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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Chase

Poem inspired by "Nine"

By Justin Karcher

Marcello Mastroianni as Guido in Federico Fellini's "8 1/2"

How My Mind Works in Nine Different Ways

By Justin Karcher

1) Before the show, while smoking in front of Shea’s Smith, I kept thinking, “I’m probably gonna dig this,” because I download apps to my brain all the time. For example, a fantastical Google Maps that only takes me to imaginary places, like a seaside resort out of time and on the lacy shoreline, there are a thousand women singing my praises… about how I’m the greatest writer alive.

2) I pretend I have a vision for how art should be, but I really don’t. I always talk about all the ideas I have, but never execute them well enough. Throughout the show, I kept thinking, “I’m totally like Guido Contini… except I’m not really a ladies man, but if I was, I’d be a Rust Belt ladies man and that’s kinda sad.”

3) Throughout the show, I kept thinking, “Ben looks really sharp. I don’t think I could pull off white shoes.” And every time he would sing, the little voice inside my head would ask me, “Don’t you wish you could sing like that?” And I would just nod, because I can’t sing like that.

4) Throughout the show, I kept thinking, “I wish Buffalo was more like this magical world that’s been created… a chorus of paparazzi always singing about art, love, lust, and redemption.”

5) During the show, when Ben and Arianne… excuse me, Guido and Claudia… are on the beach, I kept thinking, “This really does feel like they’re on the beach. Theater’s magical like that. I wish Buffalo had better beaches, an ocean instead of this motley crew of lakes and creeks.”

6) During the show, whenever Lisa (as Lilliane) was on stage, I kept thinking, “I wish producers would chase me all over the globe.” Then I imagined every Artistic Director in Buffalo chasing me down Main Street asking about my next script. I think I would enjoy the anxiety.

7) During the show, I kept thinking, “This is pretty sexy.” And I wanted to start rapping, “It’s gettin’ hot in here,” but decided against it.

8) After the show, I kept thinking, “I don’t know if I’ve ever watched 8 ½ all the way through. Why do I pretend I’m some Fellini expert?” Then I went to Matinee and immediately started talking about Fellini.

9) After the show, while staring at myself in the bathroom mirror at Matinee (and after drinking way too many Red Bulls), I imagined a group of nuns dragging me into this underground cave where they keep the Voice of God, which kinda looks like a glowing jukebox, then they leave me there all alone… eventually, I insert some dollars into the divine mouth and God starts singing to me about all the bad choices I’ve made in my life… and all I wanna know is where I should go from here. But there are no songs for that.

Ben Moran as Guido in "Nine" at Second Generation Theatre
Ben Moran as Guido in "Nine" at Second Generation Theatre


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