Feb 27, 2005

Shutters on the fly

Mosque entrance at AUI
Originally uploaded by macnamband.

Shutters on the fly, in the wild blue wind,
Striking strange chords through hollow 'crete.
A score for the big uneasy, a ginsome hangover
It was that flippant Y-N oracle three days ago,
But we have a team on it: will there be an Easter?
Or is that it, the 13th month, actuarially speaking.
Not more than a year from June. Which is it,
Feeble mind? Girly-boy Berber without his sheep?
Such stupid things became you faith. Saw layers,
Signs, now messages from a garage boy’s mind?
What possessed you? Well then, you deserve it.
But of course, what to do with the habit,
Hope mind over doubt? But you don’t have it to override....
So now you’re stuck, hopped up on your wait,
Making out.... “Make it a double, please.”
Right old Bill? The G-man behind his desk,
Haunted by the early death of his only G-dad:
A right winger from Maine in the FBI.
But I'm thinkin', I just need that third book.
Then I'll go... 'c’mon, baby, just one time.'
and his was a good mind given to doubt.
In Water Street holes he revived, with 5 Vodka
Tonics and after 2, all neats, he could see light,
‘Though not tonight.... There it is again....
That flat pic will not make me dance.
Shutters on the fly, in the wild blue wind,
Tsunamis roaring down the flue.
Hey, put down that imagination, boy.
Get hold of yourself, ain't no bots in the rain.
Rest easy, girl, there’s more to come.

Feb 24, 2005

Going Toward It

I'm always telling them, you can be anything you want on stage. I reassure them. I explain that Building 17 is freedom's palace if there ever was one. They understand and slowly they're beginning to believe it. The core group gets it; they want more.

Once, I had a warm-up exercise in which the Red people stood perfectly still and silent, while the blue people walked around and said whatever they wanted. Then reverse. I never get involved; I prefer to go around and coach. It's a chance to be a voyeur as well. But this time, since we were short, I played the statue opposite a young actor. This was her first time. She was like a yelping dog around a bear. She backed up and crouched and went into a tirade about her worries, academic and social, but particularly about the theater and here she was taking a real risk by coming and she was afraid, and what was I going to do with her, and how would this all turn out.

We switched roles and I got very close to her, close enough that I could smell smoke in her hair and perfume. It was instantly erotic, being able to talk to her in this way. I whispered in her ear that I wanted her to be a little frightened, I wanted her to take a risk, that was the whole point, to be fearless, I said, and I told her what I had told Marina long ago, one afternoon, on the beach in Malibu. I said to the actor, it's like swimming in the ocean and suddenly here's a set you didn't notice and the waves are too big and too close together to get to the shore, yet the prospect of staying out is frightening, you'll be swept away, you'll be caught by the undertow, and so your instinct is to get in, but you start and the suction is so strong you can't and then you look over your shoulder and there's the wave, gathering up into that marble wall, that lovely, terrifying wall, rising up higher and higher, the marble disolving to black and then finally to deep green, and there you are, in no man's land. Now, you've got to suffer the break and all that boiling white chaos, or else go toward the wave and, just as it breaks, go down and dig your hands into the sand, wait, come up and then swim away from the beach.

And know that as soon as you get to the surface there'll be another wave right there. It will look monstrous and you may have to come up through the kelp, which is heavy and adhesive and you'll have to go down again, and again, and you'll have to go down and really hold on. You may have to do this three or four times, diving and surfacing, and it'll become more and more frightening. You'll begin to doubt. You'll look for help. But there's nobody on the beach and they couldn't hear you anyway.... Eventually, the sets will clear. You'll forget that; but there'll be an opening. "Go toward it," I said, looking at the side of her face, enjoying the role, languishing in the sensualities, going toward the wave, towards her, away from shore, right to the sand, feeling the wave come down like a collapsing building and roll past.

Feb 10, 2005



Feb 1, 2005

The Colonel

Originally uploaded by macnamband.

Did I tell you about meeting the colonel? We met him in the souk in Casablanca. At the Debrghaleff. Down a dark little rabbit run, that ends up in electronics. Here, everyone knows the colonel. He's now a policeman. He invited us to his house. We looked at each other and agreed to go.

He lead us to his car, told us to watch for pickpockets. The car was a shiny blacked-out, black Benz. Inside, you could see it had known better days. The transmission shuddered. Doors didn't open. We drove away.

The colonel stopped by to get pastries. We arrived at his house, an old villa in the California district, which is home to retired military.  In the front yard, a Firebird up on chalks. Next to that a rotting garden. The porch, a mess.

We sat down and looked at pictures of the colonel in better days. At Ft. Benning and Ft. Hood. In the same class in war college as Schwartzkoff and the secretary of state. "Oh, I love America," said the colonel. "My first wife was from San Diego." He showed us her picture. She looked like somebody from San Diego: Blonde, dark glasses, a smile. Definitely West Coast.

These days the colonel is in charge of all detectives in Casablanca. Or so he claimed. He loves movies about espionage and international terrorism.

His wife appeared. She brought more pastries. His children appeared. Beautiful children. We talked and talked and finally it was time to go. We went out to the Benz but the tire had gone flat. We walked across the causeway. He walked with us, waited with us, hailed a cab, got us in and away. We promised we would call him, but we haven't yet.