VIDEO POEM: Murder Girl gets wired
To celebrate Poetry Month in Australia, I am dipping into the archives to share a series of video poems & recorded performances of my poetry. Here's the second in the series, Murder Girl gets wired.
SYNOPSIS & CONTEXT
Writing really is a long game. I wrote Murder Gets gets wired in 2007 after I'd relocated from Perth to Adelaide and was still elbow-deep in writing for theatre. I didn't know about prose poems. I thought I was just writing little sketches (were they poems? were they stories?) with a view to heightening ordinary fuckd-up urban and suburban folk to a kind-of mythological status. I didn't really know what I was doing. I'd give my characters names like Murder Girl, Violet Sweets, Beef Boy and they'd always drink too much & have low self-esteem. Auto-bio much? Now I can hear rhythms & a smattering of rhyme in this poem, which were the precursors to me writing and performing my first spoken word poem in 2016.
In 2020, when I received funding to record my first collection SIARAD as an audiobook & make some video poems, I wanted to record multiple sound-tracks for this poem, which were then edited & enhanced by the audio genius Jeffrey Zhang. Then, the poet indigo eli introduced me to featherful (not their real name) who agreed to make the video-poem. I still remember the feeling of being blown away the first time I watched it. It exceeded my expectations in capturing the feel of late-night, urban-gothic youth culture in small city Australia. The video poem's interplay of dark and light, appearing & disappearing, is eerie.
Jeff added his own audio storytelling to the poem, which I absolutely love. For the full impact (pun intended), it's best listened to with headphones on all the way to the end.
Film maker: featherful
Sound: Jeffrey Zhang
Poet/Voiceover/Singer: Caroline Reid
Filmed on KaurnaYerta (Adelaide), South Australia, 2021
Supported by: ARTS South Australia
Girls on Key Poetry Films presented in association with Word Travels, Australia 2022
Murder Girl gets wired was first published in indigo, a journal of West Australian writing managed by the wonderful Donna Ward. It was my first experience working with an editor and still remains a highlight for me. Donna took such care, was very encouraging & I had the sense that she saw more in the work than I did. Thirteen years later, I included Murder Girl gets wired in my debut collection of poetry & prose, SIARAD (ES-Press, an imprint of Spineless Wonders, 2020)
MURDER GIRL GETS WIRED, the poem (full text)
Tapping at windows on the city south road Murder Girl is looking for
Poor Poor Boys who don't respect the law, whose jocks don't match
their socks, whose mama's curtains don't match the carpet, whose cul-
de-sacs aint safe, only yesterday a child got hit in reverse, o the price
and the dread and the price and the shame of it. wot du we du about
this place? Girls and boys drenched in hectic religion with smelly
haircuts, shady lounge rooms, thinking about future, three minutes to
zero, bank accounts super-duper, now there's a life. Murder Girl wired
is like opal in the desert, what a girl, what a shake-up, loving with
the Dirties, that's where she wants to be, with Poor Poor Boys being
gawked at and talked at and she, the Night Princess, in love with
night love, is all for cigarettes if they prove she can't win.