No Good Wǎngqiú Goes Unpunished

Peng Shuai Takes the Ball In Her Court (Draft 1)

Is it not the nature of animal vice
that the premier Lion party predator
will chase the antelope in shorts?

In the melon of the times
there are melon balls
and tennis balls, but

Ladies of tennis
must not feed
antelope cantaloupe
because

Deputy underling Mu Nu says
tennis does not exist anymore.

The Vice Premier says “Tenez!”
— take, receive, dear girl, yes
dress gracefully for the Vice
and lift your slip with song, oh

Lambda, mu, nu, do advance
the melancholy letter of the Law
and let slip away the melon collie dogs
who defeat the melancholy of the word

Lambda, Mu, Nu, Xi
she’s played

In war, havoc! The spoils, and
the word tennis is disappeared.

Yes, He and every Vice Premier
know the spirit of Tenez!
where the balls are in your
courtrooms and
words are leashed.

Tell Me Why She Dies

Tell Me Why She Dies

What does a non-believer do
when his love is sick and dying?

I do as best I can
what prayers she wants me to do.
I don’t want to disagree with her at all.

Yes, I say to her,
it is God’s will for her to die

But I don’t believe it
don’t want it,
won’t let it, because

she is perfect,
she is kind, and
she can not die.

I tell her:

Just tell me
what to believe
and I will do that for you

Just tell me
you will not die

And I will come with you
to any church where they love you,
where they’ll save you for me.

Don’t die for me
just because I don’t believe.

You know
I’d let you go
anywhere at all you’d love to be.
Kisses, and let me

make my tears into
rivers of love, but you say

there is another river where

I can not
swim upstream with you.

Go with love and belief
and take my paddle to
canoe yourself into the hands of your God, and

say hello for me.

All the Metaphors Are Dead (Draft 1)

This is a wild random start. I don’t know how far this can go, if at all. Actually it’s had a lot of quick on the spot editing and rearranging done too fast to record as drafts. So this I suppose isn’t really draft 1 but many 5 minor drafts. Adding the name was a last minute addition — the all “you” ‘s was a little vague and impersonal.

All the Metaphors Are Dead

What’s to be done, Emily Luna
if all the metaphors are dead?

You are the prettiest scientist I know.

I dare not compare thee-you
to a flower or say thee-you
are a star or pull the tides of love
like the moon or
shine like my sun, because

The twentieth century
and before has
taken the flowers,
the trees, the moon
the tunes and the stars

Shakespeare and their
ilk and elk have
horned out
all the dilemma horns.

Only the ancients
in their ignorance of science
could have thought heaven had
a location among the stars, but
there’s only other planets
with their own
Hollywood studios
and lots

Maybe, a guy
on a primitive planet
somewhere
thinks Heaven is
located near
our star that
we call the Sun
(I wonder what
he calls his star)

Anyway,
fly me to your heart
so I will circulate
to reach your soul
though it could be
beyond
your pretty brain I’m told
(saw it in a cat scan photo
and I know you like the cats,
know you like your dog star)

So, Emily Luna
you light me up
when I am
a dark matter

You are my
light energy
that drives me
searching for
my heaven, but
contrariwise

I have found
my heaven
in you.

When Leaves Are Afloat (2)

This version has a different ending instead of a cliff hanger.

The chirping of sorrow in the shadows of broken wings
let’s too many birds of loneliness
fall prey to predators
who pounce on despair.

She is uncertain in the forest
if she should
sing or hide

Newly grown camouflage
seems to blossom and branch;
winds on tree tops tear off
a few deciduous victims
still green but detached
before the fall approaching

Against the breezes, she’s
taped plastic sheeting
taped cardboard onto her
broken window, not letting
green leaves of happiness
fall in through her window,
not letting the fog drift in
that looks out onto the ocean
where his boat struggles
to land on her beach, but
is adrift in the fog, and
his horn seems
to not carry beyond
where she left her
beach blanket long ago.

Melancholy is the cry of the shipwrecked,
not knowing where the treasure lies,
mast lowered. Exquisite is

the flutter of pretty lashes
when he sails onto land
beyond the seagull’s cry
tacking into her breezes.

Guided only by a random leaf,
he sees her broken window
and tears apart the plastic hearing:
“My Love, come in!” and thus
then in hidden nest’s renewal
they sing a healing song so true

Froth in the cup of ocean foam

Foamy Dream

There is an ocean at dawn
that skirts the night tides
crashing swirls and sea birds

There is a froth to morning dreams.

