I’m a poet. Occasionally, however, I hate poetry. Usually these feelings occur during periods when I can’t seem to write any of it, when anything I do manage to force on to the page sounds (to my ear) stilted and awkward and pitifully dumb.
Disadvantages aside, I think watching a television show in its entirety can actually have some benefits, especially if you’re a writer of some kind. You learn how to easily spot plot-holes (uh, Battlestar Gallactica season four? The entire Heroes series?); you can learn about character-building (Walter White, Shane Vendrell, anyone created by Joss Whedon). You can also get a glimpse of what the current trends are (mystical creatures, criminal masterminds, and, as always, cops). You can also learn what to avoid, due to over-saturation (vampires!), or what to capitalize on (office dramas; quirky families).
To pass the Bechdel Test, a film must satisfy a very simple set of criteria: (1) it must have at least two female characters, preferably named, who (2) talk to each other about (3) something other than a man.
Marianne and I meet over drinks, at a wooden table, well trod floorboards, wooden panelling on the walls, a low plaster ceiling, paving stones and graffiti through the window on the street below as dusk settles, lavender, royal blue, black. We’re here intending to talk about images that aren’t in front of us. Images of urban landscapes at night, underpasses, tunnels, back rooms. Innercity Pilgrim is a film by the artist Marianne Walker. She lives in London.
Theobald Kristeller settled into his chair in the early printed text room of the British Library. The reading area was deathly quiet, save when one of the youngish, gung-ho librarians stumbled upon someone not using one of the book cradles properly, or writing notes in pen. Theo had himself once been upbraided for letting a first edition of Robert Persons’s De Persecutione Anglicana slip into his lap. “But it’s Persons!” he had exclaimed incredulously. “No one cares about Robert Persons!”