The Lab-Grown Brain Makes a Stage Drama (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 1 Dec 2018 in Art, Poems

Pastel drawing of Richard Harris inspired face




The Lab-Grown Brain Makes a Stage Drama


Act One

Scene one.


A railcar. Enter umbrella with small luggage.


SNORMAN — Good morrow, my lady queen. I come traversing miles unto thee to offer this explanatory start, wherein I serve only to introduce.


KING — Aye, tis like enough.


SNORMAN — If that fellow Ruth wishes to sit dreaming your dreams, and spread the mustard of his foretelling, she with an overshow of dearness in accepting, your word the word of a cipher given ciphers to speak—mereness, if it please your grace—makes claim I will die at the end of the third act. And I (proudly) dispute nothing. I have an aria, full chorus.


KING — Thou must. For thou com’st forth wanting thy shipoopi. Disguise thee as the winged Sphynx of Samothrace. (Stands. Seizes Bag-on-Wheels and rolls it, moodily, to the restroom area and back.) I mean only that she riddles herself; her throne become an Armchair of the Ages. Her hell-eyes insist on their being seen; she moulders across millennia, as the storm cloud shrouds the sun.


SNORMAN — Hist! Before the dinette, canisters painted red, red lead flecks in sandwich cookies, almond flour…before the window is fixed in the false wall, cracked in the second performance on two small dowels, not to have the same embarrassing mistake, when the woman with one line arrives to say…


WOMAN — Ope to me! I hang!


KING — Hath Becket made his peace with God?


WOMAN — And what will the new people talk about? Timidity made the coffee date a lecture. Where a movie theater once stood, now rallies meet. Poor Ruth, poor fool. Your majesty, you careless murdered him.


KING — At times, to my inconstant friends, I murmur thoughts of candy wrappers, lotto numbers, runs batted in and memes featuring the Darrins, reacting to each other’s wiseacreage, snide and apoplectic, one with a fist raised, one with the head of a pig. None of this is delivered home to me, neither with extra pepperoni, nor with cinnamon sticks.


SNORMAN — I have busied myself in my seat, pretending to check my mail, pretending nostalgic tears, welling but tamped with my hankie, my face to the wall, painted as a pane of glass. The time has come that I shall rise upon my feet, give utterance. I have uttered before.


(All notice a dogwood in bud, trained in the shape of a gnarled willow, as might bend over a pond, though there is no pond, and sheltering the tiny effigy of a half-buried porcelain urn, potted in heartbreaking Delftware.)


SNORMAN — This I say to you.


(Here, they are interrupted by an electronic voice, a woman’s, lugubric, soggy.)


VOICE — Townhampton. Cityborough. Dottersville.


End of scene one.




The Lab-Grown Brain Makes a Stage Drama

Pencil sketch of hand pinching tiny human head
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(2018, Stephanie Foster)