I’ve been staring at foam in my coffee
remembering the ocean starring in ending rain
a conjured dream of frothy us, stars
beneath an oceanic drink of dawn

It was
coffee boiling hot for
the exigency of a dream, and

when from the freezer I plunged
an ice berg scoop of ice cream in it
the titanic foam made giggle bubbles
that speak of the dream when
you laughed your dainty blessing,
so pretty your voice, your smile in
the swirl of your skirt like a current
or maybe I just imagine such formality
like the majestic blue of the ocean at sunrise
because you know I don’t mind your bikini too,
love the virtues of shallow laughter-water,
know that the splash and the play
do pull tides from the deep imagination

I can be hot
to be cool

and we sat on the white sand
under the silly white umbrella we had borrowed
not imagining rain on our white beach, where we thought
if only sunshine would be in the heart then joy rises

for sunrise at the beach is
a glistening foam
silver crests
deep blues
an orange glow
and ice cream foam

and I dream of you
with fireworks in the sky
because…

maybe I imagine love
blue and foamy
silvery crested

Retrospective (7) edit (Version 2)

The word “swallow” in English is interesting. It can be a fast-flying small bird with a forked tail or a different word meaning to force food from the mouth into the stomach. The bird is from Old English swealwe, but the other is from OE swelgan. Somehow in Modern English they both wound up being spelled and pronounced the same. The second one also has five metaphorical meanings. You can swallow ideas and other intangibles.

Swallow Me (2)

Oh say,
drink my magic potion
to hum an “Ode to Joy”
dear, yes
hum Beethoven
hum Dusty

’cause
if you could only hum me
when my voice is like a swallow,
I would follow you
in every flight
and even folly

You please me;
you see me, and
we are ecstasy, darling

I swallow daring
to awake, and
take to wing
my praises:

I love you, and hover
on every phrase you sing

Hum me dearly like an ode
to tickled-feathered fickles

Oh,
I can sing
for every day
I know that you are with me

Kiss me like you miss me
and I will always follow

I know you,
you show me, I
can be our song, then

Swallow me forever, so
I will be your lover

I love you,
forever

Please be
in my song, ’cause

I have always hummed you
even in my every daydream.

I love you,
forever

a rainbow symphony.

Counter

This is a composite or combination of reject poems from 2019 from various alter-egos. I think it has good enough transitions to work. Maybe? I don’t know. I’ve been talking to myself and for now we think so. One of the many was called “Counter” I think, but it’s interesting that there are many “counters”: one who counts, encounter, counter-intuitive, countertop etc. Hmm, encounter from Latin roots of “in front of” sort of hides where the idea of calculating or counting comes from. Where you can see something, you can count it, or meeting it can lead to a confrontation or fight.

Countertop

Counter-intuitive that
I would search for souls

if I am alive to
be the mockingbird, he

who counts the day as nightmare
to search for souls to count
to search for songs to sing

Am I one or none
undefined
unloved
the counter

or do I have a chance
to learn my own song to

make it possible that
you will see me fly to
see how my eyes shine
when your love is staring
when your look changes

but it is needed that
we need a lot of things to eat
like the food of love and

I’m hungry for you:
I want a chance
to respond with
more than a
comfortable touch, and
let us soak up more because

you are invited to attend a formal dinner so
wear your public face but
come naked

Masking Randi Winegarden, the Marxist

Puttting young children in masks is a form of child abuse. The Diseased Centers for Viral Propaganda and Control (DCVPC) are taking their orders from the Queen of the Wine Garden. The DCVPC is demanding that kids be masked. The evidence shows that kids are not at risk from the you-know-what, and they don’t spread it to the community. Crazy bureaucrats and journalists are wrong to say kids are arrows of outrageous disease misfortune. Masking is just part of Critical Orchid Theory. But there is the mask of crisis and manipulation.*

The Depravity of a Union Teacher

Depravity
would be seen
as unforeseen
consequences:
a union of travesty
gravity
and dirt

The botanist had had a child in school.
Had sad time off; there’d be time too
for the funeral soon. There would be

blood in the kitchen, a kind of
spilled wine in the garden for
teachers of the vineyard who demanded
more whine privilege than little giggling
girls like her precious Randi used to be,
but Ms. Big Union Randi W. had

demanded masked smiles until doom,
more rules for tiny children in a classroom.

The botanist had
more time off from work for the funeral.

Walking in a hellish haze
the botanist felt nauseous
along the way from the smell
of her daughter’s favorite flowers

far afield she wandered
drifting in a fog, in a
random eternal pattern
to reach the ceremony
of the grave; had a thought
(Little Randi’s vision
made her cry)

She was startled by a reporter. Blurted:
“yes, I am certain that
the teacher is an idiot.

“You want to know? You know…
My little Randi darling flower spirit
was precocious ‘once upon a time’
before a teacher tore her petals off”

This Mom was a little nauseous
smelling her daughter’s favorite flowers
as she walked in a daze remembering

far afield she wandered in a trance
yet jolted by the voice persisting;
replied:

“Yes, I’m sure
it was suicide.
You want to know? You know…
my child vomited in her mask,
and the teacher wouldn’t… (you know)
she came home; said school was fine —
the usual kid denial, and the
counselor said don’t worry

“Yes, you know the story —
report it.”

Far afield she wandered in a trance
yet jolted by the voice persisting; replied
“the nurse said it was nothing”

she smelled the flowers

The reporter fell backwards
when she vomited on him, and
she enabled his fall over
the unmasked cliff
with prejudice.

