Tour de Force

Of Nice and Men is a snappy, genre-driven play predicated on your typical hero’s journey through the heartland once regarded as antiquated–cornball, even–in the pseudo-sophisticated shadow of a cultured society we’ve been thrust into by the more majorly militaristic manchildren among us (trading individual liberties for big boy toys and candy).

Since we occupy an epoch where modern delineation truly has strangled the life out of chronological concerns (that is to say we’ve had our fair share of allegorical parallelograms in our time, no doubt about that, no siree), if you find yourself charged with taking in this three-hour beauty, you can–and should–simply attend the theatre as a pilgrim of the arts, allowing yourself to become awash in a different reality, even if only for a glimmering moment.

Other than the obvious sociological implications afforded to us by the title, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the tap dance sequences that pop up seemingly from out of nowhere (even though I’ve just spoiled the twist for you, but you pay that no mind). In a nutshell, this tour de force pits Americana versus whimsy at the intersection of Leap and Gamble Avenues.

For all my field trip aficionados out there, I recommend bringing a schoolbusful of primary school students to see the Wednesday matinee, as tickets for 12 and under are free.

Tea Time

A dinghy
in the middle of
this patriot’s sketchbook

provides a pure rendition
of what our ancestors
had once believed to be
a savior of some kind.

According to our current science,
the dinghy no longer ranks
among the ideal species
to be considered a deity,

but belief systems
have changed significantly
since that epoch. A list
of acceptable deities
may be found outside my office,

though not before tea time
(I despise holding class
before tea time).

Goofball

Oh come now, there are multiple reasons
why you shouldn’t screw in a lightbulb that way.
Primarily, you’ll shatter its fragile exterior
and gouge your hand,
smearing precious blood all over your clothing.

That tunic you bought at the Sears yesterday (don’t ask how I know)
will be absolutely ruined. The fourteen dollars you spent
will be for naught. I know you don’t see that
as your perfect (or even preferred) scenario, so
stop acting like a goofball and listen to me
when I teach you how to do something.
Do you want a repeat of the zombie survival drills?
Didn’t think so.

On Good Authority

Mickey The Mantelpiece
has it on good authority
that Dinkins’ Corner
smells like hot dog water
and scorched sand
after the bungled boogaloo last Tuesday.
It’s more than likely
a result of that notorious
Basketweaving Barrelmuncher Brigade–
they usually leave a lasting impression
in this naïve neighborhood.

The Brigade, forever unsure of its tenuous future,
kept right on hoarding canned meats
like it was going out of style–
ever since we thought we’d licked
those midcentury wartime tendencies.

Never an organization keen on listening to reason,
the BBB (not to be mistaken
with the power-wielding force
that calls the local business shots)
must have leaked some spiced ham remnants
while making their hasty getaway
from the street that birthed their tendencies.

We’re gonna need to hold them responsible
for the odorous hullabaloo
they always leave in their sloppy wake
(as though they think we’re meek enough
to take it lying down, the cretins).
Mickey The Mantelpiece will head up the posse.

Wink Wink

Don’t allow the accomplishments of the more senior members of the artistic community frighten you into stagnation, young man (i.e. the type of artist who thinks that he’s probably getting a bit older these days [as one would naturally experience while living some kind of existence as we currently know it] but wouldn’t care to complain about it to anybody in his age group, because [after all] we’re all experiencing our own contemporary struggles that leave very little room for any kind of self-actualizing, let alone exploration of forms that connect our consciousnesses to one another in the form of communal expression).

Just continue to do what you’re going to do (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more), and the self-prescribed purpose of your toiling will eventually unveil itself. The purpose may have actually [indubitably] been there from the start, and you (the recipient of a lifetime’s worries and schematics) are only just awakening to the possibility of its interconnectedness and unbounded potential when merged with the human psyche.

Then [and only then] will you uncover the true nature of our fictitious narrative centered around the cultivation of blue cheese cultures (and please don’t ask a tedious question as to why it’s cheese over every other possible culture, we’ve heard them all, trust us).

Dips and Dives

Exaggerating one’s influence should be among those acts reserved for the dolomite entrepreneurs out there with more margarine than non-dairy coffee creamer at their regular disposal.

If we allow these blowhards to navigate the kitchen table’s width and fail to uncover the tangential ne’er-do-wells we’ve been warned about, then what was it all for?

All we can say is that protesting such an alteration of manifest destiny (density?) comes with the price of freedom (and a bag of chips in some circumstances), and nothing short of Ozzy the Philistine could resurrect the embattled intentions of those labor organizers mainly concerned with seizing the means of production.

We must remain ever-vigilant, for you never know when pediatric charlie horse tendencies will rear their ugly heads in the recesses of adolescent America. We (the Americanses) once sat atop the global jungle gym, our ingenuity and general cuteness inspiring power-seekers a world around to blush with envy at the amenities they could only imagine (until that coal train came a rolling down the bend with the promise of sooty modernity), filling their heads with unrequited lust for widgets and modules and bells and whistles that could fill their modest spaces—digital and otherwise.

And, of course, once even a modicum of that prosperity had begun evening the materialistic score, we flat out lost our lease on the planet. As our Gaia gathers the foreclosure paperwork, we scramble like the varmints we really are, pushing and shoving, blaming all but ourselves and projecting our greed onto unrealistic scapegoats for just long enough to lose any chance of saving what had once been humanity’s little slice of paradise that, against all odds, had once been a serviceable milieu.

Ah well, the sloughing-off period is just gonna have to start a little early this time around, with a tad more english on the dips and dives.

Four to Thirteen

Picking up where we left off
shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance
to us this evening. Sometimes
an elegant tail-end reception fiasco
is just what you need
to guarantee
that end-of-days proceedings
are kicked off in style.

Do we have a believable universe here? Do we have a character with whom we would like to share our collective journeys? If we have no character identification, then why is this even being proposed at all?

Are we so obsessed with plot that we fail to build our world model around anything else? I would say no, but I’ve been programmed to provide that answer. For you see, I come from simple means. My mother was a mushroom forager and my father took his canoe from out of the barn one day and paddled out of our lives forever. I had a herniated vertebra in my back from the ages of four to thirteen, after which time a medical miracle cure fixed it permanently. Now I only have to deal with the crippling daily hallucinations involving my needless slaughter at the hands of a cult of murderous clowns.

But enough about me, I’m sure you all have dealt with various traumas in your lives and you’d rather not hear the boring details of mine. You see, I’m generally a very simple person with very few wants or needs at the end of the day. I put on my pants one leg at a time, just like everyone else. Well, aside from the fact that I need to have my pants made custom to accommodate the extra leg I sprouted a little while back (maybe a complication from that miracle back cure, who knows?). Well, calling it a full-blown leg is a bit generous, but you get the gist.