Escapades and Props (WIP)

Its Manhattan...

No.

Istanbul.

Istanbul’s Muse Board

June 2, 2017

Explode — The Writers Environment Experiential Network Project — has a girl band of STEMs!  Stand by for updates.

May 19, 2017

You never appreciate home

As much as when you come home

Where God lives… with you

May 11, 2017

Haiku #13

Name baby something

Something easy to retrieve

Then share Me with friends

About a Prisoner of Love (Props to Christopher Logue’s War Music)

Look at the smile on my face. I knew you were selfish. Abandoned, you left me on the side of the road. Gone. Put yourself in my place. Left, on the side of the road. Naked. I knew you would own me — broken and falling to pieces — in halcyon swirls, dark storms, and faints. I would let you stand me on my head, spin me like a top, a dreidel — and catch me, before I fell. Then, you said you would sleep with her because, “Why not?  It’s not a competition — though you might win. Its not about… us.” That’s balls. CUT!

April 9, 2017

Notes on Manhattan: This is not a Warhol ~ Basquiat Installation.  I curated the Opening and a still – not the fucking gorgeous film.  While it is lovely — I did not curate Manhattan.  Not my composition — not my triptych.  This space is for art — for the sake of art — unaltered.  It’s Explode: The Writer’s Environment!

To curate content in this space, please contact me.

April 25, 2017

Thanks Halo Music!

April 29, 2017

Last night, a friend and I

took the Kimye Tour

in Cuba

I was a voyeur

A friend took him there and there and there

Unbeknown to him

I asked him if he knew where Kimye went

in Cuba

We roared and stumbled on together

Please please paint a picture…

Funny, you asked!

Copyright 2017 by E Maria Shelton Speller.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Trench People — Once Upon a Time There Were… Master Scene 2

The intent of this installment is to juxtapose art, content, audio, imagery, prose and poetry in an original screenplay, Trench People (TP).  Explode is a product of the antagonist’s art in TP.  TP is the framework for a virtual walk-through art installation like Christo and Jean Claude’s Wrapped Walk Ways or The Umbrellas — a mind-scape if you will.

Data for how many thoughts we have per minute and the speed of thought has not been measured and analyzed, so WYSIWYG — Wordpress is space for ideations.

TP follows the established rules of the industry, and in this space a JUMP CUT may signal a deviation, a temporary change of direction, an aside, a self indulgence, that hopefully holds your attention until the next FADE TO, CUT TO, DISSOLVE TO, or SMASH CUT TO — the antagonist’s art and the protagonist’s idealism.  When I started reading at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge Massachusetts, I read master scenes as prose and epic poetry.  TP was well received and even requested!

What concerns me is decorum.  I hope my audience is not averse to poetry in medias res…  Once upon a time there were…  Trench People!

 

 

TRENCH PEOPLE

(Original Screenplay — a Period piece)

by

E. MARIA SHELTON SPELLER

Copyright ©1996, 2015. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WGA Registration 2005

 

 

I.  The Erastes and Erominos (White letters on black background)

 

CLOSE – ON ANGELA AND JUNE

They laugh out loud.  Angela throws her head back in FULL-THROATED LAUGHTER and June BANGS the table in approval with her fist.

JUNE

(out loud)

That was brilliant!

 

ROSALIND

That was careless!  Talk

about artistic irresponsibility!

 

ANGELA

Oh, come on, Ros!

 

ROSALIND

A warning would have been APPROPRIATE,

instead of SURPRISE — mayhem,

and blaming the white man, again.

 

ANGELA

It’s not HER fault Preachers,

Politicians, and the gatekeepers

of black consciousness jumped

to conclusions.

 

ROSALIND

What’s with this about-face?

 

ANGELA

I never said I thought it was

wrong, Ros… YOU did!

 

CLOSE – ON ROSALIND

who RAISES both brows at Angela and WAVES the subject away.

 

CLOSE – ON JUNE AND LISA

June leans closer to the BABY-DYKES, specifically Lisa.

 

JUNE

(shouts)

One Hundred Nooses was crazy

art!  Was it a political pun

against the pathos of black

art, or a brazen political

statement…?

 

CLOSE – ON LISA

who OVERHEARD Rosalind’s opinion and although she is talking to June, she LOOKS at Angela.  She LEANS across the table as far as she can and talks in a curt monotone like Lisa Bonet.

 

LISA

(shouting)

I will not offer an explanation,

which is to say, an apology

for my art.  Not to be understood

or over-stood… Everything IS Political.

