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Elephant 1973

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V ELEPHANT by JEREMY" PATRICK LONG B.A., University of British Columbia, 1971 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of Creative Writing We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Ap r i l , 1973 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of CREATIVE VlRTTTWft The University of British Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date APRIL 26. 1971 i i ABSTRACT Elephant, a collection of material produced during the past two years, attempts to create an environment within which the per- sonna of the writer may exist without benefit of a corporeal r e a l - i t y . It becomes an environment of memory. By definition, the genres of drama and poetry must be pre- sented to an audience i f they are to succeed i n their avowed pur- pose of communication between creator and audience. It i s only the medium of presentation which distiguishes between the two genres. The drama i s presented i n the " l i v e " medium of the stage, whereas poetry i s presented by the "dead" or inanimate Gutenberg technol- ogy. In this particular instance, both genres are presented within the same medium, the thesis. They are therefore similar componants of a unique environment. The evironment of Elephant, can only be that of memory, as i t was written i n the past from material rooted i n memory, the mem- ory of the personna and the collective memory of the environment i n which he exists. It i s not "now", i t i s "then". TABLE OF CONTENTS i i i TITLE o i ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS... • . . i i i ACKNOWLEDGMENT i v POEMS - PART ONE: I. Our Lady of the Rocks • ....1 II. 2-Our Lady of the Rocks 3 III. Habitat......... 5 IV. Refraction • 6 V. Preparation. • 7 VI. Trophy 8 VII. Collapse 9 VIII. Continuance. .10 IX. The Name 11 X. Face Under Water 12 XI. Wound 13 XJ-I. Patsy Jean Oregon. Ik XIII. The Apathy 15 XIV. Lighthouse Barbara 16 THE FINAL PERFORMANCE OF VASLAV NIJINSKY SAINT MORITZ-DORF, 1919 17 I. L i s t of Characters .18 II. Act 1 20 Act I - scene 2 •.••••.••.•••.••33 Act I - scene 3 • ....41 III. Act II - scene 1 kk Act II - scene 2 60 Act II - scene 3*<*«* •••••••.•62 IV. Act III 68 POEMS - Part Two: I. Savage • 75 II . Seeds of the Water .77 III. Sleeper 78 IV. Driftwood 80 V. An Older Poem (For Barbara) 82 TABEL OF CONTENTS (Con't) FOOTNOTES ' .83 BIBLIOGRAPHY VITA ACKNOWLEDGMENT Mrs. Kathleen Long for the time Dr. Douglas Bankson for the energy. 1 OUR LADY OF THE ROCKS 1. Bella Donna we lay day breaking on coasts a horizon bloody enough to be virgin we lay together puddle of water amid the rock Bella Donna we lay this rock supports moss insect existence i n the ice preserved for the future the past f a l l s deep as night into the vast invisible belly of the horizon Bella Donna concerned with temperature while a new age marches down mountain to sea 2 and we i n paths cracked i n the c l i f f by now Now Bella Donna the minutes of your l i f e stand sentry to your sleep for i n the morning cries as you look blind folded into rock Fire a horizon of riflemen Cassandra executed for her crime Bella Donna we lay together i n a morning too distant for us Bella Donna man l i o n climbs a jungle to this cave morning with a mane of li g h t drags a dark carcass the ocean flames to death Bella Donna beautiful lady i n the rock your poison your child your blood burns across a morning dying Bella Donna beautiful lady dying i n mourning Bella Donna the dead child i s yours i s not the birth of morning i s not a corpse i n a rock coffin Bella Donna the poison to a child dead the history of you 5 HABITAT The oasis wastes i t s e l f entertaining useless caravans of traders and camels. A l l the available water drains away to the other side of the world. The palm tree then, the cypress dig up their roots and dissolve, on their knees. Wind comes out of the surrounding sand. The desert collects. 6 REFRACTION The reflection of one or less, we had Last night, i s gone. I spi l l e d into distance Between mirror and image, While you lay amid gasps of li g h t And shadow faulted your face Into mountains too distant for morning. 7 PREPARATION Nothing i s l e f t to hunt. The wilderness holds Only the empty skin. Hung, frozen In the treeless a i r . Below, the carcass, Shapeless against the tundra, Howls into the voiceless night. Snared between the teeth And the appetite to k i l l , I must take The animal with me. I am clear; prepared to vanish with the gaunt issue of consciousness. Pinned, b r i t t l e against the wall, the skin of the single celled insect whose track wasted i n the wadded air after I had k i l l e d him, because he was behind me and thick with the blood of my passage through. 9 COLLAPSE The tortoise moves old Out of the water Unprotected white he crawls Inland Silent the ocean senses The empty shell One wave another the last Forage for the route of his escape Between the rocks Static the body of water Falls inward The tortoise climbs a tree To the ground and spins His web over sand Between rocks CONTINUANCE 1. snow covers the length of your body sleep lady ask no questions of me cold futures i t s e l f i n my seed i c e winters i n my south an age preserving i t s e l f I was born i n August, the month of lions. You often said... A raindrop roars in an empty bucket. The consequence of speech that you give away the secret time of your sex. The sense that the man dies i f he admits he may have made a mistake. Now, secretly we s i t , say nothing. Happy i n this l i o n l i f e , where the name gives too much sense of purpose. FACE UNDER WATER Usually you cry when we make love. The light attaches i t s e l f to your body. I observe you from the shelter of a bus-stop and l i k e drizzle you dissolve into the shallow puddle at my feet. When the next express arrives, I ' l l step through you, into i t and carry you only in the ruined shine of my shoes. 13 WOUND He streams from the bottom, upriver. Green dark and stinking, r i p a r i a n seaweed drips a new wound. This c i t y pure f l e s h , perfumed and he the cannibal has never tasted the absence of blood. PATSY JEAN OREGON beyond, the surf mumbles, sand shivers under spectral mists. a hag picks fractured-shell from the shore, washes them i n brine, piles them. consecration to the feet of the naked g i r l - c h i l d . who i t was didn't matter, her breast i n my hand, damp-hair stranded the bed i n abeyance of interest, ice-salt water rushes her feet, she refutes the fles h . her tone irrelevant, only sleep. 