Transcript: Imprint season 14 episode 21 | Feb 26, 2003

Tina Srebotnjak stands in a studio with pieces of art in red and orange hanging in the background.
She’s in her late thirties, with short chestnut hair and bangs. She’s wearing a black blazer over a yellow polo neck blouse.

She says Hello, I’m Tina Srebotnjak.
TONIGHT ON IMPRINT, IT'S RAINING CATS AND DOGS.

Piano music plays.
In animation, the title "Imprint" appears against a waving background in orange hues.

A dark-haired woman sits and asks her black dog DO YOU LIKE CATS?
WHERE'S THE CAT?

A man with thinning gray hair in his seventies says
CATS' MOTTO IS, LOOK
AFTER NUMBER ONE. AND THAT'S
THAT'S WHY I LIKE THEM

The dog woman, in her forties, says
IT'S GREAT TO HAVE A DOG WITH YOU.
THEY DON'T ASK YOU, WELL, WHAT
ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
WHEN'S YOUR NEXT NOVEL COMING OUT?

A white book cover reads "July, July ... Tim O'Brien" in large print.

Tina says JULY, JULY, WRITER TIM O'BRIEN
THINKS THE DARKNESS IN
HIS BOOKS IS PRETTY REALISTIC.

She sits with Tim, in his forties and wearing a beige baseball cap.

Tim says THAT'S LIFE, PLUS IT IS
ALSO WHAT STORIES ARE MADE OF.
YOU DON'T MAKE STORIES OUT OF
HAPPY PEOPLE -- WHAT DO YOU
PUT IN THEM?
HOW WONDERFUL MY CORNFLAKES
ARE TODAY?

A clip shows the Imprint logo.

A woman in her thirties with rastas, wearing a tight fitting purple blouse, sings.

She says "CAUGHT UP IN THE FLASH, MAN,
I SHOULD HAVE STASHED
SOME CASH."

Her face appears between white and blue-backed books standing on a bookshelf. In its place a book cover displays a man standing holding a mike. A title reads "the Man Behind the Mic, Dwayne Morgan."

Tina says AND SPOKEN WORD POETS BRING
THEIR MESSAGE FROM THE PAGE TO
THE STAGE.

Dwayne sits and says WHAT I LIKE IS THIS EFFECT. IT'S BROUGHT
POETRY OUT OF A BOOK LIKE YOUR
GRADE 10 CLASS AND ACTUALLY
BROUGHT IT TO THE PEOPLE.

(Piano music plays)
In fast-clip animation, the title "Imprint" appears against a waving background in orange hues. The Imprint sun symbol and samples of modern art appear. A pair of speckled hands opens a blank book.

TINA says HERE'S SOME LITERARY
TRIVIA TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS
AT DINNER PARTIES.
DID YOU KNOW THE FRENCH POET
GERARD --
OWNED A PET LOBSTER THAT HE
TOOK OUT FOR NIGHTLY WALKS.
HELLO GERARD! LORD BYRON HAD A PET BEAR
AND PLAYWRIGHT HENDRIK IBSEN KEPT A
PET SCORPION ON HIS WRITING
DESK. WRITERS AND THEIR PETS CERTAINLY MAKE GREAT
COMPANIONS, WHO ELSE WOULD
TOLERATE THE LONG HOURS
AUTHORS SPEND AT THEIR DESK.
WE ENLISTED TWO WRITERS TO
TALK ABOUT THEIR PETS.
IN ONE CORNER PIERRE BERTON AND HIS 17 CATS,
IN THE OTHER DIANE MASON AND HER DOG LICORICE.
(Jazz music plays)

The imprint of a paw occupies the screen. A caption reads "No animal should ever jump up on the dining room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation ... Fran Lebowitz."

Pierre, in his seventies, wearing a bow tie, says
CAT PEOPLE ARE VERY SPECIAL
PEOPLE, THEY ARE ECCENTRICS TO
START WITH.
THEY HAVE TO BE.

Diane says IT'S GREAT TO HAVE A DOG
WITH YOU. BECAUSE
THEY DON'T ASK YOU, "WELL, WHAT
ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
WHEN'S YOUR NEXT NOVEL COMING OUT?"
THEY JUST WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE
KIBBLE IS.

Over the paw imprint, a new caption reads "No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does ... Christopher Morley."

Diane appears again. A caption reads "Diane Baker Mason ... Last Summer at Barebones."

Diane continues I STARTED WITH DOGS, GEE, I
THINK PROBABLY BACK WHEN I
STARTED READING WHEN I WAS A
LITTLE KID, THE WHOLE WOLF-BOY THING.
AND ALWAYS WANTED ONE, GOT ONE
WHEN I WAS ABOUT 13 YEARS OLD.
MY MOTHER BOUGHT ME A BEAGLE.

Pierre sits and talks. A caption reads "Pierre Berton, Cats I Have Known and Loved."

Pierre says I'VE ALWAYS HAD CATS, ALWAYS
LOVED CATS.
AND I HAVE HAD CATS FROM THE
BEGINNING AND ALWAYS HAD TWO OR THREE.
WE ALMOST HAD 17 CATS IN THIS
HOUSE, STRAYS HAPPEN UPON US.
I THINK A SCRATCH IN THE DOOR
LIKE THE HOBO HAD IN THE 30'S
SAYING "A FREE MEAL IN HERE."

