The First Idea (poem)
The first idea the two women jotted down
Was a spoof on the bodice-ripper
“Wait. You make me think. Could you do something dark…?
A take on Jack the Ripper.”
“We could do anything. How about
Passion’s Savage Heart…that seems jokey enough.
See if the name’s been used. Lemme google it.”
“I just had a flash. I don’t know where it came from…
You ever dream cast one of these? Like all the actors who ever lived…”
“You mean the gypsy queen would be played by
“Or, why not…Joan Crawford, of course.”
“Because she didn’t have a sense of humor about herself.
I was gonna say…I interrupted myself. I feel like it should be set
in the eighties.”
“You mean like 1980’s…1880’s.”
“Sure, the magic parts could be exactly a hundred years earlier.
But I was picturing more Edwardian, I don’t know.”
“But then there’s the Mr. Rochester thing, the wife
shut up in the tower.”
“Yeah…I’m thinking that’s hard to play, in comedy. If she’s getting killed
when Lord Blankspace fights the duel.”
“The governess can’t marry him if the wife’s in the way.”
“Is there any way to kill someone funny?”
“Well, yeah…I guess…only, really, the wife isn’t someone.
She doesn’t exist until that one scene.”
(2017, Stephanie Foster)