View – Georgie

9 Dec

At first sight, the window shows only my reflection in the twilight
But I look through it and onto the street
Where the festival-goers are trashed and spilling out of their wellies
Hands littered by Strongbow cans and signs hang for a full English only fit for a real man.
Overlooking this, a silent back street captures my focus.
A girl stands. She wears a dress flowered by the petals of early spring Crocus,
The type of print that your nose wants bend down, smell and pick up a fragrance.
And knee high socks, whiter than bone. That girl has just been handed a phone.

Two boys next to her, I can’t tell if they’re talking quietly or not at all,
But can see they give her space to take this call.
10 seconds. Her face drops, chest pumps, heart jolts and she dials a number.
The boys walk over but get pushed away by a turned back, they backtrack, stay close enough and mime “What going on?”
But it’s clear questions won’t be answered right now.
30 seconds. And somehow, she looks as though she’s dancing with herself, stepping in fast frantic circles
Taking no care to remove the hair from her face and so it lies over her lashes like a shield of lace.

Her entire body is heaving up and down, cheeks red and sight pinned to the ground.
I want to reach out, give her a paper bag to breathe into and I’m about to get one for myself when…
She looks up. Stares directly into my frozen eyes.
Tears seep, penetrate the glass right then, it seems rude that the window hasn’t turned opaque.
Her socks are slumped along her ankles now and THUMP.
The phone revolts from her hand that aches and smashes down, never again to be used as a messenger of news.

Her legs buckle. Disintegrate. Within the past 3 seconds, the bone has melted out of her flesh, leaving her to plummet to her knees and off the curb.
Sprint. The two boys sit, on either side, cradle her, receive ‘the news’.
And even I, higher up than the trees, can hear the sobbing, through the safety of my window.
It whips the atmosphere so that
The drunks pause. The shop-owner’s turn and the lamp light shifts and shines on her.

The two boys try to help her stand but she can’t. She’s limp. Heavy.
Part of her has just died and it almost feels like she’s unlucky to be alive.
It’s lucky, the boys are muscular for their age, they can’t be older than 17, the soft hair on their lean faces tells me that.
They lift her, I see she tries to help with her weight but those dissolved legs of hers, give way.
She’s like a calf trying to walk for the first time.
She needs to be thrown a rope but all she has are those last words on the end of a phone line.

Cries have evolved into streams of salty, silent water droplets, rolling off her face and onto a pile of regrets and shock and wishes.
The boys pick up each arm and pull them into coat sleeves, letting them hang back.
They slide the hood over her head and help her hide.
Hold her hands and guide her through the darkening twilight.

I was thinking of this for say sumthin’ 3. Would really appreciate some feedback on it. It’s very much a spoken word piece but I can’t be there tonight to read it. x

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12 Responses to “View – Georgie”

  1. mouthypoets December 22, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    This is a strong piece, I get a real sense of watching from above, a voyeur, and yet I feel her pain. I think some of the imagery could be tightened up, but I can see/hear/smell the scene. I’mnit sure a out some of the ‘she felt like’ it throws me a bit because this is so much about YOU watching, if you want to talk about how the people you are watching are feeling, I would prefer you became them for a moment. For me it would be stronger simply to describe the scene and let us know how she is feeling purely from her actions. You have the power in your use ofxeords to achieve this, you don’t need to spell it out. Can’t wait to hear you deliver this arcs session.

    • mouthypoets December 22, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      Meant to say, this is Anne by the way and apologies for typos!

  2. Mouthypoets December 25, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    Firstly I agree with anne on everything- great access of the senses an also great use of specificity and therefore a great sense of context and also authenticity; the strongbow and full English signs etc.

    Also great poetic phrasing; ‘spilling out of their wellies’ and the description of her legs disintegrating.

    I think anne is right – I think it will be an interesting challenge for you to commit to the use of this narrator watching something so powerful even though you don’t know the course. I might be able to help more with this if you tell me who the narrator is? If you don’t that is fine too.

    On a more word focus can we remove the word twilight – why have you used it?

    Otherwise I think alot of the other tightening will happen when we hone down the role of the narrator?

    I am really excited for the development of this piece!!! I think it is an innovative percpective and potentially excitingly innovative piece of performance poetry.

    Debris

    Debris xxx

    • Georgina Jeronymides-Norie December 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

      This is such useful feedback. Thanks to you both. I’m re-working it now.

      Debs, so glad you said the thing about ‘twilight’, I’ve always been a bit off with it but kept it in for the sake of rhyme, but it never felt right. It’s gone.

