Mortuary Puppies: Outlaw Playwrights: State College Pa: 2-11-99
men and three women in black robes sit in a semi-circle; a candle sits before
them, and a box of bibles. Inverted pentagrams are drawn on their foreheads,
and their faces are powdered stark white, black lips. Call them A, B, C, D, E,
off his robe to reveal black jeans and tee-shirt) I have no supernatural
insight! I can’t cast a spell!
B: (pinching his stomach) I’m fat! I eat too
C: (rising, miming an Indian rain-dance) You
guys take yourselves too seriously. I can’t blame you. We’re desperate for a
leader. (pulling his hood over his head) We’re living slumberously. We’d rather
surf the Net then the ocean. We’d rather rent movies than make them. Lust is
the only thing you can rely on. (crumbling into a heap on the floor, writhing)
D: (approaching C, comforting him with an
embrace) Sex dominates our lives, but we don’t want to admit it. (she peels
hood off C’s head and kisses him passionately)
E: (picking up a copy of Playboy from beneath
the candle, lighting a page on fire) Look at this shit. Exploitation is
B: (pointing accusingly at E) You’re
desperate! You’re an accident waiting to happen! (he shrinks away from E,
pointing a cross at him)
E: (chasing B around in a circle) Hatred is
the spice of life! Your subtle sensibilities are corrupt with bullshit!
F: (coming downstage left, lying flat on
ground) Every man harbors a secret desire to be Superman.
D: (rising, tearing off robe to reveal
glamorous dress, breaking into a supermodel strut) I am revolver! I am bomb! I
am grenade! I can hurt!
E: (walking aimless circles) Like idlers at
the funeral of a psychiatrist. (collapsing onto his knees in prayer) Like a
pitchfork stuck into eternity’s stomach.
F: (frantically doing sit-ups) This was the
determinist exercise, intellectualized, spectacle-juiced.
C: (catching D in a full-nelson) This was
detrimental planets of chanting, word-place unstymied, climaxed with whoredom!
D: (breaking away from C, spitting on him)
This was the court of maybe adjourned, wrestled with casual moaning blizzards!
A: (doing Michael Jackson “moon-walk”
downstage) God cooperates with Truth and Justice. God is millions of uptight
people fucking themselves!
B: (taking off his shoes, beating himself in
the head with them) God is implements of destruction stewing in vats!
C: (finding a razor, preparing to slit his
wrists) God is a spider piercing heaven with venom and menace!
A: (knocking razor out of C’s hand) Fuck
death! Death is the refuse of flies! (the rest of the group forms a semi-circle
around him, begins falling at his feet and feeling him up sensually, lust in
their eyes) Death is the pulse of underwater nowhere! (the group begins to
sex-pant) Death is the thin arm of ridiculous waving! (the group begins to
climax violently) You’re all a bunch of babbling crabs! (he breaks from them
and they whimper) Let us ride. Let us worship a lesbian gopher. Let us spit our
vehemence. (he takes out a copy of the Bible from under the candle; in it are
five copies of the poem “bible”; he distributes them; the rest of the group
forms a line at the front of the stage and recites this poem)
C, D, E, F: bible is stilts for
brassy as a Barnum
bible is black and white
Valentino Christ presiding
bible holds governments
in thrall, muzzles
mouth, defecates on judges heads
bible is Godfather
ordering a kill,
hovering outside abortion clinic w/
bible is Pat Buchanan
riding GOP elephant
towards Bethlehem, stampeding over
bible is 700 Club
demanding money, bogus
tears in their eyes,
bible is King Silence
faced w modern ambiguity,
rage in frail hearts
bible’s enemy is
longing howling w compassion
bible is fire blowing
bible is exclusivity
spilling its heinous seed
bible is shelled
bible is vomit of fear
bible is a lie, an
to shit in it you have
to flush yourself
the poem, A has been tearing pages from his bible, chewing them and spitting
them out. When the poem ends, he tosses the bible into the audience)
A: (approaching the other five, he tips the
first in line and they fall, domino style) Somehow I found myself spending time
with teenagers in coffee joints. I happened to lose my bearings and had no
better place to go.
C, D, E, F: (from the floor, doing the wave, in unison) God is a cornball with
a draggy scheme!
A: I fucked one of them but I…(weeping)
C, D, E, F: (unison, pointing at him accusingly) Sometimes impotence knows
A: (regaining his composure, lighting a
cigarette suavely) Terrible, how our needy flesh imagines satisfaction in
B: (rising, kneeling before A) Shut your eyes
and listen— the thread of children’s voices will hold our hearts in place, cozy
as a hammer’s nail or tire tracks on blacktop roads.
C: (rising, kneeling before B) I haven’t seen
my father in seven years! He jerked off in front of me and brought home porn!
D: (rising, kneeling before C) Precious bulbs
bloom form horde together beg!
