Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Medea, by Brian Turner of New Zealand

Medea by Brian E Turner

The scene is a restaurant/gallery. There is an exhibition of two 'paintings'
which consist of full length mirrors covered by curtains.


JACKSON: Jackson Hindmarsh. A businessman. Middle aged.

ZENNAH: Zennah Starlight, witch and tarot card reader. Dresses in
bright colours with jewellery and rings. She has an outstanding coffiere
which is dyed in at least two colours selected from red, orange, yellow,
blue, green, indigo and violet. Middle aged.


(Zennah is sitting at a table. Jackson enters and joins her.)

ZENNAH: You are well today?

JACKSON: I'm here.

ZENNAH: We can order then.

JACKSON: Look I'm here damnit. If we have something to discuss then we
can discuss it. I don't have the time to sit here supping coffee and passing
the time of day. I'm a busy man.

ZENNAH: You will act like a gentleman Jackson Hindmarsh. And you will
treat me with the respect you owe me.

JACKSON: Oh God. (Pause) What's on the menu then? (Picking it up.)

ZENNAH: Angel cake.

JACKSON: We could do with something like that. (Francisco comes to the table.) We'll have angel cake and coffee black. Do you have Turkish delight?

FRANCISCO: We did in one play. Unfortunately the actor only pretended to
eat it so the custom has been discontinued.

JACKSON: A piece of cake for her to pretend to eat. And two black
coffees. (Francisco goes.) Well what is it you brought me here to talk about

ZENNAH: I'll tell you when you decide to be civil. (Pause) You should
inspect the exhibition.

JACKSON: What exhibition? I don't see any exhibition.

ZENNAH: There are two works of art behind those curtains. (Indicates)

JACKSON: What sort on nonsense is this?

ZENNAH: Modern art, Jackson, modern art.

JACKSON: You know I don't have any time for modern art.

ZENNAH: Well it's time you did. It might teach you something.


JACKSON: You've seen the paintings?


JACKSON: Well tell me about them then.

ZENNAH: They are mirrors.

JACKSON: A mirror? A work of art, a mirror?

ZENNAH: Why not? A mirror reflects the illusion of Maya. That's the
magic of art.

JACKSON: You know I was quite fond of you until you descended in tarot
cards and quackery.

ZENNAH: You'd better have been.

JACKSON: You're full of tricks. You mask the truth with your pretence of
magic. I can never recognise the truth in anything you say.

ZENNAH: Your trouble is you're a lawyer. Someone whose profession lies
in distorting the truth will always have problems in recognising it. (Pause)
Do you have something on your mind?


ZENNAH: Let me look into my magic ball. (Looks into an imaginary ball.) I see a young woman. Her name is Penelope.

JACKSON: Penelope is none of your damn business.

ZENNAH: I would think she is. You left me for her. And for that I turned the children against you.

JACKSON: I didn't come here to discuss our personal affairs.

(Francisco returns with coffee and cake.)

ZENNAH: Thank you Francisco.

JACKSON: Hmm. Do you know anything about this so-called exhibition eh?

FRANCISCO: The works of art on these walls signor?

JACKSON: Well explain it to me. Apparently it's just a couple of mirrors.

FRANCISCO: That is what it would appear to be signor. However the mirrors are constructed with a mystical craft. What you see when you inspect the image is a reflection of inner reality.

JACKSON: You are quite amusing. Do you know this chap Zennah?

ZENNAH: Yes. When he's not a waiter he's a magician in the carnival.

JACKSON: Ah, another quark.

FRANCISCO: Indeed signor, a dog may bark and a duck may quark but who is to say that the pretence of reality as espoused by the fairground barker is not to be most highly valued. Would you like to look at yourself in the

ZENNAH: Go on Jackson. You asked the question.

JACKSON: Rubbish. Tomfoolery.

ZENNAH: I'll tell you why I asked you to come here.

JACKSON: (Stands) Show me your mirror then.

(They go to one of the mirrors and draw back the curtain. There is a young couple in the frame, embracing. Jackson is distressed and quickly closes the curtain.)

FRANCISCO: Is that not a fine imitation of reality?

JACKSON: I can see what you are both up to. You brought me here to humiliate me.