Diane says I GET JOSHED BY ONE OF MY
FRIENDS ABOUT HOW SOME PEOPLE
LIKE DOGS BECAUSE DOGS NEVER
ANSWER YOU BACK.
AND DOGS NEVER PUT ANY PRESSURE ON YOU
AND DOGS ACCEPT YOUR FAULTS
AND I AM SITTING GOING,
YEAH, AND WHAT'S YOUR POINT?
YOU KNOW. (Licorice takes a spin)
AND SHE GOES OUT RUNNING WITH ME IF
I GO FOR A JOG, SO -- THESE
ARE ALL WRITERLY ACTIVITIES IN
THE SENSE THAT YOU HAVE TO GET
UP AND MOVE AROUND AND YOU
HAVE TO GET OUT AND GET YOUR
EXERCISE OR YOU WILL END UP
WITH A BUTT THIS BIG (Gestures) AND NOT
TOO MUCH WRITTEN.

Pierre says IT'S TRUE, I AM SAID TO BE
PART OF THE LITERARY MAFIA OF
TORONTO, A NAME I HATE BUT I'VE
ALWAYS GONE MY OWN WAY AND
DONE MY OWN THING. FOR
INSTANCE, I'VE NEVER DONE
COMMERCIALS, BECAUSE I DON'T
THINK WRITERS SHOULD DO THAT.
I HAVE NEVER, I AM NOT A
JOINER. I DON'T JOIN ALMOST ANYTHING
EXCEPT THE WRITERS UNION OF
CANADA. I AM PRETTY MUCH OF A
LONER. LIKE A CAT.
CATS ARE LONERS.
THE BEST CATS ARE LONERS.
(Jazz music plays)

Over the paw print, a new caption reads "Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this ... Unknown."

Diane, sitting with Licorice, says WHEN I'M WRITING WITH THE DOG
RIGHT THERE, IT IS ACTUALLY,
YOU KNOW IT'S NOT TOO FAR OFF
THE WHOLE ROMANTIC NOTION,
IT REALLY ISN'T. YOU CAN TAKE A BREAK.
TALK TO THE DOG.
AND THE DOG ALSO GETS YOU UP
AND MOVING AROUND SOMETIMES
BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, SHE WILL
NEED TO GO OUT.
YOU DON'T GET TOO ISOLATED. SO,
AND -- YOU HAVE TO BE ALONE
WHEN YOU ARE WRITING.
YOU GOT TO. SO HAVING THE KIND
OF CONSTANT COMPANION IS
REALLY -- IT'S EXACTLY WHAT
YOU NEED.

Pierre says SO, WELL, THE ONLY
PROBLEM WITH CATS WHEN YOU ARE
A WRITER, IS THEY WANT TO SIT
ON YOUR TYPEWRITER OR THEY
WANT TO SIT ON YOUR COMPUTER
WHICH IS WARM.
AND STAY THERE AND THEIR TAILS
HANG DOWN AND YOU CAN'T SEE
THE SCREEN.
THIS IS TRUE OF THIS ONE.
THIS IS A COMPUTER CAT.

A clip shows him fondling a black cat.

Pierre continues AND THEY WANT TO CLIMB UP ON
YOUR LAP AT THE WORST
POSSIBLE MOMENT. WHEN YOU WANT
TO PET THEM, THEY DON'T WANT
TO BE PETTED, BUT WHEN THEY
WANT TO BE PETTED, THEY CLIMB
ALL OVER YOU.
I HAVE HAD A CAT AT ONE TIME -- I
COULDN'T TYPE.
THE CAT CLAWING UP (Gestures toward his back) AND JUMPS
ON MY HEAD AND THE SAME THING
WITH THE "TAIL LIGHT" THAT WANTS TO
LICK YOUR HAIR. I DON'T KNOW WHY.
SHE LIKES THE TASTE OF THE
SPRAY OR SOMETHING OR YOUR
SHOES, A SHOE LICKER.
CATS HAVE DIFFERENT PARTS OF
THE HUMAN BODY THEY ENJOY.
BUT FROM MY LITERARY POINT OF
VIEW, THEY ARE IN THE WAY, BUT
WE FORGIVE THEM BECAUSE
THEY'RE CATS AND THEY ARE
LOVELY ANIMALS.

To the cat sitting on his lap, he says YOU ARE ALL RIGHT.

Clips with the caption "Famous Cat-Loving Authors" show Stephen King fondling a gray cat, then Ernest Hemingway and Collette.

Pierre says A CAT WILL ARRIVE, NOW IT'S
POURING RAIN OUTSIDE AND IT IS
THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND A
NICE COLD NIGHT AND YOU SEE
THIS FACE IN THE WINDOW, HOWLING.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
YOU ARE GOING TO LET HIM IN,
OR HER IN BECAUSE IT TURNS OUT THE CAT
GOES STRAIGHT TO THE CLOSET
AND OVERNIGHT HAS
FIVE OR SIX KITTENS IN MY SHOES.

