Marty Pilletti: You don’t like her. My mother don’t like her. She’s a dog. And I’m a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night. I’m gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together, I’m gonna get down on my knees. I’m gonna beg that girl to marry me. If we make a party on New Year’s, I got a date for that party. You don’t like her? That’s too bad.
When I was with him, I lost a year. A year’s worth of songs, of friends, of experiences. He reminded me of Bluebeard, although he never did hack anyone to pieces. He just dismantled my sense of self, my confidence. It was such a gradual, slippery change from supportive boyfriend to abusive piece of shit that to this day I’m still amazed by the way it happened. I should have known better, me, the daughter of an abused wife. I should have seen the signs. But that’s what they do, those Bluebeards. They dazzle you with gold and then slip you a key and before you know it your hands are covered in blood and you know that your life is never going to be the same again.
It took me another half a year after he left for me to get the courage up to start writing again, and singing again. I still feel fragile sometimes, wondering why I bother when, as he put it, I’ll never be perfect.
I know now perfection isn’t the goal. It’s about telling my story, and the stories of women like me who can’t or won’t. There might not be a happy ending, but at least there’s a beginning. And that’s more than a lot of people have.
the only way this will work
is if I pretend that you only
exist when we’re together.
With apologies to John Berryman
Your arm, being longer than most,
Is a decent distance to keep from the girl.
There are, in Henry’s opinion, only two
Reasons to keep such length,
To avoid touch even accidental:
Either one of two is much disgust by the thought,
Or one of two is afraid of starting some thing.
Henry once knew a girl, coarse haired,
A vocabulary so filth Bukowski gave a bow—
But once the clothes came
off the words dried up
(It all dried up)
Except for one artful tear,
Caught in lashes.
Once upon a time Henry pined—
All manner of wood and longing—
For a lady who was so blank a canvas
He could mark her body up with poetry and
Worry not about Kilroy or anyman having
Been there before.
wiser Henry knew such a thing was folly.
We’re all us marked somehow, some with care and meter,
Some scrawled with lines thoughtless.
No blank canvas for Henry or anybody.
Not fair of him, anyhow, to want of someone
Something he himself ain’t.
(Henry had many faults but he could still be fair.)
Your legs, being longer than most,
Walk you off at a speed most careful.
One arm, two arm, you’re four arms gone
Most enviable fast.
Good says Henry.
For the last man to sign his name.
and I feel like writing a song like writing a letter like watching the rain
and it seems like day after day and night after night is more of the same
are you out there waiting for me to come and rescue you?
or am I here waiting to see if you would ask me to?
written by Jim Frazier
One line Doctor Who Matt Smith
The Dreamer or the Dream
ALICE A small lady, dark haired.
CHARLES Tallish man, mid thirties, always wears
An empty room. There is a settee, a small tea table, and a
Yesterday, today or tomorrow.
(CHARLES’ sitting room. ALICE and CHARLES sit a demure space apart from each other on the settee.)
Have you heard from the coroner’s office?
The coroner’s office? Why would I be hearing from them?
Oh. I don’t know. Why wouldn’t you? Sometimes they just like to ring just because.
That’s never happened to me. Ever. Has it happened to you?
Just the one time.
The time your father died?
Yes. That time. Happiest day of my life. That stupid bastard. Too bad he’d squandered any money he had on investing in treacle wells. Not that I need his money. I’m quite well situated thanks to my husband.
You mean the slot machine?
Yes. My husband the slot machine.
Ever so glad to hear that’s still working out.
And what about you and…
The mechanical bat?
Yes. The mechanical bat. Is that still as…wonderful as ever?
Yes. I wind it up. It flies about. I watch it fly. Eventually it falls to the ground. I enjoy our predictable interactions. If only people were so easy to work and understand.
You mean they’re not? Then why do I have this abominable key in the small of my back?
No. I don’t.
I see you still have the banjo.
Oh. Yes. I do.
Have you learned how to play it?
No. Not yet. I’ve been busy with the bat. And the book. And the walks around the park. And the wondering…always wondering…
Why do you always wear those gloves?
As long as I’ve known you, you’ve worn those grey gloves. No matter what the weather. No matter how hot or damp or sunny you wear those grey gloves. You wear them when you drink your tea, or caress a flower…do you wear them when you touch a woman? Hold her hand?
That is not an appropriate topic of conversation for a young lady.
Do you remember the night I played the banjo for you? You said you wished that my rooms could adjoin yours, so we could pop over and play music together and tell stories to each other any time we wished. Any time the spirit moved us, no matter what the time of day. You wore my hat, remember? You plucked it right off my head and paraded around this very drawing room. You wore my hat and ALMOST took off your gloves and, dear sir, I would really like to know what you meant by that.
I. I don’t know.
You must have some idea! You didn’t just accidentally take my hat off and put it back on your head. It was a deliberate gesture! And just as deliberately, you peeled back the wrist of your grey glove. On your right hand. And you would have taken your glove off completely if you hadn’t remembered yourself. What made you remember yourself, Charles? And what was so frightening about it that you forced yourself to forget yourself again?
I don’t know. Honestly, Alice, I just don’t know.