Startled, she turned around to
walk home, so as to smell
the corpse flower, and to
join her daughter with a plunge of
a kitchen knife into her own heart.
    ———–
A Randy Wine Garden of Science

It was the year of plagues,
the year of science.
Fairy tales for children.

Dense withered science,
weathered propaganda
in spirit false, twisted.

Some weathered the year,
some did not: a tear in a
pedagogy climate of fear.

An affront to data, dithers
in logic: twisted science.

Remote Learning,
a few kid suicides, rare

like rain in the desert, but
a science dessert for the
insipid statistical sips
of statistical fruit

Death is usually not literal
in a year of pedagogic abuse, but
withering glance blows slapped the day
with many seizures in a plague year.

It was a year when
the snide videos
proved the teachers
hated the parents

It was a year of ominous noise,
a year of doom dust and ash,
a smell of sulfur when crows
pecked at eggs and left them

Natural became supernatural.
Evil forces prevailed.

Coming from the ground, far under,
were odd humming and rumbling sounds

those evil sounds were underground like
a swarm of crashing freight trains deep below
like gigantic humming birds as big
flapping their wings like manic dinosaurs
and like angry moose fighting with the Devil

It was a year of strangeness
and a year of hope.

But there were two omens. One was

the cicadas came twice in one year —
once in Spring and once in Fall

the other was that
the rare biting incidents in pre-school
became numerous in the upper grades.

Well actually, more than two omens.
And the mayor was perturbed by
the rumors of
real werewolves, zombies
and Devil worshipers
after the theater re-opened.

Maybe those were not omens
but hysteria or tension.

The snide videos
proved the teachers
hated the parents, and
especially me. Disturbed,
board meetings were
pointless and strange.

When
I caught Mary’s teacher
berating my child
in a zoom style thing,
I began my research
on a curse. Nothing
was off the table

My child was an odd goldenrod
and the teachers hated her flowering
even after her death.

When the UFOs came again
and abducted a crazy teacher
we, parents, were not offended.

Picking off the teachers
of the Wine Garden club
was a deserved drubbing
‘cause the aliens had a
purpose for them: needed
them for a scientific study.

The parents were glad, and
there were more important things
than the hopelessly pedantic.

It was a strange year
seared in weird, but cold.

School resumed in the fall
five days-a-week
full time, but appalling
and it was too late
for golden Mary

Mary had had a little lamb.
It was a strange year
seared in weird; disturbing
without a noble shepherd

In the fall
I visited Mary
in the cemetery, but
her grave was disturbed

When Mrs. Marxwagon,
Mary’s dreaded teacher, said
she would sue me in court
for placing a curse on her face
(not a known legal charge),
I laughed as if the Devil courted her.

I told her
if the lamb bothers you,
eat it.

The Center for Propaganda Control (CPC)
said the outbreak looked like rabies.

I don’t know why
I wished Mary would be alive —
I thought it was a harmless thought
and the visions were delusional from grief.

The nightmare was so real, and
and I woke up hearing myself scream —
I saw Mary walking to school, and
she said, Mommy, I failed the test.

I ignored the humming sound
and I got into my car, but
the lightning was so angry, and
the rain was intense, the cicadas
rose from the ground and the birds
ate as many as they could, and there
was the stench of death and decay
in the eerie fear invading my soul;
in panic I drove to school to see
if Mary was there and desperately
I loved her still, and thought perhaps
like a miracle she was alive, and
passing her tests like
a good little girl
so precious and pure

The authorities were busy
in the front of the school
surrounding the UFOs

I climbed a tree and
jumped onto
the roof of the school.
The cicadas were
crawling all over, and
the birds were swarming.

I came down the stairs.
I saw Mary.

She and the other
dead children
were eating their teachers.

It was a good day.
The authorities
stormed the building.

The aliens vaporized them all.
I suppose they’re friendly, because
they follow the pedantic science.

*Masking kids and closing schools is irrational, unscientific child abuse

道格拉斯·吉尔伯特 Plays With Gavin Newsom

Pagliaccio in a Parking Lot
     by Douglas Gilbert
    A play inspired by the Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill**

I am a Grand actor of sorts
a poet in the wings who cavorts
in the Muse’s feathers, a chum
on words from outer plays ‘n
three nested plays undone


Restaurant play:
Everyone must play
must act, and an
actress is a star
who sweet chats and
waits to perform

She launched her dream
(a place to dilly-dally)
on Pineapple Hill
(a salad in paradise)
On Pineapple Hill
(a bar and grill)
Burgers and dill

The stars shined bright
(the whole enchelada)
on Pineapple Hill
(a bar and grill)

and dilly dawdled until
(serving pies and thrills)
success could fill the bill

At first:
the wind in the sails and sales
made all the staff sing a light song
but the caveats for loans Gavel tallied
to merchants of Venice beach et. al.
were a deception locked away
in the fines and fine print i.e.
demands for a pound of flesh; indeed
for the lobbyists a pork barrel.

