Saturday, December 18, 2010

From The Last Remake of King Kong

"Her whole life's been just one role after another. And without a role to play, she ain't nobody. Best we can do, she says, is write our own dialog, and hope it's not just one damn cliche after another."

Ann Darrow quoting Faye Wray from my play, The Last Remake of King Kong.


Consequences of the Total Lunar Eclipse

The Global
The Cosmic
The Public
The Private


The world and its inhabitants were forever changed. In random and inexplicable ways. Deodorant sales, for example, fell nearly to zero, and all women over six feet one took to humming Broadway tunes during foreplay. Misspellings on movie marquees were not uncommon.


17,482 lunar eclipse poems were composed within 48 hours. Three contained an original metaphor. This is not one of those.


Five new words -- fedic, cloit, vapulenna, ush, and thubble -- each referring to a previously unimagined feat of sexuality, were simultaneously coined in 347 Semitic, Sino-Tibetan, Bantu, and Indo-European languages.


Newness filled the ancient heavens. The old moon showed her ancient scars. All scars tell an ancient story. We bled.


This ridge.... the blade. That crater..... the stab.
The wound.
The healing.
The cicatrix.


The red moon glowed her glyphic scars. We fled to the cave. We chanted the story.


All scars tell a desperate story. Stories that inspire stories. Stories that assassinate. See that ridge? …The blade. In the bloody shadows of this eclipsed moon we scratched codes. In the ashes. With a bone.


It was at least obligatory, perhaps inevitable, certainly embarrassing. Compulsive moon rhyming gripped the planet. Charter buses to Tin Pan Alley backed up the freeways like addicts in line for free methadune. No one was immune. Methadune? Immune?

The rough-hewn goon threw his harpoon at the cartoon baboon. “Oh a doubloon, a doubloon for a prune macaroon, a tune of Clare de Lune played by contrabassoon as I paddle my pontoon on the maroon lagoon, nibble crab Rangoon with a tablespoon, dream of poon on my honeymoon, read The Herald Tribune and scribble runes in the dunes as I commune with Neptune on a June afternoon” he crooned.

Oh do not impugn our jejune buffoon. Instead festoon a spittoon bestrewn saloon with balloons for him. Buy a round for the platoon of picayune tycoons in baggy pantaloons. And recite at noon "The Moon Is Distant From the Sea" By Emily Dickinsoon.


The fault shifted, the bridge collapsed, the bulb burned out, the night passed, the storm hit, the fever broke, the code cracked, the moon spoke, his voice cracked, her smile hardened, the sea swelled, the tremors started, structures collapsed, the moon screamed, the rules broke, the waking dreamed, harbors flooded, cities burned, a wall opened, the worm turned, his zipper stuck, her nipples pointed, the moon bled, their bodies parted, the night laughed, the moon joked, her scissors caught, his words choked, his wounds bled, the moon conjured, her wounds bled, the moon conjured, the moon conjured, the moon conjured, the moon conjured

the moon.
The moon conjured the moon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

MKE Poetica 4/1/2010

Viral Video! Reading "The 1950s" at the MKE Poetica. http://

MKE Poetica is held 1st Thursday every month at the Walker's Point Center for the Arts, 5th and Walker in Milwaukee. Each event has 1 or 2 featured spoken arts performers (one youth performer, one adult performer) and an open mic. A writing workshop precedes the readings.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

State of Shock

State of Shock

Dateline: January 10th

After a generation of complacency, a state of shock has descended upon our city.

The greater metropolitan area is awash in shock waves. Shock waves brought on by rampant rumor, by suspicion, by paranoia, by the revelation of the Great Secret, if indeed it was the Great Secret that was revealed.

No one knows for sure, but most believe it was nothing less than the Great Secret that was written across the sky, posted on empty billboards, and pirated over the airwaves in between the dips and ascents of the licensed frequencies. The messages were high-pitched, crackly, and broken with syllables of silence. If the polls are to be trusted, then 63% of the citizens believe it is indeed the Great Secret; especially adults under 5 foot 6. With a 4% margin of error.

But even if it is all a hoax, a joke in poor taste from the twisted mind of some sick comic, even then, one thing’s for certain: the state has been forever compromised. And the city lies in a state of shock.

March 1st

The city is in a state of shock. And everything is disrupted. The city council calls a special session, but half the aldermen send letters of resignation. Wedding plans are cancelled. New religions and storefront churches spring up on every street corner. The traffic lights change colors as if keeping beat to an unheard tune. They are likely to flash green in all directions. Or flash green in a code of short and long bursts before flashing back to red. Others flash green and red at the same time, and have even flashed new colors: magenta, mauve, ecru, smoky blue. The city’s symbols have gone haywire. They are no longer to be trusted. Or: they express a new reliability. If we can only crack the code.

