Thursday, January 30, 2014

Prodigal



In honor of Thursday, an excerpt from one of my one act plays. Brace yourself. Monday has arrived.-E. Farris


 

(JAMES finally gets up and opens the door. MONDAY stands on the other side. JAMES is not pleased.)

MONDAY
Where are you?

JAMES
Here.

MONDAY
No dip, Sherlock. I mean, where were you? Why are you here and not there? You were supposed to be there a half hour ago. I thought you were dead. I thought our cover had been blown. I thought you’d been kidnapped. But no! You’re schmoozing with some bimbo!

JAMES
She’s my sister.

MONDAY
(Draws back) I thought I knew you.

JAMES
What? No. Stop that. She got picked up by a cop. It’s not a problem.

MONDAY
Clearly it is because you are here and not at the drop site! (JAMES is clearing his throat and making various shut up gestures.) This is a matter of national security! You are sacrificing national security for some bimbo!

JAMES
Sister!

LEILA
This your partner in crime?

JAMES
Partner in what? No.

MONDAY
Yes.

JAMES
Hang on a minute.

MONDAY
Shut up, Shorty. Nobody cares. (Storms over to LEILA, looks her over.) Tch.

LEILA
Tch yourself. You’re my brother’s partner?

MONDAY
Obviously. And you’re the infamous sister.

LEILA
(Intrigued) Infamous? What sort of infamous?

JAMES
Monny, please go outside. I’ll meet you there.

MONDAY
Can’t. I’m meeting the infamous sister.

JAMES
What happened to national security?

MONDAY
We’ve got time.

JAMES
We’ve got time.

MONDAY
(To Leila) Leila, right?

LEILA
Yeah, you?

MONDAY
No. I’m Monday.

LEILA
Monday?

MONDAY
Wednesday was taken. I’m Monday Weekly.

LEILA
Is that a joke?

MONDAY
My parents thought so.

JAMES
Monny. Out.

MONDAY
(To James) You’re a filthy liar, you know that.

JAMES
I—what?

MONDAY
You didn’t tell her, you filthy liar.

JAMES
Tell her what?

MONDAY
Tell her what? I can’t believe the day has come when a man has the nerve to look at me and say ‘tell her what?’ What if she was our baby and you had to tell her I was her mother? All you would say is, ‘tell her what.’ What if she went her whole life not knowing because you had the gall to say ‘tell her what.’

JAMES
She’s my sister!

MONDAY
You would make a terrible episode of Oprah.

LEILA
Not to be redundant, but tell me what?

MONDAY
He’s a secret agent.

JAMES
Monday!

MONDAY
Starting Monday.

JAMES
Monny!

MONDAY
Just kidding. He’s always been an agent.

JAMES
You can’t just tell people things like that!

MONDAY
She’s your only living family. She gets to know. (To Leila) Well, not always. Can you imagine, infant Jamsie as an agent? No, but for a while. (“whispers”) Youngest agent in a century. He’s hot stuff.

LEILA
(To James) Is she kidding?

JAMES
…No. No, she’s not.

LEILA
You’re…a secret agent. Like James Bond.

JAMES
Kind of.

LEILA
So hold on a minute. You work for the government and spy on people and things.

JAMES
More or less.

LEILA
So you find people for a living?

JAMES
I guess so. Yeah.

LEILA
Huh.

JAMES
Huh?

LEILA
Just, interesting, you know.

JAMES
What is?

LEILA
Well, all those resources and things and you never bothered to go looking for me. Just find that interesting.

MONDAY
This is a bigger can of worms than I thought.

Monday, January 27, 2014

it's cold and other things

So, I couldn't decide what I wanted to discuss here today. I'm not on my usual computer so I can't post a writing of mine unless I make it up on the spot and it's too cold for that nonsense. I couldn't think of a topic to discuss. Talking about recent achievements on my part seemed, well, who cares about that? Boring. And it is far too cold for a lesson, something all schools of every kind should be taking note of but aren't. Not that I'm bitter.