Gavel Nuisance was a noise:
bag pipes in the plague,
who destroyed a dream
on Pineapple Hill.


Three plays of farce were to be done, and
she of Pineapple Hill in fun,
in pun sweet sorrrow said:

“It’s so warm, so cold, and
Gavel, I never thought
you’d be so cruel
screwing indoor dining
in the California lockdown

“You rob me of my dignity
my life’s dream, kill my
employees and their families
who try to take home the bacon
but you dine with lobbyists
to provide the pork barrels

“and we are the vomit chits
when you drown your guilt
in bubbling Champagne gilt
for mobs of plutocrats

“For us
the hope of being open was promised
for taut moments outdoors:
California ‘morn would be
intense with tents to be bought

“forgive me my outdoor tents:
an instant plunk down of cash,
forty-thousand for the tents
because you, Gavel Nuisance
crater science data
hands down”

But Gavel had gone indoors
to the dark side to
discuss the plays
the feigns

The waiting room of the stars is the restaurant;
to close a Burgermeister’s small business
is a tragicomedy deserving enough serving,
fries on a steak stake, o’er the ramparts dinged:
but a play with words begins in a strut.


California Gomorrah and
dirty laundry.

OH YE PREFACE OF LITTLE FAITH

Audience, I am the first inner Prologue —
please, a laugh for the buffoons.
I have seen the political plague
a Machiavellian farce for the stages
a canvas under pretense, an intense tent

Nedda Liberté is assumed to be heavenly
but she dines and flirts with Gavel Nuisance

they strut across staged plays, its
life a play, the struts the tent poles
and there are nascent plays
to be undone, before done,
players done or burned at a steak lost
with charred lies in a burger inquistion
red spurts from wounds exhausted

ACT ONE
Near the doorway of a haute French Restaurant,
a limousine pulls up to flaunt the haunt, enticed
crowds gather, throwing pellets of dry ice —

“Hail! Hail to the Governor!”
The chauffeur, fool Tonio bizarre
in a Harlequin uniform exits the car,
to run and open the passenger door
for poor Nedda Liberté,


A guile Mr. Nuisance in exigent pomp
promptly sprints around the car back,
to smack right into a Tonio dispatched,
Nuisance like a Pagliaccio:

“I’ll get it. My wife is for me. You attend to cars.”

CROWDS UNDOUBTING
Hail to the Prince of Clowns. Bravo!

GAVEL NUISANCE
Tonio don’t lose it, don’t
let the hail dent the car. Fools…
Let them eat spam. Nedda let’s go in.

CROWDS UNDOUBTING
Hail to the Prince of Clowns.
We throw our dry ice for dry humor.

GAVEL
Ha yes, I dabble in that, but
you’ll see a fine Pagliaccio later
and I will have my vengeance…
Tonio will shake. Come later.
For now we’re unmasked.

The staff rolled out the kitchen sink,
flexible hoses attached, to wash the driveway,
the car, the crowd using the hoses for the day
for jump roping ‘n throwing soap suds in sync


though
rosebud Nedda Liberté with Gavel Nuisance
unraveled a way toward an august entrance

CROWD UNDOUBTING
Let’s go to the parking lot.
Burgers for all. No end outdoors
to enchaladas and grilled catfish

Scene two needing to be unseen in the Restaurant.
They are seated at a blue table of A-list lobbyists.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Yes, waitress: Sabayon of pearl tapioca, yes
Island Creek ova caviar

NEDDA LIBERTÉ
Me too. I’ll not make hay; looks good —
thanks Li Chuntao, and gee Miss Li
um, ha!, has your acting career
withstood the “slings and arrows”?

LI CHUNTAO
My agent says, any day now,
I’ll do better than playing a corpse…

NEDDA LIBERTÉ
Good luck with the corpus delicti Miss Li.
(Um, Gavel, you should get me pearls if
ever for deeds an apology gift is needed)

Li Chuntao departs.
Liu Dai-tai enters.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Hmm, it was a fleeting glance, and
oh here’s someone you should meet.
(Hello, Miss Liu Dai-tai, may I present
sweet Nedda Liberté, my wife and treat)

LI DAI-TAI
Pleased to meet you at liberty.
Gavel tells me you’re very busy.
(Gavel, I need you for a few minutes.
In good spirit, let’s lie together; it’s
perfectly round and flawless)

NEDDA LIBERTÉ
What?!

Gavel goes off with Dai-tai.

LIU DAI-TAI
Gavel, the prop lady needs cajoling
to be on the same page
about the bed on stage
in the trampoline scene.
A white lie is needed; so
let us both compliment
her pearl necklace, and she’ll
amend the supports as a favor.
But, um…

GAVEL
Wherefore the problem?

LIU DAI-TAI
It’s perfectly round and flawless.
no silk threads, no knots
cheap clasp

GAVEL
So?

LIU DAI-TAI
It’s a fake.
Let’s lie together, and
tell her it’s real.

