Nothing Is Really Difficult, or Princess
Text to the filmpoem by Vera Chok inspired by a collaboration with artist Sophie Herxheimer.
black haired doll
arranges pans and clatters cutlery
Set the sea to simmer, dance
swell like a heart swells
there’s emerald childhood grass there
burn tongues swirl
talk and sing with silk
embroidered bandits, rabbits
seven nights a week none of this is mine
wind blurs us
f l o a t i n g
w h i t e
principessa prin prin principessa prin prin principessa
principessa principessa princh principessa
*Dedicated to Sophie Herxheimer, David Duchin, Beat poetry, Richard Brautigan, waitresses, Apocalypse Now, Lucy Pawlak, Katherine Leedale, Fogo Island, Alejo Pelaez, Gloria Sanders, Daniella Valz Gen and Dutch Theatre Group, WAK.
The voice is friend and artist, Lucy Pawlak, who I am visiting and working with on Fogo Island. Some of the film was shot en route to and on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Thanks to Lucy for technical support re. audio editing.
The film footage at the start is a re-filming of segment of the movie, High School Confidential (1958, d. Jack Arnold), showing Philippa Fallon. For the full clip, scroll down. The opening title sequence shows a show flyer by Dutch theatre group WAK. I saw their piece in Edinburgh 2012
The images of horses are by Katherine Leedale, taken at the Brautigan Book Club end of year event, So The Wind Won’t Blow It All Away.
Copyright Vera Chok March 27 2013
Tender is the chicken, crispy is the night!
A poem by Sophie Herxheimer based on film snippets and conversations by Vera Chok
Black haired doll in her rented dolls house kitchen
arranges pans, clatters the cutlery, wrinkles
her nose at the blue toaster, white laminates,
(why so bland?) tins in the cupboard, says:
none of this is mine.
Signorita dreaming in her costume
in her suitcase of ideas, her laughter bursts
her seams and she is floating
on a turquoise sea a million miles
from England with its Quality Street tins,
white laminate sky, taps dripping bad weather.
Set the sea in a pan to simmer, tip in rice
so the grains dance too, swell like a heart swells
when there’s emerald childhood grass
residing there. Give every fairy helper
dainty reddish dancing shoes with curled up
toes (you’ll find them in the chilli jar)
burn tongues and twirl, talk and sing with silk
embroidered bandits, rabbits, principessas
seven nights a week. Drift in and out of focus
as the wind blurs us, and the scenery
adapts to every cherry word
From High School Confidential:
My old man was a bread stasher all his life.
He never got fat. He wound up with a used car,
a 17 inch screen and arthritis.
Tomorrow is a drag, man.
Tomorrow is a king sized bust.
They cried ‘put down pot,’ ‘don’t think a lot,’ for what?
Time, how much? And what to do with it.
Sleep, man, and you might wake up digging the whole
human race giving itself three days to get out.
Tomorrow is a drag, pops, the future is a flake.
I had a canary who couldn’t sing.
I had a cat who let me share my pad with her.
I bought a dog that killed the cat who ate the canary.
What is truth?
I had an uncle with an ivy league card.
He had a life with a belt in the back.
He had a button-down brain.
Wind up a belt in the mouth with a button-down lip.
We cough blood on this earth.
Now there’s a race for space.
We can cough blood on the moon soon.
Tomorrow’s dragsville, cats.
Tomorrow is a king size drag.
Tool a fast shore, swing with a gassy chick.
Turn on to a thousand joys.
Smile on what happened, or check what’s going to happen,
You’ll miss what’s happening.
Turn your eyes inside and dig the vacuum.