Diane says THE WAY LICORICE DOESN'T
RELEASE HER BALL, YOU CAN'T
LET GO OF WRITING.
A LOT OF DOGS, YOU GO TO THE
P.A.R.K. AND THE DOG WILL CHASE
THE BALL AND HALFWAY BACK IT
WILL DROP THE BALL.
THIS IS SUCH A BAD METAPHOR, BUT I'M
GOING TO GO WITH IT.
AND WHAT D'YOU KNOW!
THIS DAMN DOG WILL NOT LET GO
OF THE BALL! (Pets Licorice, who has a ball in her mouth)

Pierre says SO HERE IS SIX KITTENS
LIVING IN MY SHOES.
MY MOTHER SAYS ALL RIGHT THOSE
KIT ENS ARE GOING TO BE DROWNED.
THE MOTHER, THAT'S JUST ARRIVED,
HEARS THIS. THEY UNDERSTAND
WHAT'S GOING ON.
AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, THE
KITTENS HAVE VANISHED.
SHE'S MOVED THEM ALL SOMEWHERE.
WHERE? WE DON'T KNOW.
FINALLY, WE DISCOVER FOUR
MONTHS -- FOUR WEEKS LATER, IN
THE OUTSIDE CUPBOARD WHICH IS
FULL OF JUNK, RIGHT IN THE
BOTTOM IN THE CORNER ARE FOUR
LITTLE KITTENS SO GODDAMN
CUTE YOU COULD NEVER DROWN
THEM AT ALL, SO WE HAVE TO
GIVE THEM AWAY AT PARTIES AS
GOING AWAY PRESENTS OR FOR
DOOR PRIZES.
THAT'S HOW WE USED TO GET RID OF A
LOT OF CATS. YOU KNOW, YOU
GET YOUR GUESTS SO DRUNK THEY
DON'T KNOW WHO THEY ARE AND THEY START
PETTING THE KITTENS -- ONE IS
IN HIS POCKET, HE WAKES UP NEXT
MORNING AND HAS A CAT.

Diane says I THINK THERE'S A SIMILARITY THERE,
WHEN YOU ARE A WRITER, YOU
CAN'T REALLY THINK ABOUT HOW
SILLY OR FOOLISH OR DUFUSY YOU LOOK.
YOU JUST HAVE TO BE COMPLETELY
DEVOTED TO THE BALL.
(Jazz music plays)

More clips show portraits and photos of famous dog-loving authors ... William Wordsworth, Lord Byron and Mark Twain.

Pierre says DOG OWNERS ARE VERY SNOBBISH
ABOUT THEIR DOGS.
INTERESTING THING ABOUT
CAT OWNERS IS THEY'LL TAKE
ANY CAT.
A DOG OWNER ONLY WANTS
ONE BREED AND THAT'S "HIS BREED."

Diane says I THINK CAT PEOPLE ARE
SCORNFUL OF DOG PEOPLE WHEREAS DOG
PEOPLE ARE TOLERANT OF BOTH TYPES.
SO I'M GOING TO GET LETTERS
FOR THAT, AREN'T I?
(Speaking to Licorice) DO YOU LIKE CATS?
WHERE'S THE CAT?

Pierre says WE ALL KNOW THE STORY OF
THE DOG LYING BESIDE THE BODY
OF HIS FALLEN MASTER, AND WON'T
LEAVE AND EVERYBODY SAYS "ISN'T
THAT WONDERFUL.
A DOG LOVES HIS MASTER."
THE CAT WILL WALK OVER THE
MASTER TO GET TO THE GRUB AND
EAT THAT.
TO HELL WITH THE FALLEN MASTER.
CATS ARE THEIR OWN --
CATS' MOTTO IS "LOOK AFTER
NUMBER ONE," AND THAT'S --
THAT'S WHY I LIKE THEM.

Over the paw print, the caption changes to "Cats are smarter than dogs, You can't get cats to pull a sled through snow. ... Jeff Valdez."

Diane says WHAT I REALLY LIKE
ABOUT IT IS LOYALTY.
THE ABSOLUTE CERTAIN AMOUNT OF
BLIND LOYALTY, YOU KNOW, THE
DOG JUST "NEVER GIVES UP."
THE DOG DOESN'T CARE WHAT
HAPPENS, THE DOG IS ALWAYS THERE.

Pierre reads from his book and says I AM AN UNASHAMED CAT LOVER.
I HAVE ALWAYS OWNED CATS
AND I ALWAYS WILL OWN CATS.
OH, SORRY ABOUT THAT.
I GOT THAT WRONG.
CATS HAVE ALWAYS OWNED ME.

The book "Cats I Have Known and Loved" appears, with Pierre and a gray cat on his lap.

Tina says CATS, I HAVE KNOWN AND LOVED
BY PIERRE BERTON IS PUBLISHED BY
DOUBLEDAY CANADA.
AND LAST SUMMER AT BAREBONES
BY DIANE BAKER MASON IS A MCARTHUR AND COMPANY NOVEL.
THERE IS OF COURSE A DOG IN IT.
AN ENGLISH BULL TERRIER NAMED
OSCAR WILDE.

An orange box with the Imprint logo on the cover opens to reveal a screen that displays a book cover that reads "July, July," followed by a clip showing an Afro-American pair.