15 T H E A P A T H Y waves clean over the breast of shore- line to the starved-black hinterland that bursts an anarchy of l i p s on the surface of the ocean and he a white man shivers on the nipple nourished secure above the tide l i n e eruption curdles below the belly food excuses everything LIGHTHOUSE BARBARA. Your eye opens regularly, i n the dark, intent on salvation. You l i g h t candles, i n the pupil of your eye to attract, dozens of dizzy moths, or another blind man, who cannot find you when daylight swarms ashore. Nevertheless, your thighs dried me out and you saw me flu t t e r away. THE FINAL PERFORMANCE OF VASLAV NIJINSKY SAINT MORITZ-DORF, 1919 THE FINAL PERFORMANCE OF VASLAV NIJINSKY SAINT M0RIT7-P0RF. 1919 CHARACTERS NIJINSKY, t.ha great ballet dancer. ROMOLA, his wife. EMMA, Romola's mother. SERGEI DIAGHILEV, the Russian entrepreneur. KOSTROVSKY, a Russian technician with the Ballet Russe. KARSVTNA, a ballerina with the Ballet Russe. PROSTITUTE, another character played bv the same actress as Kars- vina. NEGRI, a Swiss peasant dressmaker, played by the same actress as Karsvina. SOLDIER, a Hungarian soldier of U«j nlaved by the same actor as Kostrovsky. OFFICIAL, plaved by same actor as Diaghilev. KAHN, plaved by the same actor as Diaghilev. NAJA, Bnma's maid. GYORGY, Emma's gardener. AUCTIONEER, plaved by the same actor as Gvorgy. MOTHER, NUinskv's mother, played bv the same actress as Naja. CHORUS: To be composed of the ensemble except for Niiinsky. TIME: January, 1919. SETTING: Act I & II...Dressing Room, St. Moritz. Act III The stage, St. Moritz. My l i t t l e g i r l i s singing: *Ah ah ah ah.1 I do not understand i t s meaning but I f e e l what she wants to say. She wants to say that everything . . . i s not horror, but joy. Vaslav Nijinsky St. Moritz-Dorf V i l l a Guardamont January, 1919 20 THE FINAL PERFORMANCE OF VASLAV NIJINSKY, Saint Moritz-Dorf, 1919 ACT I (NIJINSKY. sits on a stool, facing the audience. In front of him i s a small table, on which rests a double-surfaced, oval make-up mirror. He does not move u n t i l R0M0LA. enters.) ROM: Vaslav? Dreaming? (She kisses him.) Are you almost ready? NIJ: Don't rush me, please. ROM: I didn't mean to... NIJ: The make-up i s very important...to create the i l l u s i o n for... ROM: I know Vaslav. Are you well? Do you f e e l up to i t ? NIJ: Wonderful..I'm going to dance again. ROM: Yes I Vaslav, what pieces? I have to t e l l . . NIJ: No pieces. I w i l l dance what I f e e l . ROM: But what shall I t e l l Madame Asseo? She needs music to play. W i l l you dance without music? NIJ: Don't t e l l her anything. She must follow. ROM: She must have an idea... NIJ: No, she i s a great a r t i s t , that i s why I chose her to accom- pany me. She w i l l understand...when I dance... She w i l l know what pieces to play. ROM: She asked me... NIJ: T e l l her that 21 ROM: Very well, but don't expect miracles of her. NIJ: Miracle? For that you need a saint. A man i n the hands of God. They expect a miracle of me. They think artists are touched by God. We are ar t i s t s , we are touched by God. He i s with us. Femraka, don't worry, don't think. Feel I It w i l l be a l l right. Trust i n God. ROM: Don't be upset with me Vaslav. But there are people out there. They expect so much. Our friends, mother, sister. Your friends, the Prince, Countess Ripon... NIJ: What do they expect? What must I prove to my friends? That I am s t i l l Nijinsky? That I'm not a madman? Well, I am. I am a madman. My madness i s the love I have for those people. ROM: A l l right. Don't be upset. NIJ: I'm not. You shouldn't bother me l i k e this before a perfor- mance. ROM: I ' l l go. NIJ: Just a moment. Who else i s here? ROM: Only those we invited. NIJ: No c r i t i c s ? ROM: None were invited. You saw the l i s t . NIJ: Diaghilev? No, he wouldn't come. I sent him the invitation. Posted i t myself. I wrote i t . I spelled his name wrong...on purpose...so he would know how I f e l t . ROM: He won't be here, Vaslav. He's with the touring company i n Amer- ic a . NIJ: America? Making money... Sergei Pavlovitch, what w i l l you say to my success? I w i l l be a success again. ROM: Of course, Vaslav but... 22 NIJ: "Dead to art", he said. I ' l l make more money than he's ever imagined and I ' l l show him what art i s . He doesn't know s t i l l . . ROM: Vaslav, we must hurry... NIJ: Don't rush me anymore...I'll be there as soon as I'm ready. ROM: Good... (She kisses him and exits.) NIJ: I don't have a l i t t l e alarm clock i n ray head, set to ring when someone arrives to see me dance. I WILL DANCE WHEN I'M READY I I'm only a man, A MAN! CHORUS: Not a man. NIJ: Not a man? CHORUS: Not a man, a horse. NIJ: A horse? CHORUS: HorseI NIJ: I used to be a man? CHORUS: HorseI NIJ: I could have sworn... CHORUS: HORSEI NIJ: You'd think a man... CHORUS: Not! HorseI NIJ: Thank God... CHORUS: HorseI NIJ: Kafka's insect... CHORUS: HORSEt NIJ: Perhaps I didn't wake up, the b e l l never rang? CHORUS: HORSEI NIJ: I'm a horse? Horse! HORSE! 23 CHORUS: ( chanting ) Run. Run. Run. Run horse, run. Run. Run. Run. Run horse, run. run run run run-run, run-run, run-run... ( extended ) NIJ: You were invited! Invited! I invited you to see me dance. I w i l l dance...a new work... CHORUS: Run-run, run-run, run-run... NIJ: I can't...will not...not perform t i l l I'm ready...you don't un- 9 derstand...you must..• CHORUS: Horses run. NIJ: I w i l l run. CHORUS: Horses jump. NIJ: I w i l l jump. CHORUS: Horses go when they're told. NIJ: I w i l l go. CHORUS: When the gate opens. NIJ: I don't open the gate. CHORUS: Ten. NIJ: Dance. CHORUS: Nine. NIJ: A new work. CHORUS: Eight. NIJ: I can only do... CHORUS: Seven. 2k NIJ: I am Nijinsky, Le Dieu de l a danse... CHORUS: Six. NIJ: Nineteen-nineteen... CHORUS: FIVE! NIJ: St. Moritz, I'm resting... CHORUS: Four. NIJ: The war... CHORUS: Three. NIJ: Take me back to Russia... CHORUS: Two. NIJ: I don't want to dance anymore... CHORUS: GodI God I Hold my hand. God you know me. Hold my hand, my hand i s warm. (. THE. AUCTIONEER., enters.. He -takes NUINSKX .by. -the chin and leads him down center stage as the rest of the CHORUS enter as buyers. ) AUCTIONEER: OrderI Order, ladies and gentlemen, please. Item number twen- ty, number twenty for your inspection. ( As the AUCTIONEER begins his next speech. THE CHORUS, enters the audience and confront individual members of the audience with offers of NIJINSKY* S love, the various parts of his body and soul. ) AUCTIONEER: Number twenty, Vaslav Nijinsky; born on February twenty-eight, eighteen ninety i n Kiev, Russia. Second colt of Eleanore Bere- da, one time prancer of the Polish court. Sired by Thomas Ni- jinsky, freelance racer i n the Russian Hinterland. Birth reg- istered i n Poland to avoid service with the Russian armed forces. Two siblings: a brother currently registered i n the St. Peters- burg catalogue of the mentally disturbed, a defect due entirely to accident and not a genetic deficiency we assure you. A s i s - ter currently on display at the Imperial School i n St. Peters- burg. 25 ( The CHORUS continue to ..circulate .their, offers, amongst- the.Aud- ience as Nijinsky's MOTHER enters and- -takes him from -the AUCTION- EER; she