Thursday, June 10, 2010



AN AGE IN:VERSE

ACT 1

A man with a habit. Man (?) unnamed. Often viewed in the 1st person, although this is not always implicit. Tends to say all we have suspected.

Principle players: A Cast of Characters-

Tool Shed Slum Lord: (in a commercial voiceover)
For hire---Units to make U!!! BIG BUX!
Surplus USMC Quonsets. Will construct!
1000’s in use. Great 4 farmers, seasonal
workforce, extended families…
DIAL 1(800)QUONSET. TODAY!!!
(sggstd. max. occp. 10 adults.)

Crazy Lady: … my hat, I’ve neglected my hat… …my family, my hat…
…It’s my family, my hat… …my sister, my hat… …my life is
my hat…

General Tao: relentlessly tired. relentless mass tired. too tired to shuffle
the wait between steps. fatigue’s easy leisure.

François: I will frame you in light. In the light of the dark. In a dark corner
with light from behind. Behind the dark light.

The Chorus: Several soldiers of various ranks.
1 Spy (maybe double.)
35,000 indigenous persons (give or take a few thousand.)
1 iron chain.
2 love interests.
1 missing fiancé (motives suspicious.)
3 minor East Coast crime bosses.
2 apartments in Zurich.
A rocky coast in Nova Scotia.

He opened his journal he always had with him.

It was a cool night. Snow fell for hours.
The company was camped sunder scattered pine.
He had matchsticks, no more
Than a dozen. The memory haunts him.

He leaves a small trail, often too small
To follow. Spent matchsticks
Never consumed with enough left to grasp
Between fingertips. Always the snow.

Because of the fact he delayed so long in going. Covered by instinct, he loved wooden bridges. Loved to burn bridges in passing. A man with a habit yet very few matchsticks. That his own body fits not into this discusses today.

Somewhere in Cornwall or on the Isle of Man. A Manx tongue was spoken.
A family quite clannish, fond of inbreeding, played host for the evening.
A dream of someone’s at some other time.
Maybe late afternoon.
The visitors drank long draughts of dark heady brews.

“Time is absent mostly, and oceans, like love, most often out of reach.”
“Our's is the cross, those plaintive graves, the open sky, the threat of rain.”
“Every passionate man is lured by faith. A jumbled tranquility of late 13th century
declamatory voices, boisterous and false.”
“J’accuse. Je ne regrette rein!”
“I’ve heard about him and his habit. You know the one.”
(The room recoils)
“Christ, life his head. Give him some air and I think he’ll be fine.”

A separate indictment. The paths of chameleons come easy to some. A series of crises or spring rituals. Arguing gristmills and grindstones are just. Another burnt bridge and a trail to fresh to follow.

“Jesus, when are we gonna know.” This not knowing will kill me.”
“Can I get an ‘Amen’ in the house one time? Amen.”

They reveled in excess, in red wine and opium.
Someone quoted Byron. They all laughed at the thought.
Smoke reeled about them.
Fight songs and gospels sang the creek in old chairs.
Dogs slept by the fire. No one slept every dawn.

“You know, it strikes me funny sometimes, all of this.”
“The ‘yea’s’ seem to have it, at least from my point of view.”

The verdict was guilty. No one stayed for the sentencing.

“Wire the consulate. The press in Chicago.”
“They said the postmarks were foreign, maybe an island. They showed a light-
house and black sandy beaches.”
“They say they carried old maps that looked quite Germanic.”

The plan was to rebuild most of what burned. Selective at first, inclusive with time. The practice attacked, a balance was struck. No one seemed happy but profits secured.

“We need to carry labour and the power it wields. If we just controlled labour
then business would follow. It just seems to follow.”
“It must be that simple. As simple as that.”
“It seems the prevalent notion.”

Interior shadows presage time’s passage.
Armadas assembled an obsolete weapon. Generals fought over a feel for the
action. Some headed for doors. Others took names.
Cigarettes were snuffed out and another round was begun.

“Can’t no body do me like Jesus, Lord. Can’t no body do me like Jesus.”
“I was working near here on something important.”
“Fuck that noise. Someone bring a new rage. Bring me a new phase.”
“Jesus, tell me it’s gonna be alright.”

Conversation lagged. The end of markets discussed the start of a new one.
They all spoke quite clearly. Despite this, conversation struggled.
No one could recall first names of faces.

Time grew expensive with interest yet to be met. With a sense of insurance a mortgaged future was spent.

8:36 (now probably PM): Scene shifts to the Caspian shore.
A cold wind blows onshore making its scripted cameo.
No one recalls why they are here.
Someone mentions Older-Vistula, although no one’s sure who.

“It’s when they tied spirits to the cost of living. It’s all fucked since then. You can
trace it all back to then.”
“I think it’s the weather. It’s no longer spring.”
“Given all things this was just bound to happen. Yes, they were bound, it was
bound to all things.”

The room crouched around them steaming musk from dank corners.
A railroad bed waited. For miles railed singing.
The memorial looked Gothic. All spandrels and buttress.
They feared to gather no longer. They rarely remembered.
It was thought to have passed, although no one was certain.
No one else seemed forthcoming.

“No one will wonder what troubled the dead.”
“It is sad, it is said, of all men in this land, it is sad in this land in this time
unenlightened.”
“No fences for thunder leave no words in the end.”



ACT 2

A few stagger from the mouth of the crag’s rocky cave.



Epilogue

The lights in the harbour show the snow falling lightly.