Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Part 1.1 'organs'

I, Tyrant, the Foundling

Dead animals/ road kill are scattered over the stage/frame. At the front are two giant rabbit skins containing a man and a woman. These slowly unpeel. One kid is playing with a dead animal. The other, a girl, is asleep holding one particularly diseased animal like a cuddly toy.

Kid: Today my dick looks like a tank.

Blind man: Who’s there?

Kid says nothing. Leaves the road kill alone. There is a short silence.

Blind man: I thought I was home.

Kid: where are you from?

Blind man: I’m from a place where everyone is blind.

Kid: Is it better than here?

Blind man: I don’t know here except now I’ll conquer it.

Kid: How? Not why

Blind man: We can manipulate reality.

(The blind man holds his palm out, reaches behind the man’s ear and produces an egg. With a flick of his wrist the egg disappears and re-emerges through his mouth.)

Blind man: See?

(The kid looks amazed, shudders and backs away from blind man.)

Kid (to himself): ‘Because I don’t understand people I think I must be an artist.’

(He crouches down and starts to nervously play with the girls dress in exactly the same way he did with the dead animal. The blind man wanders around for a while and then trips over the kid onto the girl. He lays flat on top of her.)

Kid: ‘You did that on purpose’

Blind man: ‘Purpose? Is she dead?’

Girl (eyes still not open): ‘I like it. Stay like that. Don’t leave.’

(Her arms leave the animal and wrap around the blind man.)

Girl: I thought if I kept my eyes closed long enough I’d be the same as everything, with you in my arms it’s a start’

Blind Man: ‘Now you’ve conquered me, I can see’

The kid (stands up, disgusted). – ‘If I wanted love I’d of….’ (long pause) ‘I want love’

(Kid walks around kicking a few of the dead animals.)

Kid- These animals are no fun. All the rot’s gone out of them. I’ll make some arrangements to fix all of you.

(Shoots a malevolent gaze at the Blind man and girl and Leaves.)

Girl (pushing him off): Now he’s not here you can leave.

Blind man: You don’t want me here?

Girl: I’m the prince and you’re the dragon. Go and be blind again, find home and then we can start again. Maybe you’ll win and I’ll get what I want.

Blind man: I can’t go home. You’ve made me you and now I’m all alone.

Girl: I’m not. I’m a hero, I’ve been heroic, you can’t do shit to us now and heroes are never alone except when they’re being heroic which as I’ve explained I’ve already done. I’ve been alone.

(The blind man rubs his face in her hair.)

Blind man: Now I know what to do. I read about it. I need something with a point.

(He gets up and leaves dejectedly).

Blind man: When I come back it won’t be here because you’ll be gone. I’ll erase you until you’re just an impression of a texture that’s sticky and dead. Fuck you bitch. That’s a start but I don’t mean it yet. I love you, are you sure?

Girl: Go away. I don’t care.

(Blind man exits stage.)

Girl eyes open: Oh, Oh my love has left me.

(The kid turns up again led by a female taxidermist. As they approach the girl scrunches her eyes up in a parody of sleep.)

Taxidermist pointing at the girl: Is this the subject?

Kid: Not yet. Give it time. You could start here. (Eagerly) can I assist?

Taxidermist: If you’re good.

(She opens a case of various medical implements. She begins to skin and stuff the first animal.)

(A hedgehog, brain and backside exploded, begins talking

Hedgehog: ‘When the tire went over I think it was what humans might call fucking. Now these hands are bringing me back to death cos dead is not death and this transaction of fluid’s got me all sewn up.’

Taxidermist explaining craft ‘’

Hedgehog: I lost my backside. I stink of shit. I lost my skull. I think of bones slivered like hay. Journeying back to death’s a representation but that’s neither here nor there.
When you die there’s a trajectory more immense, made of speed even, that overtakes the car that did not stop for a second.

Kid: When you’ve finished, we’ll trade. That’s fair right?

Kid (to himself, under breath): This is new.

Taxidermist: What can I have?

Kid (gazing at his reflection in the scalpel) anything you want.

Taxidermist (pointing with a scalpel at Girl’s feet): ‘I want those dangling from my dashboard ’

Kid (cold): you’re expensive but so be it

Girl (moving around in star like patterns on the floor, singing badly): ‘What is it when/ the love you thought you had to give/is the just the anguish you’re trying to escape?/ yeah/ yeah/ baby oh yeah’

Kid (pained, eyeing girl, in a vicious whisper): I’m sick of you baby. I’m gonna sell you piece by piece until the protein strained morsel that’s left of you won’t even riddle my sphincter

Girl (stopping): I don’t listen to you… nonsense. You’re nonsense. What I’m saying is you’re stupid and ugly and nonsensical and… wait…you’re gonna eat my brains?

Kid: isn’t that what we do here?

(kids freeze, apparently frozen in time)

Hedgehog: Skin’s like Clark Kent. When I saw myself hot and discarded I learnt that no love is sadder than its costume.

Taxidermist: A costume has to costume duh…you’re going nowhere just like the rest

Hedgehog: You can hear me? You’re basically love then, cause that knife’s a guarantee of something else and I’m so tired of everyone else and BTW Bitch-God I know a costume costumes’ but when that’s all that forms I’m tired of feeling. Tell me what I am.

Taxidermist (solemnly): Even God only traffics in surface

Hedgehog: aaaaaaarrrgghhh fuck goodbye, I’m held here

Girl ( breaking from her freeze seemingly able to hear Hedgehog, looking in his direction): I broke my own heart. I broke my own heart for this and you couldn’t give less of a shit about me. You just wanna fuck me and eat my brains. Your own sister’s brain, is this how civilisation starts? Eat me then... I’m so lonely your belly will forever growl and everyone that hears it echo will starve with love and give birth to ulcers. That’s my curse, I’ve two left, and with it I curse everyone but you. God I can’t help it.

