Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

To Boost, To Boost

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Spent a guilt-inducing time today watching one and a half seasons of a show called Misfits.  Either I’m lazy or wading into depression again.  Here’s hoping it’s the former.

In trying to keep my spirits up (boost the ego and all that) and get working on the play again, I was reading some of it today, and decided that I like the following speech that I wrote for the duke of Milan to say to his assembled court:

Time concentrates on Time alone, and leaves
Its passengers neglected from the start.
At first we spurt into the world, all hope
And full of prospect, but already do
The inattentions wedge into the cracks,
Even when we’re convinced of acme health:
We find there is a lack of breath where once
There was the bellow’s full abundance stored,
We come across long-vaulted obstacles
That cramp our once-stretched leaps and make gorges
Out of gutters and cliffs from shallow stairs,
We ache when once our bodies harmonized,
We take the nights in intervals disjunct,
And yet our minds, our minds do halt this Age
Of Disconcertancies, a captain stuck
To drowning ship, succumbing last, and so
Does Time become the midwife to the other end,
Giving us pause to birth what is to come,
To finalise the wishes of a crumbling will,
To bear anew the lives already born
And cut the ties umbilical before
Our fraying anchors trail from sight and slip
Into a plane more comfortable and quiet.
And so, while soul eternal wearies not,
Susceptible reason to time becomes
And weighs our eyes with tired syllogisms
Until decrepit logic does debate
Our blinded sentries off the battlements
And draws the bridge between our innocence
And windswept reality. Soon, too soon,
Have choices picked my brain, but now I sit
In my selections, having ordered all,
Like an accountant binding pages to
A clear and indexed book. But I do see
Some fret from faces strewn with deep concern.
Yet fear not – pluck some fibre from your brave
Reserves and call yourselves to steady arms –
I didn’t call you here to abdicate,
For Time is only halfway through degrading me,
And half a duke is more than most whole men.
But half a duke has only two spare quarters.
And so I cannot waste these clinking years
In case my mind, one coin alone, becomes
Unsound, producing only echoes from
An orphaned cymbal – I must jangle while
I can, and empty my loose pockets of
Their plans.
Fairest Milan I split in two, to test
My sons and shake the rulers out of them –
I haven’t toiled for all these years to wrap
This gifted city and then post it to
Destruction. Raphael will take the north
While Melchior will rule the south and –

“acme health” and “intervals disjunct” – there’s something about those two phrases that rings nicely in my ear.  Something to do with opposing consonants, I think.  Or opposing sounds, rather.  It’s stuff like that that gets lost in translation.

I learnt the word “psychopomp” today – meaning the spirit/etc that helps a person find safe passage to the afterlife.  I’m tempted to find a place for it in the play, if only because I like the sound of it so much (plus I’m sure it’ll fit quite easily into a meditation on death), but I wonder whether the audience will know what it means (presumably not), and also whether I care if the audience knows what it means (I do most of the time, but one word out of twenty or twenty-five thousand can’t be that bad…).


Written by epistemysics

October 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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