A photographer appears with hors d’oeuvres.
Gavel sneaks out the back to throw a curve.
Leaves Nedda at the table. Tonio observes,
furtively sits down.

NEDDA
Tonio, is the car cleaned?

TONIO
Yes, yes Nedda. But you’re a beauty,
a cutie like a goddess adored

MISS LI CHUNTAO
Oh, are you the chauffer? Have you come for instructions
or will you be having something or funning us?

TONIO
I will have the privilege to adore
this goddess who sits with me
like an angel. I will have her see
her husband has disgraced her
and takes leave out the backdoor

MISS LI
Are you sure?

TONIO
Bring me a sliced chicken
and I will cook the skin on
ferocious fires of my desire.
Give me a breast of the times
and a Pie à la Mode

MISS LI
For eating or throwing?

NEDDA
Ha! Give him his just deserts, and
I will have dessert for throwing.

MISS LI
Funny. I’ll find something
suitable for a comedian.
I’ll take my leave before
a spasm of laughter
makes me drop a dish.
Ha! Ciao Goddess and suitor.

TONIO
So he’s gone and
what did he say?

NEDDA
Liu Dai-Tai said they should lie together.

TONIO
A shameless proposal.
So we have a chance at romance.
You glow like the sun, and
I bask in your warmth, honey

NEDDA
Yes, of course, sonny —
I am bright, and
you are dim.
Oh but
the dimwitted one
admires my beauty

TONIO
Show me your wit
with a kiss of compassion
for a fool you’ll learn to love.

NEDDA
Oh hurrumph ha gaaah

Tonio lunges at her glare, diving.
She blocks with a chair stops him in place.
Stares. For her the ordered pie arrives,
at her hand it flies, and finds his face.
A crowd gathers at a distance safe.

TONIO
So let’s kiss and make up.

CROWD
Kiss, kiss, kiss…

NEDDA
Oh what fate will bring me down? These deeds
betray madness hounding; I’m beseiged
by comedians, sad buffoons, and clowns.

TONIO
You mock me?
For this you will pay. Yes.
I’ll tell you this: indeed
your husband mocks you.

NEDDA
No matter.

She sees Silvio her lover behind a column.

TONIO
Do I distract you from your shame
little mocking bird, poor dame?

NEDDA
Go now twit or I will hit you with
a wild goose…

CROWD
Kiss, kiss, kiss the chaste and
chase the goose until he can roost.

TONIO
Trollop!

NEDDA
Buffoon!

Tonio leaves.

NEDDA
Silvio! Come through the crowd!
Darling Silvio, where shall we go
where kisses are blisses and…

CROWD
Kiss, kiss, kiss…
there’s a residence in the back

The staff laughs

NEDDA AND SILVIO
Did you say:
There’s a residence in the back
and we shall have a snack

There’s a
Residence,
in the,
back

SILVIO
Well then, over the wall
we’ll run away quick
Yes,
if you wish to kiss me
you have to sing in praise yes
amazed to raise a love to love
and then

NEDDA
Then
oh staunch wall of love
you’ll be with me, and

the debauched glee,
you bring to me yeah
and shall I say again then

NEDDA and SILVIO
There’s a residence in the back
and we shall leer with snacks
a residence
in the
rear

Nedda and Silvio retreat to a private back room
CONCIERGE
Welcome. We are proud that you
will be the first to use (for amusement)
our new facility conducive for play
by actors or politicians.

If there’d be anything you need,
let us know. For this inauguration —
a complimentary bar, and for a stunning
pièce de résistance: two masterpieces
developed by our chief pâtissier. Ah indeed
our chef presents for you for a first tease:
Tartes à la crème double pour la comédie!

SILVIO
Excusez-moi?

CONCIERGE
Ah yes, two “Banana Cream Pies.”

SILVIO
Well, ha, this is a different hurrah than
a complimentary mint found or scrounged.
C’est assez grand, et voici un pourboire.

NEDDA
What?

SILVIO
I said, wow — here’s a tip.
(Thank you. You may go.)

NEDDA TO SILVIO
Let’s make plans dear:
we’ll run away wild
and I remember how
we played in the snow
wrote a poem together
as if we rhymed well
held love in a meter, and

as you know dear love angel
I am a quintessential plus one

but don’t be afraid if I brag about you
because I love you enough to sing a cappella
with the accompaniment of the lub dub

Let’s make plans:
we’ll run away

escape with me my lover
because we play so well

and remember how well we fell
on a ski slope in an
avalanche of love
and so gentle was
the snow fight, because
you are so cute when
you banter and we laugh
at a quirk of difference
so charming, so sexy, and
we are so right to be wrong

SILVIO
But what about the play?

NEDDA
You are of play, by play,
and for play of the people —
Yes?

SILVIO
You are to be Ann O’Malley,
wife of Pagliaccio —
touché?