FRANCISCO: But that which is in the mirror is what you see, not what I put there.

JACKSON: Do you mean to say that?

FRANCISCO: Yes, the mirror portrays the real truth. It reflects that which concerns you.

JACKSON: Some sort of quackery.

FRANCISCO: Magic signor. (Francisco goes. Jackson returns to the table.)

ZENNAH: Now you understand the meaning of modern art?

JACKSON: Modern delusion.

ZENNAH: Maya, I said.


JACKSON: Well, now you can tell me, why did you ask me to come?

ZENNAH: To crow at your discomfort. To show you the truth behind the illusion.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Universe Gives Me the Creeps by Danielle Billington -- Issue 10

The Universe Gives me the Creeps

Your music IS the universe, the night skies, black holes, love and everything in-between. Infinity, the edge of the universe, entropy and the impossibility of quantum mechanics. Thank you.

Learning as the splitting of terminology (ezra pound)
what is red?
a color.
what is a color?
a vibration or refraction of light.
what is a vibration?
a mode of energy

look at them and invent means of seeing them better
simplified form reduced to the essentials

red, rose, cherry –

She held my hand on the snow covered bridge, flakes whirling and dropping in front and behind of us, and told me I was the most spiritually, carnally, and intellectually satisfying person she had ever or could ever be with. As she nestled into my shoulder, I knew she would leave.

Writers toil in obscurity, for no recognition and even less money.

Yes, Blank reads a lot of philosophy, and poetry. Many biographies of artists, novelists, philosphers and poets. Blank refuses to capitalize appropriately. Blank thinks a lot too. All day in fact, and sometimes at night Blank can’t sleep for fear that Blank will think Blankself to death. Why are there no women heroes? They are always victims to be rescued, or sacrifcers.

Should I tell you I read all of these things so I can constantly imagine that I am someone else? We all want to be someone else.
You don’t need to know my real name to understand what I am talking about, what I am getting to. Am I even a man? You will never know, I can say anything I want, and you can’t disprove it. Am I a reliable narrator, or character? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

God! Save me from having to write about used car salesman and General Sherman!

See, in that creative writing class I had to sit there day after day with these boys and girls who thought they were so special, better than everyone else because they could write ‘fiction’ stories. (Do you really need me to go into an explanation of how or why I was in this class? Tell you what they looked like? No, because the minute I put you into a scenario, you do it yourself.) But they were some of the least special people I’d ever met. So ordinary. So afraid of being so ordinary that it made them even ordinarier. Would you want to read a story titled, “Josh Lewin, Loser? About a not so suave guy who thinks he’s suave who gives his landlord hand jobs for cheap rent, falls for a teenage girl and let’s her rob him and thinks going to Paris will save him from failure? If you do, and maybe, sadly, you do— this is all the information you need, because to extrapolate would make it not so interesting. Or how about a story about a static man who does nothing and lets a dog die rather than face that he is static and obsessed? The frightening thing is, I am making these stories sound far more interesting than they actually were. Or how about this one, the hero’s name is creet or greet or something to that effect (I can’t even remember how to spell it correctly, but that’s how it sounds) who walks down the beach in sandals. Hmmm…or what about the teenage girl obsessed with pop culture who is into drugs and denying her sexuality? Oh wait, you have heard all these stories before? Well me too, and I am not interested in hearing them again, especially when written haltingly, with inelegant and ordinary prose. I know I have because I wrote them in the third grade and got bored. I called this class, the “stab myself in the eye” class. That’s what I would have rather been doing than sitting there listening to them say “meta-language” as if it made them smart just to say it.

Jackson Pollock is my hero even though he was a drunk and incapable of even halfway human relationships. Pollock was innately talented, intuitively marked, intuitively genius. He couldn’t express verbally, anything really…but when he touched a canvas, it was shocked into beauty. He just knew what was good. And so many people just didn’t get it. Still don’t get it. Copying things from the world is not art. So many professors are passionately anti-Pollock because they secretly wish they could be that creative. Creating things that have never been seen, that is art. I’m not saying it doesn’t take talent to paint forests or a person, but it takes genius to destroy the figure. It also takes courage to be different. Especially when you know almost no one will ever get it.

