The Series Section

lecture, short film, documentary

The Sonnets

Cinematic recitations of Shakespeare's sonnets

The Writers Block

A sitcom about literary mania

and its many variants

The Writers Block - An introduction to literary mania in its many variants
He Writes by Bar Light (or The Bukowski Pretender)

He Writes by Bar Light (or The Bukowski Pretender)

A new writer joins the mix. Poet Hollister (Hank) Fairweather writes gritty, honest poetry in the style of his heroes, Charles Bukowski and Raymond Carver. The blurbs speak for themselves, "Hank Fairweather's poetry is the rude table guest the culture never invited. These are not poems for the weak. These are anthems of metaphysical anguish, tours of the heart more trying than any overseas tour. In his debut collection 'You Had To Be There', Hank Fairweather has declared World War III on all of us." Meanwhile Fiona Moss works on her memoir, "Remembering My Memories" and gets the opportunity to pitch her memoir "Remembering My Memories" to some top book agents. Elliott, looking for some optimism, buffs up on his Arthur Schopenhauer. Soren and George went missing the entire week. And Stella discovers something unexpected at the bottom of her fourth glass of wine. Subscribe to The Writers Block YouTube channel to catch future installments of the series!  ~~~ Episode 2 Credits ~~~  Hank: Jordan Potter Fiona: Angie Jho Elliott: Kay Reghabi Stella: MJ Garcia Sammy Jeans: Noah Anselmo Lonnie: Ed Regine  Banana: Himself Average Guy With Beer: Taylor Gilley Directed by: Mike Gioia Written by: Mike Gioia & Jordan Potter Cinematographer: Tanner Scoffield Sound Recordist: Tom Frazer Sound Mixer: Tom Frazer Key Grip: Liam Willey  Makeup Artist: MJ Garcia Script Coordinator: Joanie Holberg  Stunt Coordinator: Liam Willey Editor: Michelangelo Gioia Music by Krzysztof Komeda  Series created by Mike Gioia Follow The Writers Block on Instagram: There you can watch deleted scenes, read Hank's bar napkin poems, and catch other exclusive stuff!

Coming Soon

An exciting yet-to-be-announced series

Brendan Constantine: "The Opposites Game" - (poem video)

Brendan Constantine: "The Opposites Game" - (poem video)

This poem is a powerful look at the gun violence issue framed through a classroom writing exercise. Constantine brings the poem to life with a emphatic recitation. Full text of the poem below. Subscribe to our newsletter for more poetry films: ~~~The Poet~~~ Brendan Constantine is an LA poet whose most recent book "Dementia, My Darling" was published by Red Hen Press. You can visit his website here: Constantine's poem "The Opposites Game" recounts a classroom exercise where students were challenged to write the exact opposite of a line of poetry from Emily Dickinson. The resulting argument is a surprising exploration of language and meaning. The poem was selected for the 2018 Best American Poetry anthology. ~~ The Video ~~ Produced by: Blank Verse Films & New Eve Media Director: Mike Gioia Cinematographer: Jacob Spence Sound Recordist: Paul Massel Editor: Jacob Spence & Adam Cardenas ~~The Poem~~ This day my students and I play the Opposites Game with a line from Emily Dickinson. "My life had stood a loaded gun", it goes and I write it on the board, pausing so they can call out the antonyms – My Your Life Death Had stood ? Will sit A Many Loaded Empty Gun ? Gun. For a moment, very much like the one between lightning and it’s sound, the children just stare at me, and then it comes, a flurry, a hail storm of answers – Flower, says one. No, Book, says another. That's stupid, cries a third, the opposite of a gun is a pillow. Or maybe a hug, but not a book, no way is it a book. With this, the others gather their thoughts and suddenly it’s a shouting match. No one can agree, for every student there’s a final answer. It's a song, a prayer, I mean a promise, like a wedding ring, and later a baby. Or what’s that person who delivers babies? A midwife? Yes, a midwife. No, that’s wrong. You're so wrong you’ll never be right again. It's a whisper, a star, it's saying I love you into your hand and then touching someone's ear. Are you crazy? Are you the president of Stupid-land? You should be, When's the election? It’s a teddy bear, a sword, a perfect, perfect peach. Go back to the first one, it's a flower, a white rose. When the bell rings, I reach for an eraser but a girl snatches it from my hand. Nothing's decided, she says, We’re not done here. I leave all the answers on the board. The next day some of them have stopped talking to each other, they’ve taken sides. There's a Flower club. And a Kitten club. And two boys calling themselves The Snowballs. The rest have stuck with the original game, which was to try to write something like poetry. It's a diamond, it's a dance, the opposite of a gun is a museum in France. It's the moon, it's a mirror, it's the sound of a bell and the hearer. The arguing starts again, more shouting, and finally a new club. For the first time I dare to push them. Maybe all of you are right, I say. Well, maybe. Maybe it's everything we said. Maybe it’s everything we didn't say. It's words and the spaces for words. They're looking at each other now. It's everything in this room and outside this room and down the street and in the sky. It's everyone on campus and at the mall, and all the people waiting at the hospital. And at the post office. And, yeah, it's a flower, too. All the flowers. The whole garden. The opposite of a gun is wherever you point it. Don’t write that on the board, they say. Just say poem. Your death will sit through many empty poems. ~~ About Blank Verse Films ~~ Blank Verse Films is a project to film poetry started by filmmaker Mike Gioia. All of our poetry videos are posted on this Youtube channel. You can subscribe to the channel and stay updated by clicking here: ~~~The Mandatory Social Media Stuff~~~ Blank Verse Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Brendan Twitter - Instagram -
"You Can Call Me Ma'am" by Francesca Bell - (poem video)