NEDDA
Oh my God, I forgot
all about the role and plot.
I’ll get an understudy, and we
can pull out tonight. Go at once.
Oh hell, I hear a commotion, run.

SILVIO
Wait, don’t panic. I’ll peek out the door…
the furor’s just Li Chuntao. Perfect chance.
(Miss Li, could you change coarse for a second?)

LI CHUNTAO
Yes?

SILVIO
Come in please.

LI CHUNTAO
Yes?

SILVIO
Nedda needs an understudy for her part in a play.

NEDDA
Have you read “Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo?

LI CHUNTAO
I have. Yes, it’s a lot of clowning around, and what’s your part?

NEDDA
Well, it’s a little complicated you might say.
We’re doing a parody fray under a tent,
intense folly in the parking lot adjacent
the Pineapple Hill place..
Um, anyway, you see
I play Ann O’Malley.

LI CHUNTAO
Who? I don’t recognize the guise.

NEDDA
Oh, yeah. We changed the name.
It was Columbina wife of Canio the pain.
Now I’m Ann O’Malley, wife of Pagliaccio.

LI CHUNTAO
Um, well… I don’t look Irish or Italian

NEDDA
Ha! It’s comedy, yes:
just sing to make it up
make up on the make

A put on
to be on

Stage it, make it
So make it up
make it up
make it up

with makeup
a little powder puff
with Leprechaun dust,
it’ll make it enough

make-believe
dissemble please
make away with made up,
assemble the façade, and
save face that way an act

LI CHUNTAO
I think I can make it, but…

Noise in the hallway

NEDDA
Thank you. Beppe will give you a script.

LI CHUNTAO
Who?

NEDDA
Ask Tonio to point you to Beppe, but quick. Thank you.

SILVIO
Oh god, I hear Gavel’s voice in the hallway. I’ll run. Tonight forever…

NEDDA
Go quick.

Silvio runs. Gavel leaps seeing the back
of his head and nape of the neck fleeing;
Silvio jumps over a wall and escapes.
Gavel returns out of breath and in a rage.
Bursts in, not to be assuaged from revenge.

NEDDA
Gavel, what are you doing here?

GAVEL NUISANCE
What am I doing here? What am I? Hell. Who was that?

NEDDA
Who?

GAVEL NUISANCE
No one betrays me.

Gavel pulls out a stiletto from his jacket.

NEDDA
Ha! Merely practicing your part now.
Are you? Oh so dramatic, dear clown.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Tell me his name or I
will slit your throat for
the blood of a purge, and
make extant your last moment
deathbed confession;
you will birth his name
his name, his name.

NEDDA
Never. You are a pest at best.
Go to hell pompous pet.
Go scamper away. Insect!
Buzz off. Ha, minor actor be gone.
I never loved you at all.

Gavel lunges at her with the stilletto. She dodges. She screams. Beppe runs in

BEPPE
What are you doing?

NEDDA
He’s practicing his meager
talents as an assassin manqué
and the buffoon is in a clown rage.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Beppe,
Laugh if you will, but for the victim
the blade of fate is sharp and deadly;
Honor is no laughing matter, and
I will spare her from bleeding out
only that I may hear the spoken name
of her crime and that of the villain

BEPPE
Please, please, calm down, be cool.
Vengence later. We have a play to do.
Hold the pompous drama for the police
if you’d lose your mind in a mad laughter.

GAVEL NUISANCE
She’ll be dead before any police arrive
and they’d be busy with shutdowns.
You’d stop me for play?
Gavel lunges at Beppe.
Beppe trips him and he
falls face first into a pie.

BEPPE
Nedda go!

Nedda leaves

GAVEL
Someone will pay for this outrage!
There’s too much vanilla in the cream.
And you, Beppe, are not
the crème de la crème either.
Disgrazia italiana.
Un vile buffone.
Un malvagio arlecchino!

BEPPE
Focus on the stage you love:
you will grip the audience
with your greatness. For now
the play. Any blood lust can wait.

GAVEL
This bed is the scene of the defilement.
Treachery! Like this bed is the stage,
I will jump onto it and
seize the lightning of Zeus.
I rise up for my vengeance!

Gavel jumps up onto the bed, and
on second bounce hits the chandelier,
his head breaking some glass and
the sprinkler and fire alarm go off.

BEPPE
Don’t you think the shower would have been simpler?

ACT TWO

The audience is gathering
under a tent in the extra parking lot
next to the Pineapple Bar & Grill spot
a slot adjacent to a second circus-grand
two-tiered one for actors outstanding


Silvio has arranged for a private dinner
indoors at the Pineapple Hill Restaurant.
Nedda is to meet him there for a whir.

BEPPE in hushed tones under the circus tent:
Please extras and villagers, prepare to watch the inner play.

GAVEL NUISANCE at the edge of the stage, shouting, staring:
Audience please, masks up, then find a distanced chair.
uncertain, goes back behind a curtain

Prologue 2
BEPPE shouting
Here you see in front of me the villagers who
in pews have gathered to watch a play taboo
behind the curtain where, elated, Ann O’Malley
(Nedda) awaits with lust aforethought
her lover Arlecchino (by me) to be caught.
I must thus retreat to join with other actors.

