The Wolf, the Woman and the Wizard ~ Ansiar

The wolf stalked a young woman named Martel, in an open field, under a pewter night sky. The wind smelled of leaves and coming rain.


She tried standing her ground but often broke into short sprints. Clearly the beast was playing with it’s dinner.


Just behind the woman and to the right a fire leaped up from the dirt, illumining the wolf’s eyes. LiKava stepped out of the light, facing the canine.


The wolf howled. Strangely there was no answer.
The creature snarled and dug the dirt with it’s claws.


LiKava moved to stand between the wolf and the young woman.
The wolf advanced.
LiKava said, “Stop and speak, animal.”
The wolf’s ears flattened, the fire in it’s eyes sparked but it fell back two steps.
LiKava stamped the butt his staff on the ground and lightning leapt for the sky. Electric blue bolts touched stones in the field. “You will speak to me animal.”


The wolf called out, “You know you can’t kill me.”
“Oh sweet pup, I can bite you in ways you’ve never imagined. Trust me, I can make the balance of your life a living hell.” A tongue of lightning licked the grasses between the man and the wolf.


The wolf hesitated a moment then called out to the woman, “You have no idea the bargain you have made little one. That one, he is known. You’d have been better off dying in my teeth.” The wolf turned and disappeared into the darkness. The lightning and the fire in the grasses abated.


She turned to the wizard.


“They are not particularly fond of electricity.” He turned and walked toward the distant hills.
She followed.

New Chapbook ~ The Thirteen Temples of Light and Darkness ~ Shalott’s Sojourn

Get your copy here

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FeastingArtistsPress

Shalott is on her Vacation of Self Discovery on a back country road somewhere in the Appalachians until she stumbles into the Thirteen Temples. Then things get weird.

Hand crafted quality chapbook for those who love to curl up with a good book
Story and art by William C. Burns, Jr.

Review ~ Fast fiction meets the epic: Homer’s Odyssey spans ten years; Joyce’s Ulysses sweeps through 24 hours; Burns’ Thirteen Temples fit between two heartbeats. Even with the breakneck speed of the story, the author’s roots in poetry and engineering collide to produce a clever machine that rings with magical sentences and glitters with winks of humor and hidden allusions. ~ Ian Whatley, Author of ‘Burning Hammers’

Aisling Sky

Itheann grá an bheirt againn
Titeann dhá amadán i spéir an tsamhraidh
~
Chonaic mé an fhómhar ag tabhairt ór do na duilleoga
Chonaic mé an geimhreadh ag goid gach dathanna
~
Ní féidir liom an ghaoth a chloisteáil ach anois

