Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Hi. Haven't posted in a while. This poem I wrote about a year ago, or maybe a year and a half. It was Friday night and I was going to see a movie with my mother. She was being real mysterious about the movie we were going to see, and only told me it was about ballet. It was called First Position, I think. Since this movie was being shown in only one theater, we drove to San Francisco and stopped at an obscure little theater/coffee shop hybrid. It was colorfully painted, and paintings and pen ink drawings by local artists hung for sale on the walls. They were all very interesting-paintings of Star Wars characters done on pieces of old skateboards, vivid and grotesque Cubist paintings, fantastical drawings of little girls in strange places. I went into the theater, which was a tiny place only a little bigger than a middle school classroom. It smelled stuffy, like an old lady's house. The screen quality wasn't that great. But the movie was powerful. It was one of those rare movies that actually teaches you something, that caters to a sensible and intelligent audience, that holds in it pieces of wisdom like hidden diamonds. It was about the lives of five contestants in a ballet contest. These contests are about the only way aspiring dancers can be noticed and picked up by prestigious schools. And you only have one chance. What this movie taught me was that professional ballet is hard. You have to work your ass off at practice every day, do a bunch of really painful-looking stretches, and try to convince a skeptical panel of judges that you are good at this-no, not only good, but a genius-in front of an audience of hundreds. The physical and mental strain of it is enormous. I can't imagine the amount of determination, perseverance, and dedication it would take. Injuries are common, and if you get one you're pretty much out. What is all this hard work, stress, and pain for? A few minutes on the stage, flying in bliss. And yet, what those children, children with the professionalism of adults, truly believe is that it's worth it.


bright young things
flying  things
gleaming across the stage
transforming into stars
they fall

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