OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY

[a pristine set everything in white a sterile science lab a repeating tone]

[throughout, the words are for the most part spoken by actors behind us lit with scripts and lecterns as the action plays out in the front and aisles]

[black silence]

[a hum grows the tone returns repeating there is a voice:]

and then we separated the inside of our houses
from the outside of our houses
we all know the dust cannot be swept from the dirt floor
we all know the bacteria cannot be scrubbed from our bodies
from our skin
from our selves
and wash it down the drain
down the hole
down the mighty mississipp
the muddy
the ganges
down the san andreas
to the center of the earth
the universe
the veins
in my eye
wrong
this ain’t grace
this all fucked
this old thing
wrong
wash me down
wash me down
wash me down

[a harsh light a silhouette blood on a lab coat washing hands]

and from within him stir
the hell within him
for within him hell

[a pause]

please continue

[the washing continues it becomes jagged and stylized a repetition of itself the hum is feedback there is a scream from all directions the washing stops so do the screams and all sounds the silence is deafening]

I can kill you but instead I hold you tight

[the silhouette becomes limp]

the trash requires that you continue
the trash requires trash
continue

[washing / sporadic screams when the hands are in water stops has the water become blood?]

it is absolutely essential that you continue
it is absolutely essential
continue

[the washing is frantic the screams are frantic full body]

it is only a job
the job requires it
the job
there is a speck
cut
dissect
a speck of dust
cut
on your father
cut
in your shadows and up your ass the contamination
the cut
cut out
you have no choice
dissect contamination
it is only right
it is just
you have no other choice
you must go on

[soaked the body collapses as do the screams and the feedback]

I’ve never dripped in punishment
quite
like
this


LADY GAGA: PRIEST

[an explosion of light and music and people and Lady GaGa and confetti]

[doors open and slam objects enter from everywhere in an orgy of sex/violence/things people in love and hate]

  • [in embarrassment and humiliation]
  • [sudden grief, anxiety]
  • [dread]
  • [distraction and envy and greed]
  • [and lust]
  • [an army of pecks]
  • [a liturgy of squawks]
  • [a broken wing]
  • [cobwebs and tongues and elbows, angels and lips]

[and someone has a shopping cart full of plastic toys and kitchen accouterment which they throw one-by-one against the wall while Lady GaGa sings us this song:]

I fold you into my mouth
that goes
that leaves
and now i will destroy it all
I can’t help it
it all embarrasses me
and so I’ll fuck it
and mourn it
what?
where was i?
now now now nownownownownownownownownownownow
crash
oops
crash
fleeting
tickle/giggle/fidget and bounce
a blanket of sadness
dropped on me from the gods
from the ghosts of grandmothers and illusions and dead cats
forget it
can I put you in my mouth?
because
cuz
I desire it
drop it
(I can kill you and take all your money)
and hold you tight
just lay on my chest
feel the comfort of heartbeat in your ear pressed to my skin
the weightedness
the love song
loins
don’t look
don’t behold
me
mememememememe
a wish
I am Prada,
born among the demons,
and of all that measures,
I am time
I am I am
the cow that fulfills
I am
the power of sex
and
the king

[by the end of which Lady Gaga has jumped from the acropolis to be carried safely to a soft landing on pillows]


AN ARMY OF GOD

The twin notions of microcosm and macrocosm neatly model the dominant orienting lens of Western thought. From the pre-Socratics on, thinkers who contend that they have discovered cosmological truths argue that man is a little world embodying the structure and traits of the greater universe. To know the universe, they say, look carefully at man, and all truth shall be revealed. As man breathes, so does the universe (Pythagoras). As man fights interior battles between good and evil, so they must exist on a grander scale (Sir Thomas Browne). And to affix such a connection: a maker to make cunningly. And so on it goes.

[other voices and texts join in they are dictators and groucho marx and the scum manifesto and tweets and status update blog post personal diary literature and everything words:]

Concentric circles in the mind. Interior in conversation with the exterior (or the inverse), and again and again we are re-creating what we know most intimately: cyclical motions from the smallest to the largest scale. Cycles of our hours, our days, the circular motion of my hand in the air is a mirror to this cycle of All We Have: aka life (unless we subscribe to the promise of After. Life. And isn’t this promise of Something HereAfter so much of what brings us back, circling back, week after week, to the Pew, the Alter, the Psalm, the Incense and the Water, Genuflection at His feet? The promise that, if we do this right, are appropriately sorrygood, then this is all just the white-walled waiting room, the cloak room to the AfterLife that counts?) . Creatures of habit, we find our pattern, conscious of duplication or un-.

[the voices come and go forming patterns and rhythms fighting and joining soloing at times and fighting with and against the music in rhythms and sudden bursts and building to a unison:]

Should enemies strike our country, they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear. In this, they would fail. No act of theirs can alter the course or shake the resolve of this country. We are a peaceful people - yet we’re not a fragile people, and we will not be intimidated by thugs and killers. If our enemies dare to strike us, they and all who have aided them, will face fearful consequences.

We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. In one year, or five years, the power of our enemies to inflict harm on all free nations would be multiplied many times over. With these capabilities, the dark one and his terrorist allies could choose the moment of deadly conflict when they are strongest. We choose to meet that threat now, where it arises, before it can appear suddenly in our skies and cities.

The cause of peace requires all free nations to recognize new and undeniable realities. In the 20th century, some chose to appease murderous dictators, whose threats were allowed to grow into genocide and global war. In this century, when evil men plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a policy of appeasement could bring destruction of a kind never before seen on this earth.

