February 2nd, 2009


APED: "trading secrets"

You've gotten a couple years older.
You've gotten more careful since then.
Since then you've looked over your shoulder.
And since then you've not trusted men.
He said that he'd own you forever. He'd kidnap you. Make you his wife.
So you moved, so you hid. It's a wise thing you did.
You worried he might take your life.
Flat tires. Dead cats. He got bolder.
You'd thought once that he was your friend.
But you came to this faraway city
so you'd never see him again.

He worshipped the ground that you walked on.
Who thought he'd be something to fear?
But something about you, he locked on --
Well, you've made a new life, out here.
You've never told this little secret. You don't feel safe, and so you pretend.
I'm honored to see how much you've trusted me
When you thought that you couldn't again.
It must be a hard life. Hard just to be,
when you're scared what you might wake to hear.
His fat, fleshy hands are a chill memory.
His high tenor rings in your ear.

But the surgery had one objective:
to erase that sad creature I'd been.
An acting class, too, was corrective;
a new body language, my end.
For the voice, I gargled weak acid. And I did a couple things more.
I put lifts in my shoes. Lost the weight I could lose.
-- don't bother, dear, I've locked the door.
And you'll find your last drink was effective.
You were right that you shouldn't trust men.
I'm not who I was. But I'm where I should be.
And it's so nice to see you again.
cass groovy

six degrees of the Elephant Man

Reading an interesting book: DAME MADGE KENDAL BY HERSELF. It's part of the Elephant Man kick I'm on of late; I'm toying with the idea of a novel featuring Joseph Merrick, so I'm trying to get a sense of some of the people around him, as potential sidekicks.

The modern fame of Joseph Merrick owes a lot to Bernard Pomerance's 1979 play (and David Lynch's 1980 film, which was not based on the play but may well have been greenlit given the play's considerable success). In the play, Madge Kendal features heavily: she meets with Merrick several times and is essentially his romantic interest. In Lynch's film, the same role is filled by "Fanny Kemble;" it's not clear if the writers deliberately changed the name or simply muffed it. In any event, if one were to write a novel about the Elephant Man, Madge Kendal would be the logical choice for a sidekick. Or so I thought.

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