On Monday night, July 28th, it will be my privilege to present staged readings of two one-act plays for the Poets’ Monday series at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 1001 East Locust Street (in Milwaukee). The plays are “Dinner Party of Horrors” and “Psalm 23 1/2.” I’ll give more details as we get closer to 7/28, but for now, here’s the opening monolog from “Psalm 23 1/2:”
1010 B.C.E, the land of Judea. The pounding
rhythms of Iron Butterfly’s “IN A GADDA DA
VIDA.” The dark and dank catacombs, 1001 steep,
spiral steps beneath a palace. The bottom of the
steps can be seen at the right rear of the stage.
Lit by torchlight, a cubic marble slab, about three
feet in each dimension. The front of the pedestal
is decorated with an engraving of Michelangelo’s
David, with a happy face covering his penis. On top of the slab,
the huge, disembodied head of the giant, Goliath the Philistine.
There is an open book on the pedestal. To the
right of the pedestal and facing the audience is a
secretary desk and chair. An old Underwood or
Remington typewriter is on the desk. The writing
surface is lit by a lantern.
We are in the bowels of the palace of David, the
Sling King, former shepherd and psalmist
superstar. Future King of all Judea.
(To the audience)
Youse kidding me? I coulda beat him easy. Easy. Coulda knocked
his stinkin’ Hebrew block off. Gnashed his bones in my
teeth while he was still breathing, and he hears the
crunch before he dies. Easy.
I was G-Philly, Biggie G, Goliath the undefeated. 101
wins, no losses. I was what they call the “prohibited
favorite,” and that was my undoin. Dirteen to one.
Prohibited. That’s why they came to me. Lambs, they
said. More lambs than I could imagine. And young goils,
water goils, balancing dem water vessels on dere pretty
little heads, the sway of dere hips singing the glories
of Philistine history. In which I plays no small part.
All I had to do was was step into the stone’s arc, take
one on the noggin, and fall down.
And dats what I did. I took a dive. But Psalm Boy gets
it into his head to cut off mine. Dat was not part of
the script. His ad lib, my demise.
And he becomes the media darlin. Psalm Boy, dey calls
him. The Sling King, dey calls him. D-Smallie, Davy the
Shep. He gets dis honorary Ph.D. in giant slaying from
Jerusalem State. Mickey Angelo chisels him a
pornographic likeness to drive his groupies wild. And
what do I get? As you see, my head on a stick, stuck on
this slab, stuck in these stinkin’, freezing catacombs.
Listen. Here comes the Psalm Boy now. (c) David Press, 2014