A curtain opens to a room with a kitchen table, and
a bed by a window, a tableau for Ann O’Malley,
just arrived from a masquerade ball, and
she still wearing a mask,
paces up and back,
awaiting.
Then a noise.

ANN O’MALLEY
Arlecchino? Is that you?

TADDEO
(Tonio)
No it’s your humble servant and admirer,
and I love you like a choir of doves…

ANN O’MALLEY
Fool, you think you have the guts
to slay me, but offer me nothing but lust?
Bring the slain chicken, and pray tell
how much did you pay for a slaughter?

Taddeo stumbles inside with a package that he puts on the table.

TADDEO
Yes here and it was on sale
and there I’ve unwrapped it
and the tail tells tales…

ANN O’MALLEY
Idiot! That’s a catfish.

TADDEO
Yeah but it was cheap and gutted.

Arlecchino arrives. As soon as
he opens the door, an eagle flies in,
grabs the catfish in its talons, and
takes flight through a skylight.

TADDEO
I’ll get it.
Taddeo jumps onto the bed,
headed up in high bounces until crashing
like a big bird through the ceiling, but
foot squeaks in the hall are heard.

VOICE IN THE HALLWAY
Ann, what’s going on? Who is there?

ANN O’MALLEY
Is that you, Pagliaccio? You’re early!

Pagliaccio bursts in

PAGLIACCIO
What was that crash? Who’s here?

ANN O’MALLEY
That was Taddeo. He jumped on the bed and crashed through the ceiling.

PAGLIACCIO
What? Impossible! Who’s here. What’s the scoundrel’s name?

ANN O’MALLEY
There’s no one here.

Pagliaccio jumps on the bed

SOUND
Ouch, uh.

PAGLIACCIO
What’s that? Is he here? What’s his name?

ANN O’MALLEY
No one has a name. It’s the sound of a wilted rose. Its name is Rose.

PAGLIACCIO
What name does an ouch have. Speak the devil’s name.

ANN O’MALLEY
‘A rose by any other name’ would smell as sweet and innocent as a summer’s day.

PAGLIACCIO
You mock me?
(Pagliaccio violently jumps on the bed)
Come out from under the bed or I will crush you.

ANN O’MALLEY
There’s no one there.

Pagliaccio jumps onto the floor,
knocking over the table. Arlecchino comes out
from under the bed and hops
onto the top.

ARLECCHINO
There’s no one there.
Arlecchino jumps on the bed
and reaches the ceiling. Before
flying out he shouts:

She never loved you;
I will love her forever, for
Love flies!

Pagliacccio pulls out a stiletto.

PAGLIACCIO
Vendetta! You will tell me his name and I will find him.

ANN O’MALLEY
Who?

PAGLIACCIO
The man who was just here.

ANN O’MALLEY
Oh Taddeo is just a fool,
doesn’t mean a thing, ’cause
infatuation is a minor hazard

PAGLIACCIO
Not him. Not Arlecchino, not… confess Nedda!

Ann runs over to him and whispers:
ANN O’MALLEY
What are you doing?
Have you forgotten fame,
your lines, the play? I’m Ann.
You’re ruining the play. You
don’t know the true name or names.

Pagliaccio strikes Ann and she flies across the room, stumbling to her feet.

PAGLIACCIO
I held court for you, honored you
with crumpets and croissant
but you were a mere courtesan.
I arranged a ball with a trumpet fanfare
but you are a mere strumpet who played a part.

Read your line Nedda,
say you love me, and
forgo all others

ANN O’MALLEY
That’s not my line. Have you gone mad. I’m Ann.
Um, uh, well… forget this Nedda. I’m not Nedda.
You are Pagliaccio.

PAGLIACCIO
Who? What’s your devil’s name?

ANN O’MALLEY
Who? I am a Rose, and you are Pagliaccio.

PAGLIACCIO
No! Pagliaccio non son!
No! I’m not a clown!
You Nedda are a tollop who leaves out a table setting but no dinner.
picks up knife, stabs the table, leaving it embedded
Where, pray tell, is my Coq Au Vin…?
Hell!
pulls out stilleto
This is not a prop either. Hell!
You used to be my innocent filly.

ANN O’MALLEY
No idiot, I’m not Nedda! I’m not that trollop.
Non sono un fannullone né un piacere sfrenato
You’re a solo Svengali blotto, pee on chair cocksure

PAGLIACCIO
Puttana! Name! Name!

ANN O’MALLEY
I am no Nedda nor trollop. And you are a scalloped potato.

PAGLIACCIO
Treachery has no disguise, Nedda. Come close; I have a whisper…
She thinks he will give her
stage directions or explanation.
Comes closer glumly

ANN O’MALLEY
What?
He plunges the knife in her chest. She screams:
Help! I’m an understudy, understudy… Help… I’m Li Chuntao
Doctor in the wings rushes out on stage

MANY VOICES IN THE AUDIENCE
Who? Who? What?

