.

Under the light of a full moon, she buttoned up her coat and glanced through the window at the dancing silhouettes as they rocked to and fro. -Then, following the hill downwards, she listened to his voice fade into the evening.

'....and now she turns her perfect face upon the world below…’

(last line, an excerpt from ‘The Moon’ by Emily Dickinson)

 E/R © 2015

Beat Godfather Meets Glitter Mainman

William Seward Burroughs is not a talkative man. Once at a dinner he gazed down into a pair of stereo microphones trained to pick up his every munch and said, "I don't like talk and I don't like talkers. Like Ma Barker. You remember Ma Barker? Well, that's what she always said, 'Ma Barker doesn't like talk and she doesn't like talkers.' She just sat there with her gun."

Writing is seeing how close you can come to make it happen, that's the object of all art. What else do they think man really wants, a whiskey priest on a mission he doesn't believe in? I think the most important thing in the world is that the artists should take over this planet because they're the only ones who can make anything happen. Why should we let these fucking newspaper politicians take over from us?

Rolling Stone Interview (in full)

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Heavy metal band, Disturbed’s powerful cover version of Simon & Garfunkel’s
The Sound of Silence

Sunday, 27 December 2015

poems, stories, images, mirages, universes ~ It's almost time!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

'We think not in words but in shadows of words.'  Vladimir Nabokov 
String of Lights : Teri Lee

approach - illumination - aspects of poetry creation - interpretation - words in a poem - past usages and intentions - hybridization - poetic license - loss of ...worlds - loss of reference - fusion of polyphonic narratives and social contexts into one horizon - autonomy of the poem - artistic unity - risk of genre/formulaic adaption and (authoritative/privileged) fossilized language usage - art mediums hijacked as modes of social control.

via Seven Nova - adapted from C. John Holcombe on Bakhtin

Thursday, 17 December 2015

"I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell." 

Walt Whitman

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

"shocking, tender and to the point."

Rumor is available now on Silva Merjanian’s official website,

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Modern Poetry and Style vis-à-vis Armenian poetry

As a guest of the ARPA Institute, poet Silva Zanoyan Merjanian discusses 'modern poetry and style vis-à-vis Armenian poetry' at Merdinian School, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Saints in my Rain

Interview for Armenian newspaper, Azbarez

Poet Silva Zanoyan Merjanian's poems 'Beirut', 'Saints in my Rain' and 'Home' from her Cold River Press release, RUMOR, have been nominated for the 2014 Pushcart. 


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

When a poet creates a true image, he is bringing into consciousness a connection that has been forgotten, perhaps for centuries.

It is possible there is another sort of image, which the ancients knew about. It is less like a container and more like an arm. It reaches out of human consciousness to touch something else.

We do feel a gap between ourselves and nature. We can remain in the gap, and let the two worlds fall apart farther and remain separate. Or a human being can reach out with his left hand to the world of human intelligence and with the right hand to the natural world, and touch both at the same time…The power that makes us able to touch both is called ‘imagination’.

Robert Bly

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Our short film's been selected for screening at this year's Waterford Film Festival at Garter Lane Theatre.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

It doesn’t take much to convince yourself that you’ve forgotten how to tell a story…the hand was the same, the writing was the same, there was the same choice of vocabulary, same syntax, same punctuation, and yet the tone had become false. For months I felt that the preceding pages were beyond my abilities, and now I no longer felt equal to my own work. It made me bitter. You’d rather lose yourself than find yourself, I thought. Then everything started up again.

 (words: Elena Ferrante)

Meter is both functional and enslaving, it sets up a sense of normalcy and flow, the illusion/reality of composite structure, a kind of balancing act, lock/step, to convey musicality of language, call and response, the notion of coming to restive conclusions with/in meter ostensibly fools us into a (desired) locked sequence of time (mental enclosures) and sleeps with meaning in perhaps surreptitious ways.. hidden within this project lies a dualism - love/masochism - the disruptive kinship of needing to repeat (oneself), repetition, we seek forms, and uniformity, but this also oppresses the poet-warrior who also resists conformity, the death of becoming.. so meter is then a necessary evil, overdetermined by the simplicity of language constructs.. outside of poetic device I dream of a world where nothing ever repeats, and yet I am not sure if love could exist in such a world, the ontos of Eros, victim and lover of eternal recurrence. 

(words : Seven Nova)

photo : Gary Gray

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The purpose of rhythm, it has always seemed to me, is to prolong the moment of contemplation, the moment when we are both asleep and awake, which is the one moment of creation, by hushing us with an alluring monotony, while it holds us waking by variety, to keep us in that state of perhaps real trance, in which the mind liberated from the pressure of the will is unfolded in symbols. 

William Butler Yeats


O vidro da janela estava frio. E uma brisa penetrante chacoalhava aquela frágil estrutura. Do lado de fora, reuniam-se os corvos, grasnando e grasnando... a ponto de sorverem todo o ar ali ruidoso enquanto circunvi(zinhav)am a velha casa da fazenda; pousariam em seguida nos pinhos. Os galhos balançavam para trás e para frente. Ana contemplava a égua castanha abrigada sob as árvores. A quietude dela impelia a um calafrio estranho, impertinente, e Ana, cruzando os braços resoluta, foi sentar-se de novo perto do fogo. As brasas estalavam. Mansamente. E Ana as espetava, atiçando as chamas. De então que, tirando do bolso um rosário, a mulher cantarolava baixinho o seu encanto, enquanto ia caindo no sono.

