William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

An Absurdist Play

The stage isn’t really a stage;
but then again the sky isn’t the sky either,
unless there happens to be a light rain falling,
dripping from a pine or from the edge
of a tall gray building.

Dawn, or at least a suggestion of it.

Reminder: Talk to the person who handles the lighting.

The cast consists of two characters,
who for the entire play alternate between
looking skyward and exchanging helpless glances;
their expressions might indicate the end of the world,
or perhaps the arrival of a space ship,
or, if they happen to be farmers,
concern over the weather.

Note: The actors are to have complete latitude in what,
if anything, their expressions indicate, the type and number
of emotions they wish to convey or feel helpless to prevent;
also, the play can be of any length; it can take a lifetime,
if necessary.

Periodically, someone sleeping in the next room
is awakened by the sound of people laughing;
he looks up and sees how early in the day it is;
the audience is also with him in the room;
poor souls — they would be free to leave,
if there were any exits.



Introductory note, August 26, 2008

This poem is a pretty fair description of how my day went yesterday. I did leave out the blown head-gasket in my son’s car, and the free coffee I spilled on myself in a grocery store mezzanine while chatting with a friend I hadn’t seen in a year. The title was given to me several days ago when, upon saying something impossible and ridiculous in a straightforward tone to my son (a frequent occurrence), he said, “Living with you is like being in an absurdist play.” A compliment, for sure, and one I’ve been trying to live up to ever since.

Poems, Slightly Used, August 26, 2008


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