Katie – SST10 First Draft

19 Dec

I’ve been struggling to find the time and energy to write this draft and the squeeze of a deadline sadly doesn’t always bring out my creative juices. My initial thought around the theme was to write about my faith and how that encourages me to be better: to be a ‘light’ in dark times. I still think it would be good for me to write a poem about that, but I’m currently finding it difficult to start a poem about something so complex. I also wanted to be able to play with light and staging but wasn’t sure how that would fit in with my idea.

FullSizeRender

This afternoon I saw this image and thought about making silhouettes on stage with screens and I used this as a prompt for the draft below. I think perhaps I’d also like to play around with the way a figure is often lit from one side in photography and cinema and how this is used both to be alluring and to create a sense of horror – things which overlap in what I have written. This is a VERY rough draft so I need lots of feedback Mouthy!

 

Taught to work towards a shape seen in magazines

learn a perfect kind of face

that we must trace onto our own

careful not to colour too much

or colour too little

careful not to like yourself

careful to remember what you ought to be

 

some days your silhouette correct

hips shapely, not too big

well blended smokey eyes

toned thighs

waist is pointing in

looking pretty slim today

lipstick kept within the lines

blusher well applied defines your cheeks

hands in pockets

walking tall

looking pretty slick today

but it only takes one “alright darling” to make you feel a little sick

 

mind projects a photograph

of crossing near the train station

where still every time you pass

remember stolen handful of your ass

without a second think

an hour after you thought; I ought to have fought

but only quickened  pace to get away from him

 

and hungry eyes of “alright darling”

tell you that you’ve birthed this

for trying to make yourself feel worth something

 

hungry eyes of “alright darling”

tell you that you’ve birthed this

for trying to make yourself feel worth something

 

treading rainy pavement at 21

voice of young man on opposite side of the road

shouts over what he’d do to you

as though consent only a concept

and choice not yours to make

 

bus stop asking for directions

earlier this year

wrinkled pink eyed rat exposed

Sunday morning unsuspecting

and you’d stopped to help

 

and hungry eyes of “alright darling”

tell you that you’ve birthed this

for trying to make yourself feel worth something

 

hungry eyes of “alright darling”

tell you that you’ve birthed this

for trying to make yourself feel worth something

 

best friend crying on my shoulder

because bodycon tops and big boobs

brought accusations

that trying to be comfy

meant trying to be sexy

that scenes of a teen practising routines in her room

in the context of a night club dance floor

are mistaken for a mating call

and suddenly it’s not okay to be herself anymore

made to feel obscene

unclean

given names of things she’s never been

 

hungry eyes of “alright darling”

telling her she’d  birthed this

for trying to make herself feel worth something

 

and hungry eyes of “alright darling”

tell you that you’ve birthed this

for trying to make yourself feel worth something

 

hungry eyes of “alright darling”

tell you that you’ve birthed this

for trying to make yourself feel worth something

Advertisements

7 Responses to “Katie – SST10 First Draft”

  1. MouthyPoets December 20, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

    Hey Katie

    I am loving the refrain of “hungry eyes of alright darling”, it seems so innocent and ‘light’ in feeling yet there is more of a macabre and dark resonance to it when repeated (or maybe it is the way I read it in my head).

    Okay, I get the image of the silhouette and I think it works, do you mind if you just drop me a message explaining the ‘photos’ and horror idea a lot more? I might just be slow and might need more to envision this or try my best to provide what you are looking for.

    I think exploring your faith is still good if you ever want to change or add to this draft. It’s a rough draft filled with truth and feeling, in its simplicity it shows how this occurs in everyday life that it might even be noticed, I mean, the guy does not even realise the impact of the words. The close detail of the girl trying to make herself over and being okay with herself still is pretty strong. Looking forward to the second draft.

    Dee

  2. MouthyPoets December 26, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    Hi Katie! I love the whole idea of poem – how it started from that photograph but has become something so relevant and powerful! I love the way you’ve put in rhymes but they seem so subtle and flow really smoothly.

    It also reminds me a lot of these silhouette short films I’ve seen in the past (can’t remember the exact ones I’ve seen but they look sort of like this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kku75vGDD_0). I don’t know if you’ve thought about having something going on in the background of your poem? Don’t exactly know how you’d make a silhouette film but maybe having shadow puppets or some sort of story as you’re telling the poem? Just an idea!