~

~~~

~

Sky dream

Love consumes us both
Two fools falling in the summer sky
~
I saw autumn bring gold to the leaves
I saw winter steal all colors
~
I can hear the wind only now

The Stranger and the Gift ~ William Burns

Time coalesces and there he stands (I mean isn’t there always one of these guys in all the stories she likes?). And he is holding something in his hand. He’s smiling one of those enigmatic smiles.
She’s not sure if she trusts him, not sure he’s actually there and then he speaks. His voice is the color of kindness. He speaks of many things in her past and it as if he has always known her.
She still doesn’t trust him, but she wants to see what he has in his hand, so she asks him to show her what is there. His eyes are warm and weathered and he steps close enough to not be threatening.
In his hand is the Antikythera Mechanism, a bronze device the size of a tea saucer and dancing across the facets are all the things that have ever been, all the things that will ever be. And it’s all so much, and it’s all so small that she can’t make out any of it and she certainly can’t see her role in all this.
She says, “I’m not asking which to choose. I’m not even asking for a shove in the right direction. What I want is some clarity. I want to know what I’m choosing between. I want to know what I’m taking with me and what I’m leaving behind in the dust.”
“Young one, you are choosing between the opposites of human existence, and you’ve been choosing all your life. Choosing whether to go or stay, whether to run or play, where to go and what to do. It has always been you choosing.”
He offers and she withdraws her hands. She says, “But some of those choices sucked and things have been broken and face it, I’ve always been stubborn.”
“Strong willed perhaps, but that’s why you never chose drugs or the easy ways that lead to true despair. And yes, you have made mistakes, but you have learned from each of them.”
She indicates he might hold the thing up for her. “Why can’t I simplify all the stuff on that stupid disk? Why are there no equations? Hell, I’d even settle for some probability studies, just something.”
“Some things can be simplified into equations and some things can’t. When you’re looking at the Total Life Equation, it must be expressed with Chaos elements if it is to be Real.”
She is distressed. “I don’t like that. It makes me afraid.”
“No one expects you to like it, but that is the definition of courage, is it not? ‘She was afraid, but she went on anyway,’ and for the most part succeeded.”
“What are my choices?”
“The same as all your life: to go into the next room or stay where you are, to let Love course your veins, or remain pure and chaste. To take a chance on hurting yourself on the thorns that grow along the path to the future, or to play it safe in your room. You know most of these choices are not always in yin/yang pairs, and the odds are you will live through most of your mistakes.”
He pauses. She can’t tell if it was just for effect. He says, “You will choose whether to remain a child or become a woman, whether you face each day as a challenge or a curse. No one can make this choice for you, but you are not alone. You will never be alone.”
The stranger places the disk in her hand, and she tries to give it back. She says, “I can’t take this; It’s much too valuable.”
“I hesitate to say this gentle one, but you must take this. Consider it an offering.”
“Where did you get it?”
His eyes grow winsome and a smile glows at the corners of his mouth. He takes off his hat and bows to her, “Time is not linear, dear one. You gave it to me when you saved me.”

	

Half-Life

Here in the Half-light
Just before dawn
Things coalesce
Become and resolve into objects

Here in the half-light
Bleeding

There are no memories
only iterated narratives
Loops of altered echoes
Voyager tales of Adventures on Real Life

A Half-life
in the half-light

the silken veil of the Night

In the silence of the orchard
Just before Harvest
She pulls the silken veil of the Night
across her features
Hiding everything but the diamonds in her eyes

The Songs of January

by: William C. Burns, Jr.

A Neo-modern romance set early in the Third Age of Music (circa 2015) told from a time in the future.

A four-movement arc of a talented woman in love, enduring in a world trying to rediscover its soul. Run time will be approximately one and a half hour.

Written in free verse with occasional prose.

Dramatis Personae

January Eileen VanMora ~ A woman in progress female/complex emotions
Carl N. Stone ~ A man in love male/handsome/dark rust
Maxwell Love ~ Her father older compassionate man
James Troubadour ~ A teller of tales coyote old man
Dryad ~ Troubadour’s assistant female/slight/pixie

Sequence of Movements

α Alpha Movement ~ Slideshow
β Beta Movement ~ They Ride Off In Opposite Directions
γ Gamma Movement ~ The Final Farwell
δ Delta Movement ~ Transcendence

The poetry of her words flowed through these animate machines and brought life to the images . . .
But first, a definition . . .

‘The Songs of January’ is a work of performance art, a presentational genre, usually involving some improvisation, in which an artist combines dance, music, drama, and non traditional technology. Performance art is often minimalist, a live show done without the ornate sets of a musical, the grand images of opera, or the plots that drive a play.

All performance art shares two elements: First, the various parts of the performance function disharmoniously; second, it must be performed live.

Performance art’s impact hinges on a psychological trait in humans: the innate tendency to look for recognizable elements when faced with apparent chaos. The human mind is a great pattern-seeker; its obsession with finding patterns is likely hardwired into the brain. The artist is deliberately minimalist, giving a minimum of cues and hints to the meaning and motive of the performance. It is the job of the audience to fill in the gaps so as to see the whole picture.

Notice how the traditional role of the audience member has been changed.

Notes:
[ ] ~ denotes direction notes.
{ } ~ actor cues
Titles of individual pieces can be projected on scrim.

Direction notes are offered as suggestions only for the purpose of illustrating some of the more salient points and may be ignored by anyone undertaking the task of directing this production.
α Alpha Movement ~ Slideshow

[stage dark, lights up, Res up James Troubadour on the stage with a projector system in place, it is never made clear whether James is a projection or a flesh and blood human]
{James Troubadour}
Holographitic [halo-gra-fid-ic] archive record 437-9-11-1 of January Elieen VanMora, pre-Renaissance composer circa early twenty-first century, old reckoning. Born October 31, 2000, date of death unknown.
This record is a portrayal of the life and times of January, extrapolated from fragments of surviving historical documents and segments of personal diaries.
Please note, the files contained here do not include the performance of any of her works. If you would like to hear her songs or see any of her installations, please visit the references in Holographitic archive indices 437-17-77-0 thru 437-987-0-0 ~ “Primary Forces Contributing to the Third Age of Music”
And I am James Troubadour at your service

{James Troubadour}
January Eileen VanMora was one of the most influential musical composers of all time. She is often considered on par with Amere Chygon, Miles Davis, the Beatles, Wagner, Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart and Ton Ru. There is creditable evidence that her music was a pivotal inspirational for more than a few of the Second Renaissance romantic writers and philosophers.
Yet there is very little data of her life. Most records are incomplete and that which has survived is not of high quality. Many of the projection systems modeled in this holographitic presentation will look and behave like the projection devices of her time. While this my appear primitive but current standards, it is consistent with gaining a proper appreciation of her life.