Ellen se acomodou no tapete surrado. A porta da sala de brinquedo abria-se em fendas. Ao fundo, tique-taques. Ela tão só erguia os olhos e tentava reparar, através de uma meia abertura de porta, na avó que descansava o rosto naquela almofada de crochê. Agarrada a uma boneca, Ellen não tirava os olhos dos pesados olhos da avó sobre aquela almofada, descansando, pois que a avó ali, com mãos rezadeiras. As contas do rosário, em marrom e dourado, continuavam em seu colo. Diante daquela criatura maternal sibilando em vigília, Ellen sentiu, num súbito, palpitar amor sem-fim. As brasas chamuscavam. E brilhavam. Um jornal amassado sobre as nódoas de carvão na lareira, e ela sentia crescer um amor sem mácula, ao passo que ia apertando tanto mais a boneca, agarrando-se a ela, que... O dia reluzia, como se mágico, glorioso, absorvendo tudo, inclusive Ellen. Era como se cada linha do tapete, cada forma ali tecida em miríades de tonalidades compusesse algo mais imenso ainda que a eternidade daquele momento, e dela mesma. Olhou, enfim, novamente para o relógio, cujo vidro espelhava seu rosto, e então ela mesma se espelhava através do tempo.

(traduzido por Carol Piva)

Monday, 5 October 2015

Waterford Film Festival

Garter Lane Arts Centre

Waterford, Ireland

6th - 8th November 2015

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Collaboration with Silva Zanoyan Merjanian

In memory of Rehan, Galip and Aylan Kurdi

Friday, 2 October 2015

the art of anticipation

so many things we do not openly discuss or even consider, the sense of anticipation in art, especially music, sense of drawing out wonder and emotion, and in life.. what is this insatiable romance with not resolving our aesthetic desire, this constant seeking of seductive qualities in nature and mind, so evasive, it's as if we will not settle for something, admit to a final cause, we prefer to remain unanswered, curious, unknowing. . 7 (courtesy of Seven Nova)

Anticipation by Lauren Goia

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

'The mind, whether expressed in history or in the individual life, has a precise movement, which can be quickened or slackened but cannot be fundamentally altered, and this movement can be expressed by a mathematical form.'

Note to ‘The Second Coming’, Michael Robartes and the Dancer full text (Dundrum: Cuala Press, 1922)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow’.
The Talmud

…to launch out into regions of thought and invention never trod till now, and to explore characters that never met a human eye before – this is a luxury worth sacrificing a dinner-party, or a few hours of a spare morning to.

William Hazlitt

Floating Water

photo : Deanne Richards  © 

photo: Édouard Boubat, Paris, 1947

with thanks to Seven Nova © 


There is a third mode of transcendence: in it language simply ceases, and the motion of spirit gives no further outward manifestation of its being. The poet enters into silence. Here the word borders not on radiance or music, but on night.


Down From Heaven

© 7novamusic 2012

Friday, 25 September 2015

Someone Digging in the Ground

an eye is meant to see things.
the soul is here for its own joy.
the head has one use: for loving a true love. 
legs: to run after.

love is for vanishing into the sky. the mind,
for learning what men have done and tried to do.
mysteries are not to be solved. the eye goes blind
when it only wants to see why.

a lover is always accused of something.
but when he finds his love
in the looking comes back completely changed.
on the way to mecca, many dangers: thieves,
the blowing sand, only camel's milk to drink.
still each pilgrim kisses the black stone there
with pure longing, feelings in the surface the taste of 
the lips he wants.

this talk is like stamping new coins. they pile up
while the real work is done outside
by someone digging in the ground.


Sunday, 13 September 2015


from Dreamscapes, first published in 2010
Earlier this month, I shared some of Carmen Medici's research into Celtic rituals during the 'Month of Coll'. Stretching from approximately August 5th to September 1st, this period in time was once renowned for enhancing shape shifting and astral projection rituals. It is the phenomenon the mystic poet W.B. Yeats delved into in his poem, 'The Song of Wandering Aengus'. Ramadan also occurs during this time, beginning when the silver moon is visible to the naked eye. Indeed, the moon appears to guide many religious and spiritual practices, its influence particularly celebrated in neo paganism, which also places much value on the interpretation of dreams.
The concept of mutual dreaming is explored by Chris Nolan in the movie Inception. It highlights the real possibilities of evolving creative awareness in the dream world. This 'architecture of the mind' theme is repeated throughout the movie and is applied to the various the levels of dreaming. The exploration of multi layered boundlessness and the multiple levels of consciousness is depicted through images such as the labyrinth.
The dreamscapes portrayed towards the end of the movie are particularly compelling. They reminded me of my early excursions through Manhattan, when the city was still alien to me. I was transported back to that great labyrinth of art and architecture, where within this tremendous cityscape, I could not remain lost, but could delve deeper into imagination.
To dream is to move beyond the mundane to a more creative state of being, because it is within our dreams that we are provided with the opportunity to meet with ourselves, to confront and acknowledge what the great dreamer Carl Jung would refer to as the Self/Shadow.
'The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.' (Carl Jung)

Friday, 11 September 2015

'To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall ....'
Ann Patchett

photographer unknown