Movie-Inspired Poems at Nitehawk Prospect Park

Special thanks to Max Cavanaugh, Kevin Maher and Nick Nadel for helping to make this possible. Also to Nicki Lilavois and Bob Hoff for their essential help with the first installation of the marquee poems.

About Saint Flashlight:

Saint Flashlight is the art installation duo of Molly Gross and Drew Pisarra, two lifelong friends and published poets currently devoted to placing verse in public spaces. One previous project involved haikus written in black electrician’s tape on the walls of the Crest True Value Hardware in Williamsburg.

Molly Gross cofounded the Filmette Film Festival at Harvestworks last year. Her love of film, especially Japanese, is pronounced as is her desire to sing and dance. Her latest chapbook of poems, Crisscross (2016), can be read online at rm144.com.

Drew Pisarra has been known to stage Gertrude Stein plays, turn Fassbinder movies into poems, and blog weekly about Korean cinema. He recently grew a mustache to play Nietzsche in an opera by the Austrian-American composer Gisburg.

 

THE POEMS AND WRITERS

VOL 1

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
seed from a book not
the screen she cracked it open
under the skylight

-Karen Hudes (written for Leonard Library)

Karen Hudes took her first swing at NYC signage as a kid in the 1980s, when she wrote the winning slogan to relaunch the Times Square Zipper. Later she conceived and curated a 2010 exhibition about Williamsburg’s handmade shop signs for The City Reliquary in Brooklyn. Check out more of her projects here.

Saturday Night Fever

right down to my blood
fast-footed strut this disco
love these teenage feet

-Diane Mehta

Diane Mehta is a fan of lyrical epigrams and jagged sonnets, the metaphorical equivalent of Emir Kusturica and Werner Herzog. Her poetry collection, Morning of the Monsoon, comes out in 2019 with Four Way Books.

She’s Gotta Have It
Nola Darling dreams
a story in black and white
loving herself first

-Molly Gross

Molly Gross cofounded the Filmette Film Festival at Harvestworks last year. Her love of film, especially Japanese, is pronounced as is her desire to sing and dance. Her latest chapbook of poems, Crisscross (2016), can be read online at rm144.com.

 

VOL 2

Blue in the Face

lives intersect here
situational drop ins
at the cigar store

-Kate Lutzner​

Kate Lutzner is a Pushcart Prize nominee who loves movies, but whose dyslexia keeps her in local language films. Even so, she loved the French film Betty Blue and fancies herself a dark heroine.

Just Another Girl on the IRT

flygirl rides fast rails
pre gentrified Brooklyn world
yield delays ahead

-Pamela S. Booker

A former longtime Brooklyn resident, though never a “fly girl”, Pamela Booker is an interdisciplinary writer and educator who now lives in North Jersey. She misses the 1990s, and dreams of providing IRT riders with compelling new reads with her Charlie Brown inspired essay forthcoming this fall and a novel that explores drag activism and a murder, soon to follow.

Moonstruck

because you’re lactose
intolerant our love is
not a pizza pie

-Regie Cabico (dedicated to Brendan Gillett)

Regie Cabico won the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and produces Capturing Fire, an international queer slam and summit. His “Moonstruck” moment was being kissed by Stanley Tucci onstage.

 

VOL 3

The Lords of Flatbush
sly leather jackets
punch drunk studs with jukebox dreams
hair as slick as spit

-Drew Pisarra

Drew Pisarra has been blogging on Korean movies at KoreanGrindhouse.blogspot.com since 2007 and has written a poem for every movie that R.W. Fassbinder ever made.


Vampire in Brooklyn
when faced with a choice
love or everlasting life
she chose right poor thing

-Christine Fall

Christine Fall is a writer and documentary film producer. Her favorite vampire comedy (yes, it’s a genre) is the 1963 short Transylvania 6-5000, starring Bugs Bunny. You can find out more about Christine here.

The Warriors
at 96th Street
delayed of course mta
everyone must wait

-Jennifer Lam

Jennifer Lam is an arts advocate raised on a bracing diet of Masterpiece Theater and Hong Kong crime dramas. She can find felicity anywhere.

