Silver Beach Road

by Robert P. Arthur
  • 10 - 60 minutes
  • 1 - 7 M or F

spoken word, High School, Reader's Theater, Theatrical Staging Possible, Touring

$14.97

The book has all of the Robert P. Arthur’s skill and lovely, rhythmical language, but also a sense of loss of both life and love, the former viewed with both curiosity and indifference, the latter producing some of the author’s most moving love poems.

The sea is. however, ever-present, just like in his other works. It is his mother, father, deity, heaven, a place of love and death to escape to. Surrealism has its place, as does the seriocomic and other post-modern elements.

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$14.97

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Play Details

Overview

The first forty pages of the book is a nakedly autobiographical look at the first ten years of the author’s life on the water on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Written in gulps and fleeting drizzles or shadows, each section is written in its own style from high diction to short thrusts of tough-guy prose. Other poems in the book deal with a soul-less lover, a history of witchcraft in America, a series of poems about Appalachia of the 1960’s in dialect. Silver Beach Road is one of author Robert P Arthur’s most moving and beautiful works. Great verse for the stage.

 

From the Play

My head is lifting
A storm is
coming, hop scotching over the barrier
islands of the Atlantic coast.

Grandmother and Aunt Kate on
the front porch, grandmother
tired of losing, walks behind Kate’s
chair, grabs her hair and pulls
her over backwards

There is a hole in the universe,

the sky tilting, exploding
with thunder and jagged lightning.
They are both on the floor, biting ears
and noses, eighty-five years old and covered
with blood, thrashing each other,
dresses up to their waists, rolling
screaming, glasses broken, their hands
squeezing each other’s throats

There is a hole in the universe,

whole buckets of panic washing
down on me, until a black sky
brings a colossus of rising storm
sweeping over the peninsula,
across the great stone road
and fields of blowing corn,
now drenched in sharpened
drops of rain that
rip into me, gone dark
with terror of who
I am and from where
I’ve come,
brought up by Thunder and Lightning
There’s nothing in the world that
can ever fix some things that go wrong
*
The shortest way to somewhere else is through a tombstone
said Great Uncle Len, on course to the gong buoy of dying,
backhanding a radio through a living room window,
the sun arising ashore from behind a mess of Old Norse fura
to a storming front of ghosts of summer
Moments after, my cousin Sally
showed me herself naked through
an open bedroom door
when I looked up from shelling peas

 

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