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Poetry in Paris: Scripts
a story and a poem
We’ve had a bit of a heatwave in Paris over the past few days, with highs of 30 degrees celsius and no air conditioning, it has been too hot for me to focus on the novel I’ve been working on or do much other than sweat. However, I was inspired enough to write a poem, my first in quite a while. I then proceeded to share it at the Paris Lit Up spoken word night at Culture Rapide in Paris’ Belleville neighborhood this past Thursday. I visited Belleville the last time I was in Paris (2020) as a friend told me it would soon be the place for artists and writers; well it turns out they were right - what a welcome escape from tourists it was to return to this emerging neighborhood with a glistening cultural scene and a diverse population of creative folks. I met a filmmaker from Colombia, a writer from Turkey and so many talented and interesting artists from around the world either living in or visiting Paris. An Italian poet, Anna Rita Germinario, launched her debut trilingual poetry collection at the event as well, amazing work, beautifully performed! And here is my poem:
Scripts I’ve written countless scripts over the course of my life All starring yours truly, of course Thirty eight years of writing scripts and failing to properly act them out I’m just an awful actor. Unable to ignore circumstances and follow my lines. Pretentious, cultureless Seattle society Nauseating heat and impossible Hawaiian mobility Dull and boring Hypezig More tourists than Parisians in Paris, and I just add to that problem So much harder to learn the language than I had hoped. Ten thousand scripts, I write them, read them, prepare and when the director calls action I begin my inevitable stumble into reality. I’m just not cut out to be an actor. Yet I can’t stop writing. I have three or four new ones already lined up: Saint-Malo, Dunedin, Findhorn… My imagination runs wild and can’t be stopped. Why not just write and give the scripts to an audience of more talented actors? Let them bring forth the dream, I can sit uncomfortably and congratulate them. But what life would I be living, having given up on expectations? Improvising. Living in the real world without a script. Is it even possible? Or shall I carry on with my beautiful imaginings? Going place to place, with impossible expectations? Maybe this madness is my fate.
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