Saturday, December 19, 2009

excerpt from THE ASH-WIND HEAP (a play)

Woman: You know I’ve written a play?

Man: You have! My God that is amazing! I have, too. Recently completed. A real play with actors and actresses and speeches and so forth. I can’t claim it’s any good, but it is completed. I finished. [Pause.] Not especially good. But who cares? I did it. The thing of it is. Most plays are shit. They go on and on and everything is utterly unbelievable and then there is a shoot-out or some guy goes crazy in a storm or a ghost arrives and kills everyone or a mother goes completely bonkers because of the pills she’s popping or an old man is betrayed by his sons and he goes about an awful dying on stage and everyone is wailing and howling or two guys meet somewhere which is nowhere and there is a lot of banter little banter that goes on and on and then they leave and come back and then they come back again for more witty banter it is endless you see that is the point of the whole thing the endlessness of it all. And maybe a mechanical horse comes on stage. Or a clown wearing armor. Or a monster does a tap-dance. Or a guy with no hair kills a guy with a lot of hair. Or a women with big tits wrestles a woman with small tits. Or a kid makes a tank in his room takes it out of the room to visit mayhem on the town that spurns him. Spurning is crucial. Some plays are tragic, some are tragi-comic others are romantic some are tragi-romantic others are comic, a comic play ends in marriage, a tragedy ends in marriage and a romance ends in divorce. Songs burst forth from an audience who are robots without brains. There is much laughter. Tears. Laughter and tears. Clapping. Roars of approval. Shouts of disappointment. After they pretend to talk about the play. They complain about the price of the ticket. They think about cancer, sex, money, the banality of their lives, the stress in their lives, they think about nothing, they think about how angry they are because of what happened at work that day. It is horrible what they think about. How they go on. The relentless force of the shit-river flowing inside them. Nothing makes a difference. They are impermeable, like meat fortresses. Spaceships free floating, detached from home base, hysterical, undignified, prone to crying jags as they drink coffee. They remember every petty detail, won’t every let something go. With the tenacity of the fiercest kind of suction cup, they relinquish their hold on nothing, hanging from walls, steering wheels, telephones, keyboards, bra straps, pills, alcohol, beach towels, umbrellas, old magazines, guns, the entire contents of the vast mud room of human history. Bang bang boom boom bang boom bang boom bang boom bang boom bang boom bang boom [Pauses to catch breath. Grips his chest.] Oh my! What is this? [Falls on stage. Thrashes a little.]

Woman: I’m sorry dear. I wasn’t listening. What did you say?

[The curtain falls. A man holding a sign runs in front of the curtain. On the sign is an abstruse mathematical equation. The audience reads the sign, dumbfounded. The man retreats.]

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Against Optics

August 23, 1732

From out north by north a seeming fury drowned

A flurry-hammered pirled by the grey-lit year

Oh it was a bout of flake tumbled just outside

My hutch where I scour cold ready to admit

I steamed with my cap along the wilted wall

At first an anxious hand and then a sod and then

A final misting sound that wrought no arriving spell

But sere-hammered tin leaves skirting hem-edged

No drier thing than that dry deepened wheel

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Lines Written in Public

Small details. A pencil,
for example.
The right hand.

You’ve learned
a little about me.

I don’t have a clue.
Behind your eyes
secret plans for riots,

your devotion
to an insurrection,

There being no
greater heresy
than love.

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Here is a great poem by Brian Beatty from his collection Duck! (Brouhaha, 2009):


Two ghosts fighting
over an oatmeal cookie

for 400 pages of enormous
Times New Roman --

I'm thinking it's a mystery.


I would buy such a book, buy it and read it.

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