pulls his pants down and smacks his bottom. ) MOTHER: You cannot continue. The school i s the best place for you to be. NIJ: I know that mama. MOTHER: Well i f you know, why do you persist i n these antics. They'll make you leave, Vaslav, the y ' l l send you home and we can't af- ford you here. NIJ: I can work, I can... MOTHER: No Vaslav. You must stay at the school. You must. One day you w i l l be a great dancer. You w i l l dance for the Czar, a member of the Marinsky...your father always wanted that him- se l f . NIJ: My father i s a great dancer... MOTHER: Yes, a great one, but not a Russian. NIJ: I won't go back. I will, stay here and take care of you and Bronislava. MOTHER: You'll go back and there'll be no more talk about i t . NIJ: I don't l i k e i t there... MOTHER: Be quiet, you're not a snivelling l i t t l e boy anymore Vaslav, you're very nearly a man and you should see without my t e l l i n g you, what you should do. There'll be no more sling shots into professor's eyes, no more bad marks and i f there are no more of these, there w i l l be no more punishments, do you understand? NIJ: Yes but who w i l l look after you and... MOTHER: God w i l l see for us, don't you worry. Just study very hard. Do you promise? NIJ: Yes, mama. I promise. MOTHER: Good, now, don't look so unhappy. We do what we think i s right and we do i t because we love you. Do you understand that? NIJ: I think so and I love you, so I w i l l work hard, and then I ' l l look after you. 26 MOTHER: Yes, then you'll look after us. Now, go along, i t ' s time you went back. ( She exits. ) AUCTIONEER: Gentlemen, an offer, do I hear an offer? ( NIJINSKY .sits at the mirror and begins to put on the make- up of Petrushka. the clown d o l l . ) Gentlemen, an offer? CHORUS: Ten copeks. AUC: Gentlemen, gentlemen...a graduate of the Imperial school of St. Petersburg... CHORUS: A hundred. AUC: Star of the Marinsky... CHORUS: Two hundred. AUC: Two hundred for the partner of Pavlova? CHORUS: Three hundred. NIJ: Even a horse isn't worth this much. AUC: Creator of Petrushka, clown d o l l with a l i v i n g soul.. CHORUS: Four hundred. NIJ: What i s worth this much? AUC: The faun, only half man, half animal... CHORUS: Five hundred. NIJ: I don't understand. AUC: Such a fine animal... CHORUS: Six hundred. NIJ: I'm not a horseI AUC:^~ Seven? 27 CHORUS: Seven hundred. NIJ: I won't race anymoreI CHORUS: Eight hundred. NIJ: I don't belong to anybodyt CHORUS: Nine hundred. AUC: Higher! CHORUS: One thousand! NIJ: I'm a man! AUC: One thousand. NIJ: I'm not different from... AUC: One thousand going once NIJ: From you... AUC: One thousand going twice. NIJ: Or you... AUC: ( Bangs his gavel.) Sold for one thousand gold rubles. NIJ: An immortal cog i n the machine. ( The CHORUS exit, there i s a knock on a door. KARSVINA enters with KOSTROVSKY.) KAR: Vaslav? NIJ: Hello! KAR: I've brought someone to see you. NIJ: How do you do? KAR: Not him, s i l l y , he's waiting outside. This i s Kostrovsky, he's joining us as a technician and I'm just showing him around. The person I brought to meet you i s outside. He didn't want to come i n right away, i n case you were dressing or something. I didn't really understand why. 28 NIJ: Nevertheless, I am happy to meet you too. KOS: The pleasure i s mine Mr. Nijinsky. NIJ: I hope you w i l l l i k e i t here. KOS: I'm sure I w i l l . We must get together and talk sometime. NIJ: Yes, I'm sure we w i l l . It's almost inevitable i n these places., theatres. KOS: Yes, i t i s . KAR: Shall I send him in? NIJ: Who? KAR: Prince Ivor asked me to introduce you personally but he wouldn't come and a l l he gave me was this card. Sergei Pavlovitch Diag- hilev. I think he's an entrepreneur of some kind. Do you want to meet him? NIJ: I should, i f Prince Ivor sent him. KAR: Yes you should. KOS: Why should he? Just because he was sent by a prince? You should find out what i t i s he wants f i r s t . KAR: Well, he won't t e l l us, so there's only one way for Vaslav to find out, isn't there? KOS: I suppose so, yes. KAR: You boys are so stupid sometimes. KOS: It's the peasant i n us. NIJ: Yes, i t i s . It makes us stupid. KAR: Now, now let's not quarrel on our f i r s t meeting. Let's go. I ' l l send him i n , Vaslav. ( They exit. NIJINSKY. s i t s and continues his make-up process, u n t i l DIAGHTLEV enters. NIJINSKY. takes note of his a r r i v a l , but does not stop his make-up. ) 29 ( He. DIAGHILEV. stands looking at NIJINSKY. for, a length of time, u n t i l KARSVINA sticks her head i n once again. ) KAR: Vaslav Nijinsky, this i s Sergei Pavlovitch Diaghilev. More than that I can't t e l l either of you. Except that you have a mutual acquaintance. Good-bye. DIA: There isn't anything quite as striking as a Russian i n t e l l e c - t u a l . Karsvina? NIJ: Yes, she i s striking. DIA: I meant the intellectual. Don't you agree? NIJ: That she i s an intellectual? DIA: It's obvious that she's striking. What other question can there be? NIJ: I don't understand. DIA: The Russian intellectual, an e l i t e group, much as Nietzsche might have seen i t . Do you know him? NIJ: No, we haven't met. DIA: I meant his work. Personally, he's been dead for some time. Some rather virulent strain of venereal disease, contracted, no doubt, from one of his equally intellectual feminine con- temporaries. Turned him into a blubbering fool at a relative- l y early stage of his career. A shame. Now, Socrates, there was a philosopher. And a man. He knew what was what, who was who; women were for bearing children and love was l e f t to men...and boys. We w i l l waste no more time. Prince Ivor told me about you. He t e l l s me you can dance, that you may be the best, I l i k e watching the best. And I know the best when I see i t . NIJ: Prince Ivor might exaggerate, he i s my friend. DIA: One's friends are usually one's strongest c r i t i c s . I didn't come to see you without reason. What I have i n mine, may cause some trouble at court i n the beginning. But I'm sure that i n the long run, they w i l l see that my idea has great objectives, not only jfor me and those who come with me, but for Russia as well. 30 NIJ: What i s your idea, Mr. Diaghilev? DIA: I plan on creating a company, Vaslav. A great ballet company which w i l l carry the greatest works of our culture to the rest of Europe. Ninety percent of the world are ignorant of art which i s created i n Russia, not because i t isn't worthy of their attention but because we have not allowed them opportunity to note i t s true value. In the past we have waited for them to come to us, my plan i s to take us to them. The ballet of Russia, Vaslav, should belong to everybody, the world, not just the e l i t e c i r c l e of Russian royalty and...intel- lectuals . I understand you have had some trouble. With the managers of the Marinsky. Leave them, Vaslav, leave the Marinsky. Join my company, come to Paris. NIJ: I cannot leave