This is a projection of Maxwell Love, her father

[Res up Maxwell]
{Maxwell Love}
[At first referring to the screen]
Reflections of a Younger Moon

She was such a precious . . .
precocious child
Always asking the big questions in such a tiny voice

One time when she was five
they had to do surgery on her
And she was in real pain
real pain
And she was screaming . . .
There was nothing I could say
So I just held on to her hand
it was all I could do
it was all anyone could do

Strangely she calmed down
There are no words for the expression on her face
She held my eyes and said
“I love you Dad.”
And she didn’t cry after that
but I did . . .

[Dryad whispers something to Troubadour]
{James Troubadour}
What?

{Dryad}
rocks turn into clouds
wind turns into rain
rain becomes thunder
thunder turns into worry
worry becomes night
night becomes silence
silence turns into birds
singing . . .
even the rocks can sing
if the song is true

{James Troubadour}
Is there a problem with the projection system?

{Dryad}
problem?
in a fractal universe
inanimate matter
held in a small maelstrom of energies
pulls itself erect
and calls itself Life . . .

{James Troubadour}
Is there a problem? Priority over-ride. [Dryad neither taunts nor acknowledges him]
[James addresses the audience, nervous] Please enjoy . . . [He pulls Dryad off]

{Maxwell Love}
Sea Shell

It was a seashore morning

You placed the open mouth
of the seashell to your ear
And heard the ocean
still fresh in your veins

Your thoughts spiraled
like the ridges on the shell
Starting at some barely visible point
Known only to you

Moving slowly
steadily outward
Expanding with ever greater strides
Becoming at last
the Milky Way adrift
in the endless sea of Night

[James returns]
{James Troubadour}
And now, a projection of January Eileen VanMora

[Res up January]
{January}
Non-Linear Relationships

I guess the hardest part for my family
Was that I wanted to be a writer
an artist
a creator of . . .
A creator of Art

Which is kind of weird really
because everyone in my family liked to read
and watch vids
and see shows
I guess they just figured that all those wondrous stories
Where assembled by Mechanics of Light and Sound
In some far-away factory where
Dreams are forged

It was tough for Dad
and Mom
Letting me go the way I wanted to go
I mean it must have looked like some kind of mental illness
You are there
but you are not there
not all there
And they can see you
See that you are in the room
See that your eyes are open
But they see that you don’t see them
Your eyes
Like your thoughts
are somewhere else . . .

{James Troubadour}
Acting on the suggestions of the sages of the time her father, Maxwell Love encouraged his daughter to explore her artistic talents. . .

{Maxwell Love}
My Daughter On the Ice

And I see her
Out there on the ice
Spinning
like a child
like an idiot

I’m afraid
I shout for her to stop before she falls
I am afraid
she’ll fall through the ice
I’m afraid . . .

She laughs
her breath
erupting in clouds
What can I trade her
that is worth
the freedom she feels
Now

{January}
Verse

Poetry . . .
Shouldn’t it be
Dreams
on paper?

Each line
a humble altar
Monument to a
Moment

A book
Like life itself
disintegrating
even as you read it
New pages
spontaneously appearing in the back
[James Troubadour departs stage and comes back near the end of Dryad’s poem]
{Dryad}
Dream Song Sequence #1
The Lady

The Lady takes up her mirror
and dreams that she was someone else

He told her she was beautiful
she traded him for a house

[Addressing the audience directly]
But what of her mother?
Oh there are secrets
So many secrets
between the missing bits and bytes of data

Errata and error
so much is missing
so many cracks in the slipstream
cracks in the sky

a missing kiss?
a misplaced wave?

but you know how it goes . . .

{James Troubadour}
This piece was discovered in a spiral note book in the house where January grew up.

{January}
On Matters Poetic

Take up the crystal goblet
Flip it gently
It rings . . .
It is Resonate

Gregorian chanters have found the resonance of the cathedral
Strike a tuning fork or an atom for that matter
And they ring
they are resonate
Every structure has some kind of resonance
some kind of response
And the more complex the structure
the more complex the response the more complex the Resonance

Humans are very complex and multiform
Poetry, Art, Theater strike these complex structures and guess what . . .
They are Resonate
They ring
And they all ring in different ways
This is why one poem can strike your friend like lightning
Leaving you unmoved
Or a particular piece of music “speaks” to you
leaving others untouched

Now, to bring this back around to Poetry
Emily Dickinson said the best poetry made her feel
like the top of her head was about to come off
She was resonate with that particular work
The creation . . .
Perhaps creation is not the word because poetry grows from within
As opposed to being made
Whatever . . .
Poetry is personal
And any poem must reflect something of the personal resonance of its creator
These reflections these creations may be so personal
They are only resonant with their creator

But there is that rare instance
When a work of poetry so addresses the underlying matrix of all human existence
That it rings for virtually anyone

And when that happens
Fireworks !!!
{Maxwell Love}
Grandma’s Quilt

I watched my grandma patch
this quilt together
A visual narrative
pastel squares
pages from my personal history
A quilt to be venerated
not used

I find my daughter
Huddled in grandma’s
hand-made quilt
Wrapped in her love
in front of the fireplace
And now I see
Some things must be used
to be loved

{January}
Crossroads

Can you
can anyone
Stand at the crossroads
without doubt
Can you believe that it’s all going to be OK
without evidence

Lost
I am so lost
Paint my face with ashes
and regrets
Nothing in the distance
No promise . . .
How can I go forward
trusting everything to bits of conversation
And a handful of hopes
In that unknown land
known as the future

{Dryad}
Seasons of Life

Milky jonquil
in a waxing spring moon
Passing from burgeon to bloom
flourishing in the warm night
The zephyr stirs

Snowy Queen Ann’s lace
dancing in a sizzling summer sun
Complete in every detail
every nuance
The cicadas whir

Cinnamon blossoms in autumn’s waning moon
fragrance fills the air
A moment worthy of memory
Forever
The clouds gather

{January}
In Terrible~beautiful Hands

My muse has brought me blossoms
Trinkets woven from the flesh of flowers
Twirling and dancing
Poised above the Earth

My muse has brought me a factory yard
Weathered wood and broken windows
A rusty pail
Useless and condemned to the Earth
My muse has brought to me
In terrible~beautiful hands
The eternal~ephemeral nature of Life

β Beta Movement ~ They ride off in opposite directions

{Dryad}
amber autumn sky
yellow russet tan and grey
Leaf-sewn path to dusk

the wild rose
winters on the banister
awaiting awakening

rain-kissed sands ripple
long after summer’s leaving
a child’s plastic spoon

unforeseen warm breeze
tiny lights dance a promise
children’s laughter

{James Troubadour}
It is a matter of historic record that January attended Najo Philanthropic University of the Southwest, located in the United States of America sometime around 2011 old reckoning. Please note that while this was an uneasy and difficult period in history, many of the roots of the Second Renaissance can be traced to this particular place and time.

{January}
Of Light and Energy

It was a day in August
Perhaps a day not unlike any other day
But I couldn’t help wondering
Why this day . . .
why this sky . . .
Why this place

Perhaps such questions are pointless
Perhaps if each of us had one of everything
we ever wanted
We would live happy fulfilling lives
in a land of fine appliances

But such was not my destiny
Such was not my fate
I never had . . .
Never had the toys I needed

That’s why I went into engineering
I guess . . .
I was looking for some electric friends
Cordless electric inhabitants of lands
filled with life and light
