I don't understand why people blow up churches and temples and mosques. I don't understand why people hate gay people. Isn't sex why people say "the best things in life are free"? What about slavery? That slaves were expensive? That radical peace and animal rights people point out evil slave breeding programs? I don't understand why people say (this is from growing up) that people "smell bad". I'm so irreligous I lost my religion major (I felt some familial pressure there, that major) for writing an heretical thesis -- that mysticism is cultured. Mysticism = experience. I'm nearly 50. I'm supposed to have this sorted. Stupid hipsters make me seem a political conservative, just because I was raised in politics. Naivete, that ingenue factor -- so unattractive. How best to make experience more positive for everybody. Certainly not by blowing up stuff and not ensuring everybody has food and health care.
Characters: Woman with a Gun (not a real gun) Neurotic Woman with a Cellphone (either stage ring or real ring) Postal Worker (Male or Female) with a dog A Dog Person (Male or Female) with a child A Child (Male or Female) Smoker (Male or Female) OK if audience cellphones are not turned off during play, but if they are supposed to be, gather cellphone numbers as audience enters, and call them during the play (many thanks, Paul Frank) Theatre exit door (this might not be possible if FD is alerted automatically, but bonus if alarm sounds), otherwise a door, theatre entrance, and a stage. The exit/stage door opens. Entrance, WOMAN WITH GUN. The exit/stage door opens. Entrance, a NEUROTIC WOMAN carrying a CELLPHONE, ringing. WOMAN WITH CELLPHONE (Addressing the WOMAN WITH GUN) It’s for you! Aren’t you going to answer it? A doorbell rings. No one answers it. A doorbell rings. WOMAN WITH GUN holsters gun, answers the door. A POSTAL WORKER enters with Owney the postal DOG. The phone rings again. WOMAN WITH CELLPHONE (addressing the audience) It’s your Mom. A PERSON WITH A CHILD busts in with a child (in a stroller, or held by hand) WOMAN WITH GUN I’m so glad you came! I guess Mom called. The cell phone rings. WOMAN WITH CELLPHONE It is your best friend. WOMAN WITH GUN gestures to POSTAL WORKER, DOG. S/he shakes her head. Then to PERSON WITH A CHILD, CHILD. (No.) (DOG chews on the phone. Or CHILD begins playing a loud game on the phone) SMOKER (enters, keeps door cracked open, prepares to light up) ALL No! WOMAN WITH GUN (Puts gun in mouth.) ALL screams (would be nice if someone screamed “fire” but not necessary) WOMAN WITH GUN It’s a squirt gun filled with vodka. (She takes a shot.) Want some? POSTAL WORKER WITH DOG, DOG and PERSON WITH A CHILD, CHILD EXIT through the entrance. Fin Just a reminder to turn off your cellphone, know the fire exits, quiet your children and pets, or take them outside (preferably through the entrance). We would prefer if you did not carry a weapon or drink during the performance. Please don’t smoke.
My mousepad crapped out. Maurice the Mouse, or whomever, obviously not holding up his end. Hey, this is a small apartment, I thought I placed you in charge of ALL mice! So I found it difficult to pay my bills online, and walked to the blue box to mail one. I stopped at the reportedly decent Italian Restaurant on the corner -- I had seen the logs outside, but figured they were for wood oven, not fireplace -- I was right. On the return trip, I stopped by the nails place downstairs, and picked up a menu. It is actually a spa for hands and feet, kind of like a facial for hands and feet. I return to the apartment. "Spirit of the Beehive" I say. "Sounds like something you'd write." "Yes." "hands and feet are wrapped like a beehive..."
At Bed, Bath & Beyond today, yes, I was at BBB making a return, not at the Better Business Bureau, everything was very quiet. It is snowing. There must have been an employee meeting before the store opened, because *everybody* was there -- I mean there were many people there, working, and only a handful of shoppers, which is quite rare in New York. So I made my return, and walked to the escalators past the clearance section (some very tempting items there: especially magnetic dry erase squares can stick to any surface), and was greeted. "Good Morning, just looking around." To be inside this New York poem: Yelp (because this poem is about commerce) and other social networking (including this blog, which on internet explorer, looks not so good) have replaced the old position of the NEW YORK SCHOOL POEM (or perhaps finally given new poets a place. For example, just from my FB today, aside from memes and cute bunnies: ) The eternal customer service meeting, together with a blizzard, lead to an older woman who was confused getting help, a quite amiable person, mostly, getting greeted all over the store, having mini conversations about shower caddies as spice racks, life hacking, no I'm just looking... I lost my hat, so I went to customer service (they knew me there - I had returned some items after all, y'know), and the manager produced someone else's hat -- so I am not alone. And she said, wait here, and picked up a walkie-talkie. We discussed how BBB took over Cost Plus (I have backstory on this -- my parents LOVE Cost+ -- I didn't look it up, no not even on Wikipedia or the corporate site -- because they discovered it together in San Francisco, on Fisherman's Wharf during one of their second honeymoons). Interjection -- this may not be true, and isn't more than an AWWWWW joke, but I asked Dad, isn't this really your third or fourth honeymoon? He said, I think more -- just go with the flow. OK, so Cost Plus expanded, and from an import/export clearinghouse place, became a big box store competitor to Pier One. When did Bed Bath and Beyond acquire Cost Plus? I asked, waiting for my hat. I don't know, the have been part of the family [of stores] as long as I've worked here, but this is the first year that there's a Cost Plus section in the stores. This summer, they are going to start bringing in Cost Plus furniture. This is good! And then, a nice man, carrying a walkie-talkie and my hat came up, I gave him a happy wave, he came over and returned my hat, I thanked him, and while walking out of the store, of course, a cranky lady was verbally expressing that she needed some help selecting silverplated picture frames. I wondered if I should stop and help her. But I didn't. I went out into the snow, and to the park, and home.
My dad was a city councilman in my hometown, and he worked assiduously on public transport -- in this case, buses. For his service, he was awarded a "gold bus pass" (probably brass) good for free bus transit for life. As a child, then, when moneys weren't forthcoming for bus passes, I would ask for the gold pass. After shaking down the couch, always good for at least 75 cents, and really earnestly requesting money...
Two boiled potatoes strained through a kitchen sieve, Softness and smoothness to the salad give; Of mordant mustard take a single spoon, Distrust the condiment that bites too soon! Yet deem it not, thou man of taste, a fault To add a double quantity of salt. Four times the spoon with oil of Lucca crown, And twice with vinegar procured from town; True taste requires it and your poet begs The pounded yellow of two well-boiled eggs. Let onion's atoms lurk within the bowl And, scarce suspected, animate the whole, And lastly in the flavoured compound toss A magic spoonful of anchovy sauce. Oh, great and glorious! Oh, herbaceous meat! 'Twould tempt the dying Anchorite to eat, Back to the world he'd turn his weary soul And plunge his fingers in the salad bowl. -- Sydney Smith