the Marinsky, my training... DIA: How much do they pay you, Vaslav. A meagre sixty-five roubles per month. How can a man, an a r t i s t , a great a r t i s t such as yourself survive on sixty-five roubles. And I understand that you support your family too. I w i l l pay you more, much more. Think about i t , you don't have to answer right away. NIJ: I w i l l consider i t . DIA: We could do great things young man, great things for Russia, for ourselves, for art. We should be friends, you and I. Friends can accomplish so much more, together. NIJ: Yes, let's be friends at least. DIA: Better friends than anybody else. NIJ: We can help each other, love each other, I've wanted a friend for so long. Someone who could understand what the ballet means to me and I can already see that you understand. DIA: Yes, I can understand. We are ar t i s t s , you and I. We must share with each other that talent which we have. If you can dance... NIJ: I love to dance. When I dance I fee l that I don't belong to any company, to anybody, that I am free, that I love. DIA: The only great art i s love. 31 NIJ: I w i l l go with you, to Paris. But you must pay me. I have my mother and sister to look after. DIA.: I w i l l pay you, don't worry. And so...we are to be friends, eh Vaslav? NIJ: Yes, friends. DIA: Together we w i l l make love to the world? We w i l l rape them? We w i l l take their love and mould i t as one would clay to create the Venus de Milo or paint the Mona Lisa and we w i l l create their art. NIJ: It must give love. DIA: That's what I said...we w i l l love them. Enough! Would you l i k e a drink? .(, He takes a silver flask from his pocket and offers i t to NIJ- INSKY. ) To celebrate our union? NIJ: I don't drink vodka. It makes me dizzy. DIA: Don't drink? NIJ: Wine, occasionally. DIA: Well then, let's get some wine, (pause) It's good you donft drink. NIJ: It isn't good for the body. DIA: Exactly, you must look after yourself. Take good care of your body. It's your fortune. NIJ: My l i f e , without i t I couldn't dance. DIA: May I kiss you. NIJ: Why? DIA: To show my love. NIJ: If you f e e l . . . 32 DIA: What I f e e l , i s that i f we are to be friends, we must have no secrets, share no l i e s or i l l u s i o n s . I'm a man, you're a man, so I shouldn't kiss you but I want to. Do you think I'm wrong? NIJ: Not i f you must show your love to me this way, instead of another. DIA: You understand? NIJ: I understand love. DIA: But not this love, not my love? NIJ: I understand. I understand because i t was Prince Ivor who sent you and he loves me. DIA: I love you more or perhaps differently than Ivor. NIJ: Why? You don't know me? DIA: I watched you dance this evening. (-DIAGHILSV..- moves to kiss NIJINSKY... but instead of ..kissing, him., he pries open his mouth with his fingers and inspects his teeth.) BLACKOUT 33 ACT I - scene 2 ( Lights reveal NIJINSKY. again before the make-up mirror, f i n - ishing the make-up for Petrushka. Enter DIAGHILEV. ) DIA: Vaslav, how are you feeling today? NIJ: I f e e l well. DIA: The fever has gone? NIJ: Yes, a l l gone. DIA: I trust this has taught you to stay away from Parisian water. NIJ: From now on I ' l l only drink mineral water, from the bottle. DIA: Excellent. Let's go for a walk. ( They begin to walk i n circles around the stage area. ) DIA: Paris i s so beautiful i n the spring, eh Vaslav. NIJ: Very beautiful. DIA: Do you l i k e i t here? NIJ: Yes, very much. DIA: That settles i t then. We w i l l stay here for the off-season and prepare for the next. I've made arrangements for a charming v i l l a on the... NIJ: We can't stay here Sergei. We should go home. I would l i k e to see my mother and sister. DIA: You just said you liked i t here, now you want to leave. You're very d i f f i c u l t to deal with... NIJ: I must go back. DIA: I wish you wouldn't interrupt me while I'm trying to explain the situation to you Vaslav. NIJ: I'm.jsorry Sergei but I should go home to see my family." 3k DIA: The truth of the matter, Vaslav, i s that I don't have the money to send the company back to Russia for the summer. NIJ: Why not? The season was good, the c r i t i c s gave us reviews, the people came. DIA: Not enough people came. It was probably a l l that bad publicity over "Faun", that made them stay away. Controversy doesn't make money Vaslav. NIJ: I'm sorry Sergei. "Faun" was perhaps a mistake and the fault i s mine. DIA: No, no Vaslav, i t wasn't your f a u l t . NIJ: I created i t , i t was mine. They didn't understand what I was trying to do. DIA: No, they didn't, so there's no need to go on about i t . We didn't make any money but we made a name, eh? Of course we did, so let's forget i t and get on with next season. NIJ: Perhaps, i f you paid me back some of the forty thousand francs I lent you, I could go back for a l i t t l e while. DIA: I don't have i t . NIJ: Not a l i t t l e ? DIA: Don't whine. I told you when I borrowed i t that there was some ris k involved. We needed i t to stage "Faun" and i t didn't suc- ceed. There isn't any money. NIJ: I must go back somehow. DIA: I have an idea. A summer tour. To make some money, for next season. NIJ: But everybody i s tired, Sergei. DIA: Tired I They're not tired, just lazy. Artists! They don't know what they are. They have no discipline and discipline i s what they must have i f they want to be a r t i s t s . You know that. NIJ: But they need rest too. DIA: No, they need to work. Work, work and more work, that's what we thrive on. South America! A tour of South America, to re- store our saggy s p i r i t s and...purses eh? 35 NIJ: If you think i t best. DIA: Of course i t f s best. And then a triumphal return to Europe, eh? I t ' l l be a f i r s t , Vaslav. Come on, let's go back to the hotel. I want to start making the arrangements, as soon as possible. NIJ: You go on, I would l i k e to walk a l i t t l e longer. DIA: Alright but not too long now. We have work to do. C DIAGHILEV.- exits. NIJINSKY continues walking u n t i l he meets the PROSTITUTE. ) ( NIJINSKY.. -walks -past her- -then stops and turns, around .to look at her. She approaches him with one hand held over, her, l e f t . ,... breast. When she i s i n front of him, she removes her hand, her breast i s bare. ) PROS: Monsieur desire? NIJ: No, nothing. PROS: No, no, no. Everybody says no but everybody does. You do, i t w i l l be exciting. ( She takes his hand i n hers. ) NIJ: Your hand i s moist. PROS: ( Dropping his hand. ) I sweat a l o t . Do you or don't you? NIJ: Your face i s painted, l i k e a caricature i n the newspaper. PROS: If i t ' s my face you want...it can be arranged. NIJ: I sweat when I dance or practise. It's good to sweat, i t cools the body. PROS: I don't have a l l day to stand here and discuss i t with you. Do you or don't you? NIJ: I don't know. PROS: You do. It w i l l be exciting... NIJ: I don't l i k e excitement. 36 PROS: Don't be a f r a i d . Have you never been with a woman before? 