Under a infinite sky
the color of dreams
Tiny little worlds made of light and energy
Where no one really needs you

{James Troubadour}
January Eileen VanMora was a very prolific writer who never married, and while there are no records documenting that she had any lovers, it can be inferred from her work that she was no stranger to the pangs of Love. Record shows that there was no lack of suitors, but there was only one . . . One that seemed to matter to her.
A projection of Carl Williams Stone.

{Carl Stone}
Dream Song Sequence #3
The Boy

There was a boy on the bus
Who was afraid that his stop would come
and he would miss it
He did not know the bus driver
and he was sure the driver did not know him

His breath clouded the window
and he made little footprints
He wrote my name on the frosted window
he could see the snow through the letters

{James Troubadour}
While attending college she met Carl Williams Stone who majored in Material’s Sciences and Ceramics. It is speculated that he was perhaps the primary influence referred to in most of her initial major works. Counter opinions hold that he was of no major significance and that he contributed very little.

{Carl Stone}
like dust

the porch
the paper
across the front page
the story of her accident

she used to drive
to the river
shaking every bat out of hell

everything I wanted
was to be her lover
to live and die in her arms
to play within her laughter

and here on this folded page
an impossibly crumpled nightmare
of glass and steel
resting beside a church

barely alive she dances
in white sheets across town
my first poems were hers
leaves
now scattered

I have not seen her in five years
she would not see me
but now
her face lifts from my hand
from the past
stained with desire
she rises in
the painful moonlight

here she is
the first girl
unconscious
like dust

silence

{Maxwell Love} [Recounting memories]
Compact

She opens the lipstick many shades too red
She making deals with God
While pulling up her hose
Smoothes the silk skirt
She tries one more time to excite her hair
Again her sister and a man dance on the porch
in the warm and clement summer’s night
She offers anything
In exchange for what
she thinks they had

{January}
New or Used

If my heart was a car
I’d trade it in
It seems to be broken
most of the time

{Carl Stone}
The Path and the Saint

Cluttered from disuse this pathway abides
A shadow of a pathway really
An aimless walk into a verdant oblivion
Sunlight and leaves the color of summer
Russet stems
And shadows chance dancing
Lost with the house is the
Comfortable din of friendly noises
Dark stories of snake menace
And just the hint of new discoveries
to sweeten the sense of peril
A luminescent wraith
A marble saint among the briar vines
Hidden in mystery
His smile . . .
His arms bearing up the thorns

{Maxwell} [Leafing through a photo album]
The Mystery of You

The mystery of you lies
in this photograph
taken in Belize

We walked the streets
walked the shore
hoping something would happen

One of those rare moments
rare photos of a moment

Not unlike when we
wandered through great galleries and museums
only to discover the perfect painting
in a corner cafe in the south of Paris

Within this photograph lies
your mystery
worthy of a piece of film
worthy of long contemplation

The look of your eyes
expresses something I cannot articulate
a flash
a hush
the heart of a moment
Expressing nothing more than a shadow
a pattern
a passing phrase of light

It is the mystery that draws me back
the camera and the mind
may create art
if not capture it

{Dryad}
In Dreams She Runs

In dreams she runs
But its never fast enough
Never far enough
Its always there in the dark
and it never touches her

Her mother’s face
Her mother’s voice
Haunts her

{Maxwell}
Daughter

She was talking
Like she was ashamed to admit what she’s done
Like there was a demon in the room
Who might listen in
and laugh

She told a story
Like it was something that had happened to someone else
Not so much that the woman in question had devoted
Her entire life
Bringing another woman into the world

But that this process had
Made her somehow . . .
a lesser being
That housework has become the measure of her
That motherhood diminishes you somehow . . .
That a woman just goes on forever and ever
spiraling into the abyss . . .

A woman has children because sometimes she is a wild animal
And she will let her husband hold her any way he chooses

A woman does not need her brain to enjoy a kiss and tell her best friend
That she is pregnant

She was talking like
A demon might listen as she whispered
In her baby girl’s ear

Don’t cry
It’ll be alright
{January} [at a writing desk]
This Alien Thing

Is it this thing
This thing inside of me
That makes me so . . .
so alien

Is there some explanation
Some biological imperative
Some wiring glitch in the wetware
some random fluctuation in the fractals
that twist away from my every moment
into the infinite distance of
the infinite void
That makes me so . . .
so hungry
Or is it me

Is there some thing
Some thing inside of me
That makes me so . . .
so bizarre

Something that lifts this pencil
And makes it dance across the page
Leaving the vapor trails
that pour energy into the eyes
Something that sets lose echoes
in the vaulted chambers of the heart
Echoes that grow ever more compelling
louder
ever louder
Even louder
Now
Screaming with the urgency
of Life and Light
Screaming out of this thin pencil
Searing the page
leaving serifs in stone

What is this thing
This thing inside of me
That makes me so . . .
so . . .
me
{Carl Stone}
The House of Shattered Glass

She was a house of shattered glass
And I was a idiot
who wanted to be in a movie
and they told me to go away
but I couldn’t remember how to get home
and when I told them
she said that she would take me home
and she asked me to show her

So we left the place where they make dreams
and the other place
where men make war
and I could remember the places toward home to her
even though I had a accident
and I wrote down the phone number of the place
but some of the numbers I had to write as words
so she called and got directions
but she still listened to me
And we were going up the hill
the really big hill
and the sun was coming up
There it was
The house of glass
and it made me cry again
it always makes me cry
and she was crying too
it was so beautiful

She stopped and I told her to go on
to go past this beautiful thing
but she had been kind to me
and many people are not kind
so I went to the house with her
All the windows had been shattered
and I could almost remember how it had happened
but there in the beauty of the sunrise
it was so . . . beautiful

The grand foyer like the wings of a crystal butterfly
a royal sitting room covered with diamonds
a window open to the wind
a window overlooking the bay
crystal teeth scattered in such disarray [continued on the next page]

I was cut
its so easy in this house to be cut
and you really don’t feel it all that much
at first
but I had an accident
so I get cut a lot
mostly on the hands
but she had picked up a glass tooth
and I could tell that she was angry
but she wouldn’t say what

I screamed when she held the tooth up
and threw myself at her feet
and held up my hands
and begged her to cut me instead
because she was beautiful and I was ugly
I deserved to die because I am so ugly

She cried so hard
and I dragged her from the house of broken glass
and tried to hold her
without getting any more blood on her
And I tried to tell her not to be so afraid
and she let me hold her while she cried
in the new sunlight
as the sun climbed the hill
and looked like broken glass
out on the bay

{January}
Your Name

Alone at last
The wind speaks your name
A name not unlike any other name

The willow is moved
to weep
The oak creaks a lament
The blue sky lake
shatters

I lift your eyes
Unlike any other eyes
From the well of memory
The well into the deep places
The well that moans when
The wind speaks your name

{Carl Stone}
Passion’s Web

Caught like a fly
In one of those cage elevators on the outside of the building