Tina says UP NEXT, JULY, JULY, THE
LATEST FROM AMERICAN WRITER
TIM O BRIEN.
LATER, DWAYNE MORGAN AND
MOTION, TWO SPOKEN WORD POETS
WITH A HUGE FOLLOWING.
AND NOW, A BOOK THAT HAS
ABOUT THE BIG CHILL WRITTEN
ALL OVER IT.
THE 30TH REUNION OF A CLASS
OF '69.
A GROUP OF OLD FRIENDS DRINKING,
DANCING, FLIRTING AND
REMINISCING ABOUT OLD TIMES.
THE NOVEL IS CALLED JULY, JULY.
AND IT THE LATEST BY
AMERICAN WRITER TIM O BRIEN. A
MAN WHOSE BOOKS NEVER VEER FAR FROM
THE WAR IN VIETNAM WE
SPOKE DURING TORONTO'S INTERNATIONAL
FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS ABOUT A GENERATION WHOSE
DREAMS HAVE FADED ALONG WITH
THEIR YOUTH.

Tim is in his sixties and wears a beige baseball cap. A caption reads "Tim O'Brien, July, July."

Sitting with Tim, Tina says THIS BOOK TAKES PLACE IN
THE YEAR 2000 BUT ALSO IN THE YEAR 1969.
WHICH WAS AN INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT
YEAR, THE YEAR FOR YOU, I KNOW
THAT YOU WENT TO VIETNAM, BUT
AUMS A HUGE YEAR IN TERMS OF
GENERATION AND IN TERMS OF AMERICA.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE YEAR IN
1969, WHY YOU CHOSE TO SET IT
IN THAT YEAR?

Tim says THAT ERA AND TIME IN
AMERICAN, AND I THINK PROBABLY
CANADIAN LIFE WAS A KIND OF
WATERSHED TIME, NOT JUST IN
TERMS OF THE WAR BUT ALSO IN
MUSIC, AND THE FEMINIST
MOVEMENT WAS BORN, PROBABLY
REBORN THEN.
SO IN MANY WAYS IT WAS A TIME OF
NO GOING BACK, IN TERMS OF
DISCOURSE CHANGE, TERMS OF
EXPECTATION, EXPECTED OF
OURSELVES AND THE WORLD.
SO TO COME OUT OF THAT ERA AND
TO HAVE A GROUP OF CHARACTERS
COME OUT OF THAT ERA AND WATCH
WHAT HAPPENS TO THEIR LIVES,
OVER THE NEXT 30 YEARS,
IT SEEMS TO ME, IS GOOD SUBJECT
MATTER FOR A NOVEL, THAT I
COULD CURL UP WITH FOR FOUR YEARS.

Tina says IT CERTAINLY RESONATES WITH
PEOPLE OF THAT GENERATION,
BECAUSE, THAT GENERATION WAS
SO COMMITED, AND DID THINK,
YOUR CHARACTERS ALL THOUGHT
THEY WERE GOING TO CHANGE THINGS.
THEY WERE ALL POLITICALLY ACTIVE.
ONE OF THE TOUGH LESSONS THEY
LEARNED WAS THAT'S HARDER
THAN IT LOOKED AT THE TIME.

Tim says YEAH, IT'S TOUGH IN ONE WAY BUT
TYPICAL IN ANOTHER.
AND THAT IS, THEY END UP CARING ABOUT
THE THINGS EVERYBODY ALWAYS ENDS
UP CARING ABOUT, LOVE AND
MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN AND
DISAPPOINTMENTS OF VARIOUS SORTS.
AND SO IN A WAY, IT IS -- IT
IS A STORY THAT IS ABOUT
MY GENERATION, BUT IT, IT IS
ONE THAT'S A STORY THAT
FINALLY ALL GENERATIONS WILL
EXPERIENCE IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS ARE
LOOKING FOR LOVE, AND THAT'S
PRETTY UNIVERSAL.

Tina says YEAH, IT IS.
NOW THE CHARACTERS ARE ALL
PRETTY MUCH 52, 53, SOMEWHERE
IN THAT AGE AND THAT SEEMS TO
ME, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I AM
ALMOST THERE MYSELF, A VERY
SIGNIFICANT AGE, THAT IS A
KIND OF RECKONING AGE, ISN'T
IT? WHERE YOU TAKE STOCK OF YOUR LIFE?

Tim says I THINK IT IS, A TIME WHEN, YOU
LOOK BACK ON THE PERSON YOU
ONCE WERE, THE PERSON YOU ARE
NOW, AND THE PERSON YOU MAY
BECOME IN THE YEARS REMAINING.
HOW DO I CHANGE THINGS?
AND ONE THING ABOUT JULY, JULY
THAT I LIKE, THAT SEEMS TO ME,
AT LEAST FOR MY LIFE IMPORTANT IS THAT
IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, DESPITE
THE CHARACTERS' DISAPPOINTMENTS
ALONG THE WAY, THEY LEAVE THE
BOOK WITH A CERTAIN GALLANTRY
AND ORDINARY PLUCK, OF ORDINARY PEOPLE.

