Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I am writing a book.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Emma is Turning in Her Grave

I submitted some stuff to the Spectrum, our student publication here at NW this is one of the poems I submitted, along with "A Dream Between Friends" posted earlier, and a few others I may post here at some point.


Here our sea-washed, sunset fates shall stand at the fence

with the Mother of Exiles, today you leave thousands homeless

From her beacon-hand hangs a no trespassing sign

The mighty woman with a torch says “You tired, you poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free we have no room, jobs or desire for thee.”

These shores are teeming with refugees looking for safety

You build your wall.
Emma is turning in her grave

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Dream Between Friends

Don’t change your plans for me

but if I asked would you

would you change your entire life

your life and our economy

this world as you know it is not as it will be

I’m talking about living together

living and moving with the seasons

berries and leaves our nutrition

nutrition from the earth

No more higher education

mass transit or volkswagon beetles

no trendy computers

environmental destruction or wall maps

no time pieces

electrical boxes or choo choo trains

no wars

infanticide or world hunger


Just us

Sunday, October 7, 2007

REHEAT: A play in One Act

At rise: Claire sitting at an elegantly furnished table, obviously set for two.

(Enter Douglas)
DOUGLAS
Are you ready Claire?
CLAIRE
Yes dad, I’m a pro, Jace should be here any minute!
DOUGLAS
Okay, I don’t want to put any undue pressure on you but I just want to remind you that grandma Detta will be dropped off here in half an hour.
CLAIRE
(grudgingly)
Yes father, I know, and she’ll kill us all if I’m not at least engaged…
DOUGLAS
The only reason your grandmother let me date your mom in the first place was because I promised to not even kiss her until we were engaged.
CLAIRE
And?
DOUGLAS
What Odetta doesn’t know, doesn’t hurt her. (smile and half beat) But somehow she still found out and threatened to call off the wedding.
CLAIRE
Oh dad, I never knew you were such a rebel!
DOUGLAS
Well, your mother used to have a sister you know?
CLAIRE
(Confused)
Really?
DOUGLAS
(nonchalantly)
Yeah, she was pushing up daisies at the age of sixteen after she got pregnant at a party.
CLAIRE
(disbelief)
Sure dad.
DOUGLAS
Doctors said she died in her sleep from complications of the pregnancy, but the local legend is that dear Odetta drugged her water. I believe the legend.
CLAIRE
Right!
DOUGLAS
I know this sounds outrageous Claire, but in Odetta’s youth she saw a girl about your age hung by her feet from a tree by her parents so that she wouldn’t be a young single mother. I think it has something to do with an obscure sect of the Amish community she was raised in. They brainwashed her or something.
CLAIRE
Dad, I’ve heard that story a dozen times now and every day it gets more exaggerated.
DOUGLAS
I told you the truth because it’s more pressing now than it’s ever been.
(a beat)
What number is this?
CLAIRE
Twelve.
(doorbell)
Go!
(She attempts to push her father out of the room, but he turns to give her a hug)
Don’t mess up okay?
DOUGLAS
Trust me, I’m a pro.
(enter Jace, a skinny young man whose fashion is about 10 years behind the times, he is very awkward, yet high-strung and overly enthusiastic to be in Claire’s presence.)
CLARIE
Yeah…
DOUGLAS
You’d best get the door. (hasn’t released the hug, has his eyes closed and savoring the moment)
CLAIRE
(annoyed) Right, the door. (pushing her way out of the hug)

