Posts Tagged ‘ play ’

for common tones in simple time by john adams

m i d e l s  for a minamalist

                                                    poet 

,so in a, p i a n o

                                                    is

a special interior held

                                                   from thee.

—————————————————

what sudden leap

from here to there

what sudden leap

a hare

a small wind blows

a small wind blows

a small window closed

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2

A wet towel is hanging from a bar

In the bathroom.

And the tub is full of hairs.

I am very sleepy.

A slug melts in salt.

Dirty dishes in the sink.

What did I eat today?

But a long robe is hanging

On the chair.

And I am only waiting for someone else

To talk.

The Greatest Magic Trick

Lights Up.

We see a man in a black suit and tie, with white shirt, enter stage right and stop center.  He places his hands on the sides of his head and pulls his head off and kicks it stage left.

Blackout.

Curtain.

oppositions and wind

 

1

Know that is

Light slides down

The shadowed wall

And that curved tongue

Pressed a measured palm in

Or each leaning kiss is given once and

Taken back again.  I’m saying said this once.

2

Material of

Thickest paper and

Arm a full now rose

Revolving of red.

3

Standard o say

You are missing in

Setting.

Clear.

4

Meadow now

And again comes

Meadow all white

And snowing some.

5

All through forth

Shattered light

Down

And

Out of the trees

Birds spread

Slowly round.

6

Either I am

A kind of toiled

Ending of windows or

With each thought I

Go out into the light and come back in again.

7

Bathing come

Going bathing a

(Jump and jump)

Come and going

Bathing a bathing a

(jumping)

Come bathing a going

(jump jump)

Bathing leap.

8

When ear

Well here

Well or

A or a

Ear well

Here mumbling.

9

Heaped wind on

As tree leaves

Suddenly tree leaves

Heaped and

Returning.

10

Owl

Who

An owl

Who

(In the dark tree)

Turns round its head

Round and who

reaches into

The night to tear away a mouse.

11

Have me

In coming and going

Curtains in windowing

In

Again

Have me

Again.

12

In some     awful

And           only                                               way

Other        howl

Goes heavy a shade across the yard silently now,

Some awful other standing near leering and In

Some        awful

And           only

Other way standing and I. 

13

Awe me

In new clothes

Pretending a dream.

14

I have given you a forest made

From my hand a forest and

Given it to you.

15

& found

Your letter, but

With others gathering

Dust.  So

And so says

“hi.”

The Line

Lights Up.

We see a single line of blankly dressed men stretching from stage left to right.  The last two men in the line at stage left begin a dialogue.

Men 1:  I am dreading this.

Man 2:  What?

Man 1:  This (pointing toward the front of the line).

Man 2:  O, that.  Just relate your position.

The line moves forward.  When a man exits right another enters left.  The line moves continuously in this way, unbroken, across the stage. 

Man 1:  It’s not that straight forward.

Man 2:  It’s straight enough if it’s plain to see.

Man 1:  Is it plain to see?

Man 2:  From where I’m standing.

The line moves forward. 

Man 1:  Where should I begin?

Man 2:  At the end.

Man 1:  That far back?

Man 2:  They prefer you start at the end and work your way to the beginning.

The line moves forward.

Man 1:  How did you get in line?

Man 2:  I’m not sure.  I’ve never been out of line.

Man 1:  Me either.

Man 2:  I am sure they will see where we are coming from.

The line moves forward.

Man 1:  How long do you think the line is?

Man 2:  It is longer for me than it is for you since you are in front of me.

Man 1:  (Addressing the man in front of him) how long is the line?

Man 3:  (Addressing the man in front of him) how long is the line?

The question is asked of each man in line by the man behind him until the furthest man at stage right is asked, then the line moves forward and the entering man at stage left asks the man in front of him.  The question is passed forward through the line until it is asked of Man 2 again by the man behind him.

Man 2:  (Addressing the man behind him) it is shorter for me than it is for you since you are behind me.

Blackout.

 

Curtain.

“Somewhere Out There the World is the Same as It is in Here”

Lights Up.