VOL 4
The Babadook

tonight we eat glass
with a side of psychosis
your mother will scream

-Octavio Roscioli (The Haiku Guys & Gals)
Octavio Roscioli is a 25-year-old Brooklyn Software Engineer who also finds time to paint, bike, and front a post-punk rock band. Some of his biggest influences in life are Oscar Wilde, Kermit the Frog, and Kurt Cobain.
It Follows
trading sleep for love
as shadowing gambits wait
only steps away
-Erick Szentmiklosy (The Haiku Guys & Gals)
Eric Szentmiklosy is a former payroll salesman who co-founded a national poetry brand, The Haiku Guys & Gals, by accident when working on another project and produces a monthly comedy series called Comedy Commune.

 

The Ring
your vcr is
ready for a garage sale
oh wait you are dead
-Lisa Ann Markuson (The Haiku Guys & Gals)
Lisa Ann Markuson is co-founder/co-owner of The Haiku Guys, Poet Ambassador for Bowery Poetry, founder/host of A Revolutionary Woman podcast, and currently working on the political verse project #PoemsForSenators. No one knows where she lives.

VOL 5

Volume 5 haikus were chosen by Saint Flashlight via social media contest.

Mean Girls
queen bees score mad burns
high school is for wannabees
put it in the book

-Seth‏ Rosenbaum

Seth Rosenbaum is a writer and actor based in Brooklyn. He has written and performed three solo plays presented as part of the Hot! Festival at Dixon Place. He enjoys reading science fiction novels, long city walks with headphones, and dropping sick Mean Girls one liners whenever possible.

The Shining
too much space and time
daddy gets stressed and flips out
writing books is hard

Jessica van Campen​

When not semi-fervently writing her second screenplay, Jessica van Campen divides her time between urban hikes, her Brooklyn rooftop okra farm and wine.

The Taking of Pelham 123
I thought I was free
I sneezed, he said “Gesundheit”
He knew it was me

Steven Santos

Born in Brooklyn, Steven Santos is a freelance television editor currently transitioning into becoming a writer/producer with a show currently in development and other projects cooking. “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” is the embodiment of his sense of humor. 

VOL 6

Frozen
cursed by ice and cold
winter is not eternal
the snowman knows so

-Nicki Lilavois

Nicki Lilavois recently received a grant to visit schools in Finland and returned with a guiding principle for her life: less is more.

Home Alone

never was trapping
thieves in home easier than
packing your suitcase

-Genevieve Wollenbecker

Genevieve Wollenbecker will watch just about any movie and is currently working on her first novel.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
pointy hats swiped from
the shop around the corner
the elf has been scrooged

-Nina Katchadourian

Nina Katchadourian lives between Brooklyn and Berlin, and is aware that this is a cliché. She often looks to the mundane things that surround her for inspiration and has recently made projects about things such as dust, eye floaters, and on

hold music.

MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY: Parallel universes, lurking monsters, and the void

“You see them? You see them? You see the things that float and flop about you and through you every moment of your life? You see the creatures that form what men call the pure air and the blue sky? Have I not succeeded in breaking down the barrier; have I not shewn you worlds that no other living men have seen?” – H.P. Lovecraft, From Beyond

Lovecraft was certainly a complicated figure. He died at the age of 46 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he had spent most of his life aside from some years in our own Brooklyn, New York, which he hated and exacerbated his racism. His family had a history of psychosis and he, himself, was an ill child and sickly adult. It is rumored that he was gay and, despite being married, was perhaps indifferent to sex at most. He wrote prolifically and never saw success, critically or financially, during his lifetime. Knowing this about Lovecraft informs a deep understanding of the dark horror, reclusion, and fear of the other that is the heart of his work. In his book H.P. LOVECRAFT Against the World, Against Life Michel Houellebecq qualifies Lovecraft as having an “absolute hatred of the world in general, aggravated by an aversion to the modern world in particular.” His strange relationship to the world manifests itself vividly into his stories, twisting and turning into a terrifying monstrous form…and there’s nothing to do about it.

The tenor of his writing is pervasive even when it’s subversive and his influence is as far reaching as the tentacles of Cthulu or the Great “Old Ones.” In many ways, Lovecraft’s tales are more accessible than the man to whom he will always be compared, Edgar Allan Poe. Or at the very least they seem more fun to tackle for filmmakers, television writers (The Twilight Zone) and, these days, video game makers. From the classic to the camp with some expected inclusions (Buckaroo Banzai?), Miskatonic University provides a cross-section of Lovecraft’s influence and shows us how deeply entrenched this idea of other worlds is still today.