PAGLIACCIO moving to the edge:
Delirium!
Pandemic!
Pandemics love me,
not Nedda; you whisper
a name like vespers,
share in his delicacies —
Name! Name! I’ll have the name!

VOICE FROM THE AUDIENCE
Violation! Someone’s dining outdoors at the Pineapple Saloon!

PAGLIACCIO
He jumps off the stage, shouting:
Sic semper restauranteur mors, as the assassin says

AUDIENCE
Name? Name?

I AM GAVEL NUISANCE, Pagliaccio.

Gavel limps towards the Pineapple Hill Saloon. Li Dai-Tai, the Director and Stage Manager, runs up to him.

LI DAI-TAI
Gavel! Wait! Stop a second. Let your foot rest.

GAVEL NUISANCE
What? Sorry about your play… you’re a good director…

LI DAI-TAI
No, it’s not that. Um, well, I’ll
tell you to what benevolence you can succumb;
for you know my group. Yes just ask for
DYDC LLC contracts for masquerade-ball masks,
lend an ear for solar panels, buses and forklifts tasks
and we will make re-call petitions against you disappear…
a Dissemble Your Dream Coup corp

GAVEL NUISANCE
I would not be unhappy if
such a comeuppance were
to happen unbeknowst to me. The
probability of such a thing happening
seems low to spring up (not that
I’m endorsing it, of course). Well…

LI DAI-TAI
I got you the trampoline bed, didn’t I? —
small lies are grand; right? I’ll give you
one last gift: His name is Silvio. Jot:
he’ll be with Nedda due at outdoor tables
in the Pineapple Hill restaurant parking lot.

Gavel runs towards the Pineapple Hill Saloon.
Beppe, like a lunatic, runs shouting through the crowd:

BEPPE
Turn around. The play continues! Watch Pagliaccio get his revenge!

VOICES IN THE CROWD
Catch him. Learn his name! Vendetta! Run Pagliaccio!

Gavel reaches the Pineapple Hill Saloon parking lot.

BEPPE
Gavel, wait for the cart.

Liam, a stagehand driving an electric cart
brings the props and accesories missing to
catch up with Gavel who has just arrived
where Silvio and Nedda are kissing.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Nedda! How could you betray me like this…
(Liam! Place a sword on the table, and give me my King Arthur sword.)

NEDDA
You’re insane!
Silvio is my cousin.

GAVEL and SILVIO together
Liar! I love her.
a figure runs out from the restaurant like a blur

TONIO
Me too with the passion of the Sun for the moon…

GAVEL and SILVIO together
Shut-up!

CROWD
We love you!

TONIO, GAVEL, and SILVIO
Who?

NEDDA
What’s in a name… a rose…
Tonio, Gavel, Silvio, and Members of the Crowd pick her up and throw her into a rose bush.
Hey! Ow. Is romance dead and ow-ow…

Silvio retreats to the table. Gavel runs to the cart where Liam gives him a sword

VOICES in the CROWD
En-garde, En-garde!

GAVEL
Pret

VOICES in the CROWD
Allez, allez, allez. Go, go, go dance…

Gavel lunges. Silvio parries to the right,
smacks with his left hand, throws in spite
his free leg under Gavel’s knee. Gavel
falls to the ground, losing his sword.

VOICES in the CROWD
Coup de grâce! Finish him.

LIAM
Stop! Lunch break — union rules.

Nedda, Silvio, and Gavel sat down
at the table to have burgers, and as a treat
they decided where to meet for a confounding
ménage à trois. Another person approaches

LI DAI-TAI
Ah, so its settled then.

GAVEL NUISANCE
Certainly not! Outdoor dining is forbidden.
This restaurant must receive a fine when
we are the best witnesses to the crime.

**The Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill, put up an expensive tent in their parking lot for outdoor dining after all indoor dining was forbidden. Now outdoor dining is forbidden also. But a Movie company put up an identical tent on the other side of the parking lot to feed their crew.
    Gavin Newsom first closed indoor dining and then outdoor dining because of the Pandemic. He, however dined at the “French Laundry” restaurant.
    One might imagine that besides a movie being made, that a play could be performed involving clowns. Parodies can be interesting. Here’s one loosely modeled after “Pagliacci” an Opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

批判种族理论 Cathode Ray Tube


[ 道格拉斯·吉尔伯特写的演诗 ]

课堂上的批判兰花理论

兰花。兰迪。
这朵花批判了思想的严重干旱。

她是兰花。
兰花liesneri 谎言。
她有狂热的独裁者的发烧。
兰花以温度和疼痛为导向。

“爱乘小船迷路的孩子的老师,应该去船尾抓舵。,”   兰迪·温加滕说。
“热爱共产主义,就是庆祝人民 和
小船上的孩子们。”

涨潮掀起所有的船和
飘扬在马克思主义中盛开的花朵。