But I still had a dilemma. What to post? I insisted on posting something because it's been a few days since I was here last and I did say I'd try to be 'regular' in some aspect. I thought about regaling you all with fun facts, but the only fun fact on my mind is the fact that is less than 0 degrees Fahrenheit and I still have to walk everywhere. Not that I'm bitter.

So I thought about it. I scrolled through past postings, through my online documents, my emails, my notebooks, Google, searching for something of mild interest to put here. The result does not merit this long windup, unless you're me and really find this sort of thing interesting. I could have told you about Crazy Dave I suppose, but I didn't think about that. Hmm. Another day perhaps. Someone remind me.

So! What is the post for today? NEW WORDS!!











Well, I'm excited at any rate. And these are pretty spectacular words if I do say so myself. Ready? Here they are!

Paucity-shortage, noun
Puerile-childish,  adj
Eldritch-weird, adj
Opine- to express an opinion/to state opinion, verb
Opprobrium-disgrace, noun
Peremptory-dictatorial, adj
Sere-dried and withered, adj
Ablutions-washing, noun
Crepuscular-dim, adj
Ratiocination-logic,noun

And last but not least:

Eleemosynary-charitable, adj


I know, right? Pretty swell, eh?

So, how do you use these lovely new words you just learned? In sentences. 

For example:

We have a paucity of warm things in America right now.
It is puerile to build a snowman (in sub-zero temperatures).
Do you know how eldritch it is to be out in public pretending you have ice powers?
You can opine about liking summer, but it won't make it warmer.
It is an opprobrium to talk about how warm your state is. (I'm looking at you California).
Speaking in a peremptory tone to the snow will not order it away.
The sere tree leaves are buried in the snow.
The cold has affected the water pipes to the point that I might as well just engage in snow ablutions instead of showers.
I have been pronouncing crepuscular wrong for quite some time.
I applaud your ratiocination in moving the thermostat up five degrees for every degree below zero.
Giving me your extra blanket in this cold was most eleemosynary of you.


I'm not bitter--ly cold.

So that's all the words for you today. Disclaimer: I love winter. I rather love the cold. 










Elsa out.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

check out the new skin--also a lesson in poetry

Yeah, how about that? Background changes. Should be nice. I got tired of the text changing colors on me for no apparent reason. Hopefully, this helps that problem. So that's fun.







What else is fun? Writing.

More fun than just that? Writing poetry.

What's that you say? Poetry isn't fun?






Just kidding. Don't go. Come back. Hey! I said come back! Okay. Joking aside. What's fun about poetry? Well, what's not?

No really. Poetry is such a fluid form. It can go from being very poetic, very abstract to something akin to prose. Heck, prose poetry is a thing and the line between the two is finer than frog's hair. (Fyi, frog's don't have hair). There is very little that can't be done with poems. They are flexible and changeable.










(^Poetry. That's what it looks like. That's what it does. It's a fact. And yes, if you were wondering, it does on occasion kill people. Metaphorically maybe, emotionally perhaps, but that is death nonetheless. [Also, how about these gifs eh? I'm moving up in the world. Getting with the times. Yeah!])

Poetry also has many many genres. Narrative, lyric, ekphrastic, etc, etc. And comes in more forms than you know what to do with, both fixed and free. Which brings me to my next point. What's the difference between fixed form and free form?

Many people believe that free form is

And that fixed form is

But it's not. A professor I had multiple times (because she is genius at writing) likened them to a corset and a leotard. Now for those who don't know, a corset is a garment intended to shape and hold the body for an aesthetic purpose. 
A corset!
Changing that definition slightly gives us the purpose of fixed form. It is a form intended to shape and hold the poem for an aesthetic (etc, etc, etc) purpose. It's restricting, yes, but not suffocating. (Except perhaps in Georgia in July). It provides guidelines and an outward hand to help focus the poem. Many poets, and beginner poets, find that conforming to a specified form is actually quite freeing. It also challenges to think outside the box as you try to shape your idea into the form you've chosen. 

