October 27, 2020

Latest SRS goes from serious to silly

Students presented finely honed literary works on Feb. 28 at Ink’s Student Reading Series. The prose of Tom Dunford, Signal News Editor and Michelle McGuinness, Signal Editor-In-Chief, combined with the poetry of John Boccanfuso, sophomore English major, made for an entertaining journey through the craftsmanship of literature.

Boccanfuso read several visceral, poignant poems from his upcoming full-length volume of work, “Envelope,” which is to be published this summer. Boccanfuso’s first poem, “Fallout,” left the listeners stunned and concussed, standing in the wake of a cataclysmic event, completely and utterly alone. The narrator’s voice throughout the poem – that of the “last person alive” – compelled imaginations to ponder the limitless possibilities of absolute destruction.

Boccanfuso followed up with “Inside You, Winter,” a spellbinding, personified image of the starkest of seasons. The poem was filled with images of light and warmth, juxtaposed with those of skin-blistering snow, ice and wind.

From the deepest winter, Boccanfuso then took listeners to the lusty bedroom scene of “Sharing His Bed,” which could have supplied enough steamy humidity to fill the densest tropical jungle. The poem traced a night and morning of sexual escapades between an amorous couple, filled with wet kiss upon wet kiss, with “promises of more to come.”

Signal Senior Editor Lauren Kohout read a haiku to introduce McGuinness.

“Michelle McGuinness: a young romance novelist. That was sarcasm,” Kohout said.

This was a seemingly odd opening, given McGuinness’ picture in the playbill (the author wearing a medieval chain mail coif). McGuinness’ first selection made some sense of Kohout’s introductory remarks.

She began by reading “PG-13 Tear-Jerker Adult Romantic Comedy,” a soap opera-esque tale, told in script form, with some ultra-violent twists. The first scene casts two soon-to-be lovers, aptly named “Male Lead” and “Female Love Interest,” or simply “Fli” for short. “Fli” meets her gory demise at the hands of an oncoming truck in the midst of a romantic crosswalk exchange with Male Lead.

This, of course, won’t do. Male Lead yells “cut,” and Fli reassembles her mangled body to do the scene properly with all of the grace refined cinematic techniques can offer. After properly saving Fli’s life in the second take, Male Lead quips, “Oh, it was nothing,” flashing a grin.

McGuinness next read “A Story About Pink,” a disorienting tale of withheld information about a man who is mysteriously changing colors. Throughout the shifting plot, the narrator cautions against confusing the “fingernail pink” man, and apologies for the man’s sporadic memory lapses. “He likes to forget in front of you, but remember in front of himself,” McGuinness read. After a series of twisting revelations, the central figure of the story begins to turn red. “What’s important is that he is a red man, and that I will never tell,” McGuinness concluded.

Dunford was last to read for the evening and was introduced by “Sodexho Employee Myles Ma,” Signal Managing Editor. After a long-winded advocacy speech about the literary-enhancing properties of phosphorus, and several plugs for the New Library Café, Ma relinquished the microphone to Dunford, but not until after he offered the reader a friendly smack on the rear.

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