Terrorists and terror states do not reveal these threats with fair notice, in formal declarations - and responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self-defense, it is suicide. The security of the world requires disarming The Old Serpent now.

As we enforce the just demands of the world, we will also honor the deepest commitments of our country. Unlike the Author of Evil, we believe the forgotten people are deserving and capable of human liberty. And when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all humanity of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.

The United States, with other countries, will work to advance liberty and peace in that region. Our goal will not be achieved overnight, but it can come over time. The power and appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land. And the greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence, and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace.

That is the future we choose. Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent. And tonight, as we have done before, America and our allies accept that responsibility.

Good night, and may God continue to bless America.


RIPPLES WHEN YOU STOP

[silence]

[more silence]

[lights up bodies still in mid-motion the motion is wrong the lights go out and up wrong and out up wrong again and out]

[a note on the piano leads to another note and another]

[a match is lit and lights a candle and another and several candles are lit]

[someone in a bath:]

I could say I believe in the world today
that each day will follow the other like pots to pans
that the cog of my life turns with some precision
even that when I am dead I will die
and stay that way
I know this
I know the skies
black
yellow
black
on and on that way
and the old dragon and his crony angels
are nowhere to be seen
looking for guns and gold and gasoline
I could say that I believe in this
that it is

[someone else attempting and failing]

[stand up, sit down, kneel repeat]

[someone making tea or combing hair:]

on the way home from work
I got onto i70
I missed my exit
but kept driving
I noticed after an hour or two
that I was no longer merely driving east
past gaudy warehouses and outlet stores
but driving back through years

[while in the bathtub:]

every day I cut back the rust
my heart is a muscle
the only thing
left tensed when I sleep
like a face down in the gravel
I have to wonder
after the workday
I scrub at my hands until they grow old
I am too young
for this
what I didn’t make or take still played out
plays out
every fucking day
fucking federals,
goddamn fools. Next time kick yourselves out
cut your own damn faces up
god doesn’t care, he doesn’t give a fuck
he’s as tired as the rest of us

[tea/comb:]

I passed the room where I got my first blow-job
the day I stopped going to church
the bathroom I took my first pill
the rundown church where the holy spirit entered me
the airport I left for Africa
the street I first got mugged
the theater where I lost feeling
for the first time
to when I was eight
and lived on a street with fuschia bushes
and snail-slicked paths
and football outside everyday
and, you know,
it never would have crossed my mind
there as an eight year old child
that I’d ever even make it to 29
and be a man who stood 6’2 and 300 lbs
with a shaved head and childish lips
who lived a mile above sea level and laid naked with women
and didn’t believe in god
who had felt the pentecost
believing in magic
sitting with homeless on iona road
reading bible verses at them
whose mind, heavy with stalagtites,
had, one day, just caved in.
but then, I suspect,
that no one ever ends where they expected
or is not horribly changed
by the arriving

Some days I walk the 2.4 miles across the bridge,
along the freeway,
past the man in a Mad Hatter outfit
spinning a sign selling BBQ Ribs,
past 3 bus stops where a woman is stuffing her purse with blank slips of paper,
just to buy a large coffee from the 7-11.

Some days I get so lonely I forget my own name

[bathtub:]

I only notice the ripples
when I am absolutely still

[sex slow everything in rhythm to the sex breathing]

[washing hands]

[Lady GaGa prepares for her death]

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
As I speak
highly civilized human beings are flying overhead,
trying to kill me.
They do not feel any enmity against me
as an individual,
nor I against them.
Most of them,
I have no doubt
are kind-hearted.
Law-abiding men
who would never dream of committing murder
in private life.
But
if one of them succeeds
he will never sleep any the worse for it.
He is serving his country.
He will be absolved from evil.

[and hangs herself while saying:]

my hell comes from inside myself. why fight this?
no one’s gonna play the harp when you die.
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

[Lady Gaga finds a birthday cake and lights the candles and eats some frosting with her finger]

I’m not fighting because I believe in it
I’m fighting because I don’t know what else to do.

[everyone lights candles the place becomes holy]

[someone arranging fruit in neat rows across the entire space:]

my grandmother survived the war barefoot, scavenging other people’s inedibles: rotting potatoes, discarded scraps of meat, skins, and the bits that clung to bones.

food is not food. it is terror, dignity, gratitude, vengeance, joyfulness, humiliation, religion, history, and, of course

love

terror

sacrifice

[they begin to squash the fruit beneath their feet]

animals and humans
entrails
guts on canvas
kisses
guts on canvas
kisses
bowing to the blood
dissolution of the self/ves
orpheus torn limb from limb
a lamb’s head floating on a river
dancing/fucking in the guts of a beast
as man breathes, so does the universe

[Lady GaGa is about to die]

what happens when the heart just stops?
no more to breathe, no more to grieve, coming home
remember to live before you die

[pause]

make a wish

[she blows out the candles on her cake]

what else do I have to do today?

[she jumps from the acropolis and hangs herself and is stoned and dies face down in the cake]


A CONSPIRACY OF US

[dark a sound followed by sounds from all around a cappella as there is light and everyone moves one at a time in single file across the room while jokes are told about suicide and death they each stop briefly at a wash basin, dip their hands in blood and spread it on their clothes before crossing to Lady Gaga and serving each other cake]

[do they offer the audience birthday cake as well?]

orgs tagged ‘theater’…

Grapefruit Lab

Co-Founder – multimedia performance ensemble

events tagged ‘theater’…

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