April 21st

A state of shock has descended upon the city. Even our artists are in the grip of it. Especially our artists. One gets a grant to paint a mural to capture the Secret: its Greatness. Another works in miniatures to depict the Secret: its surreptitiousness. A third uses broken watch parts and pages randomly ripped from a dictionary. “Is this how you see the Secret?” her lover asks. “No,” she answers, “it’s how I see the shock.”

Journal Sports Page July 5th

At the ballpark the stout umpires huddle at home plate and declare the shocking outcome of the game before it starts. Both dugouts, the bullpen, the grounds crew are in shock. The concession stands concede. The sellout crowd of 57,000 gasps at the shocking message displayed on the shocking scoreboard. Bewildered, the on deck batter turns for help to the desperate third base coach. Looking for a sign. The coach watches as his own right hand touches the bill of his cap, moves across the letters of his home team jersey, pantomimes obscenely above his head, then falls limp to his side. Does some shocking meaning linger in the shocking air?

September 17th

At the university, a symposium is held entitled “Shock and Mock Shock in Post Contemporary Culture.” The Professor Distingue addresses the shocked gathering.

“Mock shock is best illustrated by Claude Rains in Casablanca when he says, ‘I am shocked, shocked to find gambling on these premises.’ More genuine shock is registered by Major Strasser when he gets gut shot.”

The Professor Distingue uses the DVD player remote control to illustrate his point. But the pause button triggers fast forward, and the reverse button likewise seems to have been tampered with. Besides, someone has spliced an animated cartoon into the movie, so that instead of Ilsa, it is Betty Boop whom Bogart ushers onto the airplane. And the airplane wears a lascivious grin, and arches its eyebrows Groucho-style, and licks its airplane lips. Betty climbs aboard. Shocked scholars gaze upon the distinguished professor’s shocked face and take shocked, illegible notes. Across town, at the junior college, a new two-year program is announced. Leading to a degree. In Shock Counseling. Shocked citizens rush to enroll.

October 9th

The shock wave, the great shocking shock wave, may be subsiding. The lakefront set have taken to throwing shock parties. I’m throwing one myself. Consider this your invitation. The first store wide shock sale was held by a major electronics chain outlet, and all sales records were broken. The local newspaper, hoping to reverse declining circulation, has appointed a shock editor and now has a SHOCK tab on its online homepage for easy access to shock news stories.

December 15th

On the new streets, the new leaders have forged a new normalcy. Chieftains of commerce have readjusted profit forecasts, and shock is marketed to all mainstream business sectors. Commodities? Shock marketing. Consumer discretionary? Shock marketing. Biotechnology? Financials? Healthcare? Shock marketing shock marketing shock marketing. Shock has become a posture of reverence. Required in the New Shock Temples. Where congregations of shock are lullabied by sermons of shock delivered by shocklerics. Employers promise their shock-addicted employees they may keep their shocking jobs if they go through shock abuse rehab. The agitation calms, the edge dulls, the imminent message washes away. The Great Secret is no longer great nor mysterious.

December 30th

We have been in our pocket for awhile now. There may be other pockets. We do not know this. We’ve discussed it, the possibility of other pockets in other parts of the post-shock city, and we agree that it is likely. But we have no proof. We just don’t know. But there’s at least one. And we’re in it. Keeping our hands warm until it’s time to use them again.

And we have some stuff in here. Sofa cushions, a coupla mattresses. A turntable. Typewriters. A transistor radio One working computer. And lots of books. Stuff we got peddling the schlock shock basal skills texts. To the educational marketplace. In the post-shock economy. But now, now we’re hunkered down. In our pocket. Waiting. We lean against the cushions, reread to each other The Long Goodbye, and ponder the question of right conduct while we await the shock of rediscovery.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

26 February 2010 ArtBeat Performance

Here is a video of my entire performance at the 26 February 2010 ArtBeat show. It runs 28 minutes and includes "Postcards from the Hecatombs (published below)," a collaboration with Petra Press, "The 1950s (also published below)," and excerpts from "Stalking the Oklahoma Ostrich Under the Nixon Administration."

Video shot by Heather Suchy Acton.

