I swore I wouldn’t start any more new series until 2012, but I can’t help myself! Last year I created the Poetic Art Pairing Project where I asked artists to submit selected pieces of their collections so I could create poetry using their works as inspiration. Now I’d like to introduce the Poetry Re-Purposed – Cinema Series Project where I will take a scene, line of dialogue or piece of art from a promotional poster from a film and create a poem based off of it.
To start us off, I am choosing one of my favorite scenes from the film, Waiting to Exhale, which tells the tale of four African-American women whose friendships see them through trying times in their personal lives and relationships with men. This film will always live with me for many reasons, but one of the scenes that really stuck with me was the one with Bernadine (Angela Bassett) and James (Wesley Snipes). Bernadine had discovered that her husband was having an affair with a white woman and in a rage burns up his expensive clothing and sets his car on fire! She goes on a trip and meets a quiet gentle man in a bar and strikes up a conversation with him. He has a wife who is ill and isn’t meeting his physical needs. As they talk they make a connection and realize they want to spend the evening together. Here is the scene advanced to where they are in the hotel room.
This clip doesn’t feature the later part of the scene which shows the couple fully clothed and spooning on the bed as the music swells. The viewer is left wondering did they make love or just hold each other for the night? What I was left with was a poetic moment in which I’m entitling:
Just For The Night
miles and space collide like jazz notes in a smoky bar
they loop, turn and twist and flatline bringing us here
dropped off like commuters at the train station
heads and hearts are buzzing replaying the yesterdays of our forevers
we need to drown out the noise with liquid salvation
it goes down easy, but the sounds of our tumultuous lives still trumpet loudly in our souls
a look and a glance gives us a chance to escape our head space
smooth, clear brown skin, lips curled into a smile
welcome into my world please
introduce me to your now
i so want to be your now
tell me your troubles
let my soulful eyes be the remedy
your voice tenders the air around me
makes me feel safe
nothing i’ve ever experienced matters right now
i’m taking this for me
forget the legalities of a ring not yet removed
i need to feel loved and needed
let me do the same for you
sink down into my warmth
let it surround you
protect you from the hardships of your day, your week, your life
what’s an hour or two of supreme connection with another?
do i not breathe and bleed?
should i not have happiness?
if not only for just a night?
this creature was sent to me on a barstool looking like the queen of ages
my queen for the night
my king wears not a crown, but a business suit
as he holds me close i smell his aftershave, cologne, desperation and hunger
i long to linger and live within the confines of his Brooks Brothers armor
my fingers trace his cuff-links
they are hard beneath my fingers
as hard as he is against my back
just for the night i need to know that i’m the architect of the steel against me
no one will enter his thoughts but me
i rule this room
if only just for tonight
i found love without a limit
a song with no ending
i am all that needs to be
and he is all i need to see
our meeting was not an accident
it was destined
to give us this pleasure
as payment for our punishment
thank you universe
you have given me much
if only to hold it just for the night
© 2011 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.