The Year of Our Lord 1519

Wreck-of-schooner-Doris-north-gare-1983

The pyre exhales

In a sky of relief

Timbercracks

Like executioners’ shots

Or wedding fire

Break the bright day

We will not turn back

We will not turn back

.

Ships of ash will nourish

Things we won’t see grow

No foot will balance

On cambered deck

Nor muscle heave sail

We need not compass

Nor barometer nor bell

To glory we march or hell

.

©2013 Jason Anderson

Source Image

Kid Thunder

puddle

Find a puddle

Jump hard

Look at me!

My feet

Set the raindrops free

.

Puddles beware, I got my good sneakers on!

©2013 Jason Anderson

The Last Dance

I was shot through with the thread of a dance

My body propped and shaken, a marionette

Accompanied by a player piano

When I didn’t even know there was dancing.

You danced me and I learned the steps cold

I won competitions and gave lessons.

Over years I even mastered piano repair

Unaware there was not dancing.

The dancing didn’t want to stop!

But you should have seen me today

A marionette clumsy walking his own feet

Tugging an astonished thread free.

.

©2013 Jason Anderson

Killer on the Loose

Author’s note: I struggled over whether to post this short poem, but maybe someone can relate to it.

Killer on the Loose

A whisper haunts

Mind’s moonlit curtains

It spooks the cobwebs

Remembers itself anonymously

A musty breath or gasp

It stalks, unseen

Preys unheard

In its ungodly heart

How it screamed!

But then ears were small

Were its palms open or closed

Little difference

I live

See curtains, feel breath, smell must

Hear nothing

It has swallowed its roar

Deadlier in perverted memory

Than in form

.

©2013 Jason Anderson

What Dreams

The remainder is clay

The larger part sleeps

What dreams is starlight on the ocean

Rides the wind like a dandelion seed

Tumbles like magnolia petals

Accuses the dawn

Howls at the moon

Shouts its echo

Slaves its thirst

Shakes easy fruit from trees

Begs scraps at the table

Wakes

Imagines

Believes

Dreams

.

©2013 Jason Anderson

Remembering I’m God When Writing

Often, I forget that I’m God. Don’t call the authorities — when writing, I mean. I write fictional stories, and whether it’s for screen or page the story’s universe is my creation. I’m its alpha and omega. Why some people don’t write is beyond me — what a rush.

I must not be an omniscient god, or I’d always I’d remember who I am.

Usually when I conceptualize a story I have real settings in mind. Sometimes I fall into the trap of trying to get every detail real-life correct. Is the sidewalk brick or cement? If the action is supposed to be unobserved is there a house in the wrong place? An inconvenient street light? Is there a bush that grows out of control so drivers can’t see around the corner when they stop? And when they inch forward, are they inching past a stop sign or a light?

In a script I’m finishing up now, two main characters jump into a large canal and get sucked into a drainage pipe. Could I over-complicate that? Sure! I spent hours on Google Maps satellite view looking for the right canal with the right drainage pipe, intending to route the characters’ road trip so this scene could be accurate — before I realized, and sat back, and laughed at myself.

Maybe your mind has the same trap door, and like me you let yourself dangle a while before you think to write a floor beneath you. Or a luxury cruise ship — yeah!

Yeah — it’s my world! The beauty of being the writer is if I want a drainage pipe, all I have to do is put it there — wherever it needs to be, just in time to suck in two intrepid high schoolers. When writing a script I don’t have to worry about budgets or locations to some extent, and with prose I have carte blanche. The only real constraints are what the story requires, and whether it’s believable.

Which is quite a different thing from realistic — and from real.

My brain is at ease with the constraints of the real world — at least familiar — and this has an impact on my storytelling. It’s as if I’m comfortable writing the black and white scenes in The Wizard of Oz, or the London scenes in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but can’t quite make the leap to Oz or Narnia. There’s always a stop sign in the way, or a canal that’s too wide.

That old screenwriters’ remedy is probably the answer here — read more, watch more, write more. There’s a formulation for prose writers, too, but I stick to the screenwriters’ one because I like to watch movies. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts or solutions!

The Doldrums

Dark and cold they run

without ripple or murmur

but mark they run

tide ebbs and tide flows

they’ve said and done nothing

all’s well in the lee waters

choked with sea grass

cradling, rocking you drowsy

in the salty sun

that chills at its corona

stay in just the right spot

in the lee of the breeze

to feel warm.

These waters are placid.

So safe

you could forget

and choke in sea grass

float still, a corpse

cradled, gently rocked

without  murmur.

Say nothing

do nothing

forget

sleep.

Silent all’s well waters

mark they run

though flat and dark

remembering always nothing.

©2013 Jason Anderson