Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wooden Boys and Deadlier Toys

OK boys and girls, here's the spiel that you shouldn't get from your poet.

This is not a finished poem, but I performed it anyway. I'm not sure how to finish it, because I'm not sure what it's about. I know what started it, and what writing it was about. It was the conjunction of my former slam teammate Byron once telling me I was monotone in my performances, reading an article about Heath Ledger preparing for his role as the Joker by studying ventriloquists' dummies (the way their voices are disembodied), and a line in Fables #36 (one of the best covers for that comic, incidentally) that references what Little Boy Blue is carrying in the Witching Cloak ("wooden boys" referring to Pinocchio's body and "deadlier toys" referring to the Vorpal Sword).

So yeah, all those elements combined to create this piece, which doesn't have anything to do with the Vorpal Sword but lots to do with Pinocchio, which has a lot to do with ventriloquism but nothing to do with the Joker, and for me has to do with what you sacrifice for your art. I don't think that any of that comes through, nor do I expect an audience to get those things from it. The words have to change, but I'll meditate on it all for a while. In the meantime, apparently it is just damn creepy.

Wooden Boys and Deadlier Toys

2 comments:

Karin said...

Creepy, yes, but wonderful! I have a long poem about Pinocchio, too, that I've been struggling with for literally years. It conflates him with several Buster Keaton characters.

Also, the Blue Fairy is my alter ego. I'll send you a picture.

JeFF Stumpo said...

A Pinocchio/Buster Keaton conflation sounds cool. As long as half of this post was about writing problems, what's your multiple-year struggle?

Your alter ego photo was great :-)