1*11 teach you, i t ' l l be fun and you can go back and t e l l your f r i e n d s how a woman of the st r e e t s of Pa r i s taught you what you know about l o v e . NIJ: I ate meat today. PROS: So? NIJ: I t makes you e x c i t a b l e . PROS: A l l the better, a l i t t l e animal now and again. NIJ: I'm not an animal, I'm a man. PROS: You're saying that I'm an animal? NIJ: You do t h i s . PROS: What? This? This i s l i f e , t h i s i s breath, making l o v e . NIJ: Why do you do t h i s ? PROS: Because I ' l l starve i f I don't. NIJ: Lust i s the death of l i f e . PROS: You're a very mixed up l i t t l e boy, go home. NIJ: I can't go home, I don't have the money. PROS: No money? NIJ: Not enough. PROS: Good-bye. NIJ: Not enough to get home to Russia. PROS: But enough f o r me? NIJ: How much do you want? PROS: Ten francs f o r a moment or f i f t y f o r the ni g h t . NIJ: I have enough f o r several n i g h t s . PROS: Better I You can l e a r n more. Come... 37 ( She leads NIJINSKY. upstage and begins to undress him. ) PROS: I promise you'll l i k e i t . Never before? NIJ: What? PROS: With a woman. NIJ: No but I have seen a l o t of women. At the ballet, i n the dres- sing rooms. PROS: You're familiar then? NIJ: Yes. PROS: I don't have to t e l l you what's what? ( She laughs and begins to undress herself. ) ( NIJINSKY. watches her. ) NIJ: Why do you do this? PROS: I told you, I'd starve i f I didn't. NIJ: There must be other work you could do? PROS: It wouldn't pay as much and besides, i t isn't too bad. My feet get t i r e d on the street, that's about a l l . NIJ: Do you l i k e i t ? PROS: What? NIJ: Do you l i k e your work? PROS: Sometimes...if the man i s very good looking, or i f I'm...inspired or something. NIJ: I wouldn't work unless I loved what I was doing. PROS: You must be a r i c h man. NIJ: No, my family i s poor. PROS: Then you're crazy. 38 NIJ: I dance. PROS: You're crazy. Let's go. NIJ: I want to understand why? PROS: I'm very good at i t I NIJ: You're proud of i t ? PROS: Why don't you find out. NIJ: You should be an a r t i s t . PROS: Alright...I've had enough...you keep i t , i t ' s yours. Virgins. Look, I'm clean, I have a license, I'm twenty-four years old and I enjoy my work, so l i t t l e boys l i k e you I don't need. Run along back to mama but t e l l her to smack your bottom because you've been bad. Don't bother me anymore. NIJ: Here. PROS: What for? NIJ: Take i t . I don't need i t . PROS: I haven't earned i t . NIJ: Take i t . I loved you for a few moments. PROS: Thanks. ( She exits. ) You should have tr i e d i t , you might have liked i t . ( NIJINSKY. returns to the make-up mirror. The CHORUS enter upstage and begin a series of ballet exercises using a ballet bar. DIAGHILEV. enters. ) DIA: Vaslav, are you ready? NIJ: Yes. DIA: Good. You'll go to the boat with Karsavina. She'll look after a l l the details for you. NIJ: Aren't you coming with us? 39 DIA: No, sea voyages do not agree with me. My health won't allow me to go with you, much as I would l i k e . Don't worry Vaslav. Ev- erything i s arranged. I ' l l meet you i n Spain when you r e t u r n . Don't look so morose, i t ' s a great adventure you're beginning, enjoy i t . NIJ: I ' l l miss you, Sergei. DIA: I too, but we mustn't l e t our personal l i v e s i n t e r f e r e with our work. They expect to see you dance i n Buenos A i r e s , not me. I can do more here, s e t t i n g up next season. Good-bye Vaslav, take care of y o u r s e l f . One thin g Vaslav. I have noticed that a c e r t a i n female member of the company has been paying p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n to you here. NIJ: Who? DIA: That Hungarian g i r l we took on i n Vienna. She only wants to make a name f o r h e r s e l f , watch her Vaslav. NIJ: Why? DIA: She's a f t e r you. NIJ: Is there something wrong with that? DIA: Don't l e t her catch you. NIJ: Why not? DIA: Just keep what I say i n your mind. NIJ: A l r i g h t Sergei, as you say. DIA::- That's my boy. Off you go. Write to me. NIJ: I w i l l Sergei. ( DIAGHILEV. e x i t s . ROMOLA enters, walks past NIJINSKY and .joins the others at the bar. ) ( NIJINSKY. begins h i s own exercises down center. ) ROM: Why doesn't he exercise with us? KAR: I don't speak Hungarian. Do you speak French? ko ROM: Oh yes, I'm sorry. I spoke subconsciously. KAR: That's alright. What was i t you asked? ROM: I was just wondering why he didn't take exercise with us. KAR: He doesn't think we work hard enough. He prefers to concentrate on his own. An idea that our friend Diaghilev put into his head. Work, work, work, that's a l l he ever does or thinks about I imagine. ROM: Doesn't he have any friends? KAR: Just us. Another one of Sergei's ideas. Keeps him pure for his art...and Sergei's pleasure. ROM: I understand...he must be lonely. KAR: Vaslav? He has his work. ROM: I'd l i k e to be his friend. KAR: Be careful g i r l . Sergei doesn't approve of Vaslav having women friends. You're too new with us. Wait awhile, you'll see. ROM: Could you introduce me to him? KAR: I suppose so. Vaslavl This i s Roraola, she joined us when we were i n Vienna, remember. NIJ: Of course I remember. How do you do? ROM: What did he say? KAR: Speak to her i n French Vaslav, she doesn't understand Russian. NIJ: I don't want to speak to her i n French. I don't understand i t well enough. KAR: He won't speak to you i n French because he's embarrassed by his accent but he i s happy to make your acquaintance. ROM: T e l l him that I am very pleased to meet him too, I've heard so much about him and admired his art for so long. ( NIJINSKY waves KARSAVINA away, takes ROMOLA'S hand i n his and kisses i t . ) FADBOUT. ACT I - scene 3 ( Light reveals NIJINSKY standing alone down center.. . The CHORUS i n ...the background- sing the following song as ROMOLA enters and the scene follows. ) CHORUS: "You were meant for me I was meant for you Nature fashioned you And when she was done You were a l l the sweet things Rolled into one Youre l i k e a plaintive melody That never sets me free." La l a l a l a l a etc. ( They continue to hum throughout the scene. ) ROMOLA: Good evening Mr. Nijinsky. It's a lovely evening. Can you un- derstand my French? NIJ: I.understand your French but I w i l l speak to you i n Russian be- cause I am Russian. ROM: I'm sorry I don't understand you. I wish we could talk together, NIJ: I'm very happy that you are interested i n me. Sergei was wrong when he described you to me. ROM: Sergei? You must be talking about Monsieur Diaghilev, a great man. NIJ: A very petty manI ROM: I didn't mean to upset you, perhaps I should go. NIJ: No, stay. I w i l l go instead. Talking to you has made me very happy. ROM: Good-bye, Monsieur Nijinsky. (.. NIJINSKY moves upstage, writes a note and gives i t to KOSTROV- SKY who goes down to ROMOLA and gives i t to her. ) 42 Good evening, Monsieur Kostrovsky. Good evening Mademoiselle. Monsieur Nijinsky asked me to deliver this note to you. Oh, but i t ' s i n Russian. Could you translate i t for me Monsieur Kostrovsky. Delighted. Dear Mademoiselle, You would do me the greatest honour, i f you would con- sent to become my wife. Sincerely, Vaslav Nijinsky. Oh my God. ( ROMOLA... breaks down...begins to. cry, and -dutches a jcrucif i x which she wears round her, neck. KOSTROVSKY. backs, away and goes to NIJINSKY upstage. NIJINSKY approaches ROMOLA and knocks at the door. ) ( Knock. Knock. ) Just a minute. OhI ( Stuttering. ) Madame...I would...be...you.