Reading from his book, Tim says AMY FINISHED OFF HER DRINK,
CLOSED HER EYES, BLINKED OUT A SMILE.
"CRAZY THING, ISN'T IT?" "CRAZY WHAT?" SAID JAN HUBNER.
"OH, I DON'T KNOW, JUST
GETTING OLD," AMY SAID, YOU, ME,
OUR WHOLE DREAMY GENERATION.
USED TO BE WE WOULD WOULD TALK
ABOUT THE GENEVA ACCORD, THE
TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION, AND NOW IT IS
DOWN TO LIPOSUCTION AND EX-HUSBANDS.
CAN'T TRUST ANYBODY OVER 60.
HERE'S THE ABSOLUTE WORST PART...
OUR OLD FOGEY PARENTS, YOURS
AND MINE, EVERYBODY'S, THEY
DIDN'T KNOW JACK ABOUT JACK,
COULDN'T SPELL HANOI IF
SPOTTED THEM THE VOWELS, BUT
THE ONE THING THEY DID KNOW,
THEY KNEW DAMN WELL WHERE WE
WOULD END UP, THEY KNEW WHERE
ALL OF THE ROADS GO.
"WHICH IS WHERE?" JAN SAID.
"HERE," SAID AMY. "SORRY?"
"RIGHT HERE."

Tina says I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU
ABOUT VIETNAM WHICH FIGURES IN
THIS BOOK, ONE OF THE
CHARACTERS HAS A FLASHBACK, A
VERY POWERFUL FLASHBACK AND
ONE OF THE THINGS I WANTED TO
ASK YOU, HAVING BEEN IN
VIETNAM YOURSELF, DO THOSE
FLASHBACKS NEVER GO AWAY?
DOES ONE STILL GET THEM 30
YEARS, 35 YEARS AFTER THE FACT?

Tim says YEAH, IT'S A LITTLE BIT
LIKE BREAST CANCER, WAR IS -- OR
A DIVORCE, OR LOSING YOUR
GIRLFRIEND, OR WHATEVER.
AND TRAUMATIC EVENTS DON'T VANISH.
THEY STAY WITH US.
AND THEY INFORM OUR LIVES, NOT
ALWAYS IN BAD WAYS, THEY CAN
MAKE US STRONGER, AND BEHAVE
BETTER AND RECOGNIZE THE GOOD
THINGS THAT ARE AVAILABLE IN THE LIFE THAT WE HAVE
UNTIL TRAUMA HITS US, AND YOU CAN'T IGNORE IT.

Tina says YOU DID GO BACK TO VIETNAM IN 94, RIGHT?
25 YEARS AFTER YOU HAD BEEN THERE.
YOU HAD NOT BEEN BACK PREVIOUSLY?

Tim says I HAD - IT WAS WONDERFUL.
I DIDN'T MUCH WANT TO GO
BUT ONCE I WAS THERE AND
REVISITED SCENES WHERE PEOPLE
HAD DIED AND I MYSELF WAS
WOUNDED, IF JUST TO FIND THE
GEOGRAPHY -- LIKE GOING BACK TO
YOUR BACK YARD YEARS AGO -- THERE'S
THE SAND BOXAND THERE'S THE SWING SET.
AND NOTHING MUCH HAD CHANGED, AND I WAS
ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THINGS, AND
WHAT HAPPENED PSYCHOLOGICALLY
FOR ME, WAS THAT --
THAT THE DARK BAD MEMORIES
WILL ALWAYS BE THERE OF
MACHINE GUNS RATTLING AWAY
THROUGH FOILAGE AND ALWAYS
REPLAY THAT IN MY HEAD. BUT I ALSO
HAVE NOW LIVING ALONGSIDE THE
HORROR, HORRIBLE MEMORIES,
MEMORIES OF GREAT PEACE AND
THE SUNLIGHT STRIKING THE
RICE AND THIS LITTLE BOY ON A
WATER BUFFALO WAVING AT ME.
AND THOSE MEMORIES ARE NOW AS
VIVID AND AS STRONG AS THE
HORRIBLE ONES, LIVING SIDE-BY-SIDE,
WHEREAS BEFORE IT WAS JUST THE
BAD STUFF. REALLY VIETNAM WAS NOT JUST A WAR,
BUT A PLACE AND A PEOPLE. IT WAS QUITE A
WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.

Tina says IN THE BOOK, YOUR CHARACTER
WHO'S BEEN IN VIETNAM
ENCOUNTERS -- NOT REALLY A
CHARACTER -- BUT A VOICE THAT
SPEAKS TO HIM, A VOICE CALLED
JOHNNY EVER, AND HE'S QUITE A
COMPELLING CHARACTER, BECAUSE
HE CAN SEE THE FUTURE. TELL ME
ABOUT HIM.

Tim says HE'S THE VOICE ALL OF US
HAVE INSIDE OUR HEADS. I HAVE YET TO
MEET A PERSON THAT DOESN'T FESS
UP TO LYING IN BED
SOME TIME THINKING, MY GOD, HOW
DID I GET FIRED?
WHAT DID I DO WRONG? OR HOW DO I REPAIR IT?
YOU'VE GOT TO TALK TO YOURSELF, OR
IF YOU ARE GOING THROUGH YOUR DIVORCE.
THIS CHARACTER JOHNNY SAYS THINGS
LIKE, IT IS A TOUGH DIVORCE
BUT, I WAS THERE WITH ANN BOLEYN, AND
THAT WAS A TOUGH DIVORCE. (Laughter)
AND IT PUTS THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE.
AND WE'VE ALL GONE THROUGH BAD
THINGS, SO PART OF THE VOICE OF
HISTORY, REMINDING OURSELVES
THAT PEOPLE HAVE GONE THROUGH
SIMILAR KINDS OF PAIN AND
DISAPPOINTMENTS, IT'S THE VOICE OF CONSCIENCE,
"WHY DID I DO WHAT I DID? AND ONE OF THE CHARACTERS
IN "JULY, JULY" TELLS A
TERRIBLE LIE TO HIS OWN
SECRETARY, PLANNING TO BE NOT ONLY
A MANUFACTURER OF MOPS AND
BROOMS BUT ALSO, A FAMOUS
WRITER, ON THE SIDE.
THAT IS AN EXAMPLE OF A STORY
THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH
VIETNAM AND THE 60'S, IT HAS
MORE TO DO WITH MY OWN LIFE,
BECAUSE IT HAS HAPPENED TO ME.