Sex is politics.  The day we swam to

the egg or were propelled, by stronger

swimmers behind us, was politics!

Art without politics is passion

without pluck. Sterile like

Impressionism!  An allusion of

The Great Gatsby.  Who… who

dreams in pastels?

(beat)

Maybe one percent of

the population?

(quickly)

The only way to have dreamed

about, A Sunday Afternoon on

the Island of La Grande Jatte

was to have been there.  Those

were elitist dreams.  The

poor and vulnerable don’t dream

about wearing iced-cream pants!

They dream about, Starry Night,

The Scream.

(beat)

One Hundred Nooses is a

commentary on truth and

reconciliation.  It’s

an unnecessary postmortem

for a committee that has

not happened.

 

CLOSE – ON GODDESSES AND BABY-DYKES

The GODDESSES are SILENT.  Mardou breaks into a chilly smile.

 

CLOSE – ON MARDOU

looking at Lisa.

 

MARDOU

(loud)

It’s not who is going to let me,

it’s who is going to stop me.

I thought we plugged the

Fountainhead!

Let’s channel…

(whispers)

The Subterraneans, tonight.

 

BACK TO SCENE

Lisa’s eyes WIDEN and she feigns IRRITATION.  Soon everyone CHUCKLES.  People sitting around them look in their direction, as if acknowledging that theirs is the dominant table in the room.  Then Mardou watches Lisa REV up again.

 

CLOSE – ON LISA

LISA

It’s Bukowski’s Coffeehouse tonight.

Except, you’re beautiful,

(beat)

and you’re beautiful… and you’re

beautiful… and we know Bukowski

only trusted the company of

desperate people, with broken minds,

broken ways, and broken teeth.

 

CLOSE – ON GODDESSES AND BABY-DYKES

They AHA in unison.

 

MARDOU

(sarcastically)

Fuck levity, then!

 

LISA

Mardou, you want

something, superficial!

 

CLOSE – ON MARDOU

looks long at Lisa.

 

MARDOU

Why? Why are you so…

(frowning)

dissatisfied?

 

CLOSE – ON ANGELA

PULLS the edge of her glass to HER tongue.  In SLOW MOTION, it lands softly.

 

CLOSE – ON TONGUE

The tip of her tongue behind the rim of the glass.

 

CLOSE – ON GODDESSES AND BABY-DYKES

Angela is the only MOVEMENT at the table.

 

CLOSE – ON LISA

who LOOKS at Mardou.

 

LISA

What is satisfied?

Is that like wanting to

be the black girl of Jack

Kerouac’s dreams?  And

precisely when — when he

woke up and was repulsed by

her puffy sleeping lips the

morning after?

 

CLOSE – ON ROSALIND

feigning boredom.  She looks at the crazy crowd.  Then turns back to what she considered baby-talk.

 

CLOSE – ON TONI

looking at her friends.

 

TONI

(sighing)

Levity!

 

CLOSE – ON TONI

moving her hands as if describing a spiral staircase.

 

TONI

(continuing)

I don’t want to be the

only one laughing tonight.

 

CLOSE – ON LISA AND MARDOU

They BURST out laughing.

 

CLOSE – ON THE GODDESSES

They look at each other.

 

CLOSE – ON JIMMY – SAME TIME

an imposing man, like Ving Rhames’ Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction, owns Pushkin’s Coffeehouse.  He spots Lisa, wearing a long black skirt over those long narrow flats with toes that turn up almost like elf shoes that she often wears, and a cropped black motorcycle jacket with white raised lines and letters of cycle iconography.  He looks SURPRISED because she seldom wears color.  Jimmy gets an ERECTION when he LOOKS at Lisa.  He reaches down to ADJUST the SWELLING under his fly. He waits a minute and then makes his way through the crazy crowd in Lisa’s direction.  He SIDLES beside Lisa — LEANING on the edge of the table with the palms of his hands.

JIMMY

El (Lisa)… How you

doin’, Baby?

 

LISA

(smiles)

What’s up, Jimmy?

 

JIMMY

I know you’re flowing

tonight, right?!

 

CLOSE – ON LISA

who looks up at Jimmy, and says nothing.

 

JIMMY

Don’t look at me like

that!  You read here,

at Pushkin’s first.

I know you’re gonna

read!

 

LISA

All the coffeehouse and cafe

owners say the same thing.

Everybody gave me a break,

but nobody wants to pay me…

You want me to read for free!

Then you get an attitude when

I won’t.  Pay me!  Show your

appreciation.  I’m a working

artist.  A proletariat!

 

JIMMY

OK, OK.  How much you

chagrin’?

