Carey Scott Wilkerson

Three Plays

Play #2: Visible History of an Unseen Thing

THE MINOTAUR: A celebrity in public ruin.
THE INTERVIEWER: A conspirator in secrecy.
The action takes place entirely on one set. There are black cubes, a stair, a bed, and weak fluorescent lights.

                (CHORUS ENTERS)
Let’s not pretend this is other
than what we know it to be.
And let’s not demand of the moment
anything further than what we are
ourselves prepared to surrender.
Let us, however, look fearfully
upon what will have been
an unknown.
                               (LIGHTS DOWN on the CHORUS)
                               (LIGHTS UP on the MINOTAUR, chained to a bed and the
                               INTERVIEWER sitting in a chair beside the bed)
                                              INTERVIEWER (checking the MINOTAUR’s pulse, other vital signs)
Let me explain how this will go. I take notes because I almost never listen and am always having to check the record. The truth is I am only interested in what you don’t tell me. Think of this as happening from the inside out.
We are not in the same world. We are not observing this through the same set of referentialities. Doesn’t that bother you?
I want to observe something like love dissolving from your face in the same way an extraordinary spectacle in nature becomes invisible when you live with it. Does that bother you?
I can barely see you. But I feel certain you are in some hot fugue of desire.
                                              INTERVIEWER (produces a magnifying glass)
Is this better? Do you think I’m easily rattled? I have Orpheus in the next room chained to a meteorite.
I was here when they built it. I have equity in the whole operation. Don’t you have something for me?
                INTERVIEWER screams as from the MINOTAUR’s stomach burst the members of the
                CHORUS speaking their lines as they climb out)
The Minotaur, not known for small talk,
says put your history behind many doors
and imagine the Greek without translations
and systems of space and pleasure in hidden places.
                                              INTERVIEWER (horrified and doomed)
He is thinking now of the conflicting accounts
in the reflective inquiries of certain scholarly types
who presume to reclaim our truth before
veils of naïve beliefs, draped over
texts of sleepwalking
next to exigent, slow
madmen and participles.
Let me say here that there exist only
witnesses to dreams or seminars and pictures
in books as one might love to see immured in a maze
or down an unmapped street
or in the ruin of an incomprehensible game.
It is a box and not some other
as you may have wondered
as you are surely expected to ask
as who would not think to suppose
as to the contents therein
as far as can be discerned
a box a box thus the thing it is.
No one would expect you to believe it.
But the Minotaur, not known for his research methods,
consulted three versions of this strophic invocation
and found each to be a fabulism of eponymic flourishes,
none inconsistent with a fractured view
of the trajectory of the Western voice
speaking over itself in reflexive jests,
having not finished a sentence in something like four thousand years.
It is, therefore no surprise at all to find that the Minotaur says
keep your secrets behind just one door and permit only
those who can do the most damage to inspect the evidence,
your repertory of improperly annotated worlds
filled with words you did not write.
He then proposes providentially that the family is not yourself
but your heart or your face, and however the night converges
on your love, there is yet some possibility for this
language, inside out, under the bed, under scrutiny
understanding, of course, that this is not only his head
but a vision of what will remain.
Nor does the Minotaur remember his name.

THE INTERVIEWER climbs into the hole in the MINOTAUR’s stomach, disappears.
THE MINOTAUR stares into the hole in his own stomach, then at his chains, then out at the audience.



Carey Scott Wilkerson, Play #1: The Lydian Mode

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