Feb 26_2010 ArtBeat Video

Here is a 7-minute video showing moments from the 26 February ArtBeat show. It features music of co-host Annie B, music of Nicole Waters (listen to "I Think I Like It When You Hurt Me"), art of Albin Erhart, films by Shawn Monaghan, Phil Koch, SUPERMASSIVE Studios, and Quinn Hester, photography of Eddie Daniel, art of Brittany Farina and others. I performed several spoken fictions including portions of "Postcards from the Hecatombs," "The 1950s," and "Stalking the Oklahoma Ostrich Under the Nixon Administration."

Video was shot and edited by Heather Suchy Acton.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The 1950s

Four of them are already here:
Rock, Roll, Beat and Nik.
only Daddio
only Daddio
only Daddio has yet to appear.

Rock’s mad
lookout he’s steamin’.
nobody talk to me
he says.

Oh Beat coos Roll oh Beat Beat Beat.
Roll aches to slice Beat’s cheek
with her diamond fingertip.
Beat wants to cut his tongue
on Niki’s’s diamond tit.

Niki dreams of atomic bongos.
atomic bongos and pinko poets.
pinko poets
and dancing……… cigarettes.

Rock hears voices Beat speaks in tongues.
God lies on a hospital bed
no air in his lungs
no feeling in his legs
no air……………. in his lungs.

Four of them hunker in the fallout shelter:
Rock, Roll, Beat and Nik.
only Daddio has yet to appear
only Daddio is missing and presumed……………. alive.

Daddio is dead
Daddio is red
Daddio is a traitor
Daddio has amnesia
Daddio’s a fugitive from biblical justice
Daddio sold secrets……………. to Russia
Daddio rots in a Mexican jail
Daddio has polio
Daddio likes Ike
Daddio’s a figment of mass hysteria
Daddio’s nothing but words these words
Daddio’s nothing but words that crawl out of the Black Lagoon
Words that evaporate before they are read
Words that change
Words that change
Words that change …….the world.

Beat watches World War Three
broadcast live on black and white tv,
the future flickering
flick flick flickering
flickering on the wall.

Rock reeks of cheap brown whiskey.
Niki smells of crème de menthe.
Roll paints the shelter black.
Beat turns on the radio.

Four of them listen to the radio
Rock Roll Beat and Nik
Only Daddio has yet to appear
is that a voice in the static they hear,
a secret in the lyrics,
a clue in the music, and a code in
the call letters tuned to
“the radioactive comedy hour
with the musical stylings of U………… 235
and Her Glowing Isotopes”???

Wait. Just a moment, just a moment. Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt this program to bring you a special bulletin: Fiction has run out of happy endings. It is being reported that the last two happy endings were used by the 1955 best sellers, Peyton Place and Auntie Mame. Henceforward, story tellers who wish to end their tales happily ever after must reuse someone else’s happy ending. Stay tuned for further updates. We now return you to our regular programming.

“the musical stylings of U…. 235 and her Glowing Isotopes.”

and the filament of the cathode tube burns a white conspiracy
where Daddio plots and flips his Zippo open and strikes its flint
in one snap as Niki’s heart
becomes a torch in which Rock stares
to find the truth.

And Daddio is the flint in the Zippo
and Daddio is the white hot filament
in a cathode tube too hot to touch
in this cathode tube

Blind Rock pounds the keys the keys, blind Rock pounds the keys. He clacks double coded tales on unending scrolls in hieroglyphic scars that spell out stories we cannot………….. understand. These are tales of sedated housewives desperate for happy endings who sauté poison mushroom clouds, of bebop basements and heroin driven improvisations, of a world without heroes, of criminal compulsions to go to go to go and never…………….. to stop.

Beat puts a shot glass on Niki’s head. Don’t move he says hold still.
Hold still hold still hold still hold still hold still hold still hold still hold still. From 20 feet away he aims……………… a .22. Lighter fluid hangs in the stiff air.

With an atom bomb under each arm, sweet dead Daddio enters the room, Daddio enters the room.

Postcard #2, "Can't Remember"

Can’t remember how much I already told you--- Can’t remember much at all---Must assume you are under-informed---The situation is urgent---The national language is in jeopardy---Common nouns are accused of murder---Modifiers are under house arrest---Verbs have been shanghaied---Conjunctions sterilized, expletives deleted---Prepositions have plea-bargained, turned state’s evidence---All punctuation is bugged---Semicolons the latest in web-based monitoring devices---Resort to older technologies---typewriters and transistor radios are safe--Study the Great Vowel Shift for clues---More to come.

Art for Postcard #2, "Can't Remember"