Alphabet stories

Wednesday 11th May 2011

JAZZ musician, ballet dancer, wicket-keeper, trapeze artist, opera singer and snooker player – all professions demanding discipline and routine practice. Writers, however.

(A writer may even scrawl a couple of words – noun followed by adverb, say – and call it a sentence.)

When a friend and I run sessions for teenage performance poets, we start with group tableaux…

Workshop Warm-ups
A birthday circle. Dramatic entertainments: family groups, holidays, instrumentalists jazzing, kids laughing. Marcus noisily orders pretty quick responses. Sara-Jane then utters various words, xciting your zest.

…before asking them to solve the structure of…

Down on the Farm
A baby calf definitely enjoys fresh grass; however I just keep lambs myself, near open pasture. Quick! Run! See their udders vibrate with X-rated youthful zeal.

…and then performing our own piece…

Scenes from a Modern Marriage
After breakfast, Christine does exercises for getting healthy, including jogging, kicking, leaping. Meanwhile Norman opens paper, quietly reading Sunday Times until vexed wife xplodes, “You zombie!”

This journal is compelling me to work every day. I am back on the exercise bike, with biros bulging and a sore Thesaurus. Here are a few more A-Z pieces, reducing humankind’s history to a manageable size:

In the Beginning
Adam behaves cheekily, devouring Eve’s fruit, giving himself incredibly joyful knowledge. Lord murmurs, “No! Out!” Pair quiver, realising sleeping together unleashes very welcome xtatic yumminess. Zzzzz…

Origin of Species
Aboard Beagle, Charles dissects evidence from Galapagos, honestly interpreting journey’s key lessons: mutations naturally occur, providing qualitative, reliable survival through useful variations. Why? Xamine yourself, zoologically.

Man on the Moon
Apollo boldly circles destination. Eagle finds ground, heralding international joyous kinship. Lunar module’s Neil offers poetry, quietly respecting smallness. This unique venture was, xtra-terrestially, yesteryear’s zenith.

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