Tina says RIGHT, SO TELL ME THE STORY.
SOMEBODY - U TELL ME.

Tim says SOMEBODY WENT INTO A BAR, A WOMAN,
AND A GUY CAME OVER AND OFFERED TO BUY HER A DRINK,
INTRODUCED HIMSELF AS ROGER SOMEBODY AND SAID
"I SELL LIFE INSURANCE FOR A LIVING," AND THEY GET TO TALKING,
AND HE SAYS "I DON'T JUST SELL LIFE INSURANCE,
i'M ALSO A WRITER -- I WRITE UNDER THE PEN NAME OF TIM O'BRIEN.
AND SHE WAS MILDLY IMPRESSED, AND THEY BEGAN GOING OUT AND EVENTUALLY
GOT ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED, AND SHE ANNOUNCED TO ALL HER
FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATES THAT SHE WAS MARRYING
ME.(Laughter) SHE SAID AT SOME POINT SHE GOT SUSPICIOUS,
LARGELY BECAUSE THE GUY WAS NEVER WRITING. SO SHE
CONFRONTED HIM AND SAID "WELL -- AND I HAVE TO PASS UP THIS."
HE SAID "i'VE GOT WRITER'S BLOCK AND HAVEN'T WRITTEN FOR A LONG TIME."
SHE TOTALLY BELIEVED HIM. IN ANY CASE, AT THE END, HE OF HIS OWN
VOLITION, WITHOUT ANY PROMPTING OR PRESSURE FROM HER ADMITTED HE'D BEEN LYING ALL ALONG. AND IT STRUCK ME THAT AS SOON AS THEY GOT THE LETTER AND FOR A LONG TIME AFTERWARD IT'S MATERIAL A WRITER WANTS TO WRITE ABOUT BECAUSE, FOR ONE THING, SHE'D ENCLOSED A LONG LIST THROUGH A LETTER TO ME -- A LETTER HE HAD WRITTEN HER, EXPLAINING WHAT HAD HAPPENED. AND WHAT HAPPENED IS HE SAID "I WAS KIND OF UGLY AND DUMPY
LOOKING - I KNEW YOOU WOULDN'T TALK TO ME, FINALLY I CONFESSED TO THE LIE, AND THEN AN ODD THING HAPPENED -- I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU,
AND YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH ME, SO I WAS TRAPPED NOT JUST IN A LIE, I WAS TRAPPED IN MY LOVE FOR YOU. IF I TOLD YOU THE TRUTH, YOU'D NEVER MARRY ME." I FELT FOR THE FELLOW. EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT IT IS TO LIE IN BED AT NIGHT THINKING "WOW, WHY DID I SAY THAT AT THAT COCKTAIL PARTY? WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL?(Laughter) WE WERE IN JUNIOR HIGH AND I SHOULDN'T HAVE SAID IT. YOU'RE LISTENING TO THAT JOHNNY EVERS SUBCONSCIOUS VOICE, BUT YOU'RE ALSO THINKING "HOW CAN I GET OUT OF THIS THING -- HOW CAN I STOP MYSELF FROM DOING THIS AGAIN," AND THE SENSE OF SHAME AND GUILT. IT'S SOMETHING WE CAN ALL IDENTIFY WITH.

Tina says WELL, PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS BOOK THAT IT HAS MORE HOPE THAN YOUR OTHER BOOKS, THAT IT HAS A KIND OF HOPEFUL ENDING.

Tim says I THINK IT DOES. SOME PEOPLE FIND IT GRIM AND DARK IN THE MIDDLE PART. BUT THAT'S LIFE -- IT'S WHAT STORIES ARE MADE OF (opens hands wide) IF YOU WRITE ABOUT HAPPY PEOPLE WHAT CAN YOU SAY? HOW WONDERFUL MY CORNFLAKES ARE TODAY! (Laughter) STORIES ARE MADE OUT OF TENSION AND STRUGGLE, ALL STORIES, EVEN THUMBELINA. IT WOULD BE A ROTTEN STORY IF SHE WERE A NORMAL-SIZED LITTLE GIRL. (Laughter)

Tina says THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Tim says MY PLEASURE.

The cover of his book appears again.

Tina says JULY, JULY BY TIM O'BRIEN IS PUBLISHED BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN.

Tina says IF YOU LIKE YOUR VERSE LIFTED OFF THE PAGE, YOU WILL LOVE SPOKEN WORD POETRY. IT COMBINES EMOTION, GOOD WRITING AND THE DRIVING BEAT OF A LIVE PERFORMANCE. TORONTO'S DWAYNE MORGAN AND MOTION ARE TWO SPOKEN WORD POETS WHO OFTEN PERFORM TO PACKED HOUSES. MOTION COMES TO POETRY THROUGH HER WORK AS A HIP-HOPPER AND DWAYNE HAS A REPUTATION AS BOTH A PRODUCER AND PERFORMER AT SPOKEN WORD EVENTS ALL OVER THE CITY.

