Four Poems about Theater

by Caitlyn Conlin

Oh, so you saw it

I saw a play today
I saw it
Did you think?
I saw a play I saw it
I saw a play I saw it
So now you’re digging in?
I saw a play I saw it
A new way has come about?
I saw a play I saw it
It took you by surprise?
I saw a play I saw it
It surfaced darkened truths?
I saw a play I saw it
Back to the ground?
I saw a play I saw it
And now there is something more?
I saw a play I saw it
You see there’s something less?
I saw a play I saw it
Hard knowing what’s unknown?
I saw a play I saw it
You know you’re not alone?
I saw a play I saw it
There’s something to be done?
I saw a play I saw it
I just saw it
It was seen

The Way Things Work (9 to 5)

The actors coming in
The actors going out
Coming in
Going out
And coming in
Coming in to play the part
They come in then they go out.
Out where?
Where do they go?
Where do you go? Where do I go?
Winding Winding Winding
I still want to know
Why they’re coming in
Going out
Hop on hop off
To turn
Too dizzy
To turn too dizzy
I’m lifeless
Going in and going out

Can You Get Behind This?

Something wants to say something
Help it be said
Separate parts
There is life in the piece
Bring it pull it.
Is it out?
Grow with it. Breathe with it
Are you grounded in the life?
Misdirection, wrong intention
Now it’s dead
Change it?
Are you separate?
Are you in it?
Behind it?
Do you know?
Can you breathe with it?
Can you grow with it?
Is the outside inside out?

For Her Him Me You

I see the people passing by
They pass right by
They walk
I watch I think and watch and walk.
Hey you. Do you know I am thinking about you?
I see the people passing by
To their coffee
To their work
To their lovers
To their dead
To their shirts
To their books
To their fights
To their sex
To their rest
To their lights
Lights on lights off
Come. Come see
Leave coffee, work, lovers, dead, shirts, books, fights, sex, rest, lights.
Because I am thinking of you
Am I thinking of you?
And what you will see
What’s in it for me? Her him you? Why?
What happens? What will happen?
To the people passing by
Here’s to the people passing by


2 thoughts on “Four Poems about Theater”

  1. Thank you for sharing these poems with us, Caitlyn. I think “Oh, so you saw it” is a very thoughtful statement about theater. Your questions inspire me to be more critical of the reasons for making theater and how effective theater can be. It also prompts me to be more responsive and attentive to the hard work of actors, writers and theater staff.

    I wonder: can you describe a time, as an actor and as a spectator, when you felt a play helped you “dig in” or “see there’s something else”?

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