I will only tell stories that I care about. They are my stories. I will not lie to the reader, inventing plot, character, narrative. Who is anyone to tell me what a story is? I could write the stories they write the way they write them, as good or better, but why would I?

MFA FUCKER .You think your Ben Folds, or John Cheever. You want to be like someone else, rather than yourself. I know you—standing drunk clutching onto your pudgy hipster wife talking to the singer in drunken tongue slumber as if he cares (which he clearly doesn’t).

I don’t look like a success (definition of success here).

Blank, slowly evolving lost poetic soul stuck (but not that unhappily so) in an office job that allows Blank to muse philosophically and poetically. Cannot leave Blank’s part time bookstore job because, c’mon, books! Sometimes drinks too much, but not often. prefers the easy praise for his/her poetry and fiction, it comes to him/her without effort (even when he/she knows he/she could do great things if he/she actually tried) an extremely shy lazy faux intellectual who would rather live in dreams than motivate himself/herself to do more because he/she fears change to the extreme.

Short story in which characters speak only in song lyrics?

See, this writing is life. Neat boxes and categories are not real fiction, they are counterfeits.

Intent and its definitions:

1. That which is intended; purpose. The state of mind operative at the time of an action. Meaning, purport. Connotation-adj. firmly fixed; concentrated. Engrossed. Having the mind fastened upon some purpose.

You could continue to define by also defining the words within the definitions to gather all the many nuances of words. Many want, or demand that I state some sort of intent in what I write. I despise the concept of intent. I intend nothing in particular; I have no grand scheme or plan. I write what needs to be written when it needs to be written in the way it demands to be written. That is all. If forced, I can lie. I can say; I write my life and those in it into myths. I write love. I write dreams, I write of deaths innumerable. I write hopes fears and fantasies of interest to myself and sometimes to others. I write desire, beauty and truth, in my way. It seems when we define and intend, things often lose their meaning and become something else completely. Intent comes without thought, not with it. For each person who reads, the intent is different. This is the beauty and mutability of words. In most writing I see common stories told in common ways. This does not blind me. I turn on more lights. My intent without much thinking is to make the room brighter. If you were in the room, my intent may have been to annoy you, to disturb the perfect amount of light for you. Heidegger contends there is no meta-language, that language itself is a house of being. Wittgenstein says: the limits of my language are the limits of my world. It is true, one needs endless amounts of time, solitude and emptiness to write good things.

See how life swims in memory? Sitting in a café reading fever 103, seeking meaning and someone mentions a certain kind of beer and it’s like I’m shot through a time/space canon into the old cabin. Her and I (why can I remember everything and she remembers nothing?) Drinking sickly sweet beer after a long nap she sat in my lap and I was king/queen of everything.

Why am I so different from the ones who surround me? Why are they equally intrigued and disgusted—Am I so overwhelming?

I am supposed to talk about punctuation, lineation, syntax and diction, people punctuate where necessary without symbols for signifying.

It’s as if whomever I fall for slips away instantly into memory ending before they begin. See, you are nothing but a wish, smoke and mirrors, unsolvable equations, chalk screeching on blackboard, haunted houses, fun houses fun for no one.

The work of chemistry and poetry/enlightenment and sin. I take you in like I take in air.

And how can this psychologist/scientist in a poetry class be the first to understand? Her cheeks turn red, she unleashes unexpected laughter, she reads my poems and says:

She says: Someone doesn’t appreciate the bird you are.
She says: They do not sacrifice, they don’t deserve you.
She says: Pure beauty.
She says: Emotions running wild, with wild abandon. Now that is seduction.
She asks: Are you in love?

“I am too pure for you or anyone. Your body hurts me as the world hurts God.”

She believes me to be things I never was. Creating in her memory what she wants.

Angry large moods vast woman. And see…I love you without reward.

My lot my lot
to be obsessed wrapped up
baby in blanket with love (or lack thereof)
all I can do is dream it
filmed you with focus zoom
that was my eye on you

you said: “ I always felt like you were watching me.”

and I was love, I was

you were food to me, and smiles, and the rain that made everything green and the eyes that made me see…even after you’d left me.

knowing I would rot rancid in your memories

LOVE is all. It is meat and drink. I am starving for lack.

what an elaborate prank your words
were. such a terrible joke.

now I am enmeshed , trapped, like the swirling clouds of oil and gas in dirty summer strophe.

now, I am regrets daughter.

