Friday, November 21, 2008

Prisoner of the Molepeople





By Stephen and Teresa Gashler,
Featuring Davey Morrison as Bobbert

Sunday, October 12, 2008

11 O' Clock News

Buy Tickets to the Show!

Read All About It!


(A bedroom. QUINN, in his 20s, reads a book— His wife SID watches TV.)

SID
Guess what?

QUINN
I can’t concentrate when the TV is on.

SID
There’s—

QUINN
Will you turn it down?

SID
I turned it down.

QUINN
I can still hear it.

SID
Of course you can still hear it, I’m not going to watch the news on mute.

QUINN
Well I can’t read.

SID
You can read anywhere, I can only watch TV where there’s a TV.

QUINN
What is this? Suicide bombings, natural disaster, people murdering their children, you never used to watch this. You used to just watch Doris Day.

SID
I want to be aware of what’s going on in the world.

QUINN
Not much you can do about it.

SID
I can at least know that it’s going on.

QUINN
Great. That’s a whole load of help. That’s just what I’d want if I was some African kid watching my parents get blown away. I’d want to know that somewhere some woman on the other side of the world was lying in her bedroom hearing about it on the TV. That would just make it all worthwhile.

SID
You’re so sensitive.

QUINN
At least I’m honest.

SID
We can’t do anything unless we’re informed, right?

QUINN
Do you do anything?

SID
I vote. I’ve… signed some online petitions. Sometimes.

QUINN
You don’t need to know anything to vote. Look at who we elect.

SID
You’re such a pessimist.

QUINN
Out of the millions and millions of people in this country we get two options every four years. And how do those two get picked? By being rotten human beings, usually—

SID
—Not pessimistic at all—

QUINN
—And even then it’s a foregone conclusion anyway. They say every vote counts—

SID
So, what? We should just ignore everything and fend for ourselves? Overthrow the government?

QUINN
At least it’d be productive.

SID
Wow.

QUINN
I mean, we shouldn’t take advantage of people.

SID
We should just stop worrying about them.

QUINN
Right.

SID
Sounds like a good attitude. Real Christian.

QUINN
I’ll tell you one thing, if we’d all quit picking sides there’d be no more war.

SID
Well of course not, we’d all be Nazis anyway.

QUINN
Man, that’s the most loaded—

SID
What?

QUINN
Just call the other guy a Nazi and that puts an end to everything. What a cop out.

SID
I’m just saying if no one ever picked sides we’d all be Nazis. Or dead. Dead or Nazis.

QUINN
Listen to you—now who’s the pessimist?

SID
It’s true. What you’re talking about is total anarchy.

QUINN
What I’m talking about is being able to read a book in my own bed.

SID
It’s my bed too.

QUINN
I bought it.

SID
With my money.

QUINN
And mine.

SID
And mine.

QUINN
Well the TV’s mine, I can throw my shoe through it if I want.

SID
Look, it’s been a long day, why don’t you just go in the living room to read?

QUINN
Because I’m all settled in bed and in my PJs, tucked in like I like to be.

SID
What a baby.

QUINN
I was reading before you were watching TV, I claimed it.

SID
You’re such a baby.

QUINN
Hey, I’m the baby? I’m not the one name-calling. I’m trying to be reasonable here—

SID
Baby baby baby.

QUINN
(referring to the TV)
What are they talking about? Someone who robbed a convenience store? I’m talking about the fundamental inadequacies of American politics.

SID
Will you be quiet so I can listen?

QUINN
No I won’t be quiet so you can listen. If you can listen then I lose.

SID
I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I had something I was going to tell you and now—

QUINN
Aha. That’s it. That’s exactly it. That’s the problem with this country right there. You don’t want to talk about this anymore.

SID
Well look at you. Thurber’s going to help you change the world?

QUINN
You think politics are more important than art?

SID
What do you think, Mr. I’m So Concerned About Global Crises?

QUINN
This is different. I read for fun. And culture. Fun and culture.

SID
I’m trying to watch the news so I know what’s going on. Social awareness trumps escapism.

QUINN
I don’t think you are.

SID
You don’t think I’m what?

QUINN
I don’t think you’re watching it just to know what’s going on.

SID
OK, whatever you say.

QUINN
You said there’s nothing you can do to make a difference.

SID
I never said that.

QUINN
Well, nothing really.

SID
I never said that.

QUINN
I think you watch the news for the same reason I read. For pleasure.

SID
Please.

QUINN
Only instead of an innocent, light-hearted pleasure, yours is a sick, twisted, sadistic pleasure.

SID
Let’s not talk about this.

QUINN
You watch war and murder and genocide to remind yourself about all the other suckers who have it worse off than you.
(A long silence.)
I’m sorry I said that.

(Another silence.)

SID
I was going to tell you something.

QUINN
What?

SID
I’m not going to tell you anymore.

QUINN
Please?

SID
No.

QUINN
Look, I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry.

SID
Go away. Just go read your stupid book.

QUINN
I can’t believe… I’m sorry, it’s been a long day.

SID
I don’t…

QUINN
What can I do to make it up?

SID
Just forget it…

QUINN
Really. I’ll get on my knees. I’ll buy you roses and get on my knees and sing Le Boheme.

SID
Stop talking.

QUINN
OK.

(He does.)

SID
Guess what?

QUINN
I’m sorry. I was joking. That was mean of me. I didn’t mean to be mean.

SID
Guess what?

QUINN
I don’t know why I said all that, it was stupid of me.

SID
Guess what?

QUINN
I’m such a jerk sometimes. I don’t know how you ever put up with me.

SID
Guess what?

QUINN
What?

SID
I’m pregnant.

(A silence. A long, long silence.)

QUINN
What?

SID
Didn’t you hear me?

QUINN
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SID
OK…

QUINN
Sorry, I just didn’t know what to say. I…

SID
Are you happy?

QUINN
Are you kidding? I’m ecstatic! What, wait… when?

SID
I went to the doctor’s today. I didn’t know how to tell you.

QUINN
I thought you were taking birth control.

SID
I was. Are you sure you’re ecstatic?

QUINN
Sure I’m sure. I’m just about a million other things right now, too.

SID
Yeah, I hear you.

QUINN
But ecstatic is one of them.

SID
I’m glad.

QUINN
Aren’t you happy?

SID
I don’t know.

QUINN
You’re going to be a mom! I’m going to be a dad! We’re going to have a little us running around the house, teething on everything! Don’t you think that’s terrific?

SID
If you say so.

QUINN
It’s terrific. Why are you… what’s wrong?

SID
It’s probably just normal pregnant mother anxiety.
(Pause.)
I guess I just don’t know if we’re ready to be parents, that’s all.

QUINN
What do you mean we’re not ready? We’re going to rock as parents!

SID
We’re still in debt.

QUINN
Yeah…

SID
We’re both young and we’re both only children. Neither of us knows anything about raising kids—

QUINN
—Well yeah, OK, there’s all that, but we’re still going to rock.

SID
If you say so.
(Silence. SID turns off the TV and turns over in bed.)
You can read now if you like, just turn the lights off when you’re done.

QUINN
Are you kidding? We’re having a baby! A little baby! You’re not excited?

SID
I don’t want to talk right now.

QUINN
You’re not excited? How can you not be excited? This is exciting.

SID
I don’t know, all right? I’m pregnant, I need sleep.

QUINN
You can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. This is, like, Christmas times forty. A baby… man, I mean, we’re having a baby!

SID
That’s what they tell me.

(Quiet.)

QUINN
What’s wrong?

SID
I already told you, I don’t want to talk about it.

QUINN
I know, but I want you to.

SID
Well too bad.
(Silence.)
I just… I don’t know if I want kids.
(Another silence.)
You know? I don’t… The world is kind of rotten sometimes. Yeah, you know, the wars, the convenience stores. I don’t know that I want to be responsible for bringing another person into it. I mean, if I really loved this baby I’d never have had it. I’d have had my tubes tied. If I really loved my child.

(Silence.)

QUINN
I didn’t know you felt that way.

SID
Now you do.

(Pause.)

QUINN
Yeah.

(Pause.)

SID
You know, there are people starving to death, kids in orphanages or foster care or with abusive dads or whatever…

QUINN
Right. Well we could adopt. Too, I mean—we could adopt as well, maybe. I’d be OK with that. What about that? Maybe at the same time if we hurry. My mom said the twins were always the easiest to take care of, they’d just keep each other entertained.

SID
No, I didn’t mean…

QUINN
OK. That’s OK. I mean, we don’t have to.

(Silence.)

SID
I’m sorry.

QUINN
Why?

SID
I’m sorry I’m not as thrilled as you are. I’m sorry I’m ruining this.

QUINN
Don’t be sorry.
(Beat.)
I’ll watch the news with you if you like.