 

LISA

(frustrated)

Jimmy, you know how much

I charge… I’m sick of

having to give the same

speech every time I want

a cup of coffee.

 

JIMMY

In Fifteen?

 

LISA

Let’s do it now!

 

CLOSE – ON LISA (MOVING)

rising from the table focused on space.  Her entourage ceases to exist. SLOWLY PAN the CRAZY CROWD.

 

JIMMY (O.S.)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Pushkin

is proud to present, our very

own, El Cherry… Snap!

 

LISA’S P.O.V. – CROWD

Lisa and her P.O.V. is filmed in black and white.  People step aside at the last minute, greeting her on her way through, while snapping their fingers.

LONG – ON LISA

On stage, you cannot HEAR her FOOTSTEPS.  The toes of her shoes SWISH the air.  At the microphone she STANDS straight almost in a NAPOLEONIC pose.  The room is QUIET.  She launches into “One Single Act of Love.”

 

LISA

(curt, ferocious monotone)

I sold a rock opus to the best

Black rock band on the planet.

A band that lost its capacity

to dream.  Formulaic guarantees

skewed their imagination for plati-

num discs.  The male coward covered

their lifework, literally.

My story reminded them of what

‘rushing’ felt like, how complete,

how deep blushing could be obvious.

And they bought it, and produced it.

And it was good — it was better

than good.  It was thought provoking

and it was an African-American affir-

mation of our realities and our

fantasies no matter how unrealistic.

Suddenly, they were very significant

and the world truly believed that

rock music is black music and black

music is everything.  Power is

aesthetic.  Aesthetics is politics

and being black is philosophical

and our philosophy is phenomenology

and being black, is being real…

 

The uninitiated FIDGET, while obvious followers recite some of the passages like Allen Ginsberg’s audience did when he recited, Howl in the Sixties. Lisa does not raise her voice.

RESUME – ON LISA

shoving her hands deep in shallow pockets.

LISA

(less ferocity)

No Hip Hop could say as much as

this rock opus did, ever–no matter

how many stories they sampled.

So, this black rock band were

crowned kings and were exulted,

and revered, incandescent icons,

the envy of friends, the

consumption of man, the image

of immortality like the stained-

glass heaven you summon before

you close…  And they loved me…

I was the wick in their candle-

stick and without me there was

no burning flame.  I was the

source of their energy.  I was

the unstained virgin encamped…

 

CLOSE – ON LISA

leaning closer to the microphone.

 

LISA

(continuing)

When we huddled over a page it was

a psychological bristling, a patho-

logical fear, a sexual entreaty.

I wanted them, and they wanted

me.  So when opportunity knocked,

I told them so.  Sooner than anyone

imagined, there was nothing more

important, than our collaboration.

The media was our medium. They

stopped referring to me as a writer,

and started calling me a Love Supreme.

Annie Leibovitz wanted to take our

pictures–together. But, there was

something unnatural about the photo

session.  Instinct was lacking.

There was a tame and conspicuous

outsider on camp.  After taking

off too many shades, we asked

Annie to come back tomorrow and

blamed our ubiquitous danger on

some tribal angst about picture

taking and soul stealing…

When she was gone, I suggested

that they fuck me…

 

CLOSE – ON ANGELA’S EYES

Her eyelashes flutter.

 

MATCHCUT TO:

Angela’s lips, opening slowly.

 

RESUME – ON LISA

who at this moment, personifies the rebirth of COOL.

 

LISA

(continuing)

Not unlike the man in the movie

and the dancing whore…  My

honest response to the love

between us left them exposed.

So exposed, their breath rushed

past their lips in staccato

proportions.  Although they all

did, the one that really cared

about me began to pace the room.

His eyes watched how his feet

travailed.  Another, would have taken me

right then and there had we been

alone–he would have used his

shoestrings and tied my thumbs

behind me if that were all he

had.  But he was not the only

one I wanted, so he waited

anxiously.  Another, had the

strange and curious stare of an

intellectual trying to figure me

out.  And the other, simply smiled

at me from some private place, now

public, and I knew he would hurt me…

deliberately. The intellectual asked

me if I really thought it would make

a difference, and I couldn’t help

watching him as if he were some…

clear liquid.  How could it not

make a difference?  The pacer turned

and admitted he cared and said he

could not and would not participate;

furthermore, he did not think it

should happen.  The anxious one

stood and started barking at him.

If I moved in any direction, it

would be provocation for premature

ejaculation and the anxious one,

while still barking would be the

first to straddle me…

 

LISA P.O.V. – CRAZY CROWD

A man in the audience barks.  Another howls.  Women smile to themselves.

