Fused & Centrifuged Reflections of Middle Earth
(A drama in One Act by Blake More)
Hear Ye, Hear Ye
All Fair Constituters of Court Culture
When the cat-tailed clocketh striketh seven
wont thoust pleast join us on a gentrifucatious pomp
and able paced procession to the near industrious corner
of Gough and Hayes (not far at all ye wary feeted few)
where a most merry band of metal and otherwise devoted revelers
will have the right and gracious honor to present to their majesties
the Queen and King of Plasmadictation
and their deep and narrow pocketed populace of galleried courtesans
a well marvelous ceremonious display of art and asphalt
(or stay inside and be a lumpish folly fallen canker blossom)
Presenting thoust performers in order of most right well appearance:
Queen and King of Plasmadictation---Jenne Giles & Prince Philip Bonhom
Court Conflagrationesses---Chenoa Fawn Littlesun & Simone Thayer
Bardee Jester---Blake More
Duke of Didj---Danya
The Fair Dutchessi of Wantobe--Rina Natkin/Linda Kim
Master of Celluloid---"Digital" Dan Doerner
The Effect Earl of Bullhornification---Mateo Puffer
Viscountess of Vocalization---AlexSun
The Metaling Artist---Dan Das Mann
Servants du Arts---Jeremy Batdorf & Suzanne Johnson
FIRE DANCERS/QUEEN & KING/JESTER: [start performance in front of the gallery...fire dancers with smoking sage filled cages on the ends of their staffs come to the front of the gallery where the king and queen are waiting; fire dancers silently address the king and queen who stand and solemly follow the dancers, leading the procession down the side walk (Gough street) across the sidewalk and to the northeast corner of Gough and Hayes, crossing to the northwest corner and then to the southwest corner the jester dances, flits, mocks and clowns, whatever it takes to
ensure the entire crowd joins the procession]
SERVANTS: [within view of the audience, wrapped in fur like street people, huddling on side stage/to be revealed later]
ALL OTHER PERFORMERS: [waiting behind the curtain and screen]
DUKE OF DIDJ: [as opening voice begins, walks over to his place at left rear of the stage, sits in position with dijeriedoo and begins to play]
QUEEN & KING: [sit on thrones upon arrival]
FIRE DANCERS: [move around on stage, as if captured by the trance of the didj playing, twirling meditatively to the voice as audience takes its position on sidewalk; go back stage as voice-over ends and jester bounds on stage]
VOICE: [in a whisper from behind the screen, delivered in a formal, authoritative tone, parodying what might be heard advertising a program on the History Channel] American’s of today live in what is commonly touted as "a classless society". Yet this is not quite true. Members of the DuPont, Rockefeller, Turner, Kennedy, Gates, and Striesand families do not, as a rule, mingle with the good people from the hood, ghetto, barrio, backwood or other places of locational formidability. Nor do they shop at Costco before Sunday barbecues or swing by the 711 for a big gulp. If you’re feeling any doubt, just ask yourself what the chances are of Elizabeth Taylor spending the night at a Motel 6 in Fresno after a midnight feeding frenzy at Denny's?
As a matter of course, intermarriage is also frowned upon, so to avoid West Side Stories, children of high ranking families wear distinctive emblems on their blue blazers and attend expensive prep schools which ensure they’ll meet other children of similar stature and thus keep the gene pool intact. Of course, the art world is likewise ranked. Many a VanGogh lurk in the shadows around the Union Street galleries with pockets full of transparencies while the Jamie Wyeth’s of the world continue to ride the New York gallery express. In fact, although rarely discussed, Wall Street, Hollywood and Sothebys form the foundation of the American nobility. These very human institutions are the post-modern moated castles of Elizabethan times. But today’s class distinctions of fame and fortune are distinct from the rankings of Elizabeth’s England, since at least in those days, courtesans admitted that station, place, and rank were a byproduct of infantile success. In their Great Chain of Being, the Elizabethans believed that there was and should be a place for everything. Even today, it still feels good to belong, to have a cubicle, a niche, a calling. But finding your station in life doesn't mean that it is immune to change--nor should it be. Like in Elizabethan times, you still have the chance to be knighted or ennobled---like when you gain instant fame in an independent movie or run so fast that the President invites you to dinner. Sure this doesn’t happen as often as it should, but when it does the gap between ordinary and extraordinary gets that much easier to cross. This leads us to the hundredth monkey theory...where it only takes a few people rising to the rank of creative participant to create the critical mass that makes true equality a viable path. True it is all so dreadfully idealistic, but imagine how inclusively noble our future might actually be if what Lord Burk sayth art so. Canst it really be that in the new nobility thou art mobility.
