Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: Negative Space

Based on a 150-word poem by Ron Koertge, “Negative Space” is a film by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter that was nominated for a 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Short.

Negative Space

My dad taught me to pack: lay out everything. Put back half. Roll things
that roll. Wrinkle-prone things on top of cotton things. Then pants, waist-
to-hem. Nooks and crannies for socks. Belts around the sides like snakes.
Plastic over that. Add shoes. Wear heavy stuff on the plane.
      We started when I was little. I’d roll up socks. Then he’d pretend to put me
in the suitcase, and we’d laugh. Some guys bond with their dads shooting
hoops or talking about Chevrolets. We did it over luggage.
      By the time I was twelve, if he was busy, I’d pack for him. Mom tried
but didn’t have the knack. He’d get somewhere, open his suitcase and text
me—”Perfect.” That one word from him meant a lot.
      The funeral was terrible—him laid out in that big carton and me crying
and thinking, Look at all that wasted space.

“Negative Space” by Ron Koertge, from Sex World. © Red Hen Press, 2014 (via Writer’s Almanac)

Running time: Animated film, 5 1/2 minutes. “Making of” video, 4 minutes

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the films.

2 comments on “Video: Negative Space

  1. rosemaryboehm
    January 24, 2021

    So beautiful, so heartbreaking, such a wonderful metaphor, so well elaborated.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 11,801 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 4,203,734 hits

Archives

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: