The Poems

By Gene_Rasp

THE POEMS


 


INT. PLAYHOUSE DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT


HE is one of the most cherished Shakespearean actors with the signature voice, sweet and storied.


SHE is effervescent with pink and purple hair that escapes from multiple directions, like colorful volcanoes erupting from her head. Blue eyes shine. Headphones cover her ears...


The resonant sound of a SONATA plays... but unheard music enlivens only HER FEET...


With eyes closed, HIS HEAD seems to float before the mirror as...


She applies makeup that enhances his facial form...


As She works on delicately.


 


INT. PLAYHOUSE ENTANCE - NIGHT


A PLAYBILL on a chair tells the Play’s title: “The Poems" “Celebrate this Great Actor’s Last Performance On Stage”


 


INT. PLAYHOUSE STAGE - NIGHT


The stage is dark and the playhouse is pin drop quiet with one spot on The Actor. The Actor looks around in a slow motion scan that says we are all in this together.


So Quietly, words seem to start in the middle of a thought...


THE ACTOR:  


...it could have been anywhere at any time.


They come from the mind and heart,


and no one can tell from which direction a spirit hails.


Each has its title. All have a message,


for anyone who wishes to listen.


The back wall beats with slow strobing. . . STORYBOOK COVERS.


THE ACTOR:


Nature -- (long beat)


In some strange story that means nothing


I was told of the someone that I am


in the space of the telling


I had changed from the knowing


the insufficient knowledge of man.


A strobe of bright light.


An audience member interrupts with a loud COUGH --


The Actor takes a quick drink of water as though... was the one who coughed.


THE ACTOR:


The escape and misgiving


such knowledge of living


the illustrious campaign we planned


look forward in reverse


as if to rehearse


the insufficient knowledge of man.


A flutter of light moves across the rear of the stage -- a visual hint of FLAPPING WINGS -- then gone.


THE ACTOR:


The clan while careening


the plan so well meaning


the bouncing and bleeding demands


the tumult of knowing


the no-where we're going


the communal re-rowing


through the... insufficient knowledge of man.


The sound of WINGS FLUTTERING creates a small break in the recitation.


THE ACTOR:


So, so much the pity


for those thoughts itty bitty


to charge forward


to out run


to out span


when here in the silence


is our chance at defiance -


A cymbal CRASHES once -- out of the blue.


THE ACTOR(CONT'D):


for the insufficient knowledge of Man.


The Actor stands. Slowly raises a fist.


THE ACTOR:


In this feeling so simple not the...


When the next word is spoken the fist is opened -- a tight red spotlight is flashed on the now opened hand.


THE ACTOR:


...BURST!


A FEMALE member of the audience startles out loud...


FEMALE (O.S.):


OW!


THE ACTOR:


...of a pimple


The Actor sits within white light... light widens a little to show more of the chair and a table next to it.


The table holds a globe... as well as the glass of water.


THE ACTOR:


or the snap


On the word “snap” The Actor LOUDLY SNAPS a rubber band wrapped around the arm of the chair.


THE ACTOR:


of a small rubber band


The Actor nonchalantly reaches out to the globe... slowly starts to turn it.


THE ACTOR:


just the sweet fluid turning


The globe is only half a globe and as it turns the hollow opposite side is revealed. A projection of a white dove comes to life within the hollow shell.


THE ACTOR:


toward the nature...


The Actor stands -- a few things happen very fluidly and at the same time -- The projection changes to show a CAGED DOVE -- The left side of the stage is lit up to show a lovely green forested scene -- The Actor begins to walk toward the forest.


THE ACTOR:


... we're spurning


The projection changes. The dove and cage are replaced with a dimly lit yellow light bulb -- An Idea.


THE ACTOR:


for the insufficient...


The light bulb transforms into a small nuclear mushroom cloud and dissipates into mist.


THE ACTOR:


... knowledge of Man.


The Actor now stands in the forest... the stage goes dark.


