Thursday, March 12, 2015

3 scenes from a new Hamlet play

These are the three fates that watch over this story and they are a bunch of fucking morons.

HEK (at the dinner table, pontificating, sober with water, but mad, out of his mind, mad mad mad): The neck, the back of the neck, it’s related to the tip of the tongue.

LEAK: In what way?

HEK: Pardon?

LEAK: In what way?

HEK: Please let me finish.  You are always doing that, interrupting like that, stop being so interrupting.

LEAK: You seemed done because you stopped talking.

HEK: My god, here we go again.

NEK: Let’s keep talking about the neck please because I have so many questions about the neck.  

LEAK: Because you are a neck.

(They all laugh until something comes out of someone’s nose.)

HEK: The body is marvelous.

NEK: A mystery.

LEAK: It sure is, it sure is.

(now HAMLET on a phone call, a video phone call).
HAMLET: Hello.  Oh, I want to try…I want to…that was bad.  Let me.  Hello.  No, that was still bad, I’m being all, bad boy flirty whatever, I uh.  Um.  Hello.  No, that was too self-conscious, too sensitive in a self-conscious, uh…listen.  This is video so also look.  Listen and look.  (Laughs).  This is going to take a really long time before I actually say something.  This.  I think I.  I see ghosts.  But I think we’re ghosts.  Do you see them?  Do you see them too?  Do you think we might be ghosts too?

Scene: psychiatrist couch.

H: I worry that I might be mad and you might have to spend the rest of your life taking care of me.

O: That’s my fear, too, that’s what I was going to say, too, that’s what it’s like for me, too.  Switch!

(A fire drill song, they get up and dance and switch places, there should be some singing in the middle of this.  Something really mundane, like;)

Now I’m gonna let you know,
I’m never gonna let you go,
so now I can let you know,
that I don’t want to let you go,
and so I wanna let you know,
I’m never gonna let you go.

H: Tell me about your mother.

O: Why? She’s just like me.

H: That’s exactly like my father.

O: Your father is like me?

H: No, dead, my father is dead.

O: I don’t follow.

H: A ghost, just like me.

O: This therapy is not going to work for me at all unless you start thinking of me at least a little bit.

H: That’s a little narcissistic, don’t you think?

O: I don’t, because it’s not, fucking idiot.

H: I’m going to eat popcorn now so you can talk and I won’t interrupt.

O: Well, that’s something.  At least that’s something.  That is something, at least.  You, sir, are a bone.  A bone covered with flesh.  Not a particularly straight bone, and not a particularly attractive bone.  I’m not really attractive to bones.  I mean attracted! I mean attracted not attractive! Is that a thing?  When words go sideways like that, is that a thing?

H (mouth full of popcorn): I have no idea, dear.  

O: People are bones.  The living, I mean.  I mean the living people are bones.  This has been going on for, for some time now, it’s been.
(She cries but it is not real.)
I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.  That’s not real.  Those are not real tears.  I’m sorry, I just really want to have a breakthrough so much, so very much.  I thought that was close that I was almost there.

H: Oh, I think you’re close though, I think you’re so so close.

Monday, March 9, 2015

we wanted to freeze that moment.  there they were, 50 years older, on that bridge, that same bridge.  we wanted things to freeze in that moment, even if it was only for a moment.

but the angel of history was already flying past, tumbling, her wings stained with the blood of another black boy. 

i tried to stop it, she said, i tried to save that boy, i couldn't stop it, she said. this is going to be a long winter, she said.

but it's spring, we said, it's almost spring, we were so sure that it was almost spring.  

Friday, February 13, 2015


back and forth across the tracks a hundred times since that last time,
it has been too long since that last time,
and i had nothing to say for so very long,
and now, too much to say and not enough hours in the day to say any of it,
except that i want to check in and say hello,
i hope to visit here more often,
there are threads here that have continued out of the margins, and i want to talk about those threads, because talking about them helps me to listen, and there are a lot of people talking here right now.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

jet lag

jetlag dream: it's the broken house of my dreams, with large sections i had forgotten about, and i'm living in one of those sections, it's night, and it's berlin, and i'm supposed to put everything in my bag and go, but. i'm in the middle of a conversation with a roommate i haven't met yet, about documentation of ritual knowledge, oral culture and digital epistemology. and in my bag are three books i didn't need at all here, and two books i'd forgotten about. and now i'm half awake and thinking this is a library, a version of borges' library, that intersection of people with their embodied knowledge, and the exchange of secrets: how do you access this knowledge this year, how do you represent this knowledge this year, how do we change to remember earlier ways of knowing? our bodies are texts, the alleys in the text where we make marks and are marked, spaces that refuse capture.

How do you cite yourself from Facebook and why oh why would you want to?
How do you cite the Dead, and why wouldn't you?
How do you remember yourself when you are not yourself, and how do you find ways to tell yourself, wait just a little while, just rest for a little while, just wait, do not speak, just rest and wait, do not speak and do not make any big decisions and do not think this exhaustion is permanent, just wait?

I remember Alexanderplatz, and I don't remember the station marked Alexandria, but I think I was there.  It is the busiest metro station in the world, there are hundreds of active lines that cross there, but there are also thousands of dead lines that still cross there, and the diviners and quantum physicists have access to the thousands from the future that cross.  