Where it looks like you’ve been eaten
and are engaged in a lingering process of being digested
by some arcane gothic machine
And in the belly of the other cage beast going up
Her eyes dark and compelling
Wind blown hair the color of children’s laughter
Red skirt
She smiles
waves shyly
ascends
Transcends her upward movement

Will I fall asleep with a smile on my face
Will I love her when I wake up to a new day
Entangled in the embracing arms
the warm silk web
that passion spins
Gossamer threads on the wind
Crossing the distance between us

{Dryad} [regarding a photograph]
The lovers were occasionally seen at parties together
Snapshot of a Conversation

The ordinary woman
is zebra striped
The better to hide
behind Venetian blinds
Her friend beside her
finely carved
from a block of ivory soap

The hunter man
is crouching on the couch
muscles clenched
Nerve nets dragging the deep waters
under the ripples of conversation and debate
His rival for
the woman bearing the golden fleece
The man of strong arms
who laughs thunderously
Beside the Christmas card virgin
and the pineapple

But they never quite seemed to sync up
and I know why . . .

You want to know?

I can’t tell you
After all
I’m just a projection
A mechanism of light and sound

He often went to see her
but he had to content himself with watching her work
Her work was all that she lived for

{Carl Stone}
Potter’s Wheel
Shades of Arizona

Terracotta
Smeared across your cheek
and over chocolate-amber eyes
Integrating you into the scenery
You laughed when I asked
just how to throw a pot
“Overhanded”
your reply

Your hands stained to the elbow
Deep inside your latest undertaking
A thing of soft geometry
Taking shape in your palms
Undulating
Defying gravity
Defying the Earth that bore it
Graceful
gentle
delicate
This thing swims up
to meet your hand

Unwilling to steal you
From this place of mind
That you love so
so much
I orbit just out of reach
scratching paper with pen
Cartographer of the moment

[Carl sits and writes in a notebook, window projected on him, January comes up behind him.]
{January}
Bare Foot Lover

Bare foot lover
Framed in a square of sunlight

The cross
demanded by the window’s pane
Across your left shoulder
Spilling onto the floor
in front of your azure eyes

A small Universe
of glittering
twinkling motes
Pools
ebbs
gyrates
Around you
A nimbus of astral energy

I see you
Like the first time I saw you
I am transfixed in the moment
Awash in terror
fervor
wonder

You glance up
eyes flashing in the Light
What is it?
What is this shapeless
question you ask?

{Carl Stone}
Portrait of My Love

from the East
the dawn notices us
Sol’s life blood
rippling scarlet silk
cascading down your face
your shoulder
your arm

from the West
cool intimate darkness
lingers in your hair
deep burgundy violet
defining your eyes
your ears
your smile

tarrying shadows of the departing Night
ascending phoenix of the coming Day
balance is maintained
in your aspect

{January}
Strange Attractor

You move
A ghost in the mist
A thought better left to the forgotten world of dreams
A moment in this Time
The light of the coming Sun
Splits your perfect symmetry
dividing you into
Day and Night
Left and Right
Opposites that attract
I lift my hand
Releasing the moment
Embracing the ritual of Seasons
I became an inverted flower opening inward
Growing to and from the center
We dance
{Dryad}
January Finds a Lover

But he’s nothing like she thought she wanted
Or expected for that matter

I mean he was so . . .
so out of control most of the time
So chaotic . . .
strangely beautiful . . .
Completely wrong for her

All she’d wanted
Was someone to pose for her
Someone she could examine in intimate detail
someone she could hold without touching
Someone who wouldn’t make all those outrageous demands
that lovers tend to make

{January} [Confronting Carl]
All I Wanted

I had hoped to tip my arrows with gold
and drive those golden thought through his heart
thus to hold him in Time

I had dreamed of laying his electric blue brain
upon my stainless steel table
Dreamed of plucking out his soul
with my analytical tweezers
Dreamed of gnawing the bones of his soul
and sucking the marrow of meaning from them

I wanted to photograph his frightened
and angry reality through my spectral filters
Wanted to taste the sour acid smoke
of his smoldering loves
Wanted to smell the raw lust he had
for survival

I had hoped to cast echoes into the vaults
of his soul
Hoped to chart the shadows
of his surrealistic sunscape
Where everything
in the Universe
Is free to come and go
And time is no longer
linear

And now all my symmetries . . .
All my perfect symmetries
are broken

{Carl Stone} [Confronting January]
Failure to Yield

You could never give yourself wholly
Could never yield your whole body
your heart
your soul
The way that children do
A small flower in their hands
saying
take this
love me
Totally at peace with the moment

By holding yourself back
By hiding away the tender part of you
You have become your own dragon
The damsel and the tower in one
empty
No longer lithe and limber
No longer filled with naiveté
the primal energy of simplicity

What is it that you are holding
with such frenzy
Whatever it is
By holding it so dear
You have sold it for silence

{January}
To Be Your Angel

Should I lose my voice
to be your angel
Should I cast out my demons
To hold some part of you dear

There are things in me that must be said
I have these dreams
of things I don’t understand
or want
Dreams that must be spoken
spoken out loud
If for no reason at all
And I have no idea if any of this
anything I will ever say
Will make any difference
in anything
Anything at all

And I want you
want you
want you in the worst way
More than my life
my heart
Everything . . .
But perhaps I want this more
perhaps . . .

How will I know
if I do not say
All the things inside of me
How will I know
Know
if I love you . . .

I know in sure and certain terms
That I want so much to touch you
To be silent in your arms
to share your soul
Can’t you see that you are part of everything I write
Why can’t you see . . .
Why can’t you see . . .
Why can’t you see
me [Exit January]
{Carl Stone}
The Fires of November

Scarlet angels
The burning leaves spiral into the air
then fall
ash ghost shadows
Emptied of something . . .
Something special
[Exit Carl]

{Dryad}
Where are the Songsmiths

The phone rang then played dead
So I asked
Who is this really
And a metallic voice
Raspy with passion
Whispered
Where are they
Where are the latest songsmiths
You promised
Remember your promise
You said if we put enough equipment
in the hands of enough children
They will resurrect the muses
Sweetness will flow from their mouths
They will glow with the sparkle of a new dawn
Bringing songs of wonder and new sky lines
You said the wire
That holds all the light
Would make it easier to pass them around
Like a fresh bag of m&m’s
Passing from one hand to another
in days instead of years
The voice
Threadbare and ragged paused
A spasm of coughing
All I get these days is the silence between the stars
Just once
Just once more
I wanted to hear the music new again
Wanted perchance
to dance . . .
{James Troubadour}
The critics of her day . . .
They were often unkind.

{January}
The New Dark Age

Afraid to till the soil
to spread the seed
Fearing the witch hunters
of this latter day

I huddle in my cubby
fearing not the light of Day
But the Darkness in the hearts
of my Fellow Men
Not the Truth
but the Lies that flicker
in their lust crazed eyes

I am not strong enough
to be burnt without screaming
Not strong enough
to hold to my principles
While the later-day inquisitors heat up
their irons

I censor myself

And I hate myself
for my weakness . . .
for my rape

[ Carl and January on opposite sides of the stage]
{Carl Stone}
Dream Song Sequence #5
Machines

My heart lies broken
like so much pottery on the floor
How could you leave me here on my own?

My machines sing me to sleep
they suave my wounds
they tend my needs
They tell me it will rain tomorrow

There is a faint echo of a train whistle
Tomorrow I will try to find you again