"You Can Call Me Ma'am" by Francesca Bell - (poem video)

Francesca Bell's debut book of poetry "Bright Stain" will be out with Red Hen Press this spring. Visit her website for more information by clicking here: For more poetry videos, subscribe to Blank Verse video newsletter: ~~ The Poet ~~ Francesca Bell is a poet who lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. Francesca has written poetry for many years, and is publishing her first full book of poetry "Bright Stain" this spring with Red Hen Press. She also translates German poetry.  ~~ The Poem ~~ "You Can Call Me Ma'am" by Francesca Bell Having turned forty-two, having menstruated lo these thirty years, most often on my hands and knees or curled, drugged and sobbing, around the hot water bottle. Having borne three children and been stretch-marked and bloated beyond recognition. Having pushed those babies from my womb as each skull crowned like live coals against my perineum and lodged for good measure up my ass. Having bled and sweated and nursed, breasts rock hard, nipples like paper doused in lighter fluid and each child’s mouth a struck match. Having pled and dragged three children to inoculations and speech therapists, to grocery stores and Jiffy Lube and my gynecologist’s office, to one hundred and eighty school drop-offs, and three hundred sixty-five whining, shrieking bedtimes every year. Having brushed, my God, so many reluctant teeth and forced the good, green vegetables down and been pissed, shit, and retched on until now, all are more or less righted and headed willingly where they ought to be going. Having, as I said, turned forty-two, I don’t want you calling me Miss, or acid-washing even one line from my face, or lopping off the part of my belly my children made soft. I don’t want you lifting the breasts they pulled down while they took my good milk or repairing the scar on my nipple where one bit down and left a searing infection, a wound that puckered like a mouth and oozed into my bra while I nursed through it. I don’t even want you rinsing the new silver from my hair. I like its steel. I am as sharp as a thistle now no deer can lop into a nub. Let me tell you, at forty-two, it is a deep, delicious pleasure not to be dewy or fresh as a fucking daisy. ~~ The Film ~~ Produced by: Blank Verse Films & New Eve Media. Directed by: Mike Gioia Cinematography by: Jacob Spence Sound by: Paul Massell Produced by: Mary Massell Edited by: Jacob Spence ~~ The Links ~~ Blank Verse Instagram - Blank Verse Twitter - Blank Verse Facebook - Francesca's Instagram - Francesca's website -
"The Poetry Editor's Penis" by Francesca Bell - (Rattle Poetry Video)

"The Poetry Editor's Penis" by Francesca Bell - (Rattle Poetry Video)

Rattle magazine presents episode one of their new video series "A Poet's Space". This month they feature Francesca Bell's funny poem "I Long To Hold The Poetry Editor's Penis In My Hand", which appeared in issue #40, Summer 2013. You can learn about future poetry videos by Blank Verse Films at our website: ~~ The Poet ~~ Francesca Bell is a poet from Marin County, CA. Her first book of poetry, "Bright Stain", will be published by Red Hen Press this Spring. You can visit her website here: ~~ The Poem ~~ I Long To Hold The Poetry Editor's Penis In My Hand By Francesca Bell and tell him personally, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to pass on this. Though your piece held my attention through the first few screenings, I don’t feel it is a good fit for me at this time. Please know it received my careful consideration. I thank you for allowing me to have a look, and I wish you the very best of luck placing it elsewhere. ~~ The Video ~~ This film was produced by Blank Verse Films in partnership with Rattle magazine as part of a new series, "A Poet's Space" Directed by Mike Gioia Cinematography by Nate Brice Edited by Mike Gioia ~~ Media for the Socially Inclined ~~ Instagrams Francesca Bell - Blank Verse - Rattle Magazine - Twitters Francesca Bell - Blank Verse Films - Rattle -
Edna St. Vincent Millay

"My candle burns at both ends;

It will not last the night;

But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--

It gives a lovely light!"

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate."

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A video magazine about poetry