Thursday, April 27, 2006

Poetry Contest Herewith!!!!

Whoopee! I have won the weekly challenge at Desert Moon Review to write a fuldrum. I will let contest judge Charlene Dewbre explain, and listen carefully playmates because the best entry of a fuldrum received here by May 7, 2006 receives a signed copy of the promo CD of the musical by songwriting partner, Erik Sitbon and myself, "Jack--The Musical" being performed in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 13 and 14 next (link through the title above)--

Here's an exercise in form that we call a Fuldrom (because we like the sound of the word.) Here's how it works:

Line one introduces the topic.
Line two creates an unlikely metaphor.
Line three explains line two and should include internal rhyme.
Line four must be a contradiction of an earlier line.

Example #1

My grandmother
is a tinkling chain; empty
on the wind, the windchime gone
but still there.

Example #2

Ethnic cleansing and starvation
are crumbs caked onto pages -
ages-crusted, and trusted
to easily wipe away.

Brush off your metaphors and show me your Fuldroms!

Charlene Dewbre,
Contest Judge

My winning entry in the Desert Moon Review contest just ended is as follows, another example for you to examine as you come up with your own fuldrum to enter in the new contest here. . .

giraffes looking out over the lawn
-- a galloping purple army! Am I barmy?
They're going nowhere!

NOW put your fuldrum in the comments section. Best entry received by 12 noon, eastern standard time, Sunday, May 7, 2006 wins the signed copy of the CD published with a numbered limited edition 16-page color book (cash value $35.00). Enter as many times as you like until the deadline. Good luck!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

More D.C. Impressions

A Washington Moment

The bells of the Taft Memorial Carillon chime
the quarter; pale cherry blossom gives way
to scarlet tulips, pink dogwood: sonorous
bells to remember Senator Robert A. Taft, opposer
of the New Deal and advocate of isolationism;
in the murmuring distance, a siren howls.

Christopher T. George

* Follow the link through the title for more on the Taft Memorial Carillon.

Impressionistic D.C.

Raining in D.C. as drizzle streams down the cab windows,
green traffic lights blur, red brake lights streak
the glass as I travel this evening to Union Station.

Smudge of pale white cherry blossoms, marble buildings,
classical features distorted and smeared:
nothing seems true any more. I've escaped

my editing. On the lam, I am seated in a cab
with a Congolese driver listening to Afro-Cuban jazz
as the windows splurge with D.C. and spring.

Christopher T. George

Spring Storm in D.C.

My! The heavens are black with mischief.
Fork lightning fractures the sky north to south
and thunder shudders the cherry blossoms.

A red Circular bus ad libs in yellow: "Try Transit.
Out of Service." Cop cars whoop warning,
lights flashing as they corral a white semi.

Yet nature's terror seizes center stage.
At Union Station, I haul my stuff to platform 19
as like a spoiled child, God hurls his soup earthward.

We passengers weather a signal outage, pull off:
window splurges with green lights, blue, orange,
all gezpachoed with Mickey Dee arches, Sunoco sign.

Christopher T. George

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Thoughts about My Father, Thoughts about the Theatre

"The Dresser" Undressed

Back in the theater world, I am upstage
touring the black flats of the studio theater
where my musical will go up in five weeks' time,

recall learning the Dresser's monologue where
Sir was Dad lying dead, and how I choked back
revulsion but felt drawn like a magnet. "Enjoy

Magnet Ale": the swinging sign in a damp jigger
of some anonymous town: all in repertory, dead Sir
and my late father, emotions laid bare, staged

illusion, grief and fear, real and faked,
my wounds bleeding and festering, exposed
to the audience's stares and indifference.

My coffee sloshes at the dining car breakfast:
eggs sunny-side-up, hash browns; my guts watusi.
I sit uncomfortable with two old geezers, strangers,

on the Crescent heading north through the Blue Ridge:
the playwright-lyricist-poet at breakfast naked
as pink-purple redbuds smear the Virginia woods.

Christopher T. George

A Gaping Hole

Here despite the day's temperature I am always cold
in this hollow that holds memories of you and the others.
I run my hands through the ashes: cold cold ashes,
dampness in my mouth, the taste of earth, clay, bones
and I know the absence of you, what you might have been.
Argh! There's never enough of you to hold onto.
I try to grab on but you sift through my fingers.

