PRELUDE. LUDE. POSTLUDE

August 22, 2017

Prelude

The wind kicked up at dawn. Tumbleweeds bounded across the desert. A few bumped to a halt against the shack.

Lude

Defeating sleep, he knuckled his eyes open, yawned and stretched. The gun was at hand. He rewarded himself with one final glance out the window, nodded, picked up the gun, aimed it, and with no hesitation pulled the trigger. The blast’s echo chased the tumbleweeds with evenly diminishing effort out across the wide flat tough land.

Postlude

The clouds were black. Lightning daggered. Thunder growled. The wind died. Tumbleweeds shivered. Rain fell.

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CONFERENCE BEFORE CONFRONTATION

August 21, 2017

A murder of crows gathers to discuss strategy for the upcoming volleyball match pitting them against an embezzlement of pigeons.

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BANAL INTERVIEWS WITH CELEBRITY GHOSTS – STEPHEN FOSTER

August 20, 2017

Loon: Welcome to The Three Question Interview With Celebrity Ghosts. Today’s guest ghost delivered to us by the Lords of the 4th Dimension is Stephen Foster, a gentleman I am told who wrote songs. Mr. Foster, would you be a fishing net if there were no other choices?

Foster’s ghost: I don’t understand.

Loon: Interesting and revealing. Congratulations. Second question. If existence is not possible without butter, how much or how little would you pay for a cow?

Foster’s ghost (glances around nervously): Are you selling a cow?

Loon: Me? Of course not. Finally, how many pinheads does it take to surround an angel?

Foster’s ghost departs swiftly.

Loon (shrugs): A shy sort of fellow.

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A SENTENCE BY MIKHAEL BULGAKHOF

August 19, 2017

Night began covering the forests and meadows with its black kerchief. – from The Master and Margarita

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THE FATHER KNOWS BEST KWIZ ANSWER

August 18, 2017

Some of the morrow’s joys being contemplated are frankly sinister.

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THE FATHER KNOWS BEST KWIZ

August 17, 2017

Each member of the Anderson family gathered around Dad is:

a. planning to kill Robert Young.

b. sick and tired of all the phony crap.

c. inwardly chanting, ‘Paycheck, paycheck, paycheck.’

d. wondering what joys the morrow will bring.

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FLOWER BREAK

August 16, 2017

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BOOK CARPETS

August 15, 2017

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ARTHUR PECKHAM

August 14, 2017

Here is an excerpt from a strange unpublished novel explaining why that fellow is Arthur Peckham and not a certain other guy.

The Concept

A pair of monologues and one page of definitions. That’s all. The first monologue is 45000 words long, the second a less horrific 4000. If you find yourself able to vault the formidable casting hurdle, with which I will try to provide assistance for you in the following notes, then you must decide whether to push through the entire piece in one grueling marathon performance or to split it into a two night production. I recommend the latter, in concern for the health, mental and physical, of your lead actor. One night is a joke. It would be a day and well into a night. Only an audience of ultra-marathoners and tri-athletes could sit through it. But I wrote it anyway. I had to. Who am I kidding? It will never be performed. It can’t be performed. It’s impossible. Nevertheless.

What are the monologues? The character Arthur (Full disclosure – I am Arthur.) recites the first, which describes a week long journey, a quest in search of a particular bliss, he (I) undertook with the giant Norton Horton and the giant’s wife. As I type this, it happened 43 years ago in August of the year 2007. The second monologue is the giant reciting from letters he writes to his wife as he tours Cornwall on a quest of his own. They are my own invention, but I am working from a solid foundation of facts known.

 

Author’s Suggestions

An empty stage. Strike that. Not quite empty. A chair. A simple wooden chair. A few props for Arthur’s stories strewn about. What is needed becomes self evident when you read the text. But keep it minimal. Each little conveniently numbered word packet of Arthur’s thespian filibuster might end in a blackout. Just a suggestion. Arthur could prowl the stage, spot to spot, blackout to blackout. Maybe dim the lights and bring them back up. I don’t know. You decide what works best. As you can see, the cost of staging is nothing. Follow the text where it leads you. Otherwise, have fun with it. Pull up all the songs you need from your favorite music archive. They are all there. For the giant, you’ll need a huge chair similar in appearance to the simple wooden chair of Arthur’s monologue. If you’re lucky, you might find a recently retired World Basketball Conference backup center with literary and/or theatrical ambitions. More likely, you’ll need stilts, padding and a wizard makeup person, as at this time there is a severe shortage of eight foot tall actors who look like the legend that lived, Norton Horton.

 

Casting Arthur (Me)

Arthur (I) can be an unsavory hateful character in the wrong hands. And that’s bad for anybody talking at you for 45000 words. He’s self-centered to a fault and slightly beyond (I plead guilty to being a youthful fool. Are you innocent?); in short, Arthur is highly impressed with Arthur. And he has good reason to be. He acts like a dream, sings like a classically trained lark, spins out yarns of his own invention, and is catnip to women (With 43 additional years attached to my earthly sojourn, I am modest now, no longer catnip to women, more garlic or henbane.). He must have a boyish grin and be fuzzy cheeked. The singing is important. Your actor must be greatly talented or able to lip sync like a son of a gun. Also, remember the Arthur pacing your stage in August of 2007 is a rudderless drifter. You can observe in black and white the target Arthur look by watching Lewis Milestone’s 1930 film of Erich Maria Remarque’s ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’. The actor who plays Paul is Lew Ayres. That’s your man. Arthur, in the text, describes himself as a dead ringer for Lew Ayres as Paul in that film (Okay, needless to say, I was a dead ringer for baby-faced Lew Ayres.). Your Arthur has to play the guitar (I hope better than I ever did.), memorize 45000 words of text, and, with body language, make people like him even when what he says reeks of smug self congratulation. Find your Arthur and you are almost home.

 

Casting the Definitions Reader

Let your imagination fly. A gnome wearing a red dunce cap? A girl dressed as a fairy princess? A wrinkled hag? Santa Claus? It’s your call.

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KEN

August 13, 2017

ken salutes

his face in the mirror

the bruises are healed

all that remains

is the tang of bitterness

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