I guess….

{January}
Faith

I am bread
Old bread that is stale
I am bread that is broken
and cast on the waters
And those ugly carp looking gold fish
Are sucking me into their ignorant mouths

I am tiny piggy eyes peering into
a vacuum sky
I am the slimy slithering masses
Of black opalescent scales
Boiling the waters
making everything murky with
Blind
barely understood lust

I am a lust for life
That is ignorant of it’s purpose
I consume
and am consumed

{Carl Stone}
Counterpart

For my part
On the path
that afternoon
I was thinking of you
Yes
You
But you were so caught up
In the shadows
in the weeds
In everything dangerous
In everything else

[Enter Maxwell with a photo album]
{Maxwell Love}
Snowman for my Daughter

Last winter my daughter and I built a snowman
Even though half a tree had fallen on our house
during the night
And remained there
watching over us as
We built a snowman of ice and dirt
An impure artifact of a more perfect Love

Later that night
Outside all the noise and palaver inside the house
The melting snow bled into the street
The carrot nose drooped
the stone cold eyes
wept
At seeing the haze dragons coiling through the night
revealed in the yellow sodium arc light
Soundless in their resolve they passed on silent feet
gong to haze dragon lands
for haze dragon reasons
The fallen limb like a hand holding down our house

I lift the black stones from the snowman’s face
For in my pocket tomorrow
When I call the folks
who will fix our house
I return to Warmth and Light
{Carl Stone}
It was . . .

it was the way the light slanted
through glass windows

it was the rose in the cheap vase
and the mattress
missing linen

it was the aching silence
of an old turn table
frozen

it was a picture
in my grandmother’s
hat box

{Maxwell Love} [Leafing through a photo album]
Chestnut

My grandfather had an orchard
Wrapped around the hills of Esam hallow

On this pruning day
He wore his battered engineer’s cap
And as we walked from the barn to the trees
He pointed to a rotting stump
and told me of Chestnuts
the king of trees
As a boy he’d cut them for lumber
made many a split-rail fence
Lighter than oak
better than redwood
Chestnut was strong
yet easily worked
Chestnuts grew quick as a poplar
Tall and straight
the diameter of a man
A hundred feet tall and all of it good wood
There were countless thousands everywhere you looked
Milky white blossoms
Like snow left over from winter
covering the West Virginia hillsides

Wagonloads of chestnuts for family and neighbors
A few pennies could buy huge bags of roasted chestnuts
Not those puny things you buy now
He held out his calloused hand
and told me that a few were all he could hold
And there were more than a few to go around

He sat down
in the dirt
And the boy that I was
Could not fathom his tears
I just stood there

One day the trees began to blight
Limb by limb they died and now. . .
And now they’re gone
With only a few old stumps
And a few old men to bear testament
To the passing of the Chestnut
{James Troubadour}
Most creditable accounts have it that January was most productive when she was troubled, such can be said of the most iconoclastic artists. Perhaps this accounts for the lack of evidence that she was ever happy . . .

{January}
Words

The Words radiate
I stand alone
alone in darkness
Stand silent in silence

Words come to me without my voice
Pictures fill my eyes
when they are shut
Music
strange music . . .
Words unlike any other words
Blossoming in this day
in this place
Words . . .
My name once was words
And this hand knew your caress
This face . . .
these lips

Words were once your name
A name I called out
standing on the lip of the abyss
A name echoed across the distance
and then fell into silence
Can I call Love
by any other name
than yours

I have lost you
I have lost myself
I have lost Love

{Carl}
Winter Lover

On that day
The snow fell
soft as vampire feathers
Sucking the warmth
from the lonesome road
Draining the sound
from the hissing trees
Drawing out the pain . . .

Memories leave footprints
in the virgin snow
Some seem to dance
some to falter
Some linger a moment
by the stream . . .

I try to whisper
to no living soul
But I don’t really
want them to hear
I want to cast them out
of my clenched heart
Want to bury them
bury them all . . .
Bury them in
the snow that falls

{January}
The Child

The child
not a made thing
But a growing . . .
force? a movement?

Simple
A single cell dividing
by two’s
Two growing into four
eight, sixteen, thirty-two . . .
Growing exponentially
Until the numbers go macro
Until it no longer makes sense to count

Complicating itself
growing out from the center

Hooked to me by blood
and you by heritage
He/she grows
kicks
and kicks again
And in that motion sustains itself

{Maxwell} [Leafing through a photo album]
The Last Victim

He dims the lights
He is not at rest
How can he be?
The voices
and the lights when he closes
his eyes

He moves as if to stand
Thinks better of it
and takes up the cigarette
the coffee
the paper
The house was on fire
and he did nothing
The memories burn
Fire wanting for heat
flame filled with pain
Ashes
and dust

He shift his weight
The chair creaks

[To the audience] I lost my wife a little at a time, she just slipped away, like sand and the harder you try to grip it the quicker it drains away.

I lost my little girl . . .
I lost . . .

{James Troubadour}
Wait a second. That’s not right . . . [exits]

{January}
Dangerous Vision

And within the vision
A flaming, streaming, velvet river
mysterious fairy music
A brutal and scarlet consonance

Pyre of blood
hissing on ice

I burn my hands
Trying to lay hold to the
bitter questions hiding the truth
Trying to touch the burning flower’s
aching beauty
The crack across the scarlet skies
the threshold

Something moves within
moves without
And moves between
the two worlds

{Dryad}

She was down
bleeding fire
it was the sound
of a great soul weeping

{Carl Stone}
Silent in My Resolve

I run to leap
To join you
in the sky

Sensing my presence
you change the landscape
Hiding within yourself

Oceans flow
where deserts could not bloom
Mountains grow like mushrooms
Winds howl
across this erratic seascape
Making a hollow
and empty sound

Soaring
I turn
above a changing land
Silent in my resolve

{James Troubadour}
[Returns and watches Dryad with some concern]

{Dryad}
Song

A slender tongue of silver dripping
from a black Sun
A song in the Silence
a little boat gliding
on dark dappled waters
A brief song for no one in particular

Caught in the motion of the Waters
moving from silence to silence
Borne like a cloak of flame
born of the stillness underneath
everything
Born of ash and tears
and carried in the few words remaining

A forgotten moment
left as a monument
Beneath the surface
To be gathered from the depths
that we might touch
might embrace
even in this madness

{James Troubadour}
Ladies and gentlemen it seems that certain experimental anthropic circuits in the projection system have gone autonomous and are currently totally out of control. Our technicians assure me that there is no danger to you.
It seems that the content of this production has . . . has modified the circuitry. They also assure me that while the show has departed from the original script it is still true to form. Please bear with us as we see this thing through.
γ Gamma Movement ~ The Final Farwell

{Dryad} [Leafing through a photo album]
On That Dark Afternoon

She sits outside the door
On the cold
hard brick
Leaning against
the steel railing
Her arms around her legs
Her face hidden against her legs
Her back heaving
silent sobs
And she kept chanting
This should hurt more
this should be hurting

{January}
Lamentation

No one knows where I am
or cares

Standing on the porch
I feel so
cold
I feel dead inside
my heart
I feel it breaking

In the mist stands
my dead grandmother
smiling
comfort
familiar things
the coffee cup
the table
the crumpled bed where we lay
one last time

the life [holding her abdomen]
the tiny life
that was inside me is gone

{Dryad}
3 Haiku

A wind-tossed paper scrap
Covers the dog’s eyeless face
