Author Archives: Will Arbaugh

About Will Arbaugh

I am a Colorado based writer who also dabbles in oral storytelling to enchant and amaze young and old alike. Also, a married father of two, line cook, Whovian, and Sherlock obsessive who can make the best scrambled eggs you've ever tasted.

My Favorite Poem (Love or Otherwise)

I am a man who loves poetry.  Once upon a time it was all that you could get to come out of my mouth…a steady stream of metaphor, simile and a hundred different variations of style.  When I took a poetry writing class in college I wrote a poem about my wife, possibly the most personal and nakedly vulnerable and honest things I’ve ever written, and it was so lovely that my professor and most of the students asked me how long I’d been cheating on my wife.  Apparently (exact words of the professor) “No husband feels this way about his wife.  It’s just not real.”  

So, I found my little red book of love poems today and was not all that surprised at the place red ribbon book marker was holding.  The poem is by far the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read in my life.  To my shock the internet has only one place where it can be found.  This post is in order that I may do my part in making sure that when books fade and crumble then perhaps it might live on a little longer.

Madams and Monsieurs I here lay down upon digital tablets….

A Song of Chang Ching-Yuan Picking Lotus Flowers

 

Essence of orchids in her tumbled hair, a goddess of Spring.

She takes a swallow hairpin from her nape, loosens coiled tresses.

Under the willows by west gate, near the bridge at dusk,

Moated waters past doorways, dabbled, riffled flow.

A prince of rare talents, visitor to the imperial court,

Shell fittings on his saddle all a-jangle, crosses the spring lane

 

Dancing effortlessly on an open palm, her sheer skirt,

Tailored shagreen dress, best the colors of spring.

Like wafting smoke embracing the moon, waist one measure round,

Scent of musk and dragon marrow, how lovely, graceful is she!

 

Clouds like autumn curtains brush the water- fragments of bright movement;

Dew-laden, flowers in profusion, their fragrance unfading.

Mandarin ducks go to an fro on the brimming pond,

‘Midst duckweeds green like tassels, and short lotus stems.

 

One evening the west wind comes bringing showers,

Scaring, stripping bare the flowers, a melancholy pale red.

Boat prows sever lotus stems, but strands unseen hold fast,

For lotus roots, lotus seeds, preserve a mutual bond. 

His heart is like the moon, a moon not yet on the wane,

Clear, bright and full of mid-month days.

 

Wen Ting-Yun (813-870)

Trans. William R. Schultz

 

So, there you have it.  

 

Pax,

 

P

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An Open Letter to Zack Snyder

Dear Mr. Snyder,

Upon hearing that your next movie would be a project that you had written yourself I was immediately ecstatic. I have been a long time fan of your work and consider you a visionary and a true artist of film. As such I had always wondered what it would be like if you were to direct something you had written yourself.

When media began to surface regarding Sucker Punch I obsessed over each glimmer and frame of the footage, especially the full trailer. I have always said that someone could watch your film, at any moment hit the pause button and turn that frame into a full size poster that would look amazing. The Sucker Punch trailer was no exception.

When finally reviews began to pour out I consumed them with equal relish…and that is where something didn’t sit right with me. Something deep in the pit of my stomach tempered my enthusiasm.

To be blunt, it was the inclusion of sexual violence, particularly rape though there is more than just that, that has made it so that I cannot justify seeing this film.

As a writer myself I can understand the usage of this kind of event in a piece of fiction. It makes a definite black and white line on who is the evil, despicable, nonredeemable villain and creates more than an adequate amount of sympathy for both the victim and the actions of the victim when revenge finally comes calling. It creates an amazing amount of psychological tension for the viewer because rape is one of those acts that we as humans find utterly detestable and wrong in all circumstances.

I have sat through two possibly three rape scenes as a result of your films, and I cannot bring myself to do it again. I know too many women who have been raped and/or otherwise sexually assaulted. While I am sure that your intention was to make this a film that makes victims feel empowered, I cannot help but feel that it can do naught else but make them relive the event on some level as they watch.

In your films 300 and Watchmen I understand that the argument could easily be made that those elements were already there when you began the project because they were not your writing. The presence of rape in your current film causes discomfort within at least me because it seems as though you, as a director, are treating rape and sexual assault as a gimmick. These things are not gimmicks. These events destroy peoples lives and the damage also the lives of those who love them. It is not an event that simply goes away.

As such I cannot see this film. As such I cannot recommend your work to others.

Please keep rape and sexual assault out of your new Superman movie.

Regards,

 Paidion 

I agree.  I will also not be seeing this film.  – Nocturnusrex

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