Laura D – Tour Piece – 0.1%

20 Sep



The 4:15 bell
Is a starting pistol
It switches off lights
Turns keys in engines
As 99.9% of teaching staff begin journeys home


And this classroom’s door
Remains pinned wide open.
A novelty “Best Teacher” mug
Still cradles half it’s hot coffee
Not yet ready to grow cold


Some students are not willing to go home
Or don’t know home
Or realise that this school
Is the closest to safe and home
Their lives have ever known


These carpets have caught and cushioned
More tears than most
Its walls have played host to so many displaced rages
That the plaster has begun to crack
But it will always be there to take it


The desk’s middle drawer
A mismatch of
Hot chocolate sachets parallel with chewed HB pencils
Lie beside
Travel size toothpaste and brush sets
For those who didn’t quite make it home last night


There is a cuppa soup waiting
For the one responsible for many of the cracks

Fists falling harder than words ever did !


The only way she can impose her help
Because she knows
We will never ask


Some will leave with answers, or questions
Depending on what will help
Some leave with bus fare, a hug,
or a new found sense of self


We will leave this room
Still scuffed,
But working on it


My once split knuckles clink
Against a best teacher novelty mug
I hope to one day earn my own
But for now it warms my hands
And as its rightful owner re-enters the room
Sits beside me
I tell her
It will never do her justice


This went through alot of editing to get to this stage, micro editing with help from workshops and then a massive cut down with a ton of help from Hayley (Cheers for that). At the moment there are still redundencies which I have taken out completley in a version specifically edited for the Zine. This version i have posted still contains a few redundancies so, although it may not be as strict and polished as the “Page version” for the Zine, it makes more sense to me for memorising and performing. We have worked on movement and staging and I am happy with the outcome of the last session thanks to feedback and ideas. I hope it says everything i want it to, clearly and in an impactful way because alot was taken out from previous drafts such as images and description, but that may have been for the best if this edit is strong enough.
Thankyou -x-


3 Responses to “Laura D – Tour Piece – 0.1%”

  1. mouthypoets September 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    Hi Laura,

    So clearly an amazing amount of work has gone into this one, I am really seeing the impact of the draft/redraft process. Well done, also a whole new use of stanza and line breaks that I haven’t seen for you and this is the slightly more colloquial version – well done. Also really lovely to see you looking at the differentiations between page and stage and how that can effect your process, this is really important for your journey as a writer.

    So I am really giving you a couple tiny tightening things as I know its all about memorising for rehearsals and performances next week!

    Really looking forward to seeing you perform this, mainly got all the stuff I love outlined below + 3 really quick suggestions that you can take or leave for final tightening.

    -Some really lovely balance of simply language with a powerful impact, e.g. “Some students are not willing to go home // Or don’t know home”
    -LOVE LOVE LOVE the specificity here “The desk’s middle drawer // A mismatch of // Hot chocolate sachets parallel with chewed HB pencils” this tells me a whole poem worth of stuff about this place.
    -Really like this constant language of people who haven’t quiet made it somewhere e.g. “For those who didn’t quite make it home last night.” It sets a really clear and interesting tone of transience which gives weight to the decisions and changes being made.
    -Perfect and clear turning point “There is a cuppa soup waiting // For the one responsible for many of the cracks” Love how you have tied the poetic into the literal here.
    -This stanza said so much in such a small space, well done –
    Some will leave with answers, or questions
    Depending on what will help
    Some leave with bus fare, a hug,
    or a new found sense of self

    -Love the use of the word “scuffed” it feels like a realy accurate description of the students but also has a great school connotation that roots it into the setting and makes it work on more than one level.

    -Are you going to repeat “4:15” in the performance?

    1. A couple phrases/ images that are not ringing true yet for me, feel like you could address the verbs with a thesaurus and come up with a fresher image that fits more into the tone of the poem:
    “Remains pinned wide open.”
    “Still cradles half it’s hot coffee”
    “grow cold”
    -Just pop; pinned, cradles and grow and thesaurus and see if there are any other options out there? These might be exactly what you want but they just seemed a bit easy for me in light of the originality throughout the rest of the piece.

    2. I am not sure I understand “Or realise that this school” in the first stanza, do they realise it is school or not? Or are they or are they not aware this is the safest thing to home. It is really the OR that is creating the distraction could you put a full stop and just clarify what you are saying here.

    3. I would cut “Fists falling harder than words ever did!” the line before shows that 100% stronger and will push you to perform what you are telling in this line.

    CANNOT WAIT to see you perform this!

  2. mouthypoets September 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    Hey Deb
    Thanks a lot for your feedback. Much appreciated. Hope you have had an awesome week.
    I will have another go at trying out other verbs for those you mentioned.
    When I used the phrase “realise that this school…” I knew what I was trying to get at, like the actual realisation moment is as scary as the thought of going home, but I will see if I can clear this up a bit more.
    In earlier drafts I had an image of a young person trying to communicate but words failing them and they don’t know any other emotion than anger. But I couldn’t word it as I liked and so this line is a kind of summary of that idea. I will practise without that line and see if I can get it nailed this week.

    Thanks once again. Glad it makes sense. It has Been a really exciting process so far, I’ve learnt so much and so cannot wait to get stuck into next week to push the staging we have got worked out so far and then try to get me sorted too !
    Laura D x

  3. mouthypoets September 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Sorry also to answer your earlier question, previously 4:15 was just a start but after trying things out it was agreed by a lot of the group that it sounded good in performance as a refrain. Each time I intend to have a different feel to it based on my breathing and general tone… In theory haha I’m definitely working on it 🙂

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