I sometimes think hands should have lips with which to speak.

I watch your hands. I want to take your right hand in mine, the tiny slivers of fingers, rough, straws…and write. Write down love for you.

Discrete airs. Hollow mysteries.

I dreamed of turtle stories and ghosts.

My dream last night was stunning. I was in a hospital elevator, there was a well dressed woman standing in front of the doors. She had on a mid length leather jacket and was holding a cane. She looked tired. We looked at each other in that desperate way with no pretensions…. and she started to slide down to the floor, as if someone were pulling strings underneath her. I went forward asking if she was ok as she fell into my arms. She started crying, like someone who was soon to lose the weight of the world. She said, I’ve got tumors all over, I’m dying, and I’ve just wet myself, as I held her up she held on to me tightly. Looking directly into my eyes she said I looked like the kind of person one could fall into.

You have intense dreams, they often satiate your hunger. You reach a place of peace with your solitary life. In a way, you are even happy. Then it happens. Someone sets you up. A SET UP. Oh god, why did I say yes? You ask yourself all week as the day looms ever nearer. What if she’s hideous? What if she thinks I’m repugnant? Or even worse, what if we like each other and once again, all aboard steamship relationship? Destination nowhere and everywhere at once. With all of its expectations and early excitements, with its labor and discontent, with its hope and doom. With its careful manipulations and microscopic lies.

There you are, after having tried on all your clothes two or three times, after spraying yourself with various scents, after thinking of every endless possibility, you arrive. Early.
Now, already, though she claims she wants to go slowly, she looks at you from underneath and says, “You know I’m falling in love with you, right?” And yes, it sounds sweet and is sweet, yet, how? She has yet to hear you complain endlessly. She has yet to realize you rarely leave the house. She has seen you angry, that’s something. Is it because I don’t believe, is it that I realize saying these things too soon is no favor to either of us?

The next section:

I am like the kind of person my father was before he found religion. Quiet, obsessive, sometimes third eye of wisdom.

Come, walk the city with me, see the things I see.

My family, all quietly obsessive full of compulsions and afraid to leave our zones of comfort, all convinced failures, certain no one wants us.

I did apologize preemptively…warned you subtly and not so subtly that I would be the tiny little Buddha in your presence, that I would tell stories.

Winter Nights

All is quiet, darkly lit moonlit snow and most often silent-- empty of people, only tracks in the snow and your breath disappearing behind me.

And in the streetlamps there is a path I choose not to follow.

We have time and no time simultaneously.

Sleep and dreams are no waste-- time to make the meanings that keep us awake.
The only thing that could make this moment more perfect-- You, standing beautifully next to me. There is a light to the right, but when I turn to look, it extinguishes.
The quiet snowy crunch and the crinkle of paper and thoughts.

Stop wishing for what is not and start appreciating what is. This is the hardest part of living. It is nearly impossible to stop wishing for what is wanted.
A woman as beautiful as you should be completely appreciated. A woman as beautiful as you sees me, but does not see me.

The minds movement from thought to thought without pausing to think, this is stream of consciousness, this is truth.


Sometimes I wonder if it is good that I retreat to my own minds company so readily and frequently? That I generally prefer my own minds company to most anyone else’s, and that when I enjoy others I enjoy them too much. And well, wherever you go, there you are. It seems simple, but sometimes you shouldn’t go where there is.

So quiet and empty after a snowstorm, oddly comforting to think no one lives in these houses built by fools and I'm driven I'm driven to write because of all of you who I have mistakenly assigned meaning to the tightness in my chest is you, The tightness in my chest is you, from my heart to my lungs I'm drowning, I cannot breath while you are leaving me. Already every woman small, luxurious brown hair you. What I started with. It's possibility that destroys me, not no-thing. Wayside leaves, it's the prairie in my heart, flat and lonely—solitude touched by the wind. In your eyes there are sphinxes. What I stayed with and what I became. A small cat begins a conversation...she is tiny and slinks. And it is hard for me to see that I am all of these people, and they are me. And it is impossible for them. It seems this woman needs something like passion, something like intense. She is older, academic, lost in cavernous house and guests of thought. What I supply is awkward, indescribable fear. What I have is innate and cannot be taught.


