Candy Royalle 'Twelve' Cinepoems

The final instalment of Candy Royalle’s cinepoems series arrived this month, bringing the project to completion and maybe, full circle.

TWELVE is a cinepoem project consisting of 12 parts, one per month for one year, in collaboration with film maker Patch Sinclair and composer Ashley Blackmore.

Candy Royalle is a Sydney-based poet and performer who crosses artistic boundaries and collaborates across many forms – visual, audio, musical, poetic. Most recently she has layered her rhythmic words and hypnotic voice with the unique sounds of funk, jazz and soul trio Sloppy Joe, performing around Australia – headed to Melbourne this month (April).

These cinepoems are short, powerful, each a complete world in itself. Viewed now as a whole, the pieces form an intimate, revealing, often uncomfortable insight into the mind of a passionate thinker, into the dynamics of passion itself, the death and the life of a love affair. This last one is stark and the most uncomfortable, as the poet confronts the camera, confronts the ugliness of longing, the screen between us becoming her mirror, our mirror.

Number eleven, posted last month, has become my favourite of the series. Patch Sinclair’s video treatment cuts and stutters the film into fragments. Perhaps it’s become a favourite because it reminds me of home movies of my childhood, the video tape waves of static, the fuzzy outlines of eucalyptus, the heat in the cicada soundtrack. And there’s almost a preaching in Candy’s reading of her poem Citadel of Sighs - and I don’t mean that in an emphatic sense, but more the conviction of faith, the religion of love, and the timelessness of it.

These poems are all in their way struggles or meditations on faith. Faith in love, in self, in seeking, in having. Now that we can watch them all together (and it’s interesting to be watching backwards, from the last to the first, a movement back through time and thought) there is a circular play. There are no answers to these kinds of questions and in our lives we most often move in ever-widening circles, repeating mistakes or successes in love. And, you know, the circle is the centre of life, so this is the natural way of things! Viewing all these videos together, the whole they form is a perfect looping circle.

You can watch the whole series at