An illusion -- of course, it's not really you,
and you must think me crazy coming daily
into this pit of absence seeking you
-- when you have escaped, eluded this life,
I do so hope, gone to a better place, leaving me
in this bitter place, this puzzling hole,
cold ashes, cold to touch, a taste of winter
at the height of summer. Where are you, love?

Christopher T. George

Dad, You Never Knew Me

Dad, I sifted your ashes through my fingers,
secretly in their copper cube, while Mom slept.

The urn sat on Mom's Scan coffee table;
the spring night shifted as the light gray powder fell
through my fingers.

There was something blue and turquoise
in there, plastic from the cancer clinic maybe,
the color of the kidney-shaped plastic bowl
into which Dad spat blood.

Yes, Dad, if you died again
I would do it once more.
At that moment, a sudden urge to reach out to you.

Dad, please don't hate me for what I did.
Alright I was curious. Dad, don't be angry!
Mom, sleep on sedated, sleep on,
the St. George's ferry's leaving the dock.

I received the ashes that morning.
from the crematorium of Evans Funeral Chapel,
from the young undertaker;
he had shaken hands with me,
his lilywhite hand was cloying, sweaty.
The fuschia upholstered room was quiet, cool.
Outside: mid-April -- forsythia thrust up
strong, yellow against a blue sky. The smell
of new-mown grass; kids batted a baseball.

Why did I do it. Was it revenge? I don't know.
Dad, you never knew me and I never knew you.
My fingers passed like a pitchfork through
your cancer-riddled body.

As I left the funeral chapel, a white van braked.
A Bob Marley lookalike got out, rainbowed knit cap
over his dreadlocks; he delivered a basket of orange
gladioli; "I Shot the Sheriff" blasted
from the van, his totemic head bobbed in time.

Mom and I had promised to sprinkle
your ashes in the sea off Bermuda's south beaches.
The holiday we spent riding by moped
from one end of the island to the other,
from St. George's to Somerset,
the water on your knee you received when you fell.
We smiled at lunch overlooking the reef:
chomped liverwurst on rye with mustard and onions,
sipped Heineken as we gazed over the crystal-
clear Atlantic, surf broiling round the coral.

Later, my wife accused Mom and I of exploiting
your death by holidaying in Bermuda.
The perfumed paths of snapdragons and lupins.
Was it sick to share a bedroom with you, Mom?

As I sifted through the ashes, a mockingbird stuttered into song,
somehow off to the side I saw you nodding
approval. At least I hoped I did.

Dad, you never knew me.
Perhaps by running my fingers through your ashes
I could reach a union with you
I never did in life.

Dad, were you really watching me?
I felt the movement in the air.

Christopher T. George

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Chris's "Jack--The Musical: The Ripper Pursued" to be performed in Charlotte, NC, May 13-14, 2006!

Hi all

I spent 12 hours aboard a train yesterday travelling from Baltimore to Charlotte in western North Carolina. The train journey would have been long anyway but the train was two hours late so I didn't reach the hotel in Charlotte until 11:00 pm.

I am here about the arrangements for my show "Jack-The Musical: The Ripper Pursued" -- subtitle added by the producer to better let the public know what the musical is about!! The show is due to be performed here May 13-14 in four performances.

The train whistle out here by the way is pretty incessant since there are level crossings with red flashing lights and barriers at every road the rain line west passes over.

Travelling West by Train at Night

The train whistle blasts as we approach
another level crossing and I find I miss you,
alone as I hurtle west and the red lights flash.

I journey to my destiny, a rehearsal, a performance,
but will it be curtain up or will the room stay dark?
Why must my damn choices always be so stark?

What portents loom? Failure or success? No or yes?
As we rattle down the line, I seek a sign.

Christopher T. George

U.S.A. Premiere

Jack - The Musical

Lyrics and Book by
Christopher T. George and Erik Sitbon

Music by
Erik Sitbon
Musical Direction by Lauren Konen
Stage Direction by Elizabeth Peterson-Vita

Four Fully Staged and Costumed
Musical Performances

May 13, 2006 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
May 14, 2006 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM

Duke Power Theatre
Spirit Square
Charlotte, NC

Jack - The Musical tells the story of one possible conclusion to the mystery of this most famous of unsolved cases. More an opera than a musical, Jack - The Musical features the haunting music of Erik Sitbon and the evocative lyrics of Christopher T. George.
This program contains adult themes.

Tickets now available through the link in the title above.