So, yeah. Okay, like. Alright, here be the piece performed by everyone at the House in the Middle Platypus Open House open studios and readings wine cheese rum-balls!
Speaker #1: (at podium) Thank you, we thank you. It is so good of you for being here with the rest of us, upon whom so very much depends; it is you, you, you, dear ones,
without whom a silence reigns, without you we’re nothing, a stillness falls when we’re not here.
Speaker #3: (shouting slowly from the other room) What? What about this really fake, binary opposition, really, terribly phoney, dichotomy; the one speaking to the other; a (pause) heuristic that privileges one voice over another!
ALL: (from wherever you are) …PRIVILEGES ONE VOICE OVER MANY!! (breathe here) SO MUCH DEPENDS ON (shout the name of your street)! SO MUCH UPON (shout your Mother’s name)! (pause) WE’VE ALWAYS SAID: THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY SOUNDS LIKE (mumble loudly for 3 seconds)!!! VOICES! THESE VOICES!!! OUR VOICES! NOW! HERE!!!!!
#1: So much depends on this situation, of ourselves over here; and us, just where we are, so much—
Speaker #2: (from the back) So much relies on the SPACE WE’RE IN!!! If we were in the thinly woods, or the Burger Baron, why what a different poem is this!
It’s the space we’re in, the space! In which we rely.
#1: Let’s not forget the time! What if we all showed up at different times?
You were here this morning; she, tomorrow; him, he didn’t come at all!
There’d be no one listening.
ALL: (from the diaphram) WE’RE NOT LISTENING! WE’RE SPEAKING!!!!!
#1: Fine, fine, but let’s be mindful of the time.
#3: (shouting slowly from the other room) Proxemics! What about Prox…emics? We need to be close together, close enough so all this makes sense. But! Not! Too close! Our culture will decide if groping is permitted!
ALL: WHAT ABOUT CONTENT?!!!
#1: Mostly filler, like hotdogs! A little weeping, to sell the chapbooks; a little self-righteous indignation to disalign the speaker with corporate capitalism, and we’re all set. Mostly it’s TODDLE! The anti-structure is what counts.
ALL: WE BRING THE MEANING! WE MAKE THE MEANING! AND FILLED WITH MEANING, WE STAGGER HOME, TO BED, AND RETURN THE MEANING TO OUR DREAMS!!!!!
#2: This is an OUTRAGE!!! We came to hear poetry!!!! We came to see art!!!!
ALL: WE ARE POETRY!!!! ART IS WHAT WE ARE!!!!
#1: True! And we’re made to disintegrate! To forget this moment forever! Even now I’m thinking I wore the wrong pants! Who are you people again?
ALL: WE ARE YOU!!!!!! DID WE WEAR THE WRONG PANTS?
#1: (holding up pants) THESE ARE PANTS. There are many others, but these are ours. Pants are like a dog, they die long before the dog-owner. Pants are life. We must master pants as we must many other things in life. Without us, our pants are useless. Without pants, we are still doing fine. We shouldn’t dwell overly on pant-thought. However, we swear this creed: our pants and ourselves combined are defenders of something we may not wholly comprehend, but we are the masters of our pants, notwithstanding; we are the temporary saviors of our lives. So be it, until there is no longer pantness, but peace. Huzzah.
#3: What about linearity? None of this makes any sense without linearity. So much depends upon it!
#2: I tried saying everything at once. It happened on a date. The thing about first dates—
ALL: THERE IS GREAT RISK!!!
#2: Well, I guess that depends on your tastes.
ALL: NO, THAT’S NOT WHAT WE MEANT… SPEECH ACTS INVOLVE GREAT RISK!!!!! WE MAY BE DISTRACTED BY THE SPEAKER’S GENDER, ETHNICITY, TIMBRE—
#1: Here, permit me: (briskly reading) We may be distracted by the speaker’s
sex, race, tone, (loudly) apparent socio-economic status, uniform, my frailty,
the inadvertence of my leotards, facial tattoos—
#2: Here, let me help: We may MISS THE POINT because the speaker HAS NO POINT!!!!!
#3: Or, the speaker is cryptic, cagey, plagiaristic, evil, or worse: overeducated.
ALL: (disinterested) Yeah… (carry on like that for a few seconds)
#1: There is much to be gained in toppling these artificial barriers. We at least ought to try.
ALL: AT LEAST WE DIDN’T HAVE TO SIT THROUGH A POETRY READING!!!!!!! HUZZAH!!!! HUZZAH!!!HUZZAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!