SID
I don’t want to anymore. Just read.

QUINN
I don’t want to read.

(Silence.)

SID
OK, will you turn out the lights then?

QUINN
Sure.

(He does. Silence.)

SID
I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’m so upset.

QUINN
It’s OK.
(Pause.)
I love you.

SID
I love you too.

QUINN
It’s probably just the shock.
(Beat.)
I mean, you seem a little better right now.

SID
(she’s less convinced than
he is)
Maybe a little.

QUINN
Things always look better with the lights out.

SID
I guess so.

QUINN
You should sleep.

SID
Probably.

(Pause.)

QUINN
I love you.

SID
Thanks, I love you too.
(Beat.)
Thanks for talking.

QUINN
Yeah.

SID
It’s been awhile since we’ve… talked.

QUINN
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

SID
It’s just been awhile. It feels good. I like talking to you.

QUINN
Good. I like talking to you. And I like when you tell me things, like, you know, your being pregnant and all.

(She laughs.)

SID
Right.

(Beat.)

QUINN
I didn’t…

SID
What?

QUINN
Nothing.

SID
What?

QUINN
I didn’t know you felt that way about things.

SID
What things?

QUINN
About the world in general, I guess.

SID
Oh. Yeah. Sometimes.
(Beat.)
But it doesn’t seem quite so awful right now.

(Quiet.)

QUINN
I’m glad.

SID
Me too.

(Silence.)

QUINN
I hope she has your eyes.

(They kiss. Lights down.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Two-Minute Play

This was an assignment in my playwriting class. But I'm thinking it would be fun/cool to write a ton of little mini-scenes like this and have an evening of two-minute plays.



PHYLLIS
I can’t believe you said that.

GARY
Yeah, me neither.

(Beat.)

GARY
Well, I’d better get to Albertson’s before they close.

PHYLLIS
When do they close?

GARY
I don’t know.

PHYLLIS
I think you’re OK. It’s, what, nine o’ clock? I think you’ll be OK.

GARY
Yeah, probably. I just want to make sure I’ve got milk for my cereal in the morning.

PHYLLIS
Right, well, I’m pretty sure you can go later. Grocery stores stay open pretty late.

GARY
OK…

PHYLLIS
Look, if they’re already closed let me know, I’ve got an unopened gallon of milk, you can have it.

GARY
What kind is it?

PHYLLIS
Two percent.

GARY
All right…

(Beat.)

GARY
You hot? I’m hot. It’s hot in here.

PHYLLIS
No.

GARY
Oh.

(Beat.)

PHYLLIS
So. Do you want to talk about that?

GARY
What?

PHYLLIS
How you just told me you loved me.

GARY
Oh. That. No.

PHYLLIS
Fair enough.

GARY
Sorry.

PHYLLIS
No. It’s fine.

GARY
OK.

PHYLLIS
OK.

(Beat.)

GARY
Well, I better get that milk.

PHYLLIS
Yeah. OK.

GARY
See ya.

PHYLLIS
See ya.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To Be Continued

[A hospital room. A long, white, metal bed, with long white sheets and long metal machinery around it. RANDY, in his early 30s, with a few days’ growth of facial hair, lies in the bed, his face pale, shrouded in hospital garments.

As the lights come up, he wakes up from a nap, presses the palms of his hands against his eyelids, and sighs loudly. He opens his eyes, then shuts them.

A knock on the door.]

RANDY: Come in!

[ERIC enters, in his early 20s, dressed conservatively in a white shirt, black suit,
and striped tie. He shuts the door quietly behind him. Randy sighs again and closes his eyes.]

ERIC: Hi.
RANDY: Hi.
ERIC: Brother Jeppeson couldn’t make it today. His wife is sick.
RANDY: No worries.
ERIC: And I was going to bring you some of Nancy’s cookies, the pumpkin chocolate chip kind. But she didn’t get them in the oven in time. She’ll drop them by when she picks me up.
RANDY: It’s fine. Last Sunday of the month, I understand.

[Silence.]

You’re my home teacher, aren’t you supposed to ask how I’m doing?
ERIC: How are you doing?
RANDY: Ha! [Beat.] I’ve got maybe three weeks.

[Silence.]

Not to make things awkward or anything.
ERIC: Is there anything I can do?
RANDY: Cure cancer.
ERIC: OK.
RANDY: Thanks. So, yeah, how are things with you? How’s Nancy?
ERIC: Things are good. Nancy’s good. The baby’s good. Yeah, things are good.
RANDY: Glad to hear it. And the office? How’s that?
ERIC: We’re trying to get along without you. They just hired Dr. Stevens full-time. He’s moving into your old place.
RANDY: Right.

[Pause.]

And the quorum? How’s that?
ERIC: It’s good. They finally released you in church today.
RANDY: Eight months horizontal, I thought they’d never get around to it.
ERIC: Yeah. Jim Halliwell is the new elder’s quorum president.
RANDY: Yeah? Good for him.

[With some effort, Randy turns over on his side in bed.]

I hate being a medical doctor and dying. I wish Death would come a little closer when he’s laughing at me so I could punch him in the face. At least you can use me as an object lesson for your seminary class. Don’t drink when you’re a teenager or you’ll get liver cancer and die.
ERIC: Right.

[Neither of them talks.]

Sorry I’m not more talkative.
RANDY: No, I understand, that makes two of us. I’ve not got a lot to talk about. They haven’t fixed the remote yet, so mostly I just lay here, I sleep, most of my meals are pumped into me. Not really that exciting. It’s sort of like being a three-toed sloth who gets the Home and Garden Network.
ERIC: How is that?
RANDY: The Home and Garden Network? It’s not bad. You’d be surprised how exciting “This Old House” is when your only alternative is staring at white plaster and thinking about your impending death.

[Silence.]

Does that make you uncomfortable?
ERIC: No. No, not at all. [Beat.] I mean, yeah, it does a little, but—
RANDY: It makes you uncomfortable. That’s OK. It makes me uncomfortable too. [Beat.] So did you bring your Ensign or some scriptures or anything?
ERIC: Yeah. You want me to read you something?
RANDY: That’s kind of the routine, isn’t it?
ERIC: Sure.

[He opens his Ensign and flips aimlessly through the pages.]

Look, do you want to talk about anything, or—
RANDY: No.
ERIC: OK. [Beat. He looks at the article.] Well, this month’s article is about the evils of pornography.
RANDY: Great. Just what I need in my situation! Thank you, God!
ERIC: So you want me to read it?
RANDY: Don’t do it.

[Silence.]

Do you believe in the afterlife?
ERIC: Yeah. Yeah, I do.
RANDY: Sure you do. Well, I’ll tell you. Eternity looks a lot different from up close.
ERIC: Yeah. [Beat.] This one time, when I was young, I almost drowned, my brother and I were at the ocean, my parents weren’t watching us, the tide came in and I was about three or so, and so I ran out, it was so exciting, my first time on the beach, and then suddenly it just grabbed me and my knees buckled and suddenly, I mean, I was only like six, but I suddenly knew I was going to die and I saw what that would be like, it was weird, it was more terror and more peace than I’ve ever felt before, both at the same time, and I was really disappointed it was happening, that I was dying before I’d really even had a life, but I knew everything would be all right. I knew—
RANDY: You didn’t die.
ERIC: No.
RANDY: That’s the difference, man. I’m going to die. You said you knew you were going to die, but you didn’t know that, because it didn’t happen, you can’t know something that’s not true. I know I’m going to die. It’s just a question of whether it’s in two weeks or three. Tuesday or Wednesday. It’s going to happen. I won’t be here to vote in the next election. Or give kids candy this Halloween. Or wake up early for work, ever again. It’s different.
ERIC: I’m sorry.
RANDY: You don’t need to be sorry, I’m just saying it’s different.
ERIC: Right.
RANDY: Sorry, man, I’m a little pissed, maybe it’s the radiation.
ERIC: No, it’s OK, don’t be sorry.
RANDY: Too late.

[Silence.]

Faith is easy. You can believe in what you want. There’s hope. You can make stuff up, it’s all hypothetical, it’s not here-and-now. Knowing is hard.
ERIC: But you believe in God, right?
RANDY: No.

[Silence. Randy casually leans up on his elbows, reaches for a glass of water from the end table, exerting all of his energy and avoiding eye contact.]

Will you hand me that?
ERIC: Sure.

[He stands up, goes to the table, and hands Randy the glass.]

RANDY: Thanks.

[He drinks.]