•.you and me...I would me you...my language... Oh yes, yes, yes, I ' l l marry you. ( The CHORUS rush forward and perform a brief wedding ceremony and exit singing the previous song, which fades away. ) ( ROMOLA and NIJINSKY. separate. ROMOLA turns her back to NI- JINSKY and begins to undress. ) 43 NIJ: Femmka, I... ROM: ( Turning. ) " Femmka * • ...how lovely, you must promise to c a l l me that always. NIJ: I w i l l . . . I . . . ROM: Won't you try to speak French now...we're married, there's no need to be embarrassed about your accent, I ' l l understand. NIJ: No, I won't speak French. I'm Russian, I can't.•• ROM: I don't understand you. A few, just a few words of French...je t'airae, je t'aime...je...t..aime.. NIJ: Je t'aime. ( ROMOLA laughs, then continues to undo her dress. ) ROM: Help me Vaslav. (Offering him her back.) I can't reach the l a s t few. ( NIJINSKY. undoes a few of the buttons and then begins to do them up again. ) \ What are you doing? NIJ: Femmka..I..don't believe...it isn't necessary right away...pas vit e . . . ROM: Not so quickly? NIJ: Goodnight...bon nuit. ( He exits. FADEOUT. ) scene 1 ( Light reveals NIJINSKY. seated again at the make-up mirror* ) I'm standing on a precipice, over which I could f a l l and be k i l l e d but I'm not afraid. God does not want me to f a l l , only you do. ( Enter DIAGETLBV. ) Hello, Vaslav. How was the journey. The ocean wasn't too rough, I take i t . Sergei.•. Vaslav, don't explain. You married her or rather she caught you. You aren't my friend anymore? Eh Vaslav? I am always your friend Sergei, I love you... No, no you couldn't be my friend. My friend, the friend I once had, would have told me f i r s t , proudly, that he was going to be married. Perhaps my friend would even have asked my ad- vice or blessing of his union. Four thousand miles, four thousand miles of ocean between us... You could have waitedJ Our plans...great plans that we created together...thrown away...for what...for what Vaslav? A woman...a common street corner variety female. Our plans s t i l l exist Sergei... No Vaslav...they don't.•.they're lost...as you are l o s t . Dead, sucked l i k e so much ai r into the eye of that female. Floating i n a vacuum. Inertia. You move no more. Sergei I... 45 DIA: No, no more whining..Sergei this..Sergei I want. Sergei wants too...everybody wants but only the great Nijinsky i s allowed to whine u n t i l he gets i t . . I warned you Vaslav, warned you what the costs were. The cost of dreaming. Dreaming Pegasus, the golden horse that f l i e s rings around the sun; running, running forever chased by even Dionysus, liberated from Appollo's rein, no tether on his soul, no master but that of his own body, fl y i n g rings around the sun. Whine, whine that away. You were that soul Vaslav, the horse with golden wings but you flew too close to the sun, you're melting. The l i t t l e golden icon...into a puddle. Good-bye Vaslav. i t . You'll never dance again, I'm going to see to (He begins to exit, then turns. ) I'm a petty man Vaslav. Concerned with details, minutae. But I'm a careful man too Vaslav and I take precautions and your contract takes precautions against marriage. Good-bye. (He exits. NIJINSKY returns to the make-up mirror. ) NIJ: Diaghilev always uses that trick; he thinks that nobody under- stands him but I...I understand him and therefore challenge him., to a b u l l fight. I am the b u l l , a wounded b u l l . I am God i n the b u l l . I am Apis. I am an Egyptian. I am an Indian. I am a red Indian. I am a Negro. I am a Chinaman. I am a Japanese. I'm a foreigner, a stranger, a land bird, a sea bird. I am the tree of Tolstoy. Tolstoy i s mine, I am his. Once...once I went for a walk... CHORUS: Run.•.run...run Run...run...run Run-run, run-run, run-run Run-run, run-run, run-run Run-run Run-run NIJ: CHORUS: Once Onet 46 NIJ: Once I went CHORUS: Twot NIJ: Went for a walk CHORUS: Three four...got yal NIJ: For a walk and... CHORUS: Five six pick up sticks. NIJ: And i t seemed I... CHORUS: Seven for God and a gory heaven. NIJ: It seemed I saw blood... CHORUS: Eight angelic rat bait. NIJ: Seemed I saw blood... CHORUS: Nine NIJ: Nine no rhyme? CHORUS: TenI NIJ: I saw blood on the snow! ( Enter ROMOLA. EMMA. NAJA. GYORGY. ) ROM: This i s Vaslav everyone. Vaslav, this i s my mother... EMMA: Cal l me Emma, I've heard so much about you that I f e e l we already know one another. ROM: And this i s Naja, the upstairs maid... NAJA: Pleased to make your acquaintance S i r . ROM: And Gyorgy the chauffer and gardener. GYORGY: Howdy-dot EMMA: Gyorgy1 GYORGY: Sorry Ma'am... k? EMMA.: It's so hard getting decent help these days. It's this damned war scare, everyone running off to join this that and the other thing.. Patriotism i s replacing the family. NAJA: My boyfriend just joined up. GYORGY: It's those damned Ruskies t h a t ' l l start i t i f anybody does. EMMA: GyorgyJ GYORGY: Sorry ma'am... EMMA: I'm sorry Vaslav, he's so ignorant, just l i k e a peasant almost, NIJ: I think we should get back to our hotel, Romola. EMMA: Why don't you stay here? There's lots of room. ROM: I don't think so Mama. Vaslav's tired, we should go. OFFICIAL: ( Appearing upstage center. ) Vaslav Nijinsky, number fi v e four three two one. You are a Russian Citizen. Being on Hungarian s o i l at the commencement of h o s t i l i t i e s , you are under the jurisdiction of the Resident Alien's Committee. You are hereby placed under self-imposed house arrest u n t i l your case can be brought to the attention of the International Red Cross Organization. You are not to leave your habitat, the house of your wife's mother, Emma. You are not to indulge i n any activity outside the realm of personal needs. EMMA: I suppose you can have the rooms upstairs i n the east wing. Dinner i s at eight. NAJA: He's Russian, l e t him clean up after his se l f . GYORGY: Carry em yerself I EMMA: Naja cannot be expected to clean up after you when her lover i s being butchered by your countrymen, GYORGY: Will you please not dance on the grass. It k i l l s the roots. The weight you know? EMMA: Naja t e l l s me you dance i n the ha l l s . The rosin leaves marks on the floors. 