Find an old shoebox to use as a backdrop.
Try Legos and pipe-cleaners for furniture;
cut up old shirts and socks for
curtains, tablecloths and carpeting.
You may use action figures,
but it’s more fun to create
your own cardboard cutouts.
A man has just been served with
divorce papers. He sits at his
kitchen table, considering his options:
a gun, a ballpoint pen,
The Golden Hits of Elvis Presley.
A married woman with three children has
just realized that she’s a lesbian.
Give visual hints about her epiphany:
Desperate Housewives on the television,
a framed portrait of Melissa Etheridge;
a hot dog, half-eaten.
A large family sits at a dinner table,
enjoying a Thanksgiving meal.
A second tableau reveals what
would happen if they gave
vent to their true feelings:
Aunt Martha rolls an enormous joint;
cousins Teddy and Suki
make out beneath the table;
Uncle Freddie discovers a
fork sticking out of his forehead.
The assignment is due May 17,
after which your teacher will be
marrying a banker and leaving you
little rat-bastards to fend for yourselves.
From the collection Fields of Satchmo
Photo by MJV