Chris McLoughlin – SST9 First Draft

1 Jun

So, here we go again!

Here is my first draft, Carnival Masks – it’s dead basic at the moment, just the bare bones of narrative. Over the next few weeks, I plan to bulk it up, adding a lot of imagery, trying to really bring the audience into the poem.

In terms of staging, I have massive hopes for it – might have to be reigned back a bit! I was hoping to get as many people on stage as possible to create a busy street atmosphere during carnival – bass line and drum in the background, lots of noise. Everyone wearing carnival masks (perhaps paper ones we could make at some point?) Just different colours, swirling around. Then I take my mask off, and start talking to the audience, or perhaps someone stood in the aisle in the crowd.

 

Carnival Masks

 

The bassline slimes down the tarmac,

The snare bares its tin teeth

Colour is thrown, a tsunami of dance

And in the middle, is you

And on the edge, is me.

 

There’s no such thing as a faceless crowd

Each face belongs to someone,

Is loved by someone

Is wanted by …

 

The tempo shrugs, and the crowd is silent

As their bodies catch themselves from the rug pulled beneath

Before throwing themselves back into a wave

They have forgotten, but their bodies remember

 

Masks of all shapes and sizes

The gorilla bodybuilder

The gazelle model

The sloth Office worker

The parrot politician

 

All pretending not to be themselves for one day

Peacock complexions

Feathered manes,

Eyes peering out of holes

Protected from the outside world.

 

Carnival masks

They’re just carnival masks.

 

Except you

You wear an ornate version of yourself,

A finely carved mask of your face

But underneath, is something no sculptor could ever make us beautiful

No painter could ever mix your colours

No poet could ever capture your half-smile

 

We lock gazes as the beat catches up to the bass.

I don’t reach out to you. My costume is too heavy to move,

Too decorated with pointless paper and things I thought I should attach to it

But now realise were just imitations of things that might have been real

If I’d let them.

 

You pause among the moving faces

and I think you feel the way I do

the way we shouldn’t

the way we have not let ourselves even entertain

because it does not fit in our lives

and after all, it is so easy to ignore what’s right

when you’ve worked your whole life for what’s left.

 

When I blink, you’re gone

Your face swallowed by the crowd

Your colours burnt into my mind

Forever.

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2 Responses to “Chris McLoughlin – SST9 First Draft”

  1. MouthyPoets June 2, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    Hey chris I’m digging .this except
    You! Who is that you? Or is it you?

  2. MouthyPoets June 3, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    i Love the imagery, the staging and the idea and I think this is a solid first draft. I wonder if you could go through this with a ‘ How do I show instead of tell this?’ Comb? It feels like a lot of the big transitions in this piece are told very explicitly and broadly, e.g.

    ‘But now realise were just imitations of things that might have been real’
    or

    ‘and I think you feel the way I do

    the way we shouldn’t

    the way we have not let ourselves even entertain

    because it does not fit in our lives

    and after all, it is so easy to ignore what’s right

    when you’ve worked your whole life for what’s left.’

    Is there a way of showing me these things through action, conversation or imagery? I feel this happened quiet a bit throughout which means I don’t really build a relationship with the characters and their intention if you get what I mean? Though I am very much enjoying the party and all the faceless/facefilled people in it!

    Can’t wait to see the next draft of this!
    Debris

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