48 NIJ: Femraka, I must dance...1 have to have space. OFFICIAL: I'm sorry Nijinsky. You're Russian. Space i s at premium i n Budapest and as an alien you're at the very bottom of the relo- cation l i s t s . ROM: Vaslav, I'm pregnant. NIJ: Femmka? ROM: A baby. NIJ: How? ROM: A son for you. NAJA: I'm not going to do for any czarist bastardI EMMA: You'd best hire a nurse. Romola can't go through this alone. NIJ: Money? ROM: We'll need a wet nurse Vaslav. I can't do everything myself. EMMA: Perhaps you think you have a l l the attributes of a woman? You can't look after yourself, l e t alone anybody elset ROM: I'm sure she'll lend us the money i f only you would approach her properly. EMMA: Why don't you work? OFFICIAL: Impossible, Hungary cannot sponsor Russian culture when she i s at war with that culture. Perhaps, a benefit could be arranged, for the casualties, to show your good will? NAJA: Bullshit, we know where his sympathies are. ROM: You must ask her again, try not to lose your temper. EMMA: A l l right, I ' l l lend i t to you, but only for Romola and the Ba- by's sake. NIJ: I loved the child as soon as she was born. I wasn't allowed to see her at f i r s t but they told me I had a daughter. I was sorry i t wasn't a son. I had prayed to God for a son. I loved my daughter anyway. EMMA: What shall we c a l l her? 49 NIJ: Emma. EMMA.: No, no i t i s n ' t necessary. ROM: I'd l i k e t o . EMMA: You don't owe me anything. NIJ: We'll c a l l her Kyra. EMMA: How can you stand h i s d i c t a t o r i a l manner. NIJ: I t ' s Greek. ROM: I t ' s Vaslav's d e c i s i o n . NIJ: I l i k e Greek c u l t u r e . EMMA: Leave him, he's no good. NIJ: I carved a wooden duck, put i t on wheels and painted i t bright colours; purple and orange. I put i t on wheels so that she could p u l l i t behind her as she t r o t t e d between the walls of our two rooms. ROM: He's so good with the baby. EMMA: He's subverting your authority with the c h i l d . ROM: Vaslav wouldn't think of anything l i k e t h a t . EMMA: S h e ' l l be s p o i l t . OFFICIAL: N i j i n s k y , Vaslav...you are to proceed to Vienna. There you w i l l be inforned concerning your r e p a t r i a t i o n . The t r a i n leaves at ten o'clock tonight. EMMA: You can't take the c h i l d t o Russia. ROM: Tonight? EMMA: The t r a i n s are so crowded. ROM: I hope I'm strong enough. EMMA: The c h i l d can't p o s s i b l y t r a v e l . NAJA: Good riddance, that's what I say. 50 GYORGY: Right you are. EMMA: I won't allow the child to go. NIJ: A child should be with i t ' s mother. EMMA: I don't think Romola should go either. ( At the train station. ) ROM: Good-bye Mother, thank you...for everything. EMMA: Don't go dear. ROM: He's my husband. EMMA: I'm your mother. ROM: I have to go. EMMA: You and l i t t l e Kyra can always come home, i f things don't work out. ROM: It w i l l be a l l right. EMMA: Come with me. I want to give you some money, but I don't want him to know. ROM: A l l right...Vaslav, I ' l l be back i n just a moment. NIJ: Hurry femmka... ( NIJINSKY. i s l e f t alone on the platform: the SOLDIER enters. He has no legs and pushes himself about on a four wheeled dolly, about six inches off the ground. ) SOL: Evening. NIJ: Good evening. SOL: Nice night. NIJ: It i s lovely. SOL: Going to Vienna? 51 NIJ: Yes. SOL: Me too. Going to the h o s p i t a l there. They've got doctors there what are going to give me new l e g s . NIJ: New legs? SOL: Wooden ones, you know. Won't be able to do no dancin* but at l e a s t I ' l l be able to get r i d of t h i s t h i n g . My arms are so bloody t i r e d . Pushin' myself about a l l day. I t ' s t i r i n g . NIJ: I can imagine. SOL: Do I note a b i t of an accent i n your voice? You're not Hungar- i a n are you? NIJ: No. SOL: What are you? NIJ: I'm a dancer. SOL: No, what country? NIJ: I'm Russian. SOL: Russian? NIJ: But I was born i n Poland. At l e a s t I'm r e g i s t e r e d there. SOL: Polish? NIJ: Yes. SOL: I t ' s a good thing you s a i d t h a t . NIJ: Why? SOL: I get very disturbed at the thought of Russians. NIJ: You hate them? SOL: I k i l l them don't I? NIJ: They're j u s t men, l i k e you. SOL: We're at war. They're the enemy. NIJ: Your country's enemy, but i n d i v i d u a l l y they are j u s t men. 52 SOL: Hold on a minute. Just where do your sympathies l i e my Polish friend? NIJ: With men. SOL: Who's men? NIJ: A l l men. SOL: You can't be on both sides. NIJ: I don't belong to either side. SOL: You have to, you have to belong to one side or the other. NIJ: Why? Why do I have to belong to some side? SOL: Because i t ' s war. Warl Do you know what that is? Do you know what i t ' s like? Have you ever been i n a battle? Have you? NIJ: No, I don't... SOL: Pansified artistes. You're a l l the same. Spouting some tripe about peace an' a l l when you've never seen war. Never seen what i t can do to men. Men...what you're interested i n . Well, I've seen i t . . . ...acres of Roosky cavalry, men an* horses as far as your eye could see on a clear day. Trying to get across the r i v e r . Us and the German's, we had em i n a crossfire. They got about halfway across an' we hit em. Machine guns, mortars, a r t i l l e r y . A bloody gallery i t was. ...at f i r s t the bodies caught the current an'floated downstream but soon, soon they caught on a snag i n the river and begin to p i l i n * up. Duck pond i n October i t was... ...they tried another charge, running on the surface created by the flesh of their own men an' horses. They got a l i t t l e b i t further that time but they eventually had to give up...they couldn't get the horses to go up the h i l l of corpses an' i f they did they'd just slide back down again cause of a l l the guts there was. A great victory for us. I saw a Roosky Captain get his brains kicked out by his own horse. NIJ: God, God wouldn't l e t i t happen. 53 SOL: Of course not, but war ain't the work of God. It's a job that men do, ment The kind of men what you care about. It's their l i t t l e a r t i s t i c accomplishment, you know. You dance, they k i l l , l i k e i n a revolution you know? NIJ: You're insane. I don't believe you. SOL: A l l right then, have i t your way. You can't face i t , but I seen i t . ( The SOLDIER exits laughing. NIJINSKY i s l e f t alone. ) NIJ: That men should k i l l . . . t h e god that i s i n them...I don't under- stand. OFFICIAL: Five four three two one, you are to proceed to the Italian bor- der, where you w i l l be met by representatives of the Swiss gov- ernment who w i l l conduct you to the American Consul i n Geneva, i n whose hands you w i l l remain for the duration of h o s t i l i t i e s . (NIJINSKY si t s again at the make-up mirror, s t i l l i n the per- sona of Petrushka. ) ( There i s a knock on the door, enter DIAGHILEV. ) DIA: Hello Vaslav. NIJ: Sergei. DIA: Dreadful business this, s t i l l . . . NIJ: I don't hate you. DIA: Thank you for that. I've missed you. Nobody has come to take your place. I was sorry to hear of a l l your misfortunes but s t i l l I hear you received a blessing i n the form of a ch i l d . NIJ: A l i t t l e g i r l , Kyra. DIA: How nice for you, a g i r l . NIJ: She's beautiful. DIA: Splendid, s t i l l , that's not what I came for. NIJ: To join your company? 