Poetry Month – Day 6

“Chicago”

Long city streets packed with countless angry, screaming cars
crossed by tracks that groan under the weight of the rushing L’.
A million windows, shades open in the dark, replace the stars.
Below we juggle coats, gloves, pepper spray, groceries, mail.

Always running late. Always my fault. Always blame the train.
“Cigarettes! Candy! Socks!” New day. New guy. Same yell.
Look up, curse the sky, clear at eight but now there’s rain
Steam curls up off the sidewalks, raises the old city smell.

Glancing in packed lobbies, longing to see a fancy show
but instead wandering side streets. Warning instincts swell.
“Hey girl! Want some fun?” I ignore him. “You fucking ho!”
Back on my street. Safer, not safe. Streetlights dim and pale.

Hard place of concrete and glass. People packed in tight.
I hear some say open land is where we’re meant to dwell.
But me? I like the the rush, the anonymity, the push, the fight;
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell
(of order).

 

***The last line is from on of my favorites, “Possibilities”, by Wislawa Szymborska***

Poetry Month – Day 4

when it’s just me down at the sea
i ponder the fish and the whales
where have they been where do they go
don’t they get tired of the swimming

i think of ships and of battles
when it’s just me down at the sea
pirates and parrots and treasures
ignoring the empty black deep

kraken siren octopus squid
great monsters run wild in my mind
when it’s just me down by the sea
i’ll take any friends i can find

past the horizon’s a world full
of laughter and people and fun
a place beyond understanding
when it’s just me down at the sea

Poetry Month – Day 2

“Underground Testing”

I stand on the balcony, facing north.
Out there, not too far, is the DMZ.
A panicked news anchor, the third or fourth,
yells things I don’t understand. But I see
the nuclear symbols flashing. My tea
chills. My hands shake. Am I caught in their cause?
Alone in an apartment with white walls
far too thin to stop an army. My fear
mocks me. Streets are empty. My stomach falls.
Am I clever enough to disappear?

April is Poetry Month!

I’m not a poet, at all. But it’s fun to try new things so this month I’m writing a poem a day as part of a challenge with a group of friends. These are finished poems, they’re just quick tries. But I think it’ll be fun to put them out there and see what happens.

In fact, reading up on types this morning got me excited and I wrote one early. I didn’t realize how many types there were or how many rules forms can have (I really know NOTHING about poetry!) but it lights up my brain in the same way scriptwriting does- the struggle to work within the structure is a puzzle I enjoy.

“A Girlfriend”

I drink my coffee soft and sweet,
disliking things which are bitter.
Averting my eyes from the falling sheet,
I drink my coffee soft and sweet.
Once my heart, this empty street
our love notes dropped as litter.
I drink my coffee soft and sweet,
disliking things which are bitter.

Trust Your Readers (and yourself)

The more scripts I read the more patterns I see. Reading copies of scripts that have produced reveal different patterns than reading a stack of hopefuls, unvetted besides an entry fee and a rough page count.

A major difference, one that I didn’t notice to start with but now that I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it, is confidence. More than half of the scripts I’ve read for for this contest have been written by someone who lacks confidence.

  • He doesn’t think I’ll understand how the lines are to be said by the context. 
    • Puts wrylies under half of the dialogue.
  • She doesn’t trust that her words can convey the tone and emotion of her idea,
    • Adds italics and bolds and caps and underlines all the way through until her script looks like an old Batman comic.
  • He feels like I’m not smart enough to understand what he’s talking about.
    • Puts dictionary definitions and notes in the middle of the page to explain terms, ideas, and even how to pronounce words.
  • She isn’t confident in her role as the creator of this world.
    • Adds notes like “they can ad-lib here” or “we can change this for budget reasons”.
  • He doesn’t want to be the one to actually have to pin things down.
    • Introduces characters with lines such as, “We’ll call him Bob. He’s middle-aged and normal looking.” (rather than “Bob, 37, cat hair on the knees of his cheap suit”).
  • She doesn’t want to be seen as pushy or controlling.
    • Uses “it’s like”, “almost as if”, “maybe”, “I think/feel”, “you could”, etc. in the action lines.

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