 

CLOSE – ON GODDESSES AND BABY DYKES

SMILING.  ENAMORED, Angela FALLS in love.

 

RESUME – ON LISA

She raises her voice.

 

LISA

(continuing)

If I raised my hand or my voice,

they would think I might change

my mind.  Trapped, I sat there

watching this frenzy I’d started.

The air grew hot but I did manage

to express, “All or no one.”  They

turned to look at the one who cared.

He looked at me, and I decided

that he would be the one that

would hurt me… deliberately.

And because he cared, because

he was the one holding back,

he would have to be the first.

He would have to get his reser-

vations out of the way so that

they could proceed.   “It’s on you

man.”  Said the intellectual and

then I decided the intellectual

would be the last one.  Was I

afraid? I was practically trem-

bling on that single futon.  My

laptop at the head of the bed

would have to be moved–gingerly.

The point was, I slept with my

work, I ate with my work and now

I’d fuck my work–but we would

never tell Annie the latter.

“What the fuck is the matter with

you?”  The one who cared blasted

at me.  Oh, I thought, he would

fuck me angrily–he would punish

me this way…

 

CLOSE – ON ANGELA

closing her eyes.

DISSOLVE TO:

CLOSE – ON LISA

whose nostrils FLARE slightly.

 

LISA

(continuing)

All I had to say was something

stupid like, ‘What the fuck is

the matter with you?’  Then,

giving him an excuse to fuck

me to death like June Jordan’s

“…unidentified victim of her

own neglect…” gang-raped on

a Brooklyn rooftop and thrown

to her death, screaming  but

‘inaudible’.”

 

LONG – ON LISA

RAISING her voice for what is clearly her favorite passage.

 

LISA

(continuing)

Conscious decisions are all that

I can respect.  Don’t cling to

insanity, or criminal passion,

or peer pressure, or social

expectations.  Don’t talk to me

about losing control–momentarily.

Or, the poverty and violence of

pain heaped upon more pain

because you’re black.   This is not

a gang-rape.  This is not dionysia

all over again, where women

and children are sacrificed, and

blood is beer.  If I change my

language, the outcome will still

be the same.  And, if I am woman

enough to resist surrender, are

you man enough to know the

difference, between love

and violence–without conditions…

 

INT. BAR – JIMMY – SAME TIME

He dispatches a NEAT Remy Martin to her table.

 

LISA (O.S.)  (continuing)

“You want her don’t you?”  Somebody

said.   Then he asked me a private

question, not at all furtively,

“Why?”  I dropped my eyes and then

I looked askance at the one who

cared and said,  “My fascination

with poetic themes is like–a

serenade already in progress…

isn’t this poetry, in effect?”

 

LONG – ON LISA

PAN the Crazy Crowd — spellbound.

 

LISA

(continuing)

He kneeled at the foot of the bed

and that was their cue, but I was

not ready and he knew it–but what

the hell!  The love between us

was trapped between power and lust.

His hand covered my neck like a

bridge over a dam I could not escape.

The intellectual secured my wrists

exactly the way I described in my

dreams.  I whispered to the one

who cared… that while I waxed

my dream before it faded–

I knew he would halt before he

turned the page.  Like the man

in my dreams, he was too big for

me, but he did not hurt me delib-

erately.  Under violent power

strokes, I broke under him in a

cadence I could not count in a race

out of water.  A rhapsody played in

fusion.  The anxious one ejaculated

too soon, and the one that smiled

from some private place took me

to the basement in some tenement

and hurt me deliberately, pushing

in unyielding directions.  So, I

screamed finally and the one who

cared pulled him off me and he

came all over my thighs.  That is

what he wanted, to be restrained

by somebody, anybody because he

was an animal after-all.  The

intellectual rocked me gently

to peace, licked the tears from

my ears and my face.  When it

was over, the one who cared untied

my arms that felt like ribbons

draped over my shoulders.  He was

the only heat for my cold tremble,

my soul stirring complete.  In one

single act of love we were bound

together and in unison they

screamed to the stained virgin…

you’re mine!   It was…SURREAL.

 

LISA’S P.O.V. – AUDIENCE

The crazy CROWD and her entourage give her a MUCH LOVE.

 

WIDE – ON LISA (MOVING)

PIVOTS like a feline to leave the stage.  APPLAUSE lasts until she is well seated.  She reaches for the drink Jimmy sent to the table.  Mardou and Toni HUDDLE with LISA.