Well, when I arrived home yesterday afternoon, my film studies roommate asked if I would be willing to act in a video he and his friends were making. There would be no words, just actions and facial expressions. I thought, why not? While eventually the film will have copious voice-overs to cover our action, it did remind me of the classic drama/film exercise of the Scene Without Dialogue, which is wicked difficult to write and teaches writers a lot about body language and the unimportance of words, contrary to what most of us believe.
This reminded me of a poem that I wrote as a similar kind of exercise.
On the Difficulty of Avoiding S
There I am, trying to write a quiet
poem, trying to give the reader an idea
of what winter can be: the quiet
that can cover everything, the quilted
feeling of white hovering over, covering
everything. A mood. A moment.
A lifetime. But every word I look at
struggles and fights me. Verbs insist
on using that S, all the nouns bring
friends (not one, but several), and even
silence itself simply refuses to take this
kettle off the stove, and I am, not caught
but stuck, shedding S’s like snakes in spring.
Spilecki, Susan. “On the Difficulty of Avoiding S.” Byline. Oct 2002: 19.