Tag Archives: Prue Hyman

17. Running On The Spot

Anna Keir [1980?] Untitled [Anna Keir, Marian Evans, Allie Eagle] pencil & ink drawing 26x33cm

Anna Keir [1980?] Untitled drawing 26x33cm

When I get excited – by fear, grief, delight, anger, worry – adrenalin itches under and around my tongue. My pupils dilate. Multiple stimuli pour in. I lose my capacity to frame a sentence. To recognise an unnecessary parenthesis. And I run at the mouth: multiple blurts. It’s not pretty.

Intimates know to wait. Sit it out. Sometimes they smile. Put an arm around me. Ask a considered question or two. Ask me to PAUSE. Sigh. Laugh and roll their eyes. Tell me off. Etc.

Fortunately, I’ve learned to be calm. Most of the time. But not at the beginning of Prue Hyman’s interview for Wellington’s Lesbian Radio Show, a Radio Access programme I love.

I’m not sure what did it. I know I was worried about reading a Muriel Rukeyser poem. Prue had suggested Rukeyser’s Looking at Each Other, which seems to be about two women. It starts:

Yes, we were looking at each other
Yes, we knew each other very well
Yes, we had made love with each other many times

I’m not a poet. I don’t read poems in public. But I’d practised, and practised a little bit of The Speed of Darkness, too, because that’s where Throat of These Hours started.

And it was earlyish Sunday morning, when I’m usually carrying home vegetables and fruit from the waterfront market. And I’d had a solitary week, not speaking much. And there was concern that the Radio Access transmitter was down, affected by one of the 800 lightning strikes that hit Wellington a couple of days earlier; we learned that the show was going out only to computers. And the studio we were in was the model for some of the scenes in Throat of These Hours. It was the space where we’d filmed Tinkerbell, the 48Hours film that explores one of the Throat of These Hours themes. It was the studio where I record Wellywood Woman podcasts, where I was used to being the interviewer. And then, at the beginning of the interview, for a while everything I’d said seven seconds ago played softly through my headphones. Continue reading

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16. The Bus

From my desk in the bus

From my desk in the bus

This fortnight living in a bus in a old mate’s garden-by-the-sea is a small commitment; I’m here partly because she’s working on an idea that includes portraits and dress-ups and conversations with other old mates and me. But, alas, it’s disrupted my commitment to finishing the Throat of These Hours radio play by the end of September (followed by the stage play at end November). I enjoy the bus and the sociability, and much of my time’s my own, but the wheels of my work day don’t turn. I planned to go home with the third draft good-to-go for a reading-with-actors. I don’t think that’ll happen.

But the good news is that I now have three posts on the Muriel Rukeyser Living Archive site. I like writing them because they make me think about aspects of what I’m writing that otherwise I’d take for granted. And re-examine where I’m going. They’re also an opportunity to celebrate the beautiful women who contribute to the plays’ development, especially Christine White as the composer and the actors Madeline McNamara and Lorae Parry, who have read twice for me – some of the stage play on film and all of the second draft of the radio play.

Here’s the first one, with clips of Chris White’s composition-in-progress for Muriel Rukeyser’s The Speed of Darkness and a scene between the two main characters, played by Madeline and Lorae. The second one, ‘Throat of These Hours: The Verifiable & The Unverifiable’  is about my research process and includes a clip of Chris’ composition-in-progress for Muriel Rukeyser’s Then. And the latest one, ‘From The Shaky Isles’, reports on the reading of the second draft of Throat of These Hours as a radio play, follows the latest large earthquake in Wellington and refers to some of the subtext to the work. It includes Estuary, a poem by Hinemoana Baker and Chris, and a clip of them singing Beautiful Thing, a tribute to New Zealand writer Jacquie Sturm.

The next confirmed Throat of These Hours ‘event’ is an interview on Wellington’s lesbian radio programme on Access Radio, with Prue Hyman, Sunday 22 September.