Man, this stuff is good.
ERIC: Do you, um… do you want to talk about that?
RANDY: About what?
ERIC: You know… not believing in God.
RANDY: Oh, that. Well, I think it’s been going on for awhile now. A long time. I mean, I didn’t know it or anything, but it was there. Once it occurs to you how ridiculous the whole thing is, God, how much it makes absolutely no logical sense, none of it—well, a lot of people choose to keep on believing to avoid worrying about death. That’s what I did. But once it’s here, death, you can’t ignore it anymore. The big black elephant in the room just gets bigger. And blacker. And you just have to face it, you can’t pretend anymore. You can’t play games, you can’t play Pretend There’s No Elephant! [Beat.] You don’t believe in God, do you?
ERIC: Yeah, I do.
RANDY: Yeah, I know, but not really, right?
ERIC: Yeah, I really do.
RANDY: OK, whatever you say.

[Neither of them speaks. Neither of them moves. Randy breathes loudly, his eyes still closed.

Finally, Eric clears his throat.]

ERIC: “As we encounter that evil carrier, the pornography beetle, let our battle standard and that of our communities—”

[Randy groans loudly. Eric looks at him.]

What?
RANDY: I don’t have a computer, the only channel I get is the Home and Garden Network, I’m not looking at porn.
ERIC: I’m sorry.
RANDY: Don’t be sorry, just stop reading that.
ERIC: I’m sorry.
RANDY: I’ve got three weeks left to exist, you want to waste them?
ERIC: I’m sorry.

[Silence.]

So, you want to watch “This Old House” instead?

[Randy looks at him.]

RANDY: You want to know what I’m going to do with my last three weeks of life?
ERIC: OK.
RANDY: I’m going to call everyone I know. Everyone. Family, friends. Enemies. Apathetic acquaintances. Tell them they don’t need to have a funeral for me, they don’t need to do anything, they don’t need to make me cookies or bring me anything while I’m still here. Just take all that money, take all of my money too, and go to the store or get on eBay and buy some telescopes. They don’t need to be expensive, but as many as they can afford, the nicest. Call up everyone they know, ask them if they have any telescopes, if they know anyone who does. Send out chain e-mails. Tell everyone. And they’ll amass this huge collection of telescopes in my honor, hundreds, thousands, and then they’ll take them all to NASA or wherever, some supertelescope, the biggest one in the world, the one that sees the farthest, and they’ll line them all up, eyepiece to eyepiece, and look through. And hopefully it’ll be enough, hopefully they’ll have enough and they’ll be able to see far enough, that they’ll be able to see the end of everything. The blackness. The non-blackness, the anti-blackness, whatever it is. The end of the universe, of creation. And then they’ll know. They’ll know what I know. They’ll see the elephant and they won’t be able to pretend they didn’t.

[Silence.]

ERIC: Let’s watch “This Old House.”
RANDY: Did you hear what I just said? I’m talking about nothingness! I’m talking about the meaning of everything, I’m talking about the meaninglessness of everything and you want to watch “This Old House”!
ERIC: Hey, it’s better than the alternative—white plaster, impending death.
RANDY: Are you listening to me? You come here with your scriptures and your talk about God but are you really listening to what I’m saying? Do you really care about me and what I’m going through or am I just an obligation, a statistic? “Well I’m sure glad that cancer guy is gone, one less person to visit next month! Check that off my list!”
ERIC: Of course I care about you. I just don’t know what to say.
RANDY: Say you’re sorry.
ERIC: I said I was sorry, you told me not to.
RANDY: I take it back. Say you’re sorry. Say you’re sorry I’m dying and you’re not. Tell me it isn’t fair. Tell me nothing is fair.
ERIC: I’m sorry you’re dying…
RANDY: Tell me nothing’s fair. Tell me there’s no forgiveness. God doesn’t forgive. I gave up drinking a decade ago and today I’m dying.
ERIC: I’m sorry … I know God loves you—
RANDY: No you don’t.
ERIC: (taken aback) I do.
RANDY: No you don’t. You can’t. You can’t know that, because God doesn’t exist.
ERIC: I know that God exists—
RANDY: I know that He doesn’t. There. What now, Mormon boy?

[Neither of them speaks for a long time. Then, a knock at the door.]

Come in.

[NANCY, early 20s, dressed in a black skirt and a turquoise blouse and still showing from her recent pregnancy, enters with a plate of cookies.]

NANCY: Hey guys… um, everything OK? I brought cookies. Pumpkin chocolate chip?
ERIC: Thanks, sweetie, you can just…
RANDY: You can just set them down on the table here.

[She does, then stays, strokes Randy’s face once with her hand, kisses Eric on the cheek, returns to her post by the door, and stands there waiting, not sure what to do.]

ERIC: You can wait for me in the car if you like, I’ll be down in a minute.
NANCY: OK. See you, Randy. We’ll stop by again on Tuesday.
RANDY: See you, Nancy. Thanks for the cookies.
NANCY: You’re welcome.

[She leaves. Eric and Randy sit. Eric stares at the floor. Randy stares at Eric. Then—slowly, deliberately, without taking his eyes off Eric and without blinking—he reaches over, takes a cookie, bites it, chews it, and swallows it.]

RANDY: Sorry.
ERIC: For what?
RANDY: For destroying your faith.
ERIC: No. You didn’t really do that.
RANDY: Well I should have. I tried.
ERIC: You didn’t.

[They’re quiet.]

I should go.

[He stands and walks to the door. Randy is startled.]

RANDY: Wait.

[Eric turns around without moving back towards him.]

ERIC: What?

[He waits a long time to respond.]

RANDY: You’re leaving?
ERIC: Yeah.
RANDY: You’re my home teacher, you can’t just leave. You didn’t even read the whole porn article.
ERIC: Do you want me to?
RANDY: No.
ERIC: OK.

[Pause.]

RANDY: Hey.
ERIC: What?
RANDY: Are you…
ERIC: What?
RANDY: I… could you give me a blessing?

[Eric looks at him, long. Randy avoids his gaze.

Finally, Eric pulls a cell phone out of his pocket and dials a number. He holds the phone to his ear.]

ERIC: Let me call Nancy and tell her I’ll be a few minutes.

[Lights fade out.]

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Heart NY



The closet door mural I painted in my bedroom.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wedding Video

A movie I made for my bro and sis-in-law Matt and Amanda Morrison to show at their reception when they got married.

Jack, Flash Jumpin'

For our high school drama class we were supposed to make a short movie. My friends and I had delusions of grandeur, and then we realized we didn't actually have time to do any of the stuff we'd envisioned, so we met together the day before it was due and shot a bunch of stuff impromptu for some lame Making Of mockumentary about people shooting a western or something. It was real awful, and watching the abyssmal footage I had to edit that evening was depressing like the dickens. So, in a stroke of brilliance, I realized how to salvage this wretched project: make it a silent film; that way I could do whatever I wanted.

Dinner

A cool assignment in my beginning production class, and totally unethical.

Accordion Boy

A short documentary I made for class, that played in BYU's 2007 Final Cut and the 2007 Sego film festival.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Like Urban Tumbleweed

Like urban tumbleweed the
plastic grocery bag blew across the empty
overcast park, green with the whispers of
storm;
we watched it approach, you
nestled into me, silent, from across the
grassy expanse and pavement, with the same
nervous smiling, quiet intrusion any other
stranger might have greeted us--
tipped its rustling head and averted its eyes,
leaving us to our leaves
and our close, closed eyelids.

Before dusk
the city silence
can only be cherished for its fleetingness--
we speak reverently, hushed, as though
any great noise might break this moment
like a cloud breaking through the
taught fragility which we breathe like sighs,
and rain with beautiful
expectedness.
With the first damp nose speck,
with drizzling inevitability
I find out your texture,
find myself entangled and enmeshed as
roots breaking through the surface;
And in this instant each chip and fragment
returns and
reassembles a
wholer man, a stronger man,
I feel I could hold you always under this
umbrellatree,
caressing each hour as a living thing,
a stray,
could smile and,
hansclasped,
defy these lovely clouds with our
tearlessness,
our inviting orphaned togetherness.

Trees and wind offer an alto prayer for my
ineloquent lips.
Distantly
I can see only shapes of mountains through the
dirty unshowered haze,
but near me I can see you
and you are beautiful.

If Only

If only my spirit could flow
out in the ink of my pen,
as my closeness to you also
pulses
through my
arteries,
quickening with each
quickened heartbeat
when I think of you,
smiling or sleeping,
then you might know and
read, and keep always
enfolded in your pocket,
how I love you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back In The Saddle

Agua

I made this movie as a high school freshman for my geometry class of all things.

Magical Mystery Tour

To this day the four-seconds-ish wherein some bread crawls into a toaster remains, I think, probably the best thing I've ever done in my life.

Treelike

I am treelike.
I grow,
expand, and my
roots reach even
deeper,
my trunk higher,
until I joint the
molten earth's
frothy core
with the
passingly white
cotton sky, the
blackened
star sprinkled
outer atmosphere,
until I
myself
am celestial,
reconciling,
seasonal.
I am treelike,
and I sprout and
shed
and thicken with
years and
wrinkle,
offering produce,
fruits of the snow,
ripened, swelling
appendages the
culminating roundness
of my
artery twigs
and
my gift to my
fellow
dustfellows, as we
each
reach
further,
above and below,
stepladders.
We are treelike,
and You are our Sun.

Toy Story

More animation from my younger days.

Jumpin' Jack

The first movie I made as a lad of not-quite-12.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Adam & Eve



Maggie Laurencell and Eric Anderson as Adam and Eve (directed by David Thorpe, produced by New Play Project, Provo, UT)



The Critics And Provo, UT Bloggers Are Raving! Read 'em and weep with joy:

Gideon Burton

Association for Mormon Letters (Reviewed by Nan McCulloch)

Blog: Kazzy's Ponderings

Blog: Marian Dashwood

KBYUFM


“Adam and Eve”
by Davey Morrison


(The stage is empty—bathed in the yellow-blue warmth of sunrise—except for a single short tree stump Center Stage.

As the lights come up, EVE enters, holding a bright
red apple, and sits.

A few moments later, ADAM enters from Stage Right, scratching his rib. He looks at EVE and then Doesn’t Look At EVE. He saunters across the stage, checking every few seconds to see if she’s noticed him yet—she hasn’t—and then wanders over behind her tree stump.)

ADAM
Oh, hey! I didn’t know you were here. I hope I’m not interrupting or anything.

EVE
You are.

ADAM
Oh.
(Silence. He fidgets.)
So… How you doing?

EVE
Considering we just got kicked out of Paradise? Not bad. Been better. It was almost worth it. The apple’s good.

ADAM
You bring any more of those?

EVE
Yep.

(He waits for her to offer him one. She doesn’t.)

ADAM
Mind if I have a seat?

EVE
Go ahead.

(ADAM sits on the ground and looks around, trying to find something to say next.)

ADAM
Yeah, so about that whole be fruitful and multiply thing…

EVE
Adam.

ADAM
Hey, I’m just saying.

EVE
We fell from innocence a half hour ago.

ADAM
OK, I was just trying to make conversation. Forget it.

(Silence.)

ADAM
You want to talk?

EVE
No, I don’t want to talk.

ADAM
You OK?

EVE
I’m fine.

ADAM
You don’t sound fine.

EVE
Then why did you ask me if I was fine? If you’re not going to believe what I tell you then why are you asking?

ADAM
I don’t know, I’m sorry.

EVE
I’m just upset.

ADAM
Yeah.

(He reaches over and holds her hand. She looks at it, baffled.)

EVE
What are you doing?

ADAM
I’m holding your hand.

EVE
Why?

ADAM
I don’t know. It seemed like a good thing to do.

EVE
It’s weird. Stop it.

ADAM
OK.

(He does. Silence.)

EVE
How would you like it if I held your kneecap or something? Would that make you feel better?

(He thinks about it.)

ADAM
It might.

(She doesn’t look at him. Another silence.)

ADAM
What’s wrong?

EVE
Nothing’s wrong.

ADAM
Something’s wrong, what is it?

EVE
I told you, I’m just upset. I don’t know why. Sometimes this happens to me, I don’t really get it.

ADAM
You get upset and you don’t know why?

EVE
Yeah.

ADAM
That’s messed up.

EVE
Thanks.

ADAM
No, I mean, you have to know why, you’re just not telling me.

EVE
I told you. I don’t know why.

ADAM
That doesn’t make sense.

EVE
Sue me!

ADAM
Is it the whole apple thing?

EVE
I don’t know, all right? Maybe. Probably. I don’t know.

ADAM
Maybe it comes with mortality. Emotional instability, I mean.

EVE
I just need some alone time right now. OK?

ADAM
OK.

(He gets up and starts leaving, then stops.)

Is there anything I can do?

EVE
Just leave me alone for one minute!

ADAM
OK.

(ADAM exits.

EVE sits down on the ground. In spite of her best attempts to stifle it, a single, ugly sob escapes. She holds the rest of her tears back, sniffs, clears her throat, wipes the moisture from her eyes, and pauses to collect herself.

ADAM enters.)

ADAM
Hey.

EVE
Go away.

ADAM
You know, I don’t feel good about leaving you alone like this.

EVE
Adam. You don’t know anything about women.

(ADAM thinks about that.)

ADAM
You’re right.

(He doesn’t move.)

EVE
Are you going to go?

ADAM
I don’t know. Should I?

EVE
I don’t know.


ADAM
(nervously)
I like you a lot, Eve. You know that?

EVE
Yeah.

ADAM
I don’t know if that helps any.

EVE
Yeah. Me neither.

(ADAM goes to hold her hand, then stops himself. She doesn’t notice.)

EVE
I mean, like you a lot, too, but…

ADAM
But what?

EVE
But… I don’t know.

ADAM
I’m not your type?

EVE
No, that’s not it. I don’t know.

ADAM
What’s wrong?

EVE
I just… If I wasn’t the only woman on Earth, would you still want me?

(He thinks.)

ADAM
That’s a good question.

EVE
(standing up)
I’m going.

ADAM
I mean, yes.

EVE
You’re awful, you know that?

ADAM
Really, I would!

EVE
Goodbye!

ADAM
I would! I just had to think about it for a second.

EVE
Yeah you did.

ADAM
Yeah!

EVE
Yeah.

ADAM
Hey. Out of the billions and billions of other women who might have been here, you’re not even allowing me a second to even consider any one of them?

EVE
Nope.

ADAM
Come on, Eve.

EVE
This isn’t going to work. Sorry, God, but this isn’t going to work.

ADAM
You’re beautiful.

EVE
Ha!

ADAM
And wonderful.

EVE
Shut up.

ADAM
Really. You are.

EVE
Shut up!

(She exits.)

ADAM
Fine. OK!
(Pause.)
You know, I’m glad you had the apple. Maybe I shouldn’t be. Maybe I’m not supposed to be. But I am. You really are beautiful. I never really saw how beautiful you are till… after.

(EVE re-enters. She stands there, looking at ADAM sitting on the other side of the stage.)

EVE
I don’t know if you’re just making all that up or if you really mean it. I want to think you really meant it.

ADAM
I did. I do.

(Silence.)

EVE
Who does that? “Don’t eat from the tree”, “go forth and be fruitful.” Who does that?

ADAM
Yeah, I don’t get it either.

EVE
It doesn’t make sense at all. At all. You’ve got more sense than that.

ADAM
Thanks.

EVE
I didn’t mean—OK, I’ve got more sense than that. Better?


ADAM
Better.

EVE
I just feel guilty… I don’t know.

ADAM
Sex?

EVE
Yeah.

ADAM
Yeah.

EVE
…Yeah.

(A pause; then they both start talking at the same time.)

ADAM
I was wondering—

EVE
What would you—

(They stop.)

EVE
You go first.

ADAM
No you.

EVE
Talk.

(ADAM struggles for a moment to work up the nerve to speak again.)

ADAM
Do you think I’m… attractive?

EVE
I guess so.

ADAM
Ouch.

EVE
I mean, yeah. Yes. I do.

ADAM
OK.

EVE
(putting her hand on his knee)
Really, I do.

ADAM
I believe you.

EVE
OK, good.

(A moment. EVE notices their position and moves away.)

EVE
It just feels so… base, you know? I mean, you are the only guy on Earth. It makes me feel, I don’t know—cheap maybe? Does that make sense?

ADAM
Yeah…
(He thinks about it.)
No, not really.

EVE
I mean, it’s so animalistic. I’m a girl and you’re a guy and we’re stuck here together, so we make babies.

ADAM
Right.

EVE
No romance. Purely physiological. Isn’t that gross? Ew. That’s gross. We’re gross.

ADAM
Well, when you put it that way...


EVE
We’re gross.

ADAM
OK, we’re gross.
(Pause.)
But I’d like to.

EVE
I know.

ADAM
You would too?

EVE
I didn’t say that. I just said I know.
(Beat.)
It’s weird. This whole wanting thing. I can’t decide how I feel about it.

ADAM
So you would?

EVE
Do what?

ADAM
Want to… you know, be the mother of all nations. That.

EVE
I didn’t say that. Stop putting words in my mouth.

ADAM
I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, I was just… curious.
(Beat.)
God told us to.

(Silence.)

EVE
You want a pet?

ADAM
(taken aback)
What?


EVE
Yeah. You know, a pet. A little animal. We could keep it around. Be nice to it. Play fetch.

ADAM
Oh. Why?

EVE
Just because.

ADAM
Okaay…

EVE
We don’t have to, I was just asking.

ADAM
Like, what kind of a pet—animal?

EVE
I don’t know.

ADAM
The big guys are off limits you know.

EVE
Right.

ADAM
Right. You saw that. We have our apples, a couple seconds later a lion is tearing off a gazelle’s leg. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty fond of my legs.

EVE
(musing)
Isn’t that a funny word?

ADAM
What? Leg?

EVE
Well, that too.

ADAM
Which word?

EVE
Apple.

ADAM
Funny? I don’t see how it’s funny. How is “apple” funny?

EVE
I don’t know. Just listen to it. “Apple.” Apple apple apple apple.

ADAM
(getting annoyed)
Hey.

EVE
Apple.

ADAM
It’s a perfectly decent word.

EVE
Apple!

ADAM
Why is it all my words are stupid?

EVE
I didn’t say it was stupid, I just said it was funny.

ADAM
OK, sure, “apple” is funny.

EVE
You don’t have to agree with me.

ADAM
OK.

EVE
Stop it.

ADAM
Stop what?

EVE
Have you just been agreeing with everything I’ve been saying?

ADAM
I don’t know. Maybe.

EVE
Stop it!

ADAM
Maybe we just agree on a lot of things.

EVE
No.

ADAM
Maybe.

EVE
You’re just agreeing with everything I say and it’s ridiculous.

ADAM
All right, I’ll stop it.

(Beat.)

EVE
I’m sorry.

ADAM
Why?

EVE
Because I’m crazy.

ADAM
I don’t think so.

EVE
I am.

ADAM
I don’t think so.

EVE
You’re just trying to be nice.

ADAM
Well if I can’t agree with you and I can’t be nice what am I supposed to say?

(Eve thinks about this, then laughs.)
ADAM
What?

EVE
That’s funny.

ADAM
Apple!

(She laughs again.)

ADAM
Apple apple apple.

EVE
(laughing)
Stop it!

ADAM
Apple!

EVE
I can’t breathe!

ADAM
Aaaaappppppllllle!

(EVE laughs till she cries. She finally calms down, and then she takes a look at ADAM’s face and starts laughing again. He waits for it to end and it finally does. EVE takes a deep breath.]

EVE
Hey.

ADAM
What?

EVE
You know when you held my hand a little while ago?

ADAM
Yeah.

EVE
That was weird.

ADAM
Yeah. I know.

EVE
But I kinda liked it.

(ADAM looks at her. He holds her hand.)

EVE
I wish God was here.

ADAM
You miss Him?

EVE
Yeah.

ADAM
Me too.

EVE
Well, a little. I don’t know. I feel like I should. Maybe it’s just so recent it hasn’t really sunk in yet, you know?

ADAM
Yeah.

EVE
It doesn’t feel like He’s really… It feels like He’s still around.

ADAM
It does.

(They sit together. She leans her head against his shoulder.)

EVE
Are you scared?

ADAM
A little.

EVE
Me too.

(They think about this.)

ADAM
That’s OK.

(And it is. Lights down.)


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Portrait

I make you up as I go along,
each curve and bone my eye
detects with linear curiosity,
springing forth
before me as a line from my
(running out of ink, there's more
where that came from)
pen--
lazy and sure like our daughter
when we've left her in a room
with some colorful
object.
Finger lapsing into hand, your
hair a curling tributary
into muscly rivers--
I notice things that startle
me--how could I have
overlooked that beautiful
wrinkle in your cheek
that tells me how one day I will be
tired
and still I will cook you breakfast and
love you and
that wrinkle,
for I was the first one to notice it,
the only one,
and this makes me yours for
caressing your every crease
with my paper.
Until that cheekline, our parenthood seemed
only incidental, a happy
stork misplacing--but now
I see you now and twenty years from now,
when I will love you with twenty more
years of
skin-gazing, of
mapmaking, and this wormhole
lets me love both the now and future us,
and every next week
aches my throat with today's
affection,
each on the other, a log cabin,
until I feel that I shall corporeally burst.
Curving your
neck with the slow spontaneity of
my wrist's discovering,
I take a last squinting look at my
feeble, lovely attempt to suggest
your newness, to record for future
generations this relic of my religion,
which will be studied one
day under dusty glass and glasses
as we
are together
climbing cloud trees.
And now I smile, and
you smile, and I will
change a diaper and you will set the
table, and
tomorrow we will
find each other out again.

Monday, April 28, 2008

First Resurrection

when only a sparrow
(counted)
witnessed the cracking of an
anciently stony Law,
and granite spelled Death
as the grass
overtook its weeds;

as i plead on scratched knees
for briar healing,
for quickened skin,
for the seasonal thawing of my
amphibian blood,
and the red, vein-ridden
leaves residual
crumbled into the outstretched
womb
of Earth,


two stars fell.

the implosion was such that
all inverted--
stray, floating dust
collided, and
the chaos of a new dimension
ordered
matter matter,
lake
sky,
the most fanciful unicorn
imaginings
no more false than a
pebble in a windstorm;
my habitual correction
fell away,
(my eyelids' scales)
and all appeared
as if i were walking on a ceiling,
stepping over the space
of a doorway;
and when i slept i dreamt of
nothing that
wasn't


the First Resurrection,
a land where scars are
loved

when Psalms were etched in my
self,
where clumsy dialect
can only never hope to paraphrase
the freckles, the hairs, the burns
and leprosies
all as unconquerable maps laid out
by the One Cartographer,
diaries plain as triumphant;

all that matters,
neither created nor destroyed,
our love living as a fish,
breathing and feeding and splicing
through waves
or clouds;
moist
and precious,
never unsuspended,
the heavenly host
and
and all universes in one,
a momentary and
unwritten oratorio
of creation's plan


i kiss Your feet.
Your broken,
lovely feet.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Man And The Moon



"morning tide"


leave me,
let me
lie among the stormy sand
and feel these shells upon
my feet

engulfed in
foam
this sea shall fill my lungs
and bring me
closer to the moon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Victims of Rare Diseases

A movie made by some friends, in which I appear.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Road Enraged

A short film I made for Driver's Ed about the dangers of road rage.
NOTE: Like 97% of films made by underage individuals, this film contains violence.

Friday, February 22, 2008

All I've Got Is A Photograph

Another segment from the New Zealand project.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Zealand

Segment from a documentary of mine on my family's 2003 semester abroad in New Zealand.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Raging Bouillon





Sunday, February 10, 2008

Moon Series, Part II

6.

7.

8.

9.

Moon Series, Part I

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Noir

My Award-Winning Sentence:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20051031/ai_n15819171

The moment I laid eyes on her I knew I'd like the dame -- all long legs and elegance, which was odd anatomically speaking, but when Private Eye Bud Mahoney (i.e., me) lays eyes on a gorgeous creature such as this, he shoots first and asks questions later, a procedure which has, in the past, put a quick end to many a blooming romance and resulted in several awkward one-sided conversations with dead women; but she was different.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Zorba XII (Excerpt)

Short segment from a forty-minute film I wrote and started shooting a couple years ago. I'd like to rewrite and maybe reshoot it someday, but we'll see if it ever happens. I did, however, cut a few sequences together. They mean nothing on their own, but some of them are kind of fun to look at nevertheless.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Gargantuan Mechanics





Inner Battle

A movie I'm in made by a friend.

Faith

I walked into the interrogating room and Donald was standing over a dead man, wiping a blood-drenched carver across his smock. Things didn’t look good.

He looked at me, and his eyes squinted against the light. I shut it off and flipped on the tungsten.

“I know what this looks like,” the preacher began glibly.

I scratched the back of my head from underneath my cap and fingered my holster. I’m a pretty laid-back guy, but when you’re a cop you can’t just let this sort of thing go, not even among friends. Donald could see I was troubled. I felt my mustache and stood up to my full five-foot-five height. “I think you’ve got some explainin’ to do here,” I said, and then added: “Buddy-O.” Well, that wiped the smile off his 66-year-old, smile-wrinkled face, which wasn’t really my intention, so I stopped smiling too, and tightened my grip. I hate it when you’re trying to be friendly and you wind up talking like Ernest Borgnine.

“Right.” He forced a chuckle and let out the biggest exhale I’ve seen in a career of watching a lot of big exhales—“giving up the ghost,” I think they call it, in Donald’s business. He grinned again, showing off his two straight rows of unusually small teeth. “Well, see, here’s how it all went down. Last time you were in here we were both alive, right?”

I nodded slowly.

“Yes. Well.” He cleared his throat and sat down. The carver clattered noisily on the table and a couple drops of healthy red blood fell. “I know this is going to sound ridiculous.”

“Keep going.” I sat down in the chair opposite Donald, closest to me.

“Well, all right.” He smoothed back his smooth, thinning hair with two smooth hands. Suddenly he laughed. “Why am I so nervous? We’ve been friends for how long now, Paul? More years than I care to count candles on a birthday cake. Can I trust you?”

“You know you can, father.”

“Call me Donald,” he said.

“Donald,” I said. “You know you can, Donald,” I added, for continuity’s sake.

Donald smiled and sighed. “I can trust you. Here’s what happened. You left, and this… man”—he gestured towards Frank on the floor, blood oozing slowly from the middle of his body—“he started getting… mean. Not just mean. He started yelling. Yelling at me. Cursing. Taking the Lord’s name in vain.” Donald looked up at me and he was no longer smiling. “He told me to sign this paper saying I’d stolen all that money, and that if I didn’t by the time he counted to five then I’d regret it.” The preacher buried his head in his hands. He had long since stopped smiling. It was hard for him to talk. “Then he pulled out this knife,” he went on, with difficulty.

“And you were just defending yourself.” I don’t like seeing a friend cry. I leaned my chair against the wall and pressed my palms against my eyes. “This isn’t good, Don. This is not good.”

Donald started. “But no, Paul. That’s not what happened at all. I—I didn’t stab this guy… this man. No, I’m not afraid to meet my maker, Paul. I’ve led a good, honorable life, unlike… some—No. When the time comes when I shall shuffle off this mortal coil—”

He was getting Shakespearean on me. “What happened, Don?”

“He fell on the knife, Paul! Don’t you see?” Donald was a good guy, but he could sometimes talk funny.

I sighed, and stood up. I walked to the corner. I didn’t want to look at him. Either of them. “Look, Don. I’ve been a cop for thirty-eight years. It doesn’t take a cop of thirty-eight years to know that three open wounds in the back of a guy on his stomach don’t get there just from gravity.” I stopped there, and shut my open mouth.

There was a long silence. I stood there, my head in the corner. Donald sat.

“You’re right, Paul. There’s something I didn’t want to tell you.”

“Well you’d better—”

“—I’m going to—”

“—Good.”

He paused, and leaned back in his seat. “When your friend here was shoutin’-and-a-cussin’ and knifing at me, a young man came through the door.”

“That door is locked, Donald. I’ve got the only key in my pocket.” I turned towards him.

He looked up at me. “It wasn’t just any young man, Paul. It was an angel.”

We looked at each other.

“Donald,” I began. “Donald. We’ve known each other… More years—”

“I tell you it was an angel, Paul,” the preacher said, standing up. “He came through the door with the glory of God, dressed all in white, long blonde locks—he came not with peace but with a sword.” Donald can get a little carried away in his sermons from time to time, a little crazy. Some people like that, it’s not really my thing. He wasn’t crazy now. He was perfectly serious. Looking me in the eye, and serious.

“So you lied.”

“I didn’t lie, Paul! I said he fell on the knife and he fell on the knife! But it wasn’t that knife that stabbed him, Paul—it was the angel!”

“And that knife in your hand when I walked in—bloody?”

“The knife was under him and I knew it’d be red with that foul, thick life seeping out of him. I knew we were friends, Paul, but you’re not a stupid man. There’s only so much a man will believe when he’s not a stupid man. I took the knife from beneath him and was trying to get rid of the blood before you came, so you’d see I wasn’t lying that it wasn’t his knife killed him.”

“So you got rid of the evidence by wiping it on your robes, father.”

“Donald.”

“Donald.”

He paused, and sat back down. I did likewise. He spoke in a hush. Reverent. “You can’t stand six inches from a man being stabbed by an angel from on high and keep your robes clean, Paul.”

I stood up and paced the length of the room twice before stopping and turning to him. I put my hands in my pockets, then pulled them back out. Finally, I spoke. “You’re a man of God, father,” I sighed, and looked away. “Donald.” He watched me. “This is crazy, but I believe you. We’ve been friends… a long time. You’re my priest. I’ll go tell them I walked in on you guys and tell them Frank died in the struggle. Self-defense. It won’t be easy, but you should be fine, Donald.” He buried his head in his hands and started jiggling up and down without making no noise. “You should be fine.”

I opened the door and left the room. The preacher got up, moved behind the door, and when I came back five minutes later he stabbed me in the gut.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pygmalion

Alone: the clay and I. Aching for
solace, for companionship, I take the
muddy matter in my palms and, playful,
create. But soon, like all art and like all

Artists, the formless mass takes form, breathing
life through lifeless lungs, animating nostrils;
I can only watch--dumbstruck, mute. It is
a sadness far older than the earth that

All created must transcend the flawlessness
of imagination, dying in the
very instant of its birth. Through just such
deceit we are conned to try once more: And

while my mind will sculpt the perfect woman
My hands shall craft the perfect whore.

Cronos

As a day-old phoenix immersing himself
in the lake he finds immortality
through no ashes (knowing, as he does, the
future as the hunted knows his hunter).

Exaltation at worst is the perhaps
prolonging of an ill-begotten status
quo: so future is devoured by hungry
past like vomit to its dog and all leaves

ground to a nurturing, deadly sod, sons
to so digest and decompose. Do not
think me filthy--I weep for what I do.
And do not find me gluttonous: my teeth

cringe, grit, spitting, endlessly loving their
begottens as we fear them all the more.

Event Horizon

it is called an event horizon,
that decision to become one with the
inwardly absorbed, secretively unlightened and
vacuously coy mystery,
but just what transpires when the pencil-like
shuttle submerges, surrendering submissively
to the deepest of most unseen chasms and
mating with the blackness
is any physicist's guess.

perhaps it is welcomed into the
hidden club of the gods, where only
the courageous are angels,
or maybe, in some far solar system,
a new daisy emerges.
it is possible that the hungry emptiness,
appeased, returns her lovers' generosity
with giftful creation, and the two
enter together a mutually birthed
dimension, in which
the mortality of senses stays
completed by a more celestial everlastingness--
or does the swallowing extend,
contagious, and the fevered astronauts
implosively consume themselves in a
frantic killing search for
an unfindable
core within a core?

it is unknown, for of all travelable
distances this allure remains
only ungraced by any sufficiently
brave or brainless Columbus;
"cats are killed by this," they each explain
through foot shufflings, "far more frequently
than continents are found."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sisyphus

it's not that i am without memory, or
stupidly optimistic--all yesterdays i've known
appear identical, symmetrical, when organized
by thought into rows and columns, and
with such dependable monotony i abandoned
any tomorrow-ridden expectations by week
one.

no, that is not at all it. rather, as spent-
years have worn all the natural bouldery
crevices spherical, and carved a niche quite
particular in this acted-upon hillside, so hope
and failure have become as perfect--linear and
smooth--as any other merely gravitational
tumbling, devoid of tops or bottoms.

at each dawn's most initial tolling i know the
journey will recommence, with a most spiteful
lack of recognition, that any single progression
will unerringly be rendered void.
but i continue, nevertheless, each day--for
there is something untellably wonderful in the
thinning, however-fleeting air.

Would

would i could muster all the ingeniousness
necessary to master the dizzied mechanations
of your so often distant soul;
to learn a simple clocklike learning
(i always was adept as a pupil)
so that i might pop you open at
any given hour--examine you,
tinker you to feel restored, to
help you function in the ways you like best,
in the ways you were designed,
a diagnosis as perfectly solvable as
an enormous cloud-green nebula or an
uncertain oyster coerved into openness.
(or perhaps you yourself, like
myself, have only a transparent grasping of
that very bone-ridden, most skeletal of
keys, capable only of unrusting your three
decayed rib-hinges. if
this is so, i'm sorry: foolish though it is, i know,
to try to withhold the wishfully redemptive
wetness from my bagged, browbeaten lids is
more saneless than a net seeking to catch the
sea--but i will try; for i would not
more than all, my most submerged friend,
corrode you further.)

The Edge Of The Universe, Part 2 (Or: Sketches of Yuri Gargarin)

when one is amidst the quietly immobile chaos
of the stars, it is hard not to feel
expansion.
as space extends into, i suppose, spacelessness,
an inverse motion plummets through the
increasing deepness of my bones,
and i become a mediator, spokesperson,
unspeaking median between the smallest of perhaps
multiple universes and the widest, or broadest
unseen microcosmal wonders.
floating like a sea turtle in this easy, heartfelt
growing, my ungodly mind cannot help but consider
some rubbery limit, find out a place
wherein place ends, when widening becomes
contracting--or bursting--and order is
made violence.
but with each new stretching of thought
this strain loses all tautness, and
the newly-encompassed terrain encloses,
gently, with a shaking head and loving,
downturned eyes,
the fencings of my mortal doubts.