The alley is still

Dreaming safe Haven
The broken child sleeps
Whole again

The broken dolls floats
Face-down in the road-side ditch
The water is still

{January} [Leafing through a photo album]
When My Father Died

And as I stand here
In this cold and distant place
in this dream castle of steel and glass
In this hallway
smelling of antiseptic and sickness
outside your room
I watch the glacial movement
of bright golden coins of light
Across your pillows
I stand here and bear witness
to your silent passage
As they pull the cover
over your face . . .

I remain here
watching
As a vast library burns down
And in a world
miles away
just outside the window
It starts to rain
rain fire
Fire people are running all around the room
trying to do something useful
But you will never leave this room
And neither will my heart

Go to
Be free
Do not linger here
gentle spirit
This world was never meant
for one as kind . . .
and tender as you
Here
Take my heart with you
my one last Christmas gift
To that place so far
Beyond the stars

I’ll get by Dad . . .
somehow . . .

{Carl}
Haunt

Maple leaves
falling
wet stars on the rusting brown

Silver sun
nebulous orb sliding
behind pewter clouds
in a sky the color of sadness

Zephyrs
whisper hissy secrets
through the umber ocher husks of weeds
and ripple the gloomy waters

All the grain
harvested or
in the bellies of birds
who’ve flown to far-away places

This alien place
once felt the hand
of a child with my name

My coat
cannot stop the wind

{January}
January’s Lament

I missed the significance
The way you had of always meeting me halfway
You always did
You were like that
You knew it was hard for me
letting you get close
You haunted me patiently for years
with hands in pockets
and an enigmatic smile
What was it you wanted
under that titanic oak tree
on that day
bigger than the sky
In gentler days
you would grin
warning me
forgiving me
welcoming me back
I missed the significance
of your bemused
acceptance of my everything
I miss . . .
And now . . .
In the depths of this dark day
I want . . .
I need to hold you
and hear you tell me
Its all going to be OK
Because its not
I broke the bottle
I spilled the milk
I split the sky from the earth
and now my hands are so cold
and you are bleeding somewhere

You knew
it was hard for me
always holding you at a distance
Never letting you get close
I miss the way you had
of always meeting me halfway
You always did
You were like that
{Dryad}
The Heart and Other Arcane Organs of Invention
In the Museum of Improbable Objects

In this latter day world
When all the trees are all under control
Where the living outnumber the dead

Who remembers the peeling wall
the hidden chambers
the coffins in the catacombs
Who can walk through her childhood
A childhood filled with things
And not touch the rust

What is it that
The poets say to themselves
as they lift the soul of Humanity
Once again to the Light

Who among us can know
without first hand knowledge
The heart and other arcane organs of invention
in the museum of improbable objects

{Carl Stone}
Summer Dream

She had a voice
soft as dried leaves
when she moved she made no sound
We sat up late under the summer skies
Though I could hardly see her at all
I could feel her warmth
“Will you remember me?”
she asked in a voice of feathers
I felt her brush my shoulder
my neck
my hair
light as a breeze
“Indeed….”
I turned to face her
I called her name
There was no answer….
{Dryad}
Divine Right

Hidden inside her personal darkness
The dark seed
awaiting
The ecstasy of sprouting
growing in the safety
of her dark soil
Consuming her
Considering her
an undeveloped natural resource
Divine right and all that . . .

Oh sure
She’ll sing
Light candles
the usual stuff
But in this world of predator and prey
Mercy is a human construct

{January}
Nothingness

Nothing
reaches out
touching me
Touching everything
I can feel it
but can’t hold it
Can see it
as long as I’m not looking
directly at it
[She hands the photo album to Carl]

{Carl Stone}
Witness

She was standing on the bow of the boat
looking down into the spray
Sometimes
its like everything is just a picture
of itself
She said

I looked across the rippling dark waters
Wishing I still smoked

Without lifting her head
she said
I have come to witness this thing called life
though casual observation
and timely interaction
Any thoughts?

I would burn every narrative progression
in favor of sustained mood
There’s nothing new in this point of view
Preponderance is dead
as well it should be
I answered

To fill the silence that grew between us
movie directors
would cue the strings
Played loosely
Ambient music not entirely async
with the night traffic
wandering on the bay
Soft keyboard chords
snowflakes drifting
A gauze of strings
subtle
shifting
thrumming like deep throated engines of stately royal barges
floating slowly down river

She grew tired of watching me
turned a face drained of meaning
to meet the sky
And wept
{Dryad}
Goodnight America

Have you ever thought about television
Here you have this perfect little world made of energy and light
My show would start out as
One of those totally black and white cartoons
By that French guy . . .
what was his name?
Stark black lines on white
A plateau of shatter basalt
With one barren tree reaching up from the rock
And across the bottom
The title in stilted script . . .
Rock A By Baby
Boom shot
tree in the distance
slow zoom in on cradle
I mean what could be more Goth
You have a baby up in a treetop
most likely a sycamore with all that scaly bark
In a cradle
What did this baby do that its parents . . .
“I don’t know dear
He’s been pretty rotten
Let’s put him in a tree . . .”
Camera catches the bugged out eyes
of the little tike
Peering over the lip of the cradle at the Abyss
Effects
bring up the wind
When the wind blows . . .
You have a baby
In a cradle in the top of a tree
And now the wind is blowing
The cradle is rocking
“Effects
cue the storm
More lightning
Its needs more lightning
And the clouds
Make the clouds more menacing ”
Great stuff to sing to your kids
just before they fall to sleep
Camera zoom in on the bough
it starting to crack . . .
{January}
What Counts

I count the losses
Count the things that count

A mother I never knew

A man who loved me
a man I night have loved
A man I could not hold . . .
enough

To lose a father . . .
a child . . .
a lover . . .

Too much
It is too much to ask

It is so cold and callous
To give me things
And snatch them away
Kinder perhaps
if there had been no giving
at the first
So that there might be no counting
at the last

{Carl Stone}
Memory Ghost

Something I could barely touch
moved in the room
A silent room
A room with a big picture window
That looked out upon a night
Dark with promise
A window beyond which the world turned
on silent bearings
Day . . .
Night . . .
Day . . .

A silent room where
Something I could almost name
spoke in the dusty silence
Someone I almost knew
stood cloaked in shadows
reaching for another place

{January}
Bather

I
yanked from the teeth of your plastic comb
You
said there is no thing more ridiculous than
the tangled memory of a lost lover
pale body in the moonlight
A bar of soap in a seashell dish
I
hopelessly entwined
in your legs
You
pursed the phone book
looking of a guy
who could remove the tattoo
who could excise the memory of awkwardness
proud and smiling and
just plain stupid
The shower stall
steaming water and darkness
and those ridiculous moments
when we are all
human

{Dryad}
Summer Night

A flash
not unlike lightning
bugs
down the path
murky and lined with the weeds of regret
a broken face
a door ajar
a mouth of the past
the window agape
the tongue of curtain
ripped and ragged
flicking in and out
over broken teeth of glass
speechless
Bang!
garden gate’s remark to the passing wind
{Carl}
Whisper Touch

I read your words
and whisper your incantations under my breath
Atoms of your essence ionize
and your image flickers at arm’s length

I conjure the spheres of yesterday
and with trembling hands
I whisper touch your face
your shoulder

The smell of you
still clings to my fiber