E: (rising, stripping off his robe in
disgust) You guys are fucking ridiculous. Why do you have to make a production
out of everything?
F: (rising, facing audience) Emancipate my
claustrophobia! Respect my wedding dress! Ponder my teabags! Sleep! (she spits
into the audience)
A: (taking F by the neck in a vice-grip) Do
you belong to a food group?
F: (fighting A off, wailing) Sleep on
sea-sunk nail-beds! Sleep in tart plum wine!
B: (saluting) The President’s power is
measured in inches! Stars and stripes become a big boner! The bald eagle a
flying come-shot! When the President comes, the earth quakes! The President is
A: (letting go of F, attacking B) Your head
is fuzzy with pussy-dreams!
B: (fighting him off) Saddam Hussein our
leather dominatrix! Bush has discovered the joys of jello! Our head of state
has a seventh-grade heart!
A: (letting go of B, lighting another
cigarette) Butt. Universal emblem of frailty.
D: (approaching him sexily) You should put me
in your mouth. I come lit. I don’t produce noxious fumes. You can put me out,
if you want. (caressing his torso) Quit me. Leave me a butt on your ashtray.
Keep my ashes in a vase. Cart me out for the relatives on holidays. Sprinkle me
on the Easter turkey. I’ll make a hero of you; you don’t need cigarettes! (she
removes the cigarette from A’s titillated lips)
A: (falling on his knees before D, who’s now
smoking his cigarette) You’re the strum of Spanish minstrels, smooth thumbed
suck & burst!
B: (hugging himself, shivering) Man holds
himself stiff, pretending impotence.
A: (rising from his knees) He is not
sleeping. He dares not to dream. His breath comes in little filaments. He fears
C: (clutching his stomach, rocking back and
forth) His skirmish is entirely interior. He will die clenched down on some
teething ring, bent over from exertion, wishing he had a bolder to push up a
D: (chastising them, hands on hips) This is
all exercise. A ruse. A pigeon’s quip.
F: (sudden wail) Exit signs get in my eyes!
Clocks insult me with nakedness and smoke! Tortures of unmovement! I am the
lost quim of Venus!
D: (hissing at F, giving him the finger) I
can’t handle your vibes. Silence is the climate I aspire to.
A: (approaching D, hand on heart) I can’t
amend myself any further. What is the great truth of your cock-eyed haunches?
Bring out my bastard and love him!
D: (pushing A away, filing her nails) I
proclaim myself a feminist scholar! I will not hide amidst the masks of action.
F: (approaching D, pushing A out of the way)
From across the room I sense your distance! People who cannot feel are always
fugitives! You eschew the possibility of female erection!
A: (throwing F to the ground) Conversation
crucifies my pure thrust! Love is my dharma-soap and she’s the box!
C: (still clutching his stomach, rocking) We
are a generation of matches! We cannot differentiate intelligence from
confusion! We are nerves without ending! We feel safest alone!
D: (settling herself in C’s lap) Bed you down
on rocks of scotch and time. My groove will ride your pale manipulations of
C: (throwing D off) Reflect is the principle
D: (angrily, to C) Fuck your three-wheeled
baby carriage scruples! You’re a mortuary puppy!
C: (slowly, deliberately) I’ve been rigged
with chess-piece brains!
D: (approaching him again, tenderly) Share
your flesh, share your heart, make me whole I’ll give you part.
C: (resignedly) Sobriety obliterates my
supple. There are no rosetta stones in your foam.
D: (kicking him) Bolders are blundering your
mountain! Shadows are glistening your shit! Crosses are sucking up your vomit!
Life cooperates with pride and abundance! Death cooperates with shy and
repentance! (she begins crying)
A: (moving to console, hold her) Love
cooperates with everything lovely. Don’t feel soft among the steely geniuses
who know what to do! You inspired my first published poem, in a dream of
supernatural poise! (he wraps D in his arms)
F: (sudden frenzy) Nothing to kill or die
for! No religion too!
E: (coming out of trance-sleep) Fuck that!
Lennon thought peace was worth dying for, didn’t he? He made Yoko into a
religion, didn’t he? We all heard that!
A: Well, that’s love for you. Yoko was his
E: (to group) Do you guys believe that?
C: Vestial virgins shrimps and pillars…banana
bombs…cocktails of TV static…the thin arm of ridiculous waving! Sins! Window
seeds tempt me into comfort!
E: This was a tower-clock striking midnight.
This was the bumble of racketing rapids. This was the prick of heroic Hercules!
(he produces a copy of the bible) This existed! Ha!
C: (rising, eyes closed) Move! Anywhere!
E: (at lip of stage, with blazing eye) Shut
your eyes and listen— the thread of children’s voices will hold our hearts in
place, cozy as a hammer’s nail, or tire tracks on blacktop roads…