Saturday Night at the Movies (Found Poetry)


I’m not sure if this works but I used the same article I used for the erasure poem of the same name. Compare the two and see what you think.

Found poetry is created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning.

Saturday night
was a big night at the drive-in.
Kids wandered around
in pyjamas until they crashed
full of chips, Pluto pups and fizzy drinks.
Teenagers got up to all kinds of mischief;
more than parents feared.

Patrons spent hours lounging
in camping chairs while
washing down takeaway meals
and snacks with beer.
Mattresses were thrown
in the back of utes and station wagons
for children
or lovers.

Everyone went to the drive-in.
Like stubbies and thongs,
it was made for Queensland.
Australia was outdoors
and mozzies,
the occasional storm,
and fogged windscreens
couldn’t dampen the night.

The screens have slowly darkened
and sites have been devoured
by mansions that sprawl where
cars once lined up.
Kids sat propped up on pillows to peer
over mum and dad’s shoulders.
Now they sprawl in front of a
smaller screen.

Copyright © January 2013 Norma Martiri


Saturday Night at the Movies

The drive-in’s
big night was Saturday.
Kids wandered in pyjamas
until they crashed
full of chips, Pluto pups and fizzy drinks.
Teenagers got up to antics
as parents feared,
and beer was drunk.

It was hours lounging
in camping chairs,
takeaway meals,
mattresses in the back of utes,
the occasional storm,
with fogged windscreens.

People went to the drive-in;
Australia was outdoors.

The screens have darkened
leaving excursions down memory lane.
Sites have been devoured
by development
where cars once lined up
and kids sat on pillows
to peer over
mum and dad’s shoulders.
They now sprawl in front of the TV.

Copyright © December 2012 Norma Martiri

I have very fond childhood memories of going to the Paspalis drive-in in Nightcliff, Darwin with my family in the late 60’s and early 70’s, most of which are represented in this poem. My mum and dad would sit on picnic chairs in front of the car with a fold-up table full of food, and we kids would sit on a picnic blanket and eat our dinner in the cool. It was too hot to sit in the car in Darwin — it was alfresco even before we knew what alfresco meant. After dinner we’d go up to the shop to buy ice-cream and goodies. By the time the second movie came on we were buggered and slept on the blanket at our parents feet or in the back of the station wagon lined with a mattress while mum and dad sipped cold beer and enjoyed the movie. It was what families did back then.