(Claire and Douglas turn and Claire almost runs into Jace who is standing directly behind her now, Douglas runs into the table, he picks up the spoon that he knocked onto the floor, he blows hot breath on it, wipes it on his shirt and replaces it on the table. He then scurries to the kitchen, the two do not notice his actions)
JACE
(As Claire is turning before running into him)
Hi!
CLAIRE
Shit! You scared me.
JACE
Sorry
CLAIRE
How did you get in here?
JACE
Oh, it was open.
CLAIRE
No; it wasn’t.
JACE
Oh, well, the… (makes a flapping gesture with his hand)
CLAIRE
The doggie door!?
JACE
Well, if you put it that way… I’d prefer to call it an alternative entrance…
CLAIRE (to herself)
I remember now.
JACE
Remember what?
CLAIRE
Nothing, thanks for coming.
(They share an awkward moment)
Oh, come in!
(They move toward the table)
JACE
What should I… (indicating flowers, surprises Claire)
CLAIRE
Let’s see (makes a quick scan of the table, finds nothing)
(Calls offstage) Douglas, a vase please!
JACE
So… you look, great.
CLAIRE
Yeah thanks, sit down, please.
JACE
Sure
CLAIRE
My da… uh, Douglas will be out here shortly with our meal.
JACE
Neat. I wasn’t expecting this to all be so fancy.
CLAIRE
Well, Douglas does tend to outdo himself.
(enter Douglas)
DOUGLAS
A vase for the lovely lady and her date this evening, Aaron. (Takes the flowers from Claire and puts them in the vase and places them on the table)
CLAIRE
(obviously annoyed at her father) Thank you, DOUGLAS! How is the food looking?
DOUGLAS
It’s coming shortly, on the menu we have King Salmon, a side of steamed green beans, with a chocolate cheesecake.
JACE
That sounds fantastic!
CLAIRE
Yes, it does, you just keep getting better.
DOUGLAS
(to Jace) Let me get that for you. (Takes neatly folded napkin off of the table and places it in his lap) (an audible whisper) Go for it Adam! (leaves quickly for kitchen)
JACE
(confused)
So, I haven’t talked to you in a long time, Claire.
CLAIRE
It’s true.
JACE
How’s school, are you ready to go back?
CLAIRE
Well, to tell the truth Jace, I’m not going back right now… things came up.
JACE
Oh, okay.
CLAIRE
My grandmother is moving in with us today and, well, it’s just a big mess.
JACE
(looking around) Looks pretty clean to me.
CLAIRE
The reason I called you today was to… uh, see you again.
JACE
Cool, this was completely unexpected, I love surprises!
CLAIRE
Well, there’s more surprises to come.
JACE
Oh goody, I can’t wait! (claps his hands like a five-year-old at Christmas)
CLAIRE
I just need you to know something about me.
JACE
Yeah, shoot.
CLAIRE
Well, I kind of… got around this summer.
JACE
Oh, I know, I’ve seen you driving around town all summer.
CLAIRE
You watched me this summer?
JACE
No, I mean, yes, saw you once… or twice.
CLAIRE
Whatever, what I need to tell you is that I’m (places hand on her stomach)… you know.
JACE
(doesn’t know what she’s talking about)
Oh yeah, well hey, that’s just fantastic!
CLAIRE
Right, it would be okay, but my grandmother is going to kill me when she gets here, in like 20 minutes.
JACE
(still clueless)
Oh yeah, well just don’t tell her.
CLAIRE
Right, like she’s not going to find out. I’m surprised you didn’t say anything when you came in.
(Enter Douglas)
DOUGLAS
How are you two doing, getting on well it appears.
CLAIRE
Douglas, will you pour us some water?
DOUGLAS
My pleasure (Picks up water picture from the table and pours in Jace’s glass)
For you, Jared.
(then to Claire’s positions Claire’s glass so that it falls into her lap and she starts to clean it up with her napkin and realizes it’s not enough.)
DOUGLAS
Oh my, I’m so sorry Claire, please forgive me.
CLAIRE
It will be okay, I’ll just go change quickly (to Jace) I’ll be right back, don’t start without me. (she marches off quickly)
DOUGLAS
(Glad his plan worked out perfectly, he takes her seat a the table, reaches across and takes Jace’s hand in his)
Jared, listen, Claire needs you right now (Jace, not understanding, begins to stand) No, sit. She needs someone in her life, catch my drift?
JACE
Oh, sure.
DOUGLAS
I’m serious about this, we need you to help her out with this problem.
JACE
You bet
DOUGLAS
I’m sure she already told you about her grandmother.
JACE
(He has still not caught on by this point)
Oh, yes, she sounds like a very nice lady.
DOUGLAS
(Sarcastically)
Right, very nice.
JACE
I can’t wait to meet her!
DOUGLAS
If you just do what I’ve asked, and take care of Claire, no one will get hurt, I promise.
JACE
Of course, I’ve got it all under control Douglas!
DOUGLAS
Great, so when she comes back you’ll ask her then right?
JACE
Sure, why not?
DOUGLAS
Great, I’m going to go check on the fish.
JACE
Okay, see you again soon!
DOUGLAS
(leaving in the direction of the kitchen, he stops and puts his hand on the shoulder of Jace)
Don’t forget, right away okay?
JACE
You bet.
(Douglas exits as Claire enters from opposite direction)
Welcome back!
CLAIRE
Oh, thanks, Douglas didn’t bother you did he?
JACE
Well, he did do this thing where he held my hand and talked about something that I didn’t understand. Now I have to ask…
CLAIRE
Yes?
JACE
Does he do drugs, because I heard that people who do drugs are really…
CLAIRE
What!? No! I mean, I don’t think so. What did he talk to you about? Is there something you need to ask me? (prepares herself to receive ‘the question’)
JACE
Well, he asked me to take care of you… Does he want you dead? Claire, he scared me a little.
CLAIRE
No, Jace, he doesn’t want me dead, he’s trying to keep me safe. Did he tell you about my grandma Detta?
JACE
Yes, she sounds very nice, I can’t wait to meet her.
CLAIRE
(puzzled)
Right, I’m sure. She’s part of the reason you’re here today, I hope that’s okay; that you don’t feel used.
JACE
No way, I LOVE meeting grandmas, they’re always a lot of fun, such easy going people. It must be because they’ve all been though so much in their lives that they don’t feel the need to worry about anything anymore. I want to be just like that when I’m old.
CLAIRE
Yeah… my grandmother is a killer… actually, she’s on her way here now.
JACE
I know, I know, everyone thinks their grandmother is the best one, let’s not make this into a competition.
CLAIRE
(conceding)You’re right. (calls offstage) Douglas, I think we’re ready!
(Douglas enters immediately, pushing a cart, with food in covered dishes upon it.)
DOUGLAS
Here we are, dinner is served. (purposely drops a cork right next to Jace’s chair) Oups, I’ll get that.
JACE
(Begins to stand)
Oh, no, allow me…
DOUGLAS
(holds Jace down into his chair forcefully by the shoulders)
Listen Mark, you’re going to just sit right there, and don’t touch that cork!
JACE
Oh, you’re too kind.