      I would like to commit to the narrator’s point of view so am going to try and make it concrete. The narrator is the girl herself who, in reality, is me. I think this is why it gets muddled up, it’s hard to separate them which is how the ‘felt’ would have slipped in. This is the event told from myself as a detached observer. There were so many people around that I imagined what someone else would have seen or perceived, what I would have thought from seeing this happen to someone else but being out of ear shot. But for the sake of the listener, the narrator can be anyone, just an onlooker.

      What do you think?

      Georgie xx

      • Georgina Jeronymides-Norie December 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

        I’ve done a bit of work on it.
        Seem more committed?

        View

        At first sight, the window shows only my reflection
        But I look through it and onto the street
        Where festival-goers are trashed and spilling out of their wellies
        Hands littered by Strongbow cans and signs hang for a full English only fit for a real man.
        Overlooking this, a silent back street captures my focus.
        A girl stands. She wears a dress flowered by the petals of early spring Crocus,
        The type of print that your nose wants bend down, smell and pick up a fragrance.
        And knee high socks, whiter than bone. That girl has just been handed a phone.

        Two boys next to her, I can’t tell if they’re talking quietly or not at all,
        But can see they give her space to take this call.
        10 seconds. Her face drops, chest pumps, heart jolts and she dials a number.
        The boys walk over but get pushed away by a turned back, they backtrack, stay close enough and mime “What going on?”
        But it’s clear questions won’t be answered right now.
        30 seconds. And somehow, she looks as though she’s dancing with herself, stepping in fast frantic circles
        Taking no care to remove the hair from her face and so it lies over her lashes like a shield of lace.

        Her entire body is heaving up and down, cheeks red and sight pinned to the ground.
        I want to reach out, give her a paper bag to breathe into and I’m about to get one for myself when…
        She looks up. Stares directly into my frozen eyes.
        Tears seep, penetrate the glass right then, it seems rude that the window hasn’t turned opaque.
        Her socks are slumped along her ankles now and THUMP.
        The phone revolts from her hand that aches and smashes down, never again to be used as a messenger of news.

        Her legs buckle. Disintegrate. Within the past 3 seconds, the bone has melted out of her flesh, leaving her to plummet to her knees and off the curb.
        Sprint. The two boys sit, on either side, cradle her, receive ‘the news’.
        And even I, higher up than the trees, can hear the sobbing, through the safety of my window.
        It whips the atmosphere so that
        The drunks pause. The shop-owner’s turn and the lamp light shifts and shines on her.

        The two boys try to help her stand but she can’t. She’s limp. Heavy.
        Part of her has just died and it almost feels like she’s unlucky to be alive.
        It’s lucky, the boys are muscular for their age, they can’t be older than 17, the soft hair on their lean faces tells me that.
        They lift her, I see she tries to help with her weight but those dissolved legs of hers, give way.
        She’s like a calf trying to walk for the first time.
        She needs to be thrown a rope but all she has are those last words on the end of a phone line.

        Cries have evolved into streams of salty, silent water droplets, rolling off her face and onto a pile of regrets and shock and wishes.
        The boys pick up each arm and pull them into coat sleeves, letting them hang back.
        They slide the hood over her head and help her hide.
        Hold her hands and guide her through the darkening twilight.

  3. mouthypoets December 28, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    So it really worked – that’s why I was watching but felt her pain, they are the same person. I’m tempted to say try writing a version without personal pronouns -not for a real draft, but just as am exercise to take all the ownership out of it, leave you with the bare observations- I do think you could deliver this as is and achieve what you were aiming for, but as Deb was asking me, how far do you want to be pushed? It would be a shame to over work it though.

  4. mouthypoets December 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Hey Georgie, Jim here.

    I’m coming into this after a lot’s already been said, and like Anne, you don’t want to overwork a piece. But in a way, there’s never harm in expressing response and additional suggestions to writing, it’s always your call at the end of day.

    I loved:

    ‘spilling out of their wellies’ ‘whips the atmosphere’ ‘lamp light shifts’. Just a handful of stand-out innovation where I can clearly viualise and feel in a really unique way.

    The narration is all there as is the descriptive character of this girl, so just a few small phrases/lines I wasn’t so sure of:

    ‘regrets and shocks and wishes’ – the first two are suitably negative and desperate, whereas the final ‘wishes’ seems very positive and dreamy, does it take away from the raw reality of how helpless she is feeling?

    ‘a full english only fit for a real man’ – This confused me a little as to its importance. Were the signs literally advertising that, or is it a subtle nod to the boys that will feature later in the piece? The character turns away from it, so I’m wondering of its relevance?

    Nice work, excited to hear this read aloud as I think as said, it’ll make a really engaging performance piece.

  5. mouthypoets January 2, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    OMG I have tried to write this feedback 3 times and wordpress keeps mashing it up so I am doing it from a word doc now. Hopefully it will work!