(Rhythmic lyrical music plays)

Motion, in her thirties says I GET IDEAS ON WHAT I WRITE FROM JUST LIFE.
SOMETIMES I LOOK AT THE PAPER AND A PICTURE HITS ME, AND SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY THE PICTURE IS EXPRESSING ITSELF TO ME, I JUST WRITE A POEM OFF OF IT. IT COULD BE JUST A STREET AT CHRISTMAS, YOU KNOW, THAT JUST HAS TO BE CAPTURED. JUST A WAY TO MAKING IT COME OUT OF MY OWN HEAD. I PUT DOWN AND SAY OK, THAT'S A PIECE, SO -- IT COMES FROM EVERY PART --

She reads from a book and says LOOKED IN THE PAPER TODAY, SAW BLACK FACES AND BLACK AND WHITE PICTURES OF A BLACK MAN KILLED BY WHITE COPS WITH BLACK GUNS AND BLACK AS NIGHT AS HE STOOD IN THE WHITE HALLS OF HIS BOOGIE TOWN BRONX BUILDING STILL. (Fades out)

A black man in his thirties sits and speaks, A caption reads "Dwayne Morgan, Spoken Word Poet."

Dwayne says AS A POET, I WOULD DESCRIBE MYSELF AS SOMEBODY WHO'S FUN, AS SOMEBODY WHO'S CREATIVE, AS SOMEBODY WHO'S DEEP, WHO'S SOCIAL, POLITICAL -- WHO'S SENSUAL, SEXUAL, LIKE THE WHOLE GAMUT OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE I'D BRING IN --
A BLACK WOMAN LOST HER LIFE TODAY ... MEDIA REPORTS SAY THAT IT WAS DRUG RELATED. A BLACK MAN WAS SHOT AND KILLED TODAY ... POLICE REPORTS SAY THAT IT WAS DRUG RELATED. LIFE IS LIKE A GARBAGE BAG IT'S SOMETIMES NECESSARY BUT ALWAYS DISPOSABLE. BUT WHEN BLACK PEOPLE DIE ONLY BLACK PEOPLE CARE. THE MEDIA SAYS IT WAS DRUG RELATED, AND WE ALL CLOSE OUR EARS..

A meeting shows an audience of mainly black people.

On stage, Dwayne says MOTION HAS BEEN DOING HER POETRY AND HIP-HOP A LONG, LONG TIME, SO PLEASE PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER IN WELCOME TO MOTION.
(Clapping)

Motion, wearing rastas and a tight purple blouse comes on stage and says
DEAR MARTY, YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD, BIG AND LARGE. YOUR PRESENCE IS GENTLE AND YOUR STANCE IS -- WHO IS THIS WOMAN? YOUR FACE IS LIKE THE SUN LIT UP WITH A SMILE -- HOLDS A SHINE THAT WILL LAST FOR ALWAYS. YOUR VOICE IS BELLOWING AND BLARING -- WITH SOUNDS STRAIGHT FROM YOUR HEART.

Dwayne says MOTION IS A GREAT SPOKEN WORD ARTIST AND SHE'S ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY BALANCES WELL BETWEEN THE HIP-HOP WORLD AND THE SPOKEN WORD, AND EVEN WHEN YOU LISTEN TO A LOT OF HER SPOKEN WORD, IT SOUNDS SO MUCH LIKE HER HIP-HOP MATERIAL, AND I THINK THAT REALLY OPENS HER UP TO A BROAD AUDIENCE AS WELL, BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WILL LISTEN TO HIP-HOP MUSIC AND WILL NOT LISTEN TO SPOKEN WORD, OR POETRY, SO IT'S A WAY THAT SHE COULD GET PEOPLE FROM THE HIP-HOP WORLD TO ACTUALLY REALIZE THAT THERE'S MEANING BEHIND THESE -- , AND IF YOU TAKE AWAY THE BEAT, YOU CAN ACTUALLY HEAR WHAT THAT MEANING IS, AND WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY.

A clip OF fast hip-hop music shows people dancing on a basketball court.
(Loud and fast hip-hop music)

Motion says DWAYNE, HE HAS SOME PIECES THAT -- ESPECIALLY THE ONES I DEAL WITH -- ARE REALLY HARD TOPICS -- REALLY REALLY SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS TOPICS -- HE SAYS THAT WITH A LOT OF CONVICTION AND MAKES PEOPLE THINK, AND ALSO HE TAKES RISKS IN WHAT HE SAYS -- (Baby crying) HE DOESN'T SEEM AFRAID. HE'S NOT AFRAID TO SAY A LOT OF THINGS AND I THINK THAT REALLY HELPS HIM TO STAND OUT.