(As Douglas he bends down to pick up the cork, he pulls out of his pocket a ring box with a note attached to it and places it on Jace’s lap.)
JACE
(Reading aloud)
“Ask her now, you have my permission. –The Dad” (Finally realizing) What, you are… you want me to… you have a… your grandma really is… (standing up and quickly heading for the door) There is no way… your family is weird! (Stops, hurries back to the table, pulls flowers out of vase and again starts heading for the door) if you think I’m… you’ve got another thing coming (continues all the way out of the house)… and you want me, of all people… this is ridiculous, what a waste of time, I could’ve leveled in World Of Warcraft…
(Father and daughter alone again)
DOUGLAS
Well, that was actually pretty close don’t you think?
CLAIRE
(puts on ring in fear of grandmother and throws the box back on the table on her line)
Only because he’s an ignoramus.
DOUGLAS
Would you like some steamed greens?
CLAIRE
No dad, put them back in the microwave! (picks up small notebook and telephone begins to dial, hides it as Jace reenters)
(reenter Jace)
JACE
(out of breath, as if he had just seen a ghost)
I was unlocking the (gasps for air) door to leave… I think (gasps for air) she’s here.
CLAIRE
What!?
DOUGLAS
What!?
JACE
What!?... I mean, grandma, I think (gasps for air) she’s here.
DOUGLAS
What was she doing?
JACE
Watching the driver unload the car.
CLAIRE
Did you just call her grandma?
JACE
Yes, sorry; (short beat) if we don’t… (makes suggestive gesture) she’s going to… (make suggestive gesture) you.
DOUGLAS
What we need to worry about right now is making it look like this never happened.
(Douglas rushes back to the kitchen with the cart)
CLAIRE
(quickly going to table)
Help me.
(Jace starts picking up silverware and glasses)
No! take the corners of the tablecloth.
JACE
But don’t you…
CLAIRE
No, we have a million of these things, did you think you’re the first one I had over?
(they quickly bunch up the corners, we can hear the dishes all clanking together, possibly breaking)
Take it.
(he throws it over his shoulder)
Go! Dad will show you where to put it.
(points to the direction of kitchen)
(we see the water from the pitcher and the glasses dripping onto the floor through the table cloth as Jace scurries toward the kitchen)

JACE
(stopping, sounding defeated)
How many before me?
CLAIRE
Twelve, okay, you’re number twelve, just go!
JACE
(sets down table cloth, reopens and quickly digs through to find ring box, after finding it, runs to Claire, and feeling the need to be traditional in this time of chaos, kneels before her, and opens box)
Marry me?
CLAIRE
(holding up her ringed finger)
I’m already wearing it but, yes!
(she lifts him up by the sides of his face and gives him a peck on the lips)
Now get your ass and the evidence into that kitchen!
JACE
(stunned and stuttering)
Y…Y…es ma’am.
(scurries back to table cloth and takes it with him into the kitchen)
CLAIRE
Shit, all this water.
(realizes the table is empty and there is nothing left in the room for her to clean it up with, begins to take off her shirt, but remembers she is showing and that her grandma will be in the room any second, so she keeps her shirt on and lays down on the floor to clean it up with her clothes in tact, she does this by rolling and sliding around in the wet spots)
(reenter Douglas and Jace)