Kid (with feeling): What should I call the world after you’re gone?

Taxidermist: Fini. Every time I climax it’s like I grow regal.

Kid (crouched around taxidermist): Good. About the finishing, I don’t understand the other thing.

Taxidermist: pay me now or I’ll unpick your seams and wave you above my narrow beliefs like a flag

Kid: (grabbing scalpel): that’s what ive been looking forward to.

Kid (suddenly dejected with knife in his hands): im a joke. I couldn’t act a flag.

(The kid appears too weary to move. The knife falls from his hand. Picks it up, sleepily and seemingly against his will. Kid moves over to Girl with knife, Girl makes snoring sounds. Kid takes hold of her ankle)

Kid (looking into weird mountain range of her anklebone): I can see my future in here.

Girl in her apparent sleep: Call me Cleopatra. You dashing snake

(Begins to Cut. Girl eyes open, shifts herself up on elbows to watch)

Taxidermist (in motherly alarm): What the fuck are you doing?

Kid: You wanted these hanging from your lobes?

Taxidermist (quickly): If you get too real, I’ll disappear. Give me those.
Kid goes to yank ballet slippers off

Taxidermist: No wait! Make them fill with blood; then we’re even.

Kid looks around stupidly. Kid breaks both ankles with hammer. In graphic novel version the panels stay on girls face to suggest this

Girl (before hammer blow): When I Dance its like I form time. I showcase time like it’s my favourite aesthetic.

(out of shot i.e not in frame, intruding on Girls face)

Taxidermist: they’re bubbling like cauldrons.

The sodden ballet slippers are given to Taxidermist.

Taxidermist: With these shoes I’ll catch the dead. (villainously exits)

Kid walks to Girls head, cradles it, strokes her brow.

Kid: This means a lot to me

Girl (calmed): what?

Kid: This…This…this moment and all the other moments…they’re beautiful aren’t

Girl: we’re the first aren’t we?

Kid: First what?

Girl: The first to be in love.

Kid: I wish that were an end in itself

Girl: It could be, just keep quiet

Kid: that again
(Kid getting up)
Kid: Back to your tricks whore

Girl: I know what I know and I’ll let that one go.

(Girl lets go of dead cat and reaches for the Hedgehog)

Kid moves to dead frog, plays with its webbed hand (same as beginning)

Girl: What’s the day?

Kid: I haven’t named them yet.

Girl (looking at broken feet): So much unfinished time

Kid: That’s why we’re beginning….


slatted light said...

Tom, this was really incredible stuff. I really love your writing, man, what I've been able to get my hands on of it anyway, the stuff you used to have up here on your blog and your just fucking incredible 'My Venn Diagram' in Userlands. Joe is right, there is a similar energy and enjambment emotional complexity packaged in precise and telegraphic prose here as in any of Dennis' captioned days on the blog. And man, can you turn a phrase. Your ability to make a precise statement with such wide-reaching consequences is fantastic. In terms of dialogue, I love how you manage to achieve an effect where it's as if the characters are talking past one another but they're quite subtly and carefully taking note and talking back to all the things the others say. Disconnection and conceptual crowding all at once or something. This is going to make for one of the most wicked graphic novels, dude. I'm excited about it.

slatted light said...

Have you been published anywhere else, Tom, because I really would like to read more of your stuff if it's out there?

slatted light said...

Tom, hey, thanks so much for the kind remarks on my story. What you had to say about it speaks to exactly what I was going after and it was really heartening and humbling to have you lay it out so perceptively and incisively. It was awesome too that you picked out that quote because, yeah, I laid that in consciously thinking this is one of the keystones to the piece. Thanks so much for reading, man.

I totally think you do manage 'to invert the surface/content divide without altering the form', man. In fact, that phrasing really sheds light for me on something crucial in your work I think that I find so compelling: namely, the way in which the visibility of the content - its forefrontedness in speech that is almost uttered as a series of directives - is kind of loaded with consequence and prevented from just being a collation of aphorisms by the strange shifting relations of surface - like sociality, say, questions of how these characters relate - that are the gears underneath. Emotionally, it makes for such an strangely abstracted yet dense experience, like being inside a submersible with a dark portal, staring out.

As for reading the stuff you have in process, uh, yes. Please. As in don't make me beg. Haha. I'd really sincerely love that, dude. My email is on the profile page so feel free to write.

Thanks once again, Tom.


Shai Hulud said...

I am frightened and tense
because you continuously slice me
with tiny razor blades
my tongue
bleeds my tongue bleeds
i ache for the feeling this starts
not quite letting me
why don't you just kill me and get it over with?
jerking me off with sandpaper
watching wrestling on sunday morning
as a kid
when its sunny outside
and why
am I not outside
god dammit
grab the
carpet and scream scream scream
it scratches my fingertips
and i grip
i grip until the
flesh peels away
and the points of bone
peek from fleshy pulp
but i keep gripping

the cat's dead
in the corner

and i don't smell a thing


Yeah, I'm not good at critical language, so I wrote you a poem. Man, this shit is awesome. Thunder Thunder ThunderKats ho!!!

cataract said...
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cataract said...
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Ben Brooks said...

tom, you won the copy of fences at jmww but i cant seem to find your email. could you send me a note at brooksben@hotmail.co.uk and ill get it to you as soon as possible, thanks man.