Eccentric Beings, A Monodrama
(To be staged via projection in a theater of the mind)
| The scene opens on COMET roaring
through the vast abyss of space |
COMET: I hate the roar of quiet
diverting my sentences
and rounding them into dough babies
on the floured formica.
That morning, long ago, when you left
early before dawn and, breathing visibly,
made your arduous way to the bakery
to bring back the first fresh lobster,
fighting back frost and stray dogs,
and the lobster was cold.
You didn’t think then, did you,
of the ages and ages of shells and pustules
and goulashes on the shore,
decades of grime built into silent ornery golems
who never do what they were made to do,
orbiting the tide pools.
We know every day, it is not found.
Which way I fly?
Hurtling towards my destined aim of hurtling,
Always arriving, always departing,
I’ll never reach an end–
All moments are my end–
One of the literary giants of all time–
A condensation of experience,
Hard, gemlike, compact as a crab,
Sealed like an armadillo.
I resist habit–
Eleven thousand years before I see something for the second time.
By then, it’s no longer the same thing at all.
Such my loop becomes a line,
And my repetitions never repeat themselves.
I saw her once…
If I lend you my ear you must lend me your arm.
Blazing forward furiously
At incredible speed,
Hurtling through darkness
Hurtling as the darkness.
Hurting the darkness?
If I could I would tear a hole straight through it,
Gobs of steaming darkness spurting through my teeth
And find what is behind it…
Without symbols all the time did not appear!
That rock I just passed–have I seen it before?
Eleven thousand years isn’t long for a rock,
A familiar rock.
Does it remember me?
You’re not an actor and not a poet.
We see him every day, he doesn’t look any different!
I’m so cold it burns
My eyes squint and water
And the water turns frozen
But I refuse to close them.
This module will never open.
It does not matter–It can not be thought of day by day.
The darkness out there is pierced through with glowing eyes
But I think they are all blind
Because I know if they could see me
If they were watching me
Surely sometime in all this time
One of them would have smiled or scowled
Or acknowledged me in some way…
| Screams |
| pauses, screams again |
Not even an echo.
When I’m happy I laugh, when I laugh I’m ugly,
But to frighten you makes me sad.
I’ve spent centuries awake at night
Dreaming of an echo of my own.
It’s not always visible without the symbol!
My echo would be sweet and fresh
Like hyssop covered in dew
Which is another thing I have never seen.
But I am convinced–convinced–
That somewhere in all of this vastness
Is a hyssop covered in dew.
I will not be moved on this point.
Nothing so pregnant with symbols has appeared on any stage!
On three occasions I have passed close enough to a pale moon
To just make out my shadow upon it,
Smiling at me.
Black shadow on a black moon, but I know I could see it.
Just as I saw her once, from far away…
You are not an artist
We know every day that it can not be found.
My shadow emulated my path,
My shadow believed in my work, my vision.
Please examine it, gentlemen.
Nothing else matters.
He must have told you that I’m innocent.
I demand the application of torture.
I have to complain about the violence.
My shadow still sails below me, it just has no ground to be seen against.
I hear the truth in you.
But it’s there, hurtling along with me
Eon after eon.
If you listen, then I have to return it.
If I give an ear, then I have to give my hand.
I heard your truth
Please check, grace,
It’s nothing else–
She should tell you I’m stupid.
Someday we will meet, we’ll be close enough to speak,
Once I get close enough to one of those moons, or a planet,
I’ll skate so close to it, delicately, on the verge,
And my shadow will be as big as life,
So glad to see me again, tears in her eyes,
To be within range of hearing,
And we’ll laugh together and remember old times and sing together
Shadow and I singing in harmony, imagine it.
Running in like a happy deer,
On a poor man’s pillow you can enjoy a rich man’s dream.
That is why shadow tags along with me through all these dismal dyas,
This abyss of time as I so slowly fragment and burn apart,
Shadow is waiting faithfully for our song to begin.
When I dream I can hear it, almost, some times.
| begins to drift to sleep |
| shadow choreography, dancer and shadow merge and divide |
| awakens with a start |
Well, what do you know.
I want to ask for torture.
I have to complain about violence,
I left the eye because this song is very funny.
I reject them all, I hate
their clay feet, their sluggishness,
their whoredoms, their jangles and bangles,
and their tinkling syllables. What I seek
is beyond this grimy stage, four-square
and pig-headed–beyond the foulness of the deep–
my soul walks among the stars, gaseous and eternal,
never to be confined or earthbound.
I must tell you that I am unemployed.
You, pickled in time, your fingertips wrinkled with it,
never knew what is inside of me and the truth that I bear
through the cold desert shore.
I want to help you.
I’ve been watching because this song is very nice.
The fetidness of your gardens reeks
to the high heaven, your worm bucket
and your reels and rinds offend me.
I will take my anger and fold it into a cloud,
knead it and hammer it into a cloud,
and wrap this cloud around myself and close my eyes,
and close the eyes behind my eyes.
Tuck me in. Tuck me in.
Your lips against my forehead glow like orange iron.
I will dream of a field, open and pure.
A square field, mowed and open and pure.
I will dig a hole in this field and lie in it.
I will turn away from the stars who are looking at me,
never blinking, looking at me.
The stars think how small they are in the big darkness,
but they don’t know anything about smallness.
I am gaseous and small in my hole in the dark in my dream.
I never should have parted from you.
You never should have said that.
You never should have hummed the song
you hummed while you chopped the stumps out.
It used to be my old favorite song, but now
when I hear it on the radio my spleen aches and my fingertips leak.
If I could speak with you once more, tell you one last thing.
I know exactly what I would tell you,
and the words, I know it, would make you look at me again.
I put out the bird’s eye because it’s song was too sweet.
I am no longer afraid.
You’re not a poetic artist.
Whatever you wrote in the flour on the countertop
was illegible by the time I saw it.
But I don’t want to see it now, I don’t see anything now,
I have so much sleep in my eyes I only see the crusts of the rheum.
I will make them into a room, and lock the door.
| COMET closes his eyes and roars quietly on |
| The scene continues for 92,600 years |