Hayley Green – SST7 Headline – Redraft

22 Jun

Changing Rooms


{set in a changing rooms, a young girl surrounded by school girls staring at her}



I am twelve

Standing in a changing room

Girls tiled on both sides

I don’t really know where to look


Girls in changing rooms:

I’m taking first spot behind the showers

Don’t look don’t look



I clam up

Make-up dolls

And curiosity

Making me want to stare

But I divert my eyes to the floor

And try to avoid their glares.


Girls in changing room:

Pop away your tongue

I’m not a lollipop

And this is not a sweet shop


{Narrator: just forward of the scene, reflects}


She spent ten minutes studying her timetable this morning

Two letters alphabetti spaghettied

around the blue and white stripes of her school planner

Her heart, overcooked soup in her chest

That hasn’t heard from puberty yet

Unlike these other girls around her

She has yet to develop breasts



So I take a peak

Probably more out of jealousy


Girls in changing room:


What you looking at lesbo?


She’s looking at me,

She’s dirty




Tuck the peak back inside my head

Stare at the floor again

If I look up

They’re just gunna call me a lesbian



She’s an odd sock, stale

Drenched in the words

she imagines they say

Which wouldn’t be so unfounded

She’s pounded urges so they don’t surge

Through the edges of her skin

Moulded thoughts

To keep within parameters

Of a world she doesn’t understand

Cats her back against tiles

Stands up




I camouflage myself into the background

Towel tiles around my body

Plaster myself into a hiding space

Where no hiding spaces are found



She displaces the feelings

Tumble drying in her stomach

And irons them onto others

She’s stained

Like the tiles on the walls around her

Mosaicing her design

To look more like theirs as they change.

Girls in changing room:

They should be put with the boys

so they can’t look at us,

they’re more like them anyway



She’s not been sewn together quite right

A knitted jumper with one sleeve

Longer than the other

Still stitching new threads

Onto the right places

to look more like them



The door that separates the girls from the boys is open

For me to big toe tip toe towards

And through

Because their bodies match mine

More than the girls’ do


Girls in changing room:

It’s not right that we have to hide

so they can’t see us,

they’re always looking


Girl: Looking, looking

They must have caught me looking



To get caught she must have been looking

So maybe it’s time

she stops tucking these feelings away in a closet

Unfold herself to reveal she’s just not like them

{Turns to young girl}

It’s fine to have these thoughts in your head



But I am twelve

Standing in a changing room

Girls tiled on both sides

And I don’t know where to look




So I’ve tried more of a script layout, does this look better than having it all over the page? I have also tried out having the narrator in 3rd person (it was originally 1st person), do you think this works?

Does it rhyme too much or does it work for this? I think I like it if I’m going to have 3 different voices going along, I don’t think there’s much to it otherwise.

Any feedback welcome 🙂


One Response to “Hayley Green – SST7 Headline – Redraft”

  1. mouthypoets July 3, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Hi Hayley,

    Gutted to see no one has given you any feedback! But I am here and hopefully this is helpful 🙂 A really interesting poem exploring the lines between lots of different places, feelings and issues. It feels honest and important and as I am sure you know by now this is what I personally enjoy about poetry.

    I know this is a lot of detail, as I always do, but this is really all line edit stuff. This poem is really there for the show, I am more challenging specific words and phrases than anything.

    -The phrasing of girls tiled on the sides of a changing room, a really strong image to start and finish on. It feels both familiar and original.
    -I like the lolipop, sweetshop line… though all the sweet references make it sound more flirty than mean, is this what you want? I quiet like it that way, because I think there are undertones of that in this kind of jeering within this kind of age group.
    -I like the image of overcooked soup in her chest; hot, congealed, still edible but somehow less tastey… it is original and interesting and goes with the other food references, an interesting contrast to the sweets in the other girls language.
    -I like the way you explore looking – how it starts en jealously and slowly unravels as something more complicated, it means that it connects with everyone in the audience in some way I think.
    -Like the line about thoughts pounding and surging through skin, rhyme, purpose and clever word choices really coming together in lines like this throughout the poem.
    -Like the use of cat as a verb. It plays on the cliche or ‘catty’ girls in a new and fresh way
    -Really like the narrator section about her body as a mosaic of tiles, being stained… it harbours a lot; being in the background, fitting in, feeling cold, marginalinesed… but it refreshes those ideas that are bandied around a lot. Really good stuff, also think it sounded really good with Stephen reading it on Monday.
    -Love the image of the door between male and female changing room, works on a literal and metaphorical level which is really strong.
    -Like that in the end the wall between the narrator and the protagonist is broken and that she hears it but it is sort of left hanging at what is clearly a turning point and an empowering yet difficult at that… really looking forward to seeing you perform this.

    -I am not sure what “I clam up” means? I like it, but I mainly visualise a clam and the sea feels a bit too far away from the school changing room, so it becomes desecrating.

    -I don’t understand what “two letters alphabetti spaghettied” means? Though it sounds great and the imagery is very much within the tone of the poem, I just need what I am actually supposed to be seeing in my head a bit clearer?

    -not sure what “tuck the peak back inside my head” means?

    -“stands up straight” … I didn’t quiet understand who was standing up there… the world, the tiles or you and also I wasn’t aware you wearnt standing up straight if it wasnt you because “cat her back” doesnt suggest falling, more pushing against I think… Just have a think about how to make what is happening to who here clearer… or maybe just cut those lines, are they needed? Especially as catting againsst I think works better with the camouflage line that comes after.

    -Why do you capitalise the first letter of each line, I am challenging this because it is something that, if you ever wanted to submit to magazines (which you should), is frowned upon. I also think that the way you lay out a poem on a page is the guide for performance and a capital letter suggests a stress, a pause, that is not relevant to the beginning of each line.


    1. Redundancies. I want to challenge the following…
    “I don’t really know where to look”
    -What is the word really achieving here? Could it not just be “I don’t know where to look.” If this doesn’t feel accurate enough, play around with the sentence, really is a wish washy, non-achievey word and you deserve better.
    -Watch out for using the word “yet” you use it a few times for rhyme and rhythm only where it creates more words without any real purpose.
    “She’s an odd sock, stale
    Drenched in the words”
    -I am not sure how something can be drenched and stale at the same time?
    “To look more like them”
    -I would cut this line, you already show me this way better in the lines before it.

    2. Verbs.
    -I just want to challenge you to put the following verbs and thesaurus and see if there is anything more accurate to the movement of the poem that you could use. By no means am I saying change all of them, I am just saying have a look; standing, glares (you really do need to change this one, it feels like it is just there for the rhyme atm), dirty, develop, look, big-toe tip-toe (sounds too comedic for what you are describing I think, can you find another verb/phrase to talk about sneaking), looking, fine, thoughts.

    3. Closet – I really want to challenge this word, you have been so good at avoiding any cliche gay phraseology/ imagery in this piece up until that word. Tucking also doesn’t really make sense, you hang things in a closet, could you be tucking them under your desk? Maybe a school piece of furniture or something about the tiles would work both literally and metaphorically?

    -Where are you at with this? I know we spoke a lot about it last Friday and also at rehearsals but it would be good to see a copy with the current stage directions you have in mind?
    -Are you going with the videos of people saying things… if so you might want to get this done on the 7th with Stuffed Fox? I can check they are happy with this?

    Great work,

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