JESTER: [continues to poke and cavort around the audience, playing with mask, runs over to kiss the hands of the queen and king, returns to position and when all is in place, bows and just before addressing audience]
THE METALING ARTIST: [rushes in, checks and adjusts the art, a little polishing motion, makes sure it is hung properly, pauses absentlmindedly before the king and queen, staring blankly into the crowd, not noticing anyone and pulls out his cell phone and calls a client] hello, yes...it is about to begin. Where are you?....yes we got the power taken care of...a little extension cord trouble with the neighbors...no that’s the didjeridoo not the generator....yes we have one of those too....is the order for tomorrow ready to go out...good...oh, got another coming in [he clicks over and walks off stage while engaged in the conversation] yeah...oh your looking for Archibald Farincrump, I see well, let me explain...
JESTER: [smiles after Metaling artist...shrugs and begins]
when nightfall fell betwixt metal earth
there was buried deep within its girth
a well band of strong and wacky souls
who agreed to rise up through circles called manholes
artists they callst thyselves
they even claimst to be kin to those metalling elves
aye they gaveth shape to cuniform and gilded pharoh cases
mental loot that later made room for aerospaces
[sigh] though all the while there wast a quietly some
whose work equaled that of Michael Angelo’s bum
(David that thoust artist named him
must havst had a vision in the vatican gym)
lo from time eternal
there wast many a right artist who lived like a turtle
poking out only when ready
and even then maybe slightly unsteady
of the class and decorum around
(it art so much easier to aim underground
spicing up soirées while others set pace
for the street and sidewalk shopping mall race
that glues able and body workers to TVs
so they’ll go get more movies in their pricey SUVs
yet all carry the torch from dark to light to middle
from renaissance stew to dot com flumadiddle
nay but whenst the city’s easy rents were over
they took to the streets in near record numbers
possibly cause so many hast lost their place of midday slumbers
it unleashed another batch of midnight rovers
mock funerals and sit ins with music galore
fie, thoust even tried to save the country from gore
THE METALING ARTIST: [comes in, approaches jester, unconcerned about performance happening and tweaks a spiral] need a little adjustment here...airline cable would have been better. [walks out]
JESTER: [enjoying the interruption, puts up the mask during the adjustment, then clears throat and resumes as the metaling artist exits]
aye themst arst a burrowing mixed-media buffet
verily cause rats and arts shareth a scrabbled wordplay
but did thoust know that once narry a creature was heard
eeking or sqeeking in printed word
Yes a hidden, laminant free cacophony
that lived for the burning of all that bull..loney
a gathering of friends with no rhyme or reason
but to stand as creators in a world some might callst treason
[exhale] the art shows they came, the kudos they went
still always the patron saint wast thy participant
but soon the heat and press turned up till the arena began
to swell with watchers to the citizen’s chagrin
each year growing in pomp and glitter patter
that now has faire artists wondering if something’s the matter
lo from fifty to 25K thou still must play
lord knows thou cantst become flotsam in the bay
so we’re challenging all patrons to find the black rock motto
and support the vision of winning the Artaud lotto
yes take back the streets with colors and fun
with people who knowst there art work to be done
Ah look, here cometh a couple of royal creatures now
can thou seeth the money dangling from toenail to brow
I wonder if they’ll notice the infinite metal
that makes the sound of a resonant petal
ride the mantra of time down into thine flesh
remember what happens when the earth starts to mesh
do watch and share whatst thou finds
maybe it’ll inspire an action worthy of thoust human kind
THE DUTCHESSI OF WANTOBE: [both enter from behind the screen as if on an outing, dressed in red capes, fur hats (colorful dancers’ costumes covered); cross center stage toward the piece; they approach the art critically, maintain an air of snooty pretentiousness, obviously clueless about how to feel art for it’s innate emotional value; their only connect to the piece is its price tag, the current fashion and the trendiness of the artist; they are more concerned with outside impressions than personal inspiration]
DUTCHESS OF R: [reading from a price list/brochure] Court List of Rare Middle Earth Materials---all 99.99% pure: Yttrium Oxide: 16 pounds a kilo; Europium Oxide: 200 pounds a kilo; Terbium Oxide: 100 pounds a kilo. Goodness, thine prices sure hast gone up these days; the Duke of Quarry sayeth that now is the time to invest in rare earth metals, doest thou think this artist is using any of those?
DUTCHESS OF L: [flicking the art] Nay, it does n’t look like it, it looketh to flimsy for it to be made of anything other than shining Knight armor.
THE METALING ARTIST: [comes in, obviously looking for something, stands, scratches his head and walks out]
DUTCHESS OF R: Aye, but this artist, Sir Das Mann, he is in favor with their majesties, the King and Queen of Plasmadictation is he not?
DUTCHESS OF L: Aye, is what thoust heard. The Earl of Titanium procured one last week.
DUTCHESS OF R: it couldst look right lovely above thine patterned carpet in thoust study.
DUTCHESS OF L: Verily. Couldn’st thou see thee sitting for royal portrait before it...
