Title: Surely, Some Revelation
Word Count: N/A
EXT. LITERARY MAGAZINE OFFICE BUILDING - AFTERNOON
It's a bright day, the sun shining, the trees look nice and
ROSS, a 19-year-old burgeoning poet, walks near the building
and looks up at it. He's wearing jeans, a polo, and Chuck
Taylors. Several unlit cigarettes stick out of his shirt
pocket. He holds a piece of paper in his hand.
The End Literary Magazine. 2300
Porphyria Way. Yep. This is it.
He sizes up the building and breathes in heavily.
INT. HALLWAY - AFTERNOON
Empty hallway. Ross enters and walks down. The doors he
passes are mainly plain and unassuming, except for one. It is
covered in clippings from newspapers, day-to-day calendar
pages, literary quotes. Next to the door a sign reads "Emery
Penn, Writer". He stops in front of it and pauses for a
moment. He raises his hand to knock but freezes when he sees
a BRIGHT ORANGE POST-IT NOTE placed just at knocking level.
INSERT POST-IT NOTE which reads: "Don't knock. Just wait, and
Ross looks a little befuddled, then shrugs. He sits on the
floor across from the door. He pulls out from his back pocket
a pen & a small notebook, which he flips open. He writes
Lost, lost in the second coming of
Chaos, we face a leap year on
Venus. Finding deeper chasms of
Our own uncertainty,
We swim in thoughtless disorder.
He scratches out the word "disorder" and replaces it with --
He looks down at his masterpiece and grimaces. He glances at
his watch, at the door, and then with a pen massacres the
lines he wrote.
O.S. a door opens. Ross whips his head up and straightens his
collar. Instead of his idol, he sees GUY (23, cynical), who
walks toward him.
Hey, dude, what're you waiting for?
I want to talk to Emery Penn.
Guy takes a seat across from Ross, near the door. He takes
out a box of cigarettes from his pocket & reaches for
Listen, you got a light?
No, I don't smoke.
Guy looks at him skeptically. He motions to the various
cigarettes on Ross.
Oh, the cigarettes just complete my
look. (beat) I -- I'm a poet.
That's what I need Emery for. I
don't think that my poems are
meaningful to other people.
What's this guy supposed to do for
The man's a literary genius! Have
you ever read any his stuff? Here,
He reaches into his messenger bag and pulls out a recent
issue of the literary magazine Emery writes for. He opens it
to a book-marked page and hands it to Guy. Guy glances at it.
He turns such a simple image into a
statement about humanity's
existence in --
"Hot, lonely steam
Ascends from an old ceramic cup,
Whose stark white pallor
Contrasts with the brown liquid it
Forgotten by its distracted Maker."
It's so poignant, so full of
weight. That's what I want Emery to
teach me. How to put emotions into
my writing that will really say
Guy plays with the cigarette in his hands.
You ever read anything by J.D.
It's Ross, and no, I haven't.
You should, Ross -- at least his
story "Teddy." There's some line in
there about how poets always stick
their emotions in things that have
no emotions. I'd take that to
Ross grabs the magazine back from Guy and looks at it, his
What are you saying?
I'm saying that not everything has
to have an intense emotion, man. A
poem can just be a poem.
No buts. Are you sure you don't
have a lighter?
But - but if my poetry has no
emotion and no meaning, then it's
So what if it is?
I just think Emery can --
No, what difference does it make if
your poetry holds infinite emotion?
It's not like you'll ever change
the world. You think anyone pays
attention this garbage?
Ross tousles his hair in uncertainty, with a sigh. Guy picks
up the magazine from the floor and shakes his head.
It ends up in people's recycling
bins the day after they read it,
but the hippies are so pissed off
you chopped a tree down to make a
magazine like this in the first
place that they don't do any back
flips for joy that you recycled.
He flings the magazine very nonchalantly a few feet away. He
puts his unlit cigarette in his mouth, letting it hang out of
the corner. Ross looks at the magazine, looks at Guy, then
gets up to retrieve the magazine.
How can you say that literature
Guy shakes his head and takes the cigarette out of his mouth.
Ross sits down again and puts the magazine back in his bag.
Look, I'm not saying that. It's
important, sure, but not because of
its beauty. The poor suckers who
read literary magazines only do so
to find characters whose lives are
worse than their own. Reading makes
them feel better, that's all.
Ross now looks like he's really wavering. He bites his lip as
he looks down at his own poem.
You really think so?
But, this writer Emery --
Hey, forget about him. If you want
so badly to write something that's
meaningful or what-the-hell-ever,
you gotta pull it out of yourself.
What do you mean?
Listen, you can't just go around
injecting eloquence and value into
writing. It's not like collagen
into a sexagenarian's sagging face.
You either have something to say,
or you don't.
Maybe you're right. (a beat) Yeah,
Wordsworth said a poet is just a
man speaking to men, right? I don't
need to write what Emery Penn would
write. I just need to be a man.
Yeah, be a man. Jesus, I need to
Ross looks at the remnants of his poem. He then rips the page
from the notebook and crumples it into a ball in one swift
motion. He throws the ball at Emery's door; it hits the Post
It note and falls to the ground. The Post-It follows in the
ball's wake. Ross puts his notebook away and closes his bag.
And Emery Penn, yeah, he's a
genius, but he never appeared to
help me out, the jerk. I guess he
wouldn't have been able to help me
anyway. (beat) Thanks man.
Guy puts the unlit cigarette back in his mouth as Ross walks
down the hallway, back from where he came. Guy sits for a
beat, then sighs. He then reaches for the fallen Post-It Note
and stands. He replaces the Post-It exactly where it had been
on the door and smiles slightly. He smooths out the Post-It,
then puts his hands in his pockets and walks away.