(to be continued) 

ooh this is cool

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Howl Enchilada

Chris Danowski seems tentative at the moment, even tendentious.  It is as if he has never been in this place before, and has just woken up from a map.
"Sorry I am so tendentious," he says, "I just woke from a nap, and this is a new place for me."
We are in that uneasy border between being in print and not being in print, and for this local theatre auteur, that's nothing new.
"I don't like the coffee here at all, this place is horrifying," he says.
Danowski agreed to meet me at this hot new coffee joint in downtown Phoenix.  What's not to like?  There are bikinis and there is espresso and there is twerking sometimes.
"I don't even know what twerking is," he claims. "What are those people doing with their butts? and why aren't we meeting at Jobot? You can smoke at Jobot."
The reason for the visit is contained in the photo above.  endofplay/7 the first production by the newly-formed theatre company, Howl Theatre Project, is in its final weekend at Space 55 (636 E. Pierce St., just south of Roosevelt off 7th street in downtown Phoenix).  It plays this Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 6pm, and tickets are available at the door for $10.  
Although there has been some press about the work, the press has not yet appeared in this plane of existence yet, but by the time this writing is released, it very well could be.  And although there has been some very strong critical acclaim, including moments where Lance Gharavi couldn't stop laughing, Ernesto Moncada was heard to whisper "yessss" under his breath, and Elli Danowski-U was seen to be grinning in what is, for her, a loud way, these have been stories that have been circulating in the underground theatre circuit and have not yet made their way to print.
"There was supposed to be something that was supposed to come out by now," Danowski says, "but it hasn't, and well, we have to get the word out somehow, and I decided that's why I would meet you here at this place, even though I think it's sexist and represents the worst of this city, a city I love, by the way."
I press Danowski on this, and he gets philosophical, the lines around his nearly-47 year old eyes betraying a wisdom of experience that is counter to his performed naive-ness.
"It's just hard to compete with articles about, you know, bikinis and kittens and stuff," he says.  "Not that this is anything peculiar to Phoenix.  I mean, even Berlin has a Hooters, and people talk about the wings, but there is a lot of art to see, and I think that's the same thing here, " he says.  "Not that it's the same," he says, "Phoenix and Berlin," he says, "but this," he says, "is," he says, "interesting," he says.  "Phoenix is interesting.  I mean, there's artists from here and from all over, I mean, it's fantastic, the mix of cultures and ideas, I mean, then you have things like MARS artspace, and Planet Earth Theatre, our godparents, really, I mean, cool things happen here, and it's really not that hard to find the cool things, but like, it's easier to find them when there's articles about them, and this is, I hope, one of those articles."
The above picture is a dog with mud on her nose.  It's not a mere coincidence.  Dogs are part of this imaginary, and have been part of the Danowski universe for a very long time.  When asked about this, he says, "Oh my god are we still having the interview, oh my god I need to get the hell out of here."
But the most important part of the interview comes when I ask about why he seemed to be in hiding for a few years.
"Oh, that," he says, "I guess you could say I was playing with new forms, and wanted to see what they did.  It felt like Willie Wonka and the Oompa Loompas, only my place of retreat was Berlin. I went to Berlin, and started to learn about things I thought I was already doing, only I discovered I had to go back to the beginning and start over.  That's what I did, I started over, and worked in close quarters for a few years, until I found the right people to make work that made sense, and that's what we're doing now."
Who are the Oompa Loompas, I ask?
"Je suit le Oompa Loompa, et Wille Wonka.  Y todos somos Marcos.  Arriba, arriba," he says, howlingly.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

for k.k.

this was urgent not so urgent this this this was urgent there was this i just wanted to say thank you i just wanted to say thank you i just wanted to say it out loud and then see how it felt to say it out loud and there was that and then there were other things too other things to say and some of those things had to do with the why of it all the why of all of it the why of the thank you or some might say what for but not like that not like what for in that way not that at all but what for in terms of the thank you what for if you say thank you then what for.  and the only answer although incomplete and not quite correct but the only answer or at least the first answer in terms of the first thing that came to mind: berlin.  and already of course it's incomplete we already knew that we already knew it was incomplete that's why we said that already because berlin but then there was linz already and of course that's what we already knew but still all of that is part of the same thing the same part of the what for the berlin the linz answers they're related not in that way not in that we have a mass murderer in common kind of way but something else kind of way a city with a memory kind of way cities with memories kinds of ways like phoenix has a memory but not everyone in phoenix has a memory about this about what happened on the ground here what is under the ground here a city with memory means a city with ghosts and of course every city has them but some more than others some have so many more than so many others.  linz and berlin part of that that that angel of history kind of thing that angel who is blown backwards kind of thing and those cities are cities here is where we get to the real what for both of those are cities i had never been to but always wanted to be somewhere else other than phoenix where memory was in the ground where there were ghosts in the ground and i wanted to know this when i was surrounded by other artists and i always thought it would be magnificent and shattering at the same time and it was and it is and thank you for that for giving me a reason to be there to go there to go back again and again there.  and it's not just that i'm not that conscientious about things it's not just that angels of history and art theres more because theres always love or first theres love and everything comes after that and everything that happens in those cities has to do with love and that's not a coincidence and we're not coincidental and there were stories from years ago about who loved who there and there are stories from one year ago about who fell in love with who there and even though it did not happen there it kind of did even though it wasn't born there it kind of was because there was that summer where i was meeting her the one i would love and there was the summer i was losing him the father the only father i would ever have and that was the same summer and it was happening in berlin and everything changed forever after that.  and it all bursts forward from there the what for the thank you for the what and the what for is this it's this it's this bone in the throat i have a bone in my throat it's one i didn't have before and when i speak i feel my words bounce off of the bone in the back of my throat and it makes things echo and resonate and you would understand i think you would understand i think you would be the one who understands because you know what it is like to write from the inside of your mother tongue where the bone in the throat says things that says things that makes you say things that are true or at least true to you and then you are awake one day and you are talking and it has weight it has the weight of memory it has the weight of bone and you have to talk about where you were and what you did there and those words are like tracing the footprints and the marks the proof that we were here on this ground by describing our marks on the ground we make other marks on the ground to mark that this is where we are and this is what it looks like when we are here.  thank you.