Your presence
still sends shivers down my spine

The embers of memory still smolder here
in this inner room
where I keep the shred of your shadow

Could I bear exorcising your echoes
from my hallways
Can I ever be free of you
with all these fragments of you
tucked away in every corner

I wonder if I saw you again
If my heart would burst

{January}
To Die In Summer

The sunflower
more permanent now
then the dying maple
Turns to face the setting sun

Summer dream
butterfly’s autumn
the distant mountains
blurring into the ocean
the edges fading
disappearing . . .

The amber walls of the world
falling away in the sunset
The white weathered fence post
ghostly now in the moonlight . . .
monument to a ruined heart

What happens to this flat stone
after it stops skipping?

{Carl Stone}
In the Attic

I remember you
The smell of you on the sheets
The feel of you
slick with sweat
A parade swelling
in the summer heat
Pounding with noise

I whisper you name
in the dusty attic

Nothing moves

{James Troubadour & January}
The Cost of the Song

{James}
Buried
The bones
Claw their way to the light

{January}
I know my past is sordid
Drop it
And just get on with . .

{James Troubadour}
You can not cast out your demon
By pushing it deeper into your soul

{January}
But the freedom I want
Is the thing I fear most

{James Troubadour}
What is it you want?

{January}
I just want color back in my life
Everything has become this numbing
chilling
Empty shade of grey

{James Troubadour}
This emptiness
this hollowness
Is the price you have chosen to pay
The part you have chosen to play

{January}
What should I do?

{James Troubadour}
Sing

{January}
Sing?

{James Troubadour}
The best music is often played on the hallow reed

{Carl}
desert sunrise

soft
the east
splits earth from sky
and beyond the grey/red crack
in the world
an unknown sun
hastens to this place
this desert place
that has know too many
relentless suns

a night creature now
I remember long years ago
when I rose with the dawn
pale and fresh
but that was another place
another time
where the suns were kinder

I kick off my dusty shoes
and go inside
to sleep

{Dryad}
Vampire Feathers

When the snow falls
soft as vampire feathers
Sucking the warmth
from the lonesome road
Draining the sound
from the hissing trees
Drawing out the pain . . .

Memories leave footprints
in the virgin snow
Some seem to dance
some to falter
Some linger a moment
by the stream . . .

I try to whisper
to no living soul
But I don’t really
want them to hear
I want to cast them out
of my clenched heart
Want to bury them
bury them all . . .
Bury them in
the snow that falls
soft as vampire feathers

{January}
the souls return

green
giant live-oak

sunset

suddenly
souls
everywhere
black-winged dusky clouds
of shrieking souls
set against the sky

a black blizzard
of souls
landing
come back to visit us

they rise as one
circle and circle
then fly to the horizon
rimmed red

δ Delta Movement ~ Transcendence

{Dryad}
Zen of Toad

Beyond your picket fences
Cornflowers run along sun-baked roads
Snow in the heat of summer
Queen Anne’s lace
searches for salvation
Prays for rain

A toad watches you pass
Moving at the speed of Life
in a dream of steel and glass
You fall into that trance state
Where you can be driving
and watching your pudgy child fingers
dance the rainbows of the water hose
Amber and rust leaves
curl in your wake

Without knowing why
Your heart turns down a side road
into a black space memory
Of a stark grey tree
Praying for winter rain
[January watches as James can be seen saying goodbye to Dryad in pantomime, and Dryad is sad to leave, pantomimes I’m sorry. James forgives Dryad. Res down Dryad]

{January}

I am alone
No one can see me
And sometimes
Being alone is the worst
I always detach myself from situations
I always have this feeling
That I’m recording this train wreck
For who
Someone else
Perchance if you can . . .
can leave a record
A trace in the dust
An echo
Then maybe it wouldn’t be in vain
{Carl Stone}
Vacation on the Beach

I was walking the beach
In a storm
Have you ever done that
Seen the ocean in a storm

And in the lee of the pier
There was a bagpiper
playing a bagpipe
And I started to walk past
but somehow couldn’t
Instead I dug a shell fragment
out of my pocket
That was the end of a shell
That was part white and part dark brown
in a perfect spiral
and lay it at his feet

I met his eyes for the longest time
and they were strangely sad
And dark
as was the music he played
We did not speak
For speaking words
would have been a violation

I left him in a rainstorm
the ocean was his drummer
She left me later that day

[January watches, then turns away, he lifts his hand but she des not see]
[James is trying to get their attention with a kind of magic show]
{James Troubadour}
The Anecdote of Cardboard Men

Rainy day in heaven
God is making cardboard men
again

First angels bring in those
huge corrugated sheets
the color of brown noise
He begins
building a figure
Stops
Thinks about it
Tears up the first pattern and builds
a new figure out of the debris of the first
Thinks about it some more
Builds a companion
Arranges them so that they appear to be engaged
in conversation

He takes their picture

Now new figures
One lies reclining on the floor
another leaning back to see the sky
yet another doing something . . . beyond description
Now there is grainy brown a sea of indistinguishable
interchangeable heads, torsos and hands
engaging in all manner of gesture
Exploring every possible nuance of two dimensional gesticulation

Now there is nothing but cardboard strewn
everywhere
He talks to them
the cardboard men that no longer exist
or is he talking to himself

He is silent
in a silent room
Then calls to his angels
and they bring in those
huge corrugated sheets
the color of brown noise
{January}
One Soul Awakens

In the crackle-sharp air
Of that blazing Autumn
I stood on my Grandfather’s porch
and felt myself feeling
for the very first time

The grey, porch paint
The dust in the driveway
The skies burning
azure edged
sharp enough to cut you
The flaxen-gold collage
of the maples and oaks

Somehow I was all of this
and more
I was the child standing
and something standing beyond
And the man I am now
all watching
All at once
Yet . . .
In a place outside Time . . .

I have walked under many skies
But never again
one so Real

{Carl Stone}
The Man With Two Hearts

In the gentle currents
of this amber autumn afternoon
I remember you

Remember
how you came to know first my skin
then the complex landscape
of tangled thoughts and organs beneath

I remember how your fingers peeled me like fruit
exposing first the flesh then the bones
my mind lain out on a blotter
a grad student’s most memorable dissection
got an award
as I remember

Surprised you said
“You have two hearts”
I would have laughed
if I could have pulled my self together

And now
In the gentle currents
of this amber autumn afternoon
I can hear only one heart beating

[James says goodbye to Carl. Carl looks to her and she turns from him. Res down Carl]

[ James watches with deep sadness, January is placing a coat on a sleeping boy in the back of a car.]
{January}
Dream Song Sequence #9
The Boy in the Car

There is a boy
in the back seat of the car
The whine of the transmission
has put him to sleep

I stop the car and cover him with my coat
He starts to say something
I lightly touch his lips
and tell him shush

I sing an old song
as we sail down the road
When the boy wakes
I find that he knows every word

[Res down January, lights dim, stage dark, lights up, Res up James Troubadour on the stage with a projector system in place]
{James Troubadour}
January Eileen VanMora was one of the most influential musical composers of all time. She is often considered on par with Amere Chygon, Miles Davis, the Beatles, Wagner, Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart and Ton Ru. There is creditable evidence that her music was a pivotal inspirational for more than a few of the Second Renaissance romantic writers and philosophers . . .

[Turn off the lights and go home]

finis