    Looking forward to seeing it performed (:

    Charlie

  3. beccyseaside December 26, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    Love this. The first verse I think is perfect, says exactly what you need to say, economically. Also like the idea of the visual aspect of silhouettes and cut outs (is this maybe also something that you want to use in/ alongside the version of your poem published in the Zine?) In terms of more ruthless first-draft feedback, it’s hard to know what to say, since I feel like every image in each stanza is something important which needs to be said, I guess it’s just a case of deciding how to say it, make each stanza as straight to the point as the first. Good job 🙂 Beccy S

  4. MouthyPoets December 26, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    Katie — Love this. The first verse I think is perfect, says exactly what you need to say, economically. Also like the idea of the visual aspect of silhouettes and cut outs (is this maybe also something that you want to use in/ alongside the version of your poem published in the Zine?) In terms of more ruthless first-draft feedback, it’s hard to know what to say, since I feel like every image in each stanza is something important which needs to be said, I guess it’s just a case of deciding how to say it, make each stanza as straight to the point as the first. Good job 🙂 Beccy S

  5. MouthyPoets December 30, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Hey Katie!

    Gosh darn (keeping the blog kid friendly, ha!) this is a good draft.

    some days your silhouette correct – cracking

    best friend crying on my shoulder
    because bodycon tops and big boobs
    brought accusations
    that trying to be comfy
    meant trying to be sexy
    that scenes of a teen practising routines in her room
    in the context of a night club dance floor
    are mistaken for a mating call
    and suddenly it’s not okay to be herself anymore
    made to feel obscene
    unclean
    given names of things she’s never been

    I like what this stanza says, but I feel like it loses some of the detail you had that brought the reader in, and some of the rhyme feels a bit too much with performance in mind – just a thought, that maybe you have the rhythm there already, you don’t need all that rhyme?

    For instance, in the next stanza

    hungry eyes of “alright darling”
    telling her she’d birthed this
    for trying to make herself feel worth something

    – I love the ‘birthed’ and ‘worth’ rhyme, especially because they’re hidden in the second from last word in the line, it gives it a good jolt

    Your narrative is great, your message is great, your draft is great – maybe a few things just to think on would be rhyme, imagery (more?) and specific detail, as I think that’s where your poem really shines

    Great Stuff!

    Chris

  6. MouthyPoets December 30, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    hey katie i love this poem but it loses shape halfway down you can ignore me if you want but id suggest putting it into a form a bopp or a pantoum possibly the former because the refrain is so strong it can carry and shape the poem . neal

  7. MouthyPoets January 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi Katie,

    Thank you for getting something up and expressing what you are struggling with – I know working to this structure can be really hard but often struggle is indicative of accessing new parts of your brain and creativity but that requires perseverance which I very much feel you have and should give yourself props for! Really interesting idea both in staging and in writing content so really happy to see this draft go up…

    I can see you have already gotten a lot of feedback on this, I am not going to read through it all, partially because of time but also because I think it’s nice for me not to be influenced but other peoples initial experience of the piece and instead give you my own as it might give you things from a different angle in places but also give you an unbiased insight into where people are experiencing things in the same way…

    LOVE
    -‘lipstick kept within the lines’ this line really summarises that sense of accuracy women are taught to strive for in a really concise way that accurately describes a woman painting her face but also how we teach our children to colour in so it has that sense of what we are teaching our children which gives the line a bit of a sinister undertow actually.
    -The way you build up the character painting themselves, spending all this time being so accurate and then one meaningless comment destroys it all – so true, so important and well demonstrated.
    -I also like the way you blur the understanding of what confidence even is now? It really makes me think and question…
    -The examples of incidents you give are really scary, I feel like I could even take more with more detail!

    SUGGESTIONS
    I have one main suggestion really – I am not sure the form is currently working as the refrain kind of does say something important but I feel not well enough or concisely enough. I wonder if scrapping the current form and rewriting the poem in one or two other forms could help you find one that reiterates what you are saying structurally a bit better…

    The one that come to mind that would harbour a sense of cycle and repetition (which I think we really need here) are:
    1. The Villanelle https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/poetic-form-villanelle
    2. The Sestina https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/poetic-form-sestina
    3. The Pantoum https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/poetic-form-pantoum

    I would say try making 1-3 new versions of the piece and see if they give you a new access point.

    Really excited about this one, topical and important!

    See you very soon,
    Debris

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: