Adult Play

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TrevorConway
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Adult Play

Post by TrevorConway » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:45 pm

Act I

A barren scene: furry things
like bodies flat on a battlefield.
Baby coos, strapped in a chair,
beholding a performance like a queen:
Father hides his face
behind his trembling hands,
in the hope she’ll be amused.
Baby claps a stuttered applause,
still learning the language of arms.
A whimper,
a cry.
Baby wails her disapproval
as Father frets, curses, forgets
the lines he’s learned to quiet her.


Act II

He reaches to the wings for props:
milk, water, dummy –
delivered swift as a sword to the mouth.
Others enter: Teddy and Cup, followed by Train.
Baby flings them to the corner.
Father taps the teeth of a xylophone,
unloosing a tune to the air.
Baby smiles, droops in the chair,
eyes heavy as stage curtains.
Father’s tapping softens,
slows.
Her eyes close, and he lifts her,
hopes gathering of a whole hour
to wallow in a soliloquy
of things he adores
(a book, a bath, perhaps a quiet coffee).
The interval is imminent.


Act III

He rocks Baby,
slow at first,
but soon a little too fast,
gains momentum like a charge of horses,
accelerates
to the point that Baby wakes.
He tries to undo it,
reasoning and rocking with shhs and oos,
but her cries curdle to a climax.
He sets her down, presents a show
of jumping, dancing, falling to the floor.

Silence now:
Baby stares.
Father reads the tone of her eyes.
He knows he can’t give her all she needs,
that there will be petite failures,
and in time, she’ll need other things –
for him, a new role.


All comments greatly appreciated. Is this too much, or does the drama fit the subject? I'm particularly interested in how the tone does or doesn't work. As usual, weak words/lines/verse highlighted would be great. And what about the title? Thanks, everyone

ray miller
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Re: Adult Play

Post by ray miller » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:28 am

Very nice. I think the ending is a bit weak, but not much else to find fault with.
swift as a sword to the mouth. -an odd phrase in any context
eyes heavy as stage curtains. - I like that very much
reasoning and rocking with shhs and oos, - Maybe oohs and aahs - gives a bit of a rhyme with climax

He knows he can’t give her all she needs,
that there will be petite failures, - I'd scrub this line
and in time, she’ll need other things –
for him, a new role.

I think you could expend a little on the ending. New roles, for a start, maybe envisioning the progression from slapstick to "serious" acting.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

TrevorConway
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Re: Adult Play

Post by TrevorConway » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:34 am

Thanks for the feedback, Ray. Yep, the sword to the mouth is a bit odd, now that you say it. Interesting idea for adding to the end. I'll certain explore it, see what comes out of it.

Thanks again,

T
ray miller wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:28 am
Very nice. I think the ending is a bit weak, but not much else to find fault with.
swift as a sword to the mouth. -an odd phrase in any context
eyes heavy as stage curtains. - I like that very much
reasoning and rocking with shhs and oos, - Maybe oohs and aahs - gives a bit of a rhyme with climax

He knows he can’t give her all she needs,
that there will be petite failures, - I'd scrub this line
and in time, she’ll need other things –
for him, a new role.

I think you could expend a little on the ending. New roles, for a start, maybe envisioning the progression from slapstick to "serious" acting.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Adult Play

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:46 am

.
Hi Trevor.

Not keen on the title (sent me somewhere entirely different/inappropriate) :)
I think the tone is fine, but it needs a bit of editing (and the ending doesn't
work for me. The 'soliloquy' idea - which I like - seems indistinguishable
from what is promised by the word 'intermission'.)
If you're intent on the 'play' form, then more theatrical terms and a more
formal style might suit this piece. To coin a phrase 'Ham it up!'
(I'd like to know there this is set. At home? Somewhere public? Anything
better than 'Strapped in'?)

In lieu of a line by line


Act I

A barren scene:
the bodies of furry things litter a battlefield.
In her [what?high chair/pram?], Baby coos, Father hides
his face behind trembling hands, in some desperate hope
that she will be amused. Peek-a-boo!
Queen Baby claps, a stuttering of applause,
captivated by her discovery of the language of arms.

A whimper:
Father frets, curses, (sotto voce) and forgets
the lines he’s learned, painstakingly, to quiet her.
All hell breaks loose.

Offstage (left):
he reaches for some props. [bottled?] milk, water, dummy –
anything to keep the show going. He panics,
ushers on the understudies: Teddy, Train and Sippy Cup,
Queen Baby flings them to the corner, it's in her contract
- she's the only star of this drama.

Scene Two:
a chic salon.
Father taps the teeth of a xylophone,
unloosing a tune to the air, to Baby's ear. She smiles,
droops in her chair, heavy eyed. Father’s ivory tinkling
slows and softens, Her eyes close, and he lifts her,
gathering up his hopes of a whole soliloquacious hour
where he might, perchance, wallow in dim remembered things,
once adored (a book, a bath, perhaps a quiet coffee).
Queen Baby snores.

Intermission


I chose to end it here. I don't think Act III offers anything new, except

He knows he can’t give her all she needs,
and in time, she’ll need other things –
for him, a new role.

seemed like an epilogue. Might be worth developing (as ray suggests) but as a companion piece.


Regards, Not


.
Last edited by NotQuiteSure on Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TrevorConway
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Re: Adult Play

Post by TrevorConway » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:36 pm

Thanks very much for all those ideas, Not. Yes, maybe what it needs is going even more out on a limb with the drama. I like some of those ideas. More direct stage directions might be the way to go.

Thanks again,

T

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Firebird
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Re: Adult Play

Post by Firebird » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:15 pm

Hi Trev,

I can sympathise with the topic of this poem, as I know exactly how it feels to be the parent of a queen baby. I think the poem handles the topic quite well, but also agree with most of what Not says. I thought I’d point out what a great phrase ‘stuttered applause’ is. Please don’t get rid of it: it’s absolutely perfect for what it describes.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Adult Play

Post by TrevorConway » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:16 pm

Cheers, Tristan. Good to get your take on it. Hope all the drama you went through was worth it :-)

T
Firebird wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:15 pm
Hi Trev,

I can sympathise with the topic of this poem, as I know exactly how it feels to be the parent of a queen baby. I think the poem handles the topic quite well, but also agree with most of what Not says. I thought I’d point out what a great phrase ‘stuttered applause’ is. Please don’t get rid of it: it’s absolutely perfect for what it describes.

Cheers,

Tristan

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Adult Play

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:17 am

I think more stage direction might be the way but I also think it's fine as is, Trevor. I enjoyed recalling some distant memories,
finding myself nodding the nod of recognition. As others have said, the stage curtain and the stuttered applause lines are superb.

I have nothing to add but my applause. :)

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

TrevorConway
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Re: Adult Play

Post by TrevorConway » Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:37 pm

Thanks, JJ. I appreciate the feedback.

T
JJWilliamson wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:17 am
I think more stage direction might be the way but I also think it's fine as is, Trevor. I enjoyed recalling some distant memories,
finding myself nodding the nod of recognition. As others have said, the stage curtain and the stuttered applause lines are superb.

I have nothing to add but my applause. :)

JJ

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