We see a black ball bouncing across the stage from left.  There is a small boy chasing it.  The child catches the ball and runs back to left and exits.  From off stage we hear this dialogue: 

 

Voice 1:  The sky is falling.

Voice 2:  It is not falling.

Voice 1:  It is falling.  I can feel the wind in my hair.

Voice 2:  The wind is blowing.

Voice 1:  It is not blowing.

Voice 2: Your hair is moving.  The wind is blowing.

 

Two short men enter stage right.  Each man is clutching a black hat in both hands.  They are holding the hats to their chests and looking around nervously.

 

Man 1:  On air our hearts move.

Man 2:  Like a violin.

Man 1:  Yes, like the thin drawn sound of a violin string.

Man 2:  That is beautiful.  I am glad I came here with you.

Man 1:  Came where?

Man 2:  Came here…to where we are now.

Man 1:  Where are we now?

Man 2:  Here (holding his hat in front of his eyes).

 

We hear a glass break.  From stage left a tall man with a mound of dirt and a flower on top of his head enters holding up an unlit candle.

 

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen. 

Man 2:  Do you see that?

Man 1:  That light?

Man 2:  Yes, that light?

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen. 

Man 1:  No, I don’t see it and you should not see it either.

Man 2:  We should go see what it is.

Man 1:  We know what it isn’t.  It isn’t a light.

Man 2:  No, we should see what it illuminates.

Man 1:  It will illuminate nothing.

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen. 

Man 2:  I’m going.

Man 1:  I’m staying.

Man 2:  You’re going.

Man 1:  You’re staying.

Man 2:  We’re going.

Man 1:  Where?

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.

Man 2:  To the light.

Man 1:  Away from the light.

Man 2:  It could show us where we are.

Man 1:  It could show us where we aren’t.

 

The two men slowly start toward the third man.  When they are at stage center a 4th man enters stage right.  He is very tall with a set of false teeth setting on top of his head.  Man 1 looks back nervously and sees the 4th man. 

 

Man 1:  (Grabbing and turning man 2 around) look.

Man 2:  Where?

Man 1:  (Pointing) there, do you see?

Man 4:  Are you speaking?

Man 2:  What is it?

Man 1:  I know what it is not.

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.

Man 2:  God.

 

An APPLAUSE sign blinks over stage center.

 

Blackout.

 

Curtain.

The Richest City (A poem about my grandmother for Forough Farrokhzad)

What gives itself to the dawn

Is taken back at night

And given tomorrow again.

What is given to the dawn

Is taken from the night

And what is given to the light

Is given back to the dark

And whatever is taken from one

Is given to the other.

 

Your hands and feet and cheek

Have not withered.

Your arms and legs, my love,

Have not withered.

 

I have followed the soft line

Of your long neck,

Overcome with awe and curiosity.

I have followed the soft line

Of your neck

As if I were on the edge of an ancient city,

A rich city

That is only real

When I press my hand to its side and

It walls rise before me.

 

And wherever I have gone

I have not come back from

Completely.

My love, I have dragged my hand

Through those cities

And pulled you from the walls and streets.

My love, I have

Pulled you from the dirt of those cities

And I do not have to hold your hands

For your hands to be in my hands.

 

Who is it now that rubs their hand against my cheeks

When I am crying?

Who is it now that rubs my cheeks

When I am crying?

 

And if they wilt,

Your hands,

If they wilt

Then they wilt like the flowers wilt.

They wilt like the flowers wilt.

Becoming more, turned against themselves

And pulled away from the light and

Given to the darkness again.

 

What is taken from the light

Is given to the dark

And whatever is taken form one

Is given to the other.

 

Your long neck

Does not wilt.

Your long neck and side

Does not wilt.

But if they do

Then it is like a flower

That has crawled back inside itself.

If they do

Then it is like the flower.

 

Then it is like the dawn

That is taken from the night.

Then it is like my hand

That pulls you from the walls of a rich city.

And wherever I have gone

I have not come back from completely.

And wherever I am

I am not there completely.

Because I cannot,

Because I cannot stop.