    You are definitely getting very close and I really like that you are detached enough to cut i.e. the twilight. That is healthy and a good sign for your future development! I think you are going in the right directions but I am going to be way harder core with you than Jim and Anne. Because that is what works for me, I like to learn hardcore 😀

    I have risen to Anne’s challenge…

    Dose it matter who the narrator is? It sounds like (from your previous comment) that actually it doesnt, this is one of many strangers that witnessed this. So the my detracts from that and makes the reader feel like there is a relationship between the observer and the observed. So what I have done bellow is pulled out all the bits that characterise the narrator.

    I have also cut out some words around some images. Jim is write, your poetic use of language and wordplay is wikid. And you are so good at this that sometimes you use one word too many and the images become to cluttered for the reader – me and Jim also do this! And in fact I think this is a good way to write because the editing process is simple, just tidy up the space around the image. Which is what I have done below.

    This is more of an example to show you how simple this last edit needs to be. Feel free to use and not use as much of what I have done as you like 🙂 Tell me what you think? Because I think the last step of editing this is; cleaning up the images, cutting out the narrator and addressing the following cliches; ‘face drops’ ‘chest pumps’ ‘heart jolts’ ‘fast frantic circles’ – think replace then with a metaphor or a simile. What does she look like? I have put my example in my editing version. I am pretty hard core with the editing, with everyone, so make sure you take this as a complement, I dedicate this much time to pushing you because I know by doing 2, 3, 4 edits you are learning what it is like in the real world of publication and I know you are heading toward that standard.

    I am really excited for what will be the next steps – looking at the accuracy of every work then performance and line breaks (on that note ignore the line breaks in this one, for some reason it wiped my formatting.)

    View

    Trashed festival-goers are spilling out of their wellies
    Hands littered with Strongbow cans and signs hang for a full English only fit for a real man.
    Overlooking this, a silent back street captures focus.
    A girl stands. She wears a dress flowered by early spring Crocus,
    The type of print that noses want to bend down to.
    And knee high socks, whiter than bone. She’s handed a phone.
    Two boys next to her, they’re either talking quietly or not at all,
    They give her space to take the call.
    10 seconds. All the moisture pours from her face like a grape and her body piles inwards. Chest arresting. She dials a number.
    The boys walk over but get pushed away by her turned back, they backtrack, stay close enough and mime “What going on?”
    Questions won’t be answered right now.
    30 seconds. She’s stepping, she’s stepping, she’s stepping.
    Past the sound of cans and grass and soil and into the rock.
    She doesn’t remove the hair from her face. It shields her lashes like lace.
    Her entire body is heaving up and down, cheeks red and sight pinned to the ground.
    She needs a paper bag.
    She looks up. Stares directly.
    Her socks are slumped along her ankles now and THUMP.
    She revolts the phone from her hand that aches and smashes down, never again to be used as a messenger of news.(<— I would like a description of the sound of the phone rather than this please? It seems forced, like you said it because it sounded good rather than made sense.)

    Her legs disintegrate. Within the past 3 seconds, the bone has melted out of her flesh. She plummets from the curb to her knees.
    Sprint. The two boys sit, on either side, cradle her, she speaks (how?).
    Higher than the trees: the sobbing, through the safety of neighboring windows.
    The drunks pause. The shop-owner’s turn and the lamp light shifts and shines on her.
    The two boys try to help her stand but she can’t. She’s limp. Heavy.
    She looks unlucky to be alive.
    It’s lucky, the boys are muscular for their age, they can’t be older than 17, with soft hair on their lean faces tells.
    They lift her,
    She’s like a calf trying to walk for the first time.

    Cries have evolved into streams of salty, silent water droplets, rolling off her face and onto a pile.
    The boys pick up each arm and pull them into coat sleeves, letting them hang back.
    They slide the hood over her head and help her hide.
    Hold her hands and guide.

    • mouthypoets January 5, 2012 at 7:27 am #

      I like it… but is it Georgie now? But it really demonstrates what you can do with this. I feel it is stronger with the identity of the viewer removed, but you may want to keep the link between viewer and narrator? In which case maybe try a version where you over play that and so find a place somewhere between the two versions.

  6. Georgina Jeronymides-Norie January 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    Crap. I put up the wrong version!!! Just realised!
    It’s quite a lot different than the one I posted but I’ll take your feedback and show you an updated piece taking everything said into consideration. Thank you! Georgie x

    • mouthypoets January 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

      The second version you mean? We’ll get to see it/hear it on Friday I hope.

      • Georgina Jeronymides-Norie January 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

        The second version. I’m not back in Nottingham until the 14th Jan though 😦

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