A clip shows Dwayne gesturing and holding forth on stage in (Unintelligible) American Black Slang to an appreciative audience.
(Enthusiastic applause)

Dwayne says WE WONDER WHY THERE IS SO MUCH
DISTRESS TO SEE THE POLICE AND
THEM HOLDING A BROTHER WHEN THE BIGGEST
CRIMINALS IN TORONTO ALL WORK
ON BAY STREET.
(Laughter and applause)

A blond woman in her thirties says I'M A FAN OF
DWAYNE MORGAN, AND A RECENT CONVERT TO
SPOKEN WORD BECAUSE I HAPPENED
UPON DWAYNE MORGAN IN AN EVENT
AND WAS SO BLOWN AWAY BY THE
CONTENT THAT I WAS LIKE, WOW,
THAT'S WHAT SPOKEN WORD IS ABOUT?

A black man with a moustache and glasses says
SPOKEN WORD IS JUST VERY ACCESSIBLE.
IT'S FUN. AND IT IS HIP.
AND IT DEALS WITH A LOT OF
SERIOUS ISSUES BUT, THE WAY IT
IS DELIVERED IS VERY PALATABLE.

A man in his forties with short hair and a moustache says
THE THINGS THAT YOU FIND ARE
THE BEST SINGERS AND THE BEST
ACTORS, YOU WILL FIND THAT IN
A SPOKEN WORD ARTIST THAT
COMBINES IT AND I THINK THAT'S
WHY IT APPEALS TO A LOT OF PEOPLE.
IT HAS A DRAMATIC CONTEXT TO IT.

Motion sings gesturing and says "THERE IS A NATURAL MYSTIQUE
BLOOMING THROUGH THE AIR
AND IF YOU LISTEN CAREFULLY
NOW, YOU WILL HEAR
THIS COULD BE THE FIRST TRUMPET
MIGHT AS WELL BE THE LAST
MANY MORE WILL HAVE TO SUFFER
MANY MORE WILL HAVE TO DIE
DON'T ASK ME WHY"

Motion says I AM LOOKING OUT MY WINDOW,
BLACK VIBRATION BUS STOP, AND
MY RHYTHM BEFORE, AND I GOT
SECONDS TO WRECK THE PASS AND
CAUGHT UP IN THE
FLASH, MAN, I SHOULD HAVE
STASHED SOME CASH.

For the camera, Motion says WHAT I LIKE IS THAT IT HAS
BROUGHT POETRY OUT OF A BOOK
LIKE YOUR GRADE 10 ENGLISH CLASS,
AND ACTUALLY BROUGHT IT TO THE PEOPLE.

Dwayne says IT'S NOT ABOUT GETTING ON
STAGE AND YOU ARE READING AND
PEOPLE ARE QUIETLY, YOU KNOW,
JUST LISTENING, THERE'S PEOPLE
THAT WILL JUST SHOUT OUT IN
THE MIDDLE OF YOUR PIECE IF
THEY LIKE SOMETHING THAT YOU
SAY. THEY WILL BURST INTO, YOU
KNOW, APPLAUSE AND THAT IS
FULLY ACCEPTED, SO THE AUDIENCE
IS HONORED AND THE AUDIENCE IS
A BIG PART OF THE SPOKEN WORD
EXPERIENCE...

Dwayne, wearing a blue Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, stands with his arms around two women who could be his wife and his mother:

Dwayne continues AND I SEE MYSELF AS PART OF
THE CANADIAN LITERARY
COMMUNITY, YOU KNOW, JUST
BECAUSE, I AM INTO WRITING AND
I AM INTO, YOU KNOW, CREATING
BOOKS ON, I THINK WITH SPOKEN
WORD BECAUSE IT IS STILL,
RELATIVELY NEW IN CANADA IN
TERMS OF ITS DEVELOPMENT, I
DON'T THINK THAT SPOKEN WORD
ARTISTS ARE NECESSARILY
EMBRACED BY THE CANADIAN
LITERARY COMMUNITY AND I THINK
THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS I
WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE, AS
SPOKEN WORD DEVELOPS
AND MORE PEOPLE GET
EXPOSED TO WHAT IT IS THAT WE DO.

Motion says SPOKEN WORD, YOU KNOW,
SOME MIGHT LOOK AT IT, SOME DO
LOOK AT IT AS BEING NOT REAL,
NOT REAL POETRY OR SLANG
POETRY. IT IS NOT REAL BECAUSE,
IT IS TAKING THE CONTEXT OUT
OF A PAGE AND PUTTING IT ON TO
A STAGE, DEFINITELY, I THINK
THAT THE CANADIAN LITERARY
COMMUNITY WILL HAVE TO JUST MAKE
WAY, BECAUSE IT WILL HAPPEN
WHETHER IT IS ACCEPTED OR NOT.

Tina says MOTION IN POETRY BY MOTION
IS PUBLISHED BY WOMENS' PRESS
AND THE MAN BEHIND THE MIC IS
A SELF PUBLISHED BOOK OF
POETRY BY DWAYNE MORGAN.

TIME TO CLOSE THE BOOKS ON
IMPRINT TONIGHT.
THANKS FOR WATCHING. I'M TINA SREBOTNJAK.
SEE YOU NEXT TIME!

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special Thanks, International Festival of Authors, Bistro 990, A Different Booklist, Allison Duke, Harbourfront Centre, Spaha.

Imprint. C/O TVOntario. P.O. Box 200. Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1.

Fax says 416-484-2780.

E-mail says imprint@tvo.org.

Website says www.tvo.org/imprint

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2003, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 14 episode 21