20160122

Carey Scott Wilkerson


Three Plays


Play #3: The Law of Contrapositive Identity


THE PLAYERS
THE MINOTAUR: A self.
THE MINOTAUR: An other.
The action takes place entirely on one set. The MINOTAURS speak their lines variously to the audience and to each other,
SCENE ONE
                (MINOTAUR ENTERS and sees already onstage another MINOTAUR)
                                              MINOTAUR
Who are you?
                                              MINOTAUR
This feels personal.
                                              MINOTAUR
Alert the authorities.
                                              MINOTAUR
Have you lost weight?
                                              MINOTAUR
Have you no shame?
                                              MINOTAUR
Have you?
                                              MINOTAUR
I thought I killed you.
                                              MINOTAUR
I could slay the same thing.
                                              MINOTAUR
Even silence conceals a doomed body
and everyone knows the calculation:
strung out along the freeway.
                                              MINOTAUR
Look! Appositives in the trunk, querulous company,
leveraged on miracles and afraid to pull over
not for fear of accusing stares or merciless critique
but for the self-generative jokes we keep in
quantum states until we need them.
                                              MINOTAUR
I have composed exit strategies in metropolitan deliquescence
vignettes shaped on styles probative small talk.
                                              MINOTAUR
Your voice here, a droning whisper in drag,
and none but the most cynical will subtract
from tricks of light these speeches, multiply
nominative in the predicates of sleep
singly true in falsities of travel:
your personal effects marking a trail.
                                              MINOTAUR
And who knows if you ever find your way back?
horses in bucolic posture; you climb the barbed wire
a covered bridge burned by accident, restored by chance
disclosures draped over you all the while you walk,
as perhaps mythic postulations are somehow
better viewed under the sodium lights of
urban perambulations.
                                              MINOTAUR
I was thinking this morning
about the list of things I need
and the list of things I reason
would be among the things I don’t.
                                              MINOTAUR
Some things were on the first list
and not on the second while
others were on the second but not the first.
                                              MINOTAUR
And then I started thinking
about what kind of thing would be
on both lists, that is to say:
both things I need…
                                              MINOTAUR
And things I don’t.
                                              MINOTAUR
It seemed to me that this
was somehow more than a
wandering idyll or
an idle wonder
or a trick.
                                              MINOTAUR
Or a game or a vision.

                               (Each MINOTAUR removes his head to reveal the actor underneath)

                                              MINOTAUR
I have seen a shattered foot
from the Colossus at Rhodes
and I have smelled perfumes of
of cedars Africana in the North.
                                              MINOTAUR
And that is a dazzlement
I am scarecly poet enough to write
whether I need to or not,
dreaming of the Fontano Minotauro
water-falling fountain in Taormina, Sicily
or perhaps the appeareance
of the Minotaur in Canto XII of the Inferno.
                                              MINOTAUR
He is languid or dying
at the edge of cracked chasm
splayed there for inspection
in the bumbling gloss.
                                              MINOTAUR

Creature/Creteure                                     knowledge in its/their discontents/(dys)contents/Dis
                                                  On what scale
Of intimacy does
does the monster arrive in                                                             (simple undifferentiated brutality,
seminar vestments,
                                                 which list is invoked to take a roll?

propagators of violence
blasphemers                                                                                  something disconcertingly pre-Hellenic)
heretics
those with bad credit history
Ovid’s two-formed spectacle
Plutarch’s wretched imposture of incurious villainy
Hesiod’s stranger textures, his Titans with their primordial preoccupations
Freudian family values
Lacanian abyss

                               (Each MINOTAUR give his head to the other, each puts his new head on.)

                                              MINOTAUR and MINOTAUR in unison
And if the fountain is fluid with stories
washing over stone as through
capillary parodies of blood in your hand
in your head, in the hard fictions of straight lines
etched in unread books, sketches lost among
derelict marginalia of your provable transgressions,
here then is your sculptress, lithe and learned,
it seems, in this light of close study, parlous
perforated in a graphicality of cataclysm
held indeterminately, or else terminally,
on the axis of fluxions in history
inflections across terza rima
schema for un-named investigations
pushed through the troubled dusts
of secret work.
LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK

END


Play #1: The Lydian Mode
Play #2: Visible History of an Unseen Thing



Carey Scott Wilkerson is author of two poetry collections, Threading Stone and Ars Minotaurica. His play, Seven Dreams of Falling, premiered in 2013 at the Elephant Theatre in Los Angeles and will be produced again this summer during the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Daedalus Fest. His short plays, Ariadne in Exile and The Revised Diagnosis of the Minotaur’s Head, are published by Negative Capability Press. The Ariadne Songs, from his libretto and with music by Angela Schwickert, premiered in 2014 at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts. He is editor, with Melissa Dickson, of Stone, River, Sky: an anthology of Georgia poetry, published in 2015 by Negative Capability Press. He holds a BA and MA from Auburn University and an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. He teaches at Columbus State University and working on his PhD at Georgia State University.

The Lydian Mode was first published in an earlier issue of Otoliths, and is included here so the trilogy can be presented entire.
 
 
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