JACE
What are you doing?!
DOUGLAS
You shouldn’t be rolling around on the floor in your condition.
(they pick her up, she is thoroughly soaked)
ODETTA (from offstage)
Douglas! Your favorite mother-in-law is here!
(enter Odetta)
I got these for you dear. (holds out flowers Jace brought earlier)
DOUGLAS
(rushes to her and tries to keep her from seeing the young couple, takes the flowers and throws them in the direction of Jace and Claire, Jace picks them up and hands them back to Claire)
(Claire and Jace are now frozen as if they believed that if they didn’t move she wouldn’t notice them, Douglas waves them away but they ignore him, both smiley cardboard cut-outs)
Yes, my favorite and only. (embraces her) You’re so early… How was your trip Odetta?
ODETTA
Oh, it was fine child, I was able to sleep most of the way. Stan is my best driver, but he’s gone now.
DOUGLAS
(surprised)
Oh…
ODETTA
What are you waving at?
DOUGLAS
Oh, (obviously make it up on the spot) the flies, yes, the flies, they’re terrible in there this time of year…
ODETTA
(turning to see the couple and pointing at them with her cane)
Who are these chumps?
DOUGLAS
Well, Odetta, you remember Claire, you just saw her last month when we came to visit you. And this is her fri…
CLAIRE
(cuts off Douglas)
Nanna Detta, his is my fiancĂ©, Jace, he’s very sweet, you’ll learn to love him.
(cutely smiles at Jace)
JACE
Hello (offers his hand)
ODETTA
(looks smugly at him then at his hand, and back to him)
Douglas, go get my things, they’re in the car park.
DOUGLAS
I don’t think… (stops himself mid-sentence) Jace, would you like to give me a hand?
ODETTA
You can do it yourself, pansy, get outta here!
(Douglas leaves defeated, as he often is by his mother-in-law)
(Odetta, walking heavily on her cane, moves around the couple who has yet to move from their position)

JACE
Can I call you grandma?

(in the following time, Douglas is bringing in bags and boxes, he goes in and out of the house.)

ODETTA
(as she pulls on Claire’s shirt)
Why are you wet as a fish? You’re going to get sick you know.
CLAIRE
Oh, it’s ahh, (obviously make it up on the spot) nothing really, I just took a shower. (smiles at Odetta)
(Jace gives Claire awkward side-hug and smells her wet hair)

ODETTA
You know pretty soon, you won’t be so young and in love, you won’t be smiling forever.
JACE
Actually…
ODETTA
Robert, I’m not done. Before you know it, she’ll be popping out babies left and right, and you’ll be working seven jobs and coming home, tired and angry, to a ravaged house and then you won’t be smiling anymore.
JACE
(opens his mouth and only makes an utterance before Odetta squelches him again, she pushes up his jaw)
ODETTA
I will tell you when to speak Jerry. Next thing you know the two of you will get divorced and not even remember why you were married in the first place. The only thing that will make you smile is when you receive the child support check in the mail, and you only when the cute young brunette looks at you in the supermarket.
CLAIRE
Thanks Nanna, that’s very interesting. (again with the cheesy smile at Jace)
JACE
It sounds like you’ve had a lot of life experiences Nanna.
ODETTA
No, Brian, I just like my soap operas.
So, how long have you two been going at it? (inadvertently pointing at Claire’s stomach with her cane)
JACE
(quick to answer)
Actually, that’s not my… (Claire jabs his side)
Oh, about …(looks at watch and jab)
Ahh… A we… (jab)
Two mo…(jab)
years, we’ve been together two years. (they smiley cheesily at each other)
(Douglas enters final time toting large suitcase)

ODETTA
Oh good how nice when are you going to pop the…?
DOUGLAS
(Quickly interjects)
How would you like to go see your room Odetta?
ODETTA
That sounds nice Douglas. Who are those children in the dining room?
(They exit upstage, suitcase in hand)
(couple watches them leave and finally break their statuesque state and turn to one another looking relieved)

JACE
Wow.
CLAIRE
I know, right? So, let’s get our story straight.

JACE
(covers her mouth with his finger)
First we eat.
(they begin to exit hand in hand to kitchen)

(fade to black)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Brave New World

Lamp lit golden door

Beacon-hand, world wide welcome

Hushed lips, free; like hell.

The Wasteland

One
Library
Mucus
Clean
Ground rule double

One point five
West
Bloop
Clean

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ivory

white

rose pedal

falling on the floor to wither

whether or not someone smelled it's beauty

of summer rains

reins of the vast expanse

expensive

is your style

's and mine not the same

similarities

none that I can see

sea of knowledge

no ledge for it to sit on

the squishy toilet seat

seated in the right groove

paper