Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I wrote myself into a raw, vulnerable, chaotic, dark and jumbled state yesterday. Bottom-feeding in the soup of the psyche. Bumped into Masankho on my hurried way out the door, hair sticking out (mine, not his,) keys in hand, all askew. He was beaming beatifically, with a little paper lunch bag in his hand.

"Working?" he asked genially.

"I'm swimming in the cesspool of my consciousness," I blurted out.

He laughed. "Surely, it's not just a cesspool."

No. But there's plenty of cess in there--not just mine, either. Cultural cess, which is the whole point of taking the dip.

C confessed that he also disliked my character Jack--wanted to kill him in fact--and I myself had been contemplating various ways of doing him in. Except that I don't want this play to be like The Beauty Queen of Lenane which played at the Rep a few years ago and was an international sensation and was/is a well-constructed, but so goddamn depressing that at the end of it I felt the need to go jump off the Golden Gate Bridge--or take some Prozac. It was just so godawful grim. And violent. The only solution to the characters' dilemma was violence.

There's enough grim violent unrelievedly bleak theatre out there, I don't need to add to it. I have a redemptive image for this play--I know what it has to be--I just have to write my way towards it. And it feels like crawling through the jungle with a 350 pound man on my back.

I figured out a fix to the problem of Jack's unlikeableness--not a fix, but a complication, a needed and necessary correlative to all his bullshit. Put it in this morning. I now have 34 pages--nowhere near a finished full-length play. But this, here, is good, I think. Feels good, feels right, feels like I'm finally getting to the pay dirt.

And there's a matinee of Death of a Salesman this afternoon by A Traveling Jewish Theatre at Julia Morgan on College Ave. Only 15 dollars for Kehillah members, of which I am one. I want to go. but I haven't finished Eli The Super-Hero yet, my nephew's seventh birthday present. Or made the doctor's appointments I promised C I would make. Or cleaned up the mess in the back yard which is a fire hazard. Or figured out my return flight from Malawi and booked it, or gotten my shots. And I haven't worked out yet and I'm fat, fat, fat. Up fifteen pounds from my slender and buff era, only a year ago. I miss that feeling. Somehow, although I'm swimming and walking and everything else, the pounds won't come off.


Nels said...

this isn't actually a reply to this post

just wanted to let you know I've been a big fan of your writing since I first encountered it in issues of The Sun --of which I'm again a lapsed subscriber but plan to renew as soon as I can afford to-- several years ago, and I bought a copy of The Largest Possible Life thru Amazon two or more years ago

I'm a poet myself, and you're one of the poets I love to read work of in public when I'm not reading my own material b/c I value the caliber of your writing

--never stop writing and I look forward to buy a copy of the follow-up to your first book,

Alison said...

Thank you Nels, how nice to hear from you! I hope my second book will be out next year--but I've been saying that for a few years now.