DUTCHESS OF R: [giggling] or accepting suitors in its reflected shadow...
DUTCHESS OF L: embroidering blossoms on thine pillow beside it...
DUTCHESS OF R: taking wine and holy bread whilst his holy honor the Vicar of Chrisberry studies it...
DUTCHESS OF L: plucking thine dulcimer beneath it...
DUTCHESS OF R: looking up from a well and challenging round of trump to seeith it...
DUTCHESS OF L: aye and what good standing such a right and attractive favor such a purchase shallst grant thoust among the King and Queen. The artist hast certainly been right recognized in Time and vast pamplets all over the royal land. It hast earned the well and beauteous title of the lustrous crown jewel of Middle Earth.
DUTCHESS OF L: Wherest is middle earth anyway? Doest it belong to the Marquis de Tolken?
DUTCHESS OF R: Nay, its where metal comes from. Thoust must knowest that; ah but canst thine buy it? This art all thine wantst to know.
EFFECT EARL OF BULLHORNIFICATION: [enters; in own world, not noticing the dutchessi; begins to explore the piece for sound potential and eventually begins to play, continues despite the dutchessi’s attempts at stopping him; as he begins to play, the drummer comes in and joins DUKE OF DIDJ, sitting on the floor behind the piece]
COURT CONFLAGRATIONESSES: [begin to shadow fire dance, slowly, meditatively from behind the screen, spinning their staffs behind in the shadow box; the DUTCHESSI don’t notice]
DUTCHESS OF R: What in God’s ear drums doest he doeth? What art that odd vision of light?
DUTCHESS OF L: Thyself ne’r heardrst such a racket! Thyself ne’r seenst such a spinning shadow! What art in this metal? [she starts to spin]
DUTCHESS OF R: [steadies the DUTCHESS OF L, then trying to stop the onslaught of art, pleads] Earl, sir, please dear sir, thou art making a most disastrous fool of thyself; there art noble eyes everywhere!
DUTCHESS OF L: Aye thy lord, remember the Queen.
VISCOUNTESS OF VOCALIZATION: [enters and sits beside DUKE OF DIDJ, begins vocal improv, layering her voice atop the didj, bullhorn, drum combo]
DUTCHESSI: [both highly uncomfortable, try to escape, bowing self consciously before the king and queen; but they can’t stop what is happening; art has taken over the Earl and Viscountess]
DUTCHESS OF R: Thoust noble peers, remove thyself, thou art could be next [pauses and looks at DUTCHESS OF L]...thine court hast gonest crazy.
COURT CONFLAGRATIONESSES: [emerge from behind the screen and begin to fire dance]
DUTCHESSI: [watch, dumb struck at the firedancers, keep looking over to the king and queen to make sure they won’t be in trouble for supporting such heresay. Yet, unable to help themselves, they too get caught, and one at a time, watching each other, building on each other, they remove their hats, gloves]
DUTCHESS OF R: [obviously coming alive, as if captured by the internal experience of art] Thine doenst know whatst happening to thou!
DUTCHESS L: Thyself thinkst thoust noble peers are thine as well.
DUTCHESSI: [they can’t resist any more and looking over at the king and queen in brief apology as they drop their capes (i.e. pretense) and reveal glorious freaky outfits and run off to join the dance]
THE METALING ARTIST: [rushes in, pleased that his art spell worked, begins to dance with the other performers]
ALL STAGE PERFORMERS: [dance builds to full intensity and climaxes in a full orchestra of music, vocals, firedancers, dancers, metaling artist, jester]
JESTER: [approaches the SERVANTS DU JOUR with the cue to stand up]
SERVENTS DU JOUR: [stand up, remove their furs, and walk to the piece, one on each side, then pause at attention and wait for king and queen’s acknowledgment]
ALL STAGE PERFORMERS: [stop and look at the king and queen]
KING AND QUEEN: [stand and make appropriate gesture of empowerment]
ALL STAGE PERFORMERS: [all release a big cheer] Hurray!
SERVENTS DU JOUR: [lift the piece, carry it between the throne, and back to the gallery]
KING AND QUEEN: [follow behind art carrying servants]
ALL STAGE PERFORMERS: [join the procession behind the art and the king and queen and go back to gallery, dancing and laughing and playing with the crowd]
THE METALING ARTIST: [stops and stands behind his art, so he is looking at the audience from the backside of infinity]
JESTER: [noticing The Metaling Artist gestures in his direction, so that he comes to the front of the stage, goes over and puts her arm around him, laughs and says]
Aye, it lookst like the mind hast found a body sire
thou looketh quite well happy with what it hast inspired
now lets goest back to the gallery and such
and hopeth the court remembers that art asketh for touch
JESTER & THE METALING ARTIST: [join arms, and follow the revelers back to the gallery]
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