Alternatively is the free form, or the leotard. A leotard is a skin tight garment much like a bathing suit that is often worn by dancers. It keeps the body contained without prohibiting movement in anyway. Free form isn't that you do whatever you like, it's that you create your own form. Like a dance. Even an improvised dance. You may not be going through a rehearsed piece, but it is comprised of rehearsed steps. You plie as you were taught, but the next step could be completely different from any piece you've previously learned. In poetry this comes across in choosing techniques and applying them. Maybe in one poem, you comprise it of couplets, but do however many couplets you choose in whatever meter you like. Or perhaps you prescribe to a particular meter. 

So endeth the lesson. :) Have a nice day. This has been poetry with E. Farris. Tune in next time to...well, who knows what's next time?

-E. Farris

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shawarma



Nothing says victory like the tired collapse into chairs,
The slump of weary spines and drop of dusty heads.
Victory is not the cheering in the streets or waving of happy hands;
It is exhausted step and disbelieving grin and quiet slap on the back.
It is clearing the rubble away mere hours after it fell.
It is dragging oneself to a table to indulge an ignored need.
It is six of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes sitting without a word
Around a dust covered table eating their silent meal.

The celebration comes later, after every hard-won fight.
The fanfare and parties and fireworks ablaze.
But the true sign of victory is the immediate relief,
The crumple, the “oh yay,” with bare excitement,
The slow understanding that the day is won,
The crawl into bed at three in the morning,
The paper completed, the heroics over.

Later, of course, exuberance comes, but
Right now, after the work is completed
The efforts paid off, the victory earned,
Just sit and rest and stare and marvel,
At the little heroics, but heroics nonetheless.



[An ekphrastic poem. What is an ekphrastic poem, you ask? I'm so glad you did. An ekphrastic poem is a.) fun to say and b.) one that holds a conversation with another piece of work. One example is The Musee des Beaux Arts by W. H. Auden. That is a poem that then brings a painting into the poem, holding the painting in a conversation with the poem. You get three guess what I'm conversing with and the first two don't count. -E. Farris]

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Heart, My Heart



Where is my heart?
Was it taken while I slept,
Cut out with precision,
And hidden with the rest?

Where is my future?
Has it been stolen away,
Evicted by numbers,
Exiled for figures?

Where is my dream now?
Crushed by authority,
Devoured by those
With less understanding?


They replace it, my heart,
My heart, my heart,
Their heart they don’t know,
They replace it with cold.
They replace it with bone,
Empty and hollow
Devoid of a soul.


I did not know
That my heart wasn’t useful,
That it served no purpose,
That it was dead.

I did not know
That my dream was uninspired,
That it was just a distraction,
That it was moot.

 
I did not know
That it was on the block,
Waiting for the axe, the hangman,
Execution.

No one warned me
That my beliefs were a lie,
That I did not have the power
To change the human soul.


My heart, my heart,
I weep for you now.
I cradle your pieces
In blood-streaked hands.
I won’t forget; I won’t move on,
Not until they have
Remembered
You are a necessity.


Where is my heart?
It’s here in my hand.
It’s here in your mind.
It’s here—

And never will go.


Dedicated to the AU Theatre Department. 

[Hello everyone!!! I know. It's been awhile, but I'M BACK. 






So that's exciting. Even better, I'm back and I brought a poem! You know, that I wrote. Where have I been? Busy. I know I said I was taking time off, and I was, except it turned out to be taking time off to be busy.
So what have I been up to? Writing. Lots. Brace yourselves folks. Stuff is going to be happening around here. 
Just....
Not very regularly. I have about six enormous projects that I'm working on this half of the year which is very exciting for me, but not so much for you lot. However, you'll still get lovely updates here. The usual random postings--poems, exercises, etc--more postings about me, things, etc, and perhaps most importantly, Chapter Two of The Order is coming soon! Also, new things coming, namely tips and things on writing. 

So! Stay tuned, folks. Life's going to get interesting.