Poetry Slam

The past several days have been a whirlwind–and I ain’t even talkin’ about the whole driving to Fargo, getting ready for Robbye’s big debut (which went swimmingly, thank you very much), the friends’ wedding on Saturday, the visiting Grampa Lee on Sunday, and whatnot thang.

No…I am talking about my journey back to STAGGERFORD. For the purposes of fulfilling a lit. agency request to read the script, I revisited my old friends for the first time in about two years.

It’s been insane. In the past 3-4 days, I have completely deconstructed and reconstructed the thing, cut scenes, added scenes, rejiggered scenes, and hacked nearly 17 pages off the script. Yes…it was quite bloated. The result, however, is a working script that finally feels like a movie. Finally feels like I cracked the nut. At least, that’s the feedback I’m getting.

So…off it goes. Happy, happy.

But about the poetry. One of the additions to the script is V.O. poetry, ostensibly authored by the main character (who is probably a pretty good poet), really authored by me (who is probably a pretty lousy poet). It was the most fun part of the rewrite, though…taking some poetry I’d already written–for Robbye, for Pastor Herb Brokering, for a musical about the apostle Paul I will likely never write, for the hell of it–some things from this blog, and some crap right out of the air and crafting it into verse I thought might come out of this character’s head. It gave me a new understanding of Mr. Miles Pruitt.

All that said, here’s a sample. Thought you might enjoy it.

Once upon gazing
At the too glorious sky
Blinked I
A flash
An instant
Thence upon,
Left alone to gawk
Am I
At the sky too late
What has happened?
Why is there a hole
Where the sun used to be?

If we could live in parallel
We might share a separate life together
Fabricate a home complete
A good roof, from the elements to protect
Accomodating walls, for our history to keep
Each room, by our mutual existence to adorn
Building to blessed increase
Toward faces beaming
Our finest yet to mingle
Preserving, rejoicing in
A life well-made
If we could live in parallel

I ache to draw you close
Yet I know that’s not the man
You need me to be
As you, thus, step beyond my reach
I stand in my place
I give you room to spread your wings
Words I yearn to say
I stuff inside this aging case
It’s best this way
You probably know them all by now
By heart, anyway

Last night
Sheets wet
With delirious stirring
A fever broke
And cast me into
A bottomless pool
Look up
I heard
An Heavenly urging
First to stir
Again to labor
Finally to rise
My face
Broke the surface
Gulping open air
First to live
Again to breath
Finally to witness
The milky coming of the day


Now, I need to head off for a run and take a shower. …And put on clean clothes–apparently, for the first time in three days (though I changed shirts yesterday…I think). I have been existing on another plane almost entirely and forgetting the basics of living on this plane…like eating and sleeping and hygiene. Robbye’s gentle nudging (not to mention my mounting B.O.) woke me up to this fact over coffee this morning.


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