Sunday, March 24, 2013

First Draft of Amour Americain Synopsis

I was surprised to find that there was no female “Cyrano de Bergerac” on record (or at least on Wikipedia). This is because it is impolite to call a woman “ugly”; but you might call her “disabled”: and thus was born Siriana D. Bergmann, who, like me, has Multiple Sclerosis and uses a cane. The moment I visualized that cane flashing like a sword, I knew we could stride onto M. Rostand’s hallowed ground.

Siriana became a Professor of English Literature at NYU in New York in 1996, and that made perfect sense. The war, for our free verse poetess, is for women’s rights, and she was a leader in the feminist movement, with her female student followers calling themselves “The Cadettes.” Sirianna lives in the East Village, among the artists and wild youth. In 1996, there was a also a new war beginning in America: one between the rich and the poor with the middle class crushed in between. The edges of prosperity were starting to fray and food lines and repossessions were beginning to make headlines.

Le Bret is now a fellow NYU Professor called “The Brit”. Ragueneau, the French boulanger is now Raganno, the Italian baker. Ligniere has been redubbed Lee Genet. The Count De Guiche can be equally evil as Ceci Guisse. Montfleury has become Maria Flowers and the handsome Christian De Neuvillette, Cyrano’s rival, is now the beautiful Chrissie Newsome. And then, there’s the biggest challenge…a male equivalent of Cyrano’s secret love…Roxane….

He is, of course, a beautiful man. Women inspire him both on the canvas and in the bed. Setting the play in 1996 sets the play in an age where one can be careless and superficial…and identified by a graffiti tag. Take the name, Robert Xavier Yeager and voila! The hip and dazzling moniker: “Roxy.”

We have attempted to write most of the dialogue in pentameter with the occasional speech, as per M. Rostand. We have a Man (or Woman) in the Moon scene and the balcony scene, now set in Queens, N.Y. But what is romantic in a male lead would be masochistic in a female, so we have modified the plot a bit. And in 1996, the key event would be far more than a kiss.

The last scene stil comes 14 years later, but Siriana and Roxy have not seen each other in that time, although he has a poem written by Siriana, which he thinks is Chrissie’s. They meet one last time and this time, only Siriana’s heart is broken. And she accepts the loss of Roxy. She rises her cane to the sky and her last line is “We are not crippled! We are armed!” And that is how you write a female Cyrano.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sonnet 88 -- All Right, That's Enough

Why are we attempting to start over,
When life is slowing down and wrapping up?
Can I find comfort resting in clover,
Why do I still desire a wine filled cup?
I am my own knight in shining steel dress
But there’s just room for one on this white horse
I’ll never be a damsel in distress
And you will always wander off the course
It’s time to live the play as it was wrote
And widowed, wander off to see the world
And make the written word my wand’ring boat
Accept my age and leave my hair uncurled
Hope you find your Xanadu of riches
And no more women who act like bitches

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sonnet 87 It had to be said

You don’t inspire me. You don’t inspire me!
And I do not want to inspire you!
I need less, not more, damned words to be free!
Beauty, and Love and Hope to see me through.
No pity! Pity means you think I’ll fail!
And need you and see the truth of your soul
You to the rescue from poorhouse or jail
The cloying weight of your “Love” takes a toll
Oh, Mona Lisa and Aphrodite
Or the modern equivalent hot girl
Rape me, take me, we won’t do it lightly
Young beauty put my manhood in a whirl
Till I can finally switch off the lights
And fly at last to God’s more blessed heights