Things Not In Us

there are things not in us, but
in that space which is
between, or around, above-beneath us,
things
that are not measured
or even detectable by any thing
which we can call a sense--
only they are sensed, we feel, by
something
far more beautiful or more buried
than
any sensing; they are scented in the
quiet pale-gray stillness of a
sunlessly
murmuring tree-speaker,
when we are most comfortably
alone.
if there is a God (as i
believe), perhaps these All are
Him, and our
deepest of prayers not so much uttered
as rather seen
by the eyes behind our eyes.

Mirror

few ever truly see into your face,
gazing beneath its surfaces like spelunking
lovers, seeking out truths with a
discontent reserved only for those who see
flattery as merely
many incomplete, half-believed
byways;
you reflect lovingly, gently, knowing
what can be bourne and not and duplicating
that which is presented you
even as it is duplicated back unto (deeply focused,
like infinity) to propagate
an endless race of emptiness
if the seer so chooses--
you know that
youth is in the eye of the lifelessly gaunt
beholder,
just as the child is first to see the beauties
of a wrinkle.

David

Beloved of God,
how like a giant you have
fallen,
how trembling the moment
when your knees sunk
and you grew
shrouded in dust,
it curling about you like
a thread,
singing mournful
a sacred graveside hymn of
you,
O shepherd, now missing from
the flock.

Jonah

I
am
swallowed
up in my faithlessness,
preserved
by God from
fishy stomach acids to
even more stingingly rediscover
my own undead
decayal--
filthier even than any
fly-beckoned
rot.
The stagnance repels me.
Surrounded by black,
startled by
an underneath blackness inside
the inside which I
have kept so unfrighteningly
distracted. Even
my face has now
grown buried and without light:
bearded.
When nothing else is
but a moist and gaping mouth
there is no longer any escaping
one's
selfness--
and the sea is nowhere near so
drowning as the sin which fills
my lungs:
Forgive me, Father. Resurrect me
from my bellied tomb that I may
praise thee longer,
save me that I may God-like
saves
make this drowning baptism.

The Man With No Name, 1887

Lawless justice, orphan pilgrim
in a land more scorched than an
easy-snapped twig.
And just as black.
Open to the highest bidder:
a country whored,
in the prairie a dog and piano.
Losing what they contain
the fences spread
and seek to encroach upon even
more ruthless terrain;
the man who loves trails
scatters courteous
and frightened,
like a fly to more
dung
till both he and his land
die, drained and starved.

The Trapeze Drummer Inside Me

the trapeze drummer inside me
says that time for sparks are past--
that any fire so suddenly ignited
will with equal brevity fade to
ash before even it touches
earth;
no, he urges, better to seek out
heavy logs, the tinder, only
laced with softly-aired kindling.
a burning such as this may
last both day and night, until even
the next.
and when its flame is ebbed,
(its embers hopeless),
that smoke which remains may
yet act as a guide, or kind of signal,
directing the help-bent
rescuers hither
and yon,
into the dusty friendly flooring
where the trembling traveller
lies.

Fireworks

Each of our tiny communities has been
packaged very strategically together
for optimum individual
performances

by many glasses-wearing Japanese.
My neighbors and myself
were specified for our uniquely
deeply different indifferences,
for our reactions, for sulfurous yellows.

We each now keep to ourselves
(reading books, doing crosswords),
knowing the altogether dangerousness
were our paths to ever more fully
cross,

understanding that all it would take is
one single quite unintentional spark
to ignite our destructively latent
energies and bring about a

breakable immediately excitable expansion
and sudden, deathly-cooled
apocalypse.

The Actress

each seven-thirty evening i
return unto existence,
rather like a phoenix.
endowed with identity;
masked, costumed, plumed
to lift me out of dull
obscurity.
behind the curtain i am
fetal, as though
with its rise i shall pass
from dark canals
into bloody, sobbing
life,
and each disposable day
endured
for what these
two hours bring--
between my pregnant mother
curtain's womb,
and before its falling felt
is lowered
like a mossy earthbound
coffin.

The Admirer

the greatest of unresolved anticipations
is reserved for the admirer of the actress,
who will always in his own mind
be unbilled casting director,
as though this woman had quite
unintentionally become lost amidst a plywood
kingdom and found herself reciting beneath
footlights like some nameless,
crumbless Gretal,
and he her unsung hunstman,
for whom the play itself is but
a nightly offering, some long prolonged
overture to a most resplendant climax,
a tuneless triumphant aria when this
goddess muse
appears in all her naked splendor over
a rumbling timpani of many-handed acclaim,
roses flung like cymbals from
the encore of his mind--
and he
to relive this moment ceaselessly
through darkness of day
until the next night's
sixpence moonshine.

The Spring

and still i smell the spring,
that scent of sunlight particles
and still-cold embryonic buds,
with closed eyes and
expansive nostrils,
smelling like sighing.

it is in the air there, dodging
between the
now-willess leaves, old, their
crackling skin barely concealing
veins,
browned with age like a
photograph or manuscript,
as if coffee-stained themselves,
existing in the space
between snowflakes, lending
understanding
to the chill, reminding us
of the great labour pains
of death;

it sings even now, i will testify,
that reborn breeze:
even (and perhaps especially)
the sledders
move through it,
and their mittens bear witness.

JC Penney

it is curious, the
shop clerk notes,
how the young child

longs so without a
motive to be orphaned,
how he ambles

with delicate gracelessness
and comically-proportioned
toddlings, too big

for his own legs
into the mystic blue
haven of a
clothing rack.

each carefully-priced and
cleverly-tailored velvety
concoction is

one more enchanted elm
demon, to be chopped
and sawed through, barely

emerging, the flashing
red battery power of
shoes

very nearly giving the slip
and signalling the
wayward prodigal to

that which he fears
most: the prison
he flees to

be issued an even
stricter sentence,
that worried care and

fleeting fury
(strangely comforting)
the incarceration of
a frantically relieved and
motherly embrace.

Sailor's Song

The yellow-bellied
blue-hearted sailor wishes he could
live docked. He'd give his right tattoo
to be happy without the ever-impending
seasickness, even to
exist without a flirtatiously hair mussing
wind loved by both seaman and
landlubber alike, if only
it meant
that for just one oceanic turn of the earth
he did not feel obligated to drift
or
to banish stillness,
and could instead feel fully lit
and equally exhilarated,
still breeze-tossed,
merely
washing dishes.

Forgotten Doll

Quarantined by the riverbed
the discarded China doll
strives amid reeds to
be ladylike, to let
inquisitive toads know that she,
she is somehow loftier,
lighter, more smooth and reflective
than even the river,
more immobile and less
prone to moss.
She will not let a tear
stain
her perfect complexion--
it is her cold dryness
which keeps her distinct in this
foreign land;
to succumb would be
to admit the inadmissable--
so there she will lay
with forever pursed
raspberry lips
until she is covered and assimilated,
till time
most mighty and most merciless
camouflages this doll
(as all dolls)
from passing amphibians.

Gentle Apocalypse

there was a curious peace,
a transcendence of faith
which occurred
possibly in my bloodstream
as i stood overlooking
the valley flooded in
heaving molten.

the eruption's initial response
had been one of awe and
even cheers--
i alone seemed to recognize
at once
the ending which the smoking
bowels
heralded.

but somehow this knowledge
perfected the hours
between now and then;
when i tried unsuccessfully
to reach my loved ones
through liquified wires
(disconnected or no longer in use)
i was not sorry, only
counting the hours before our
exalted reunion,
purified in fire.

and as i and others--strangers, all--
mounted higher with the gradually
rising tide,
the red ocean seemed to bubble
not out of malice, or even
menace,
but merely with the messenger's
bittersweet acceptance.

four hours, by my guess,
until i meet my God.

Frames

It is unbearable when
dark windows meet you at silent home,
and not even the tawny owl
notices its greeting.
Drawn curtains are their own fences;
he who lives inside a barricade,
surrounding it with furnishings and
empty sounds to disguise
will always be the last to notice
desolation, always the first to be apart
of it.
Outside, awake, the owl cooes
softly and wisely to his undisciplined
pupils,
lurking in treeshadows, skeltering,
imparting
the wisdom of a forest nightfall.
For only owls know that
frames do not a portrait make.

Spider With The Power Out

when the electricity snapped,
pulled like a string past its
breaking point,
along with the somewhat comical puff of smoke
there came a cloud of vision, or
an apparition with the density of a pillow,
and what had moments prior,
bathed in unflattering tungsten,
filled me with a killer's primitive compulsion,
now in darkness (like,
I thought, some pre-Edison mentor)
bade me unhinge these
toilet paperish plottings and
instead
meditate on a Creator so distant,
so distinct,
His Kolob too divine for any possible
planetarium,
that He sought expressive perfection in this
eight-legged gravel creature that I,
in my own dogged naivete,
had found merely a nuisance.

