Saturday, April 19, 2014

Josephine Miles scored by Joe Thebeau and Carrie M. Becker

"Stanza 8 in Miniature" by Carrie M. Becker (after Josephine Miles),
1/6th scale diorama / miniature shadow box

Poetry Scores' Spring 2014 project in our home city of St. Louis is devoted to "Ten Dreamers in a Motel."

This poem by Josephine Miles (1911-1985) was published in her 1955 book Prefabrications, a prescient - perhaps prophetic - registry of changes in the American built landscape and how that changed the way people construct their own reality (and dream worlds).

SOHA Studio + Gallery will host a one-night-only Poetry Scores art invitational based on "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" 6-10 p.m. Friday, April 25 at the gallery, 4915 Macklind Ave. Julie Malone and Kat Dunne of SOHA commissioned ten women artists to each make visual art to one of the poem's ten numbered sections.

Poetry Scores also has commissioned ten musical scores to the ten numbered parts of "Ten Dreamers in a Motel." That live score will be presented 9 p.m. Friday May, 23 at The Tap Room, 2121 Locust, followed by Ann Hirschfeld and Mark Buckheit (10 p.m.) and Dugout Canoe (11 p.m.). Ten women will read the ten numbered parts of the poem in between the songs. It's a free show.

Here is Joe Thebeau's score of the 8th numbered section of "Ten Dreamers in a Motel," paired with Carrie M. Becker's visual adaptation of the same passage of poetry.

"Stanza 8 in Miniature" by Carrie M. Becker (after Josephine Miles),
1/6th scale diorama / miniature shadow box

 Free mp3

"This weariness"
(Josephine Miles, Joe Thebeau)

Performed and recorded by Joe Thebeau

Poetry (c) 1955 Josephine Miles
Music (c) 2013 Joe Thebeau

Joe Thebeau
from a Finn's Motel video shoot

This recording may be freely shared for non-commercial uses. For any other usage, contact Poetry Scores at and we will connect you with the composer and the poet's estate.


Here is the part of the poem Joe and Carrie translated into their respective medium:

from "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" by Josephine Miles


I went to consult a psychiatrist on this morning,
A nervous woman, whose curly-headed four-year-old child
Played in the room, sitting staunchly
On a great medical scales.

I defended myself thus. It looks as if
All this weariness came from too much work,
But rather I think it a problem of person,
Friend or foe, fortune of parent or pardon.

The nervous psychiatrist ran her hand through her hair
And glanced at her watch. Have you taken a trip lately,
It would do you good, and take your mother with you,
She needs it more than you do.

Then I laughed to hear my own prescription
Given to myself with such good humor
In the gray weariness. But then she said also,
Take with you also my curly-headed four-year-old child.


"Ten Dreamers in a Motel" was published in Josephine Miles' 1955 book Prefabrications, which is included in her Collected Poems (University of Illinois Press, 1983).


Joe Thebeau of Finn's Motel live on KDHX (four songs)

Finn's Motel on MySpace

The Finn's Motel record Escape Velocity is available at many online music portals.


Read @PoetryScores on Twitter.

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