 


INT. PLAYHOUSE STAGE - LATER


The stage is cleared and dark. The Actor's FOOTSTEPS are heard... the spot comes on... slowly walks from the back to the front of the stage. The Actor stops. Looks out and above the audience in thought.


A spot comes on... slowly moves around the periphery of the stage... large piles of all kinds of military shoes and boots are exposed in the light. The sound of WIND is heard for a moment. A haunting vista.


THE ACTOR (O.S.):


(the title)


Walking In Their Souls.


(long beat)


Two black boots sit on the floor


and as I look I see something I should not see.


They stand on their own


as if some ghostly figure held them there.


The sound of walking in their souls


The look of marching in their blackness.


 The soft sound of MARCHING slowly cascades about the stage.


THE ACTOR (O.S.):


they turn their backs to me in stillness


and express to me their missing owner


 The low sound of the sprinkle of RAIN mixes with the marching.


THE ACTOR (O.S.):


the shine of misty wetness and burning sun


they play as though they are ignoring me


but they are really screaming out to me


The marching stops.


THE ACTOR (O.S.):


and impressing me with


SILENCE. The moving spot on the piles of boots goes out. A spot illuminates one pair of glossy black boots in the center of the stage... worn by The Actor.


THE ACTOR:


Shattering Stillness.


Spot Fades Out. Darkness.


 


INT. PLAYHOUSE STAGE - LATER


Lights are up. A group of THREE MEN move across the stage SWEEPING the floor. The Actor walks to center stage. Blue eyes twinkle. Men exit.


THE ACTOR:


The next is titled appropriately -- Hammers.


 The lights fade out... a multitude of different kinds of hammers lower from above on rope and twine...            different color spotlights on each -- A Starlit Sky.


The Actor slowly walks around the hammers... Comes in and out of the spots. The voice rings powerful like a rapping hammer and goes soft like a whisper.


THE ACTOR:


I was lucky?...


torn between a cry and a holler


a strolling bastion


the hammered stone of wills


fortified by the silenced voices


the night and screams of coming pain


The back wall of the stage is lit... and is seen to crack with the sound of SPLINTERING WOOD.


THE ACTOR:


the cold that seeps in what is empty


made me a package


the cold of hammered steel


A single resounding retort from a heavy hammer as it STRIKES an anvil.


THE ACTOR:


My enemy and friend alike


creeping side by side within me


Flags fall like rain for a moment with the strange sound of FLUTTERING WINGS.


THE ACTOR:


lowered flags


bowed heads


not forgetting silenced voices


just replacing them


For a moment, the sound of hundreds of voices MUTTERING.


THE ACTOR:


look at the lowered heads


the tears they bleed


the hammers forged


A single resounding retort from a heavy hammer as it STRIKES the anvil.


THE ACTOR:


see the silent man


the pregnant steward


who pulled the flag


The tortured sound of a flag as it is RIPPED in half. The Actor walks, HEAVILY, off stage.


THE ACTOR (O.S.):


to unleash his insanity


on a waiting War.


The hammers are raised back up... the crack in the back wall disappears.


FADE TO WHITE:


 


INT. PLAYHOUSE STAGE - LATER


Lights are bright. Four large Roman Columns create a space at center stage that surrounds The Actor. The Actor looks, speaks and moves in a classic Shakespearean style. In his Element.


THE ACTOR:


(the title) Terms Of Life. (long beat)


If this is what man does


in the terms of life


to face its ultimate defeat


with the assurance that he broached


all manner of life's good and evils.


And he finds no remorse


in having lost or borrowed more love


than he could ever give or truly receive.


Standing for and laying down his life


for less than it is worth.


And playing in the games


that forage splendid contest


with the stakes, his eternal soul.


The illusion of truth and justice


confront and confounding,


pressing and distracting,


all mortal happiness and woe.


Flamboyantly dancing,


arrogantly dancing,


on God's protruding toe...


 


The THIN RUBBER MASK is RIPPED OFF --


 Colorful volcanoes of hair erupt around HER beautiful face --


SCREAMS erupt from an unseen Audience...


THE END

Document
The Poems

Created: Feb 07, 2014

Tags: script, short script

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