“Seeing you today
My heart broke into a thousand pieces
I wouldn’t lose one”

Seeing you today memory scatters thoughts like sand elemental particles portrait of curves rises, gasps from my heart splintered tiny shards like glass break like rays of light

from skin disperse into tiny fragments from these shine moments we sauntered from star to star black night sky foreshadowed one of us would tumble burn out in a streak explode

I will not lose feeling the size of desire weighing the want interpreting sighs and looks translating into the language of touch my words are fierce but cant be forced seeing you today, keep trying and the contradictions will seem like truth and not like part of a circle angelic, beautiful past is present is future is past and they’re all in the river Siddhartha would row his little boat across when I am happy the words don’t come language swims through eternity am I beautiful without poetry? cradled in my strange strong arms sleep in perfection I want to tear words from the air seeing you today I do not command them, they command and I say a presentiment (foreboding), so timorous (nervous) am I nothing but a chauffer of words? first falling into things fluid words fell like rushing waters down skins marble smoothness touching you washing away past indecencies making you new 30 seconds or 60 where everything is dispersed blissful, non existent peace in pleasure my pen is lightening but I’m speaking concretely beauty and death beauty and longing quietly beautiful slowly sinking falling and dispersing like the people who watch them something must touch me spark words from thin air more pleasure in anticipation than action caught a glimpse of you today sometimes I feel like a word whore every journal, scrap of paper nakedly lazily laying around me all to make words for you for me dreams of a starry night forced. anger and nightmares rainless skies incandescent light Cupid and his rosy pink snout are hunting me skies full of rain and truth behind erotic curtains time has come sun breaks through peace, love, all my cards will soon be on the table nothing is hidden in sleep shameless so that you will hear me I write I watch my words consumed to be translated into you these words are mine I give them to you and I watch you from a long way off making them into endless streams imagined meanings welcoming them at a distance will I return with empty hands? you are the essential form I can admire as an idea pathways of blue veins nerves blood so clearly transparent so painfully real still I am spinning my wordy web I carry the letters with me, as if they were sacred documents, holy scriptures hieroglyphs knowing one day they will be found out as fakes reproductions, my faith mocked lofty girl divination ripe too soon in your eyes longing for someplace else and Kerouac says write! write! on endless scrolls of paper disembodied poetics for every 5 or 20 pages 1 or 3 lines spectacular but you must keep writing mind sniffs, pauses words appear my hands electric I’m meditating on you you are my sacred Aum my intellect undeveloped unripe feeling is so much simpler look, from three lines, this…started dreaming in diagrams reaching out at floating crumpled balls of paper folding them out like falling like snow sentimental fool A drunk A cynic the ever elusive (your) words come to me in dreams upon waking or walking I rarely force them if I do, they are empty and ugly when they are good they come secretly, surreptitiously from some secret place the your could be you dear reader, or it could be me imaginary the fiction of numbers, the fiction of words signifier signified Sign these days upon waking thinking of you of words theorem of a shooting star fluid words fell from her mouth down marble smoothness of skin your words sometimes breathe like stars into my mouth celestial air sniff for traces of sibilance for silence for things I’ve left behind my words are kisses waiting to tumble ardor, affinity autumnal hours skies darken, birds decree I could close my hands in prayer stare at the fine downy brown hair along the length of an arm burn out in a streak explode sometimes words come alone as falling stars unexpected 1 or 2 mind brightens then disappears your words streams of non sensical beauty falling around me truth the night sky ethnographies crashing star theorems and now, the end playing on the tip of my tongue a wish unfulfilled “Writing you today My heart broke into a thousand pieces I wouldn’t lose one word”

Bring me no more words no words mouthed from heart to head bring me outstretched hands sighs only to love before love imagining with open eyes hands outstretched clichéd but truthful expectant thundercrack skies break open rain down I feel you, like another skin covering me as I lay in the tangled sheets you left me there will be no fall thoughts I’m not thinking lying awaking what your hands have touched suns rays beat down on me, but I will not confess half pursuing half waiting safe harbor dreams feeling blankets your words between being and non being between time and sand between elementary particles and distant lands there can be no true solution ne plus ultra (beyond us there is nothing) someone is turning my negatives into positive radicals speaking words of poetry I’ve never memorized I’m speaking to you across cloudless skies my eyes, are they too sensitive to see? little births tiny collisions emissions she slips away, barely perceptible missions of pleasure what hides in your folded paper books? can you show me proof by contradiction? a poetical discussion?

