Massachusetts

February 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

We spend a glorious summer in historic Harvard,
where I write a musical burlesque that opens and folds.

In the fall we migrate to the South Shore,
where I work menial jobs and try to write a screenplay
(while Sandra mothers, scrimps to make ends meet),
then go on the dole to qualify for a CETA job
that leads me to Susanna Rowson.

Sandra, pregnant, goes home for the summer,
while I remain to write, produce, and direct an outdoor drama.

Save the Bluebird

His HarvardHouse is history, but
Peter remains in Harvard Town and welcomes us
to share the rented house he shares with Doug.
We three put out heads together and produce a rollicking lampoon
on the Nixon White House and the World.

SummerdayA rich older woman using a pseudonym
hires me to revise and update
a 1940’s noir I’ve never heard of and cannot recall.
I knock off the first draft in three weeks,
for which I’m generously rewarded.
The revision is unfinished six months later when I call it quits.
Another missed opportunity—my patron is Lesley Stahl’s mother.

A Rocky FallHard times take us to the coast,
where I slave over the screenplay,
work part-time jobs, substitute teach—
anything to keep the wolf from the door.
Sandra bakes bread, makes yogurt and granola, crochets and sews.
Hallie’s the joy (and trouble) that binds us together.
Not long after Christmas we’re on Welfare.

Susanna

Welfare qualifies me for a government (CETA) job
that introduces me to the heroine (from Hull)
of the Bicentennial play I imagine and pitch
to Judeth Wiers, who engages half the town in its production
out-of-doors, on Telegraph Hill, overlooking the Bay.
Author and director, I’m the center of attention.
Meanwhile, Sandra’s pregnant, and when the summer renters arrive—
just when the ball starts rolling—she takes Hallie to PG.

In many ways, this summer is the apex of my success in life
all my creative juices flowing, energy, self-assurance,
focused on an impossible dream come true, a miracle in fact.
And another road not taken.

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