Forty Days and Forty Nights

like an image from a newsreel
the long-chinned, hat-brimmed rabbi
crosses a Manhattan intersection,
looking both ways more times than one
and carrying a splendidly white duck
under one arm,
this man so lost in his hair,
his unexplained, unacknowledged companion
equally homeless--
and one could almost hear in this
ballad of light
the echoing minor laughter lilting
of a clarinet,
its unsteadiness belying an
inherited sorrow,
the weary humility of a Moses,
wandering leader in a wilderness of
street lights.

Each Day Always

corridors rendered in guilt,
hidden in sod,
the crime of touch,
an indecently exposed spirit--
the time signature masks
and orders these sundries
as a God in His
first uncreated heaven,
willing in a ballet of motion--
patches of unorganized
laundry on a line,
slowly passing from
eyelash-bathed abstraction
with the blank purity of
receding dreamtime--
decomposed beings, the rivers
through which they passed--
their wind-trembled roots
grasping with broken fingers,
the heralding branches an
evidenced mitzvah--
and many lives will
thrive on this placental
woodland crypt,
as it unites blues with all the
unkempt exactness
of a water cycle,
defying architecture,
usurping the tide,
and making familiar children
from gravely unspeaking
granite.
each day always
is a resurrection.

The Great Flood

here is where God planted his mightiest seedlings--
clinging with their knotted, unkept muscles to the
anxiously red dirt, rock-encountered and never watered since
that Great Flood which brought them here (not quite
two of every kind, but floatingly scattered, sewn like a
needle over the broken earth,
feeding on her own enraged contours, convictions,
for there is nothing else).

fumbling aggressively towards oppenness,
vegetation in question
has never the ease of horizontal progress,
the pleasures of shade; its
bark bears the sunbaked atrocities of generational pain,
an untold history which would incriminate if he only knew his own
steepedness.

the forest breathes with a heaving mammal's heaviness;
this tree, standing as a lone and thirsty cemetary
unto itself,
wrings the dirt with its struggling claws, his
dried tongue flailing like a broomstick to the
cobwebbed corners of vision.
there is admirable--even envious--strength in this doomed struggle;
not hopefulness, but unaware, opaque endurance, one which
brittles and embitters and
leaves in its wake a monument to the boxing martyr.
the visitors would not have this Babylonian sight
any other way, with its
geometric testaments of cataclysm,
the rust-tarnished scar of an
only superficial healing.

dead things may be admired safely,
if, perhaps, with more effort--
but ease is easily offered when its
offspring is ensured.
the artist with his failing pen is
quick to sketch
branches gnarled and twisted in death.
only the virtuoso and
the newborn
dare face themselves with the
dangerousness,
the overwhelming odds
and the sobbings
of forfeited strife.

Wildfire

the burned land ravaged, a cruel brown with
definite charrings at each crackled tree's
base--blacker than the rest, like a
dry fiery watering, when the
roots are soaked up to their surfaces,
the ground around these dark
demarcations
a splotchy uneven crispness,
each square foot its own personality,
its own courage and tolerance.

such ethical cleansings are needed, says the
park ranger, so that new life may
begin.

scanning, brow-shadowed, the
emptied map of non-surfaces, I
wonder if the seedlings know
through what carnage they come.

Driving Interstate 15

you are receding into the distance
like a powerline
weaving directionally down the
labyrinthine highway
to the mountain,
showing more clear than white
on green how easterly I
am bound.
there is zen in cruise control--
a fixed truck driver distance
as dotted lines, fences, and
listless unmown yellow cow grasses
unfold
like a mystery
or a paragraph,
soliciting the right
foot brake, exit unknown,
a detour without cones or
orange signs,
a valley without a marker.
littered splotches of
tents bespangle the schoolyard;
a Philips 66; S Main Street
1 mile;
long and generous sprinklers
spew in stretched neighborhoods,
divide like a fault line the brambles.
you do not feel divided from me--
no jagged warring plates within my
dashboard--only
behind, as a curious, sad yellow
wildflower which stole the notice,
the turning gaze, the straining neck
of this traveler,
leaving no trace but that
sunspot pupil memory
which fades
like the interstate, the segolily,
singularly each time it is recalled,
from peak before to peak after,
as if the rear views were
turned inwardly by one another,
one towards the other,
reflecting an infinity of roads,
of possible journeyers
like I,
of wheels in a constant rotational
lullabye.
good night,
is the whisper of the
traffic,
good night,
my sweet prince.
the sky is wide before me
like a lake.

Something Behind My Eyes

something behind my eyes
--and what is behind? veins?
darkness? nothing?--
something even more further backward
or inside,
and almost actually behind me
(chronologically also, such that
i grow younger with each successive
moment spent in your
merlin-like
presence of a
meek and ebbing fatigue),
this Unnameable transfigures me with its
otherworldly, pain-ridden sublimity,
and dares with a smile
to retain the sensation one more
whisker,
the holiness, the holocausts,
and suggests it likely that your own
tumbling honesty might well cause my
very slight frame to
collapse,
that the vibrato
which cuts most tenderly through conversation
might, without warning, explode
in tears withheld since
one long ago day on a playground:
all this and more is
how i would embrace you;
doing that which is undone,
unfolding that which is folded.

Lamentation

it is sterile as a doctor's office Newsweek--
floral, stiff upholstery, latex, peppermints, etc.--
that look of unadorned content which
radiates toxically
from between your temperedly gazing eyelids.
a compromise, a lost little girl,
astray in the Clorox-bleach desert
swirling with many unspecified insects,
with scorpions, owls clutching their formerly
furry life-mourning prey, mice
in this thin dry chaos of
cactus and rocks which you
sadly pretend is paradise;
you have a perfectly magnetized compass
(in your sidebag, middle pocket,
neither the smallest nor the largest;
i put it there)
but i note with a helpless anxiety
how you deem yourself too innocent for even
direction.
perhaps a storm of dust will clear your eyes.

The Wedding Ceremony of Foxes

Like angry fists pummeling the soil
retaliated upon by their foe's
impenetrably peaceful stillness
the rain begs anguished, and
her thunder responds with
the dreaded certainty of fish,
as if a sky-tearing
pageant
were also an inversely evaporatory
ocean;
it is in the repentent quiet
between these heavenly tantrums
and the eternally forgiving heal
of re-emerging
softly as a caress
sunlight that foxes make their
cautious way through a
gently sobbing forest,
comforted by the trees' empathetic
drips,
to exchange their secret,
unwitnessably sacred
wedding vows.

Air On An E String

the unscrupulous player will twist my
straining tautness until, with a too-sudden
anticipation, he breaks me dead.

but i must be broken only as a horse:
ever so patiently bended and stretched
by a gentle, limit-comprehensive master
for each refrain's one tuning.

he knows that i may only comply briefly--
a half an hour, perhaps to begin--before
rebelling lazily to my worn, familiar
learnings.

no dog of any age learns immediately,
as any callous-fingered musician
will tell you.

but when his hands, string-like, exercise
a long-suffering felt only in owner and
object, he may, i know, lift my
stubbornest self to more fully-stepped, less
staffed peaks, an altitude where no
instrumentalist even may breathe--

to melodically soar over a wind of skylessly
forgetful, pained months now passed,
a being i both of lowing lows

Medicine Man

This 'un will soon be showing on the local TV station. In the meantime, here's its e-debut.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Robbery

Before we touched the turnable brass of our door
we were as ourselves and our own, as unscathed as
two laughing seafoam virgins.
I should have known by its knobby coldness, by
the ricketful mumbling and the way the door stuck
on a newly-finished house, but I suppose we were too
much whitened or too very filled with dinner even to
consider any suspiciousness.
What was seen next was suddenly, we knew
both, no longer ours we had expectedly and previously
had--the overturned
pillows, one melodramatically slashed
sash,
as if the newly-furnished living room itself was
haunted by some disorganized ghost of a
canine.
And even when the realization did dawn
(dawned more like an eclipse, or a foggishly
disorienting sunset), and when I was put on hold
and the air was filled with your most congesting quiet,
so that I had to open a cracked window pane,
before I spoke through a kind of
repressed sunkenness, pretending to be someone
most other than myself, one who had not felt
taken himself, as if owning
endowed one with its own kind of personness
or respect,
and even days later
when we had, with a listless untalkable solemnity
sorted and tallied all unfindable
evidences of the shared rape--
even then, strangely, I mourned not at all for
those many absented trivialities,
or the stillness which had fallen
on this broken house,
but only
for the unnamed and unnamable
man (who appears to me gray and moustached
when he appears; average) I never will know,
with a world-wearying accumulation,
offering others' thin materials on some
desperately pagan altar,
both thief and victim, unknowingly losing himself in
his poignant, childish plight for gain.