Of course, Narrator, you chose your life. Your time and place of birth.

The Universe

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Excerpt from For Your Eyes Only by Elliott Durko Lynch

Editor's Note: This issue has been the longest in publishing that I think we've ever done. Originally we started putting the issue together in 2007, we finally got to press in 2008 and 2009 and are still getting copies out to people! I have been very remiss in at least getting things onto to the blog or the website, which I also blame on a lack of internet connection at home and a lot of personal issues. But here is the first of several pieces that we've "recently" published.

Mea culpa! Mea Culpa!

Excerpt from the show ‘For Your Eyes Only’
Performed October 19 – 21 2006 Intermedia Arts Naked Stages Program,
Generously Funded by the Jerome Foundation

Performed by Elliott Durko Lynch, with Sara Shaylie, Anna Marie Shogren, and Matt Alto.

Written by Elliott Durko Lynch

Among other things, the fictitious character Howard Nobody, who makes a few appearances in the show, has a myspace page. The password unfortunately was lost on October 21st 2006. It is available for view at www.myspace.com/howard_nobody.

Among other things, the fictitious character US_POSTAL WORKER, also has a myspace page, which has suffered the same fate. www.myspace.com/the_postal_worker
Neither of them appear in this script.

Before the performance starts, with theatrical knowledge that the show ‘hasn’t started’ Elliott sits on floor with his laptop and watches YouTube Videos, the screen is mirrored on the Big Screen (the cyke wall). Preferably with Audio.

The Videos/Pages visited/played are:

Billy Idol, Eyes Without A Face (Official Music Video)

Celine Dion, All By Myself (Official Music Video)

Someone to Watch Over Me (Covered by a young teenage woman)

Two Mypace Pages:

Myspace Website US POSTAL WORKER (the videos of “Wait a Minute Mr. Postman” are played).

Myspace Website Elliott’s Myspace Memorial

Elliott strikes the laptop, the stage is empty with the exception of a table in the front corner of the stage, with chair, microphone, Amplifier, lamp, tape recorder, and manila folder. He sits in the chair, turns on the amplifier under the table, opens the folder and begins to read.

I've been writing letters, like an act of rebellion. I do this because over a year ago, one month after graduating from University, and five months before I began to pay for it, I received a letter in the mail, from my friend Ryan Hagen.

He is my oldest friend outside of my family. We knew each other in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where I grew up.

<< Out of the Folder Elliott takes out the letter >>

His letter starts,
June 7th 2005,
“Elliott, I'm sitting now in a little coffee house in Bar Harbor, Maine, on a clear Tuesday afternoon. With some effort I carried my 15 pound typewriter in my backpack as I made the 8-mile bike ride across the interior of the island from my house in Seal Harbor.

I mention that its a Tuesday because the meat of this letter is actually another letter altogether, one I have tried to write you for at least a year -- tried and failed, I suppose. It’s about another clear Tuesday from our pasts, one that left its marks on me in ways I have only just begun to understand and only barely begun to put to paper in the correct way.”

<< Elliott puts the letter aside >>

That Tuesday, the Tuesday from our pasts, was the second Tuesday of college for Ryan and me. He was in New York, and I was in Minneapolis. That Tuesday was September 11th, 2001, and we were realizing the how enormously privileged our lives were.

This performance is about privilege,
This performance is about necessity

I was compelled, by a force.

My brain has changed, my life has changed. I never thought I would despise myself, despise what I did, or despise what we do. but I do.

I can't live without my computer. I grew up with it. I remember it. I remember it well.

I remember with it.

I was compelled to save everything, by a force.