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DEATH OF A PLAYWRIGHT
Chapter One: Curtains Up.
by Lee A. Whitelock

 

A thousand plundered blank pages before me; in awe of me.

And I saw the taming of the quill, to the shrill of plot unfolding. I plundered, sure.
I sacked a bounty of literary greats, libraries at my feet, dictionaries knee deep.

Then why my hands tremble? Why my mind wanders?
They say greatness hides behind corners, but will greatness lie till morning?
Who’s to say? Tremble, again. Assemble, the pain.
Remember-the-fame-would-never-remember-my-name!

Three years since I meandered my way South; London, and the Great Writers Drought.
Doubt-
Whether I’ll drink again,
plunder again,
wonder again,
wandering again in my mind, the narrative maze.

Such character is me, don’t you see? Character it seems, characterises my dreams
I could never write this character so clearly.
I struggle day by night to concede,
me and defeat,
linking arms,
dancing with wine in hand,
threadbare suit still grand,
charm still currency in the writers bank.

So I’m a hedonist in the city of sin? Such a city would surely sink in the Thames-
and see, she sways,
like darling buds of a blustery May,
but see, she stays.
like darling thugs of a boxing ring maze.

Then after one particular night of adult wretch, a soft silk noose caresses my neck.
Not the first time a writer thought of death.
Not the last one should expect,
but that windsor knot makes me look fetch-
I wake on a Southbank bench, to the sound of London and my Shaftesbury wench.

Then the beginnings of a play struggle for berth in my head,
I tries to guide them in with drunken plight,
Sighs- the fisher of words who coils the reel,
brings home the catch,
turns on the light. Another day I eat,
another day I live.

Then there it is, the-smell-of-the-paint-and-the roar-of-the-crowd,
I’m plundering again.

Feeds the roller.
Inks the well.
Cracks the knuckles.
Dips the quill.

Curtains up-
battling, still.