Friday, April 17, 2015

No Strings On Me

Bunraku Domestic Drama

I hope you're prepared to devote
A full day to this. It takes time
For this art to unfold. Begin
With a nod to the text and a pledge
To resist deviation. Every move,
From swinging fists to gentle daubs
Of her tears, is done with sticks.
The female puppets don't need legs,
But for this story, they constructed
One lovely foot for him to kiss.
These days it takes three masters
To manipulate just one of them, think of that.
They never hide themselves--we all
Know they're there, and we forget
They're there, as we're spun into
This month's variations of the beloved story:
The lovers love, transgress, and so they must
Die by their own hands, so artfully
Guided by the hands at their backs.
Love it while you're here, but don't
Live it or they'll shut the playhouse down.

Too much to explain on deadline, except to say love-suicide bunraku plays were so popular people started offing themselves and the censors banned the theaters from doing them. Also that Chikamatsu Monzaemon went back to writing bunraku cause kabuki actors messed with his lines too much and bunraku doesn't stand for that kind of thing.

Yeah, missed another day yesterday, I'll slip it in, comme elle a dit. Today's prompt was, god help us, "a swing poem." I tried to resist the obvious.

Today's judge is Boss, Todd Boss. Check him here. He works poetry in with public art and films.

Image: Masanobu. Now who's pulling the strings.

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