54 DIA: I have no company. There's a war i n progress. No, I came about your lawsuit against me. I imagine you heard that the English court has decided i n your favour. The judgement was a half mil- l i o n gold francs. NIJ: A l o t of money. DIA: I don't have i t . With the war and a l l , there i s no money for art. There i s only money for bodies. Hundreds of thousands of bodies. They're at a premium. You have such a fine body, Vaslav. An immortal one i f I remem- ber correctly. I'm sure that one or another of these warring factions would give you quite a tidy sum for i t . NIJ: I'm not interested i n money. DIA: Good, that solves my problem. If you should change your a t t i - tude, you should approach the Americans. They have a l o t of money but no "art". I'm thinking of going over myself. (The CHORUS- rush i n and capture NIJINSKY- i n the middle of a square dance during which the following song i s sung. ) CHORUS: ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS CASH. Well-a alaman l e f t Your partner Swing her dosey doe If'n you l i k e money i n your pocket Come on over here Hey alaman l e f t An a dosey doe Throw her i n the air We don't know nothin* bout dancin But you know we rea l l y care So down on your back Feet i n the air Open wide your mind We're gonna fuck you If we get the chance Cause we're quick r i c h millionaires. Oh alaman l e f t your partner Swing 'im dosey doe If'n he's a ballet dancer Then stomp on a l l his toes. Stomp on a l l his toes. 55 •(••• NIJINSKY. l e f t alone as the CHORUS exit, s i t s again i n front of the make-up mirror. ) ( Enter. KOSTROVSKY and Otto KAHN. ) NIJ: Yes? KOS: This i s Mr. ... KAHN: Kahn, that's K..A..H..N. Otto to my friends. I'm the money behind old Coppicus, who you've been dealing with up to now.. NIJ: Mr. Kahn... KAHN: Now look Nijinsky, I put up a half million bucks for this l i t t l e social of yours and I didn't do i t out of charity or because I l i k e to do a l i t t l e j i g now an* then. I did i t because I expec- ted some kind of return on my money. Know what I mean. I'm a businessman, not a la-de-da gentleman and when I make a deal, I expect the other half to keep up his end. We hired you cause you were supposed to be the best at whatever i t i s you do and we gave you sufficient means to do i t but you haven't done i t . Now, how about i t ? NIJ: Mr. Kahn I can only say... KAHN: I believe i n giving the other guy his chance Nijinsky. We've given you three weeks to produce a ballet for us an* i t ain't ready. We've already sold half the tickets an' we don't want to give the money back. Where's the ballet? NIJ: I've t r i e d to explain Mr. Kahn... KAHN: Nijinsky... KOS: Mr. Kahn? Vaslav has been i l l , very i l l for the past week. The doctor's orders have been for him to rest...completely. He isn't supposed to work. KAHN: Who are you? KOS: Kostrovsky. KAHN: I heard about you. YouVe some kind of Bollsheevic aren't you. Crazy too. 56 NIJ: Kostrovsky i s subject to epilepsy Mr. Kahn, he i s not "crazy" and I w i l l not stand for you coming i n here and insulting the members of my company. lour ballet w i l l go on Mr. Kahn. It w i l l be ready but I w i l l not be held responsible for the qual- i t y of the performance. KAHN: Quality? Just give me a performance, that's a l l I want. Now, goodnight gentlemen, I'm sure th e r e ' l l be no need of any fur- ther discussion on this point. NIJ: Good-bye ( Exit KAHN. ) KOS: You can't dance Vaslav. NIJ: I have to, we need the money too. KOS: That pompous ass. A l l he knows i s money. MoneyI That's a l l any of his kind know because they've never been without i t . NIJ: We too need money Kostrovsky, their money. We're no better than they are. KOS: Yes, we are. We are better because we have values, ideals that come before money. I want to get out of this country. NIJ: Where would you go? KOS: Back to Russia. There...there i s more than a belief i n dollars, NIJ: What more? KOS: There i s the land, the peasant, the "moujic" who lives and dies on his own s o i l . There i s Russia, mother of our fathers. NIJ: It's money there too. That's why I l e f t to make money for ray family. KOS: Not anymore Vaslav. Things are changing i n Russia. It's the people now Vaslav. The people are ris i n g against the Czar. Rising for love of Russia. NIJ: I met him once. The Czar. He gave me a gold watch because he liked the way I danced. I didn't want to take i t from him. He said I should because i t was worth a l o t of money. I sold the watch i n New York to buy a birthday present for Romola. I'd l i k e to make a l o t of money one day and buy the watch back. 57 KOS: Trinkets, symbols. That's what they always gave us, while they stole our country from us. But no more, we're going to take i t back and give i t to the people. NIJ: Why? KOS: For love of the people. Tolstoy loves the people, not money. You've read Tolstoy? NIJ: Yes. KOS: He said Russia i s l i k e a great tree, with roots that plunge deeply into the earth where i t s l i f e comes from and the people are the leaves of the tree. They take i n the sunshine and give food, l i f e to the tree. Russia for the love of the people. Come with me Vaslav, come back to Russia. A l l the treasure w i l l belong to a l l the people. You can dance for them. NIJ: I don't l i k e war. Men k i l l eachother for reasons I don't un- derstand. I understand and believe i n what you say...but to k i l l the god that i s any man... KOS: You're a coward, Vaslav. We have to fight for what we believe, there's no other way. NIJ: Love? KOS: Love? What kind of love i s there that w i l l put food i n your child's belly, that w i l l l e t her grow straight and t a l l when men, other men, beat her to keep her down. When you see her blood on the s o i l of Russia, then you'll learn to k i l l . NIJ: No, no I won't k i l l . KOS: Then you'll die. NIJ: I want to. I want to die, i f i t w i l l end the k i l l i n g of other men. KOS: Then come and die for Russia. Come and save our Mother because they are k i l l i n g her. ( Enter ROMOLA. ) NIJ: I ' l l think about what you've said. 58 KOS: Good, I ' l l be waiting. ROM: Kostrovsky. KOS: Madame Nijinsky. ( KOSTROVSKY exits. ) ROM: What was he t e l l i n g you? NIJ: About Russia. ROM: What about Russia. NIJ: ' Femmka, I'm thinking that we should go back to Russia. I don't l i k e America... ROM: Why? Why go back to Russia, what's there? NIJ: My mother, my brother. ROM: You haven't heard from them i n two years. NIJ: More reason... ROM: The war... NIJ: You don't understand. ROM: No. No, you don't understand. You want to stop dancing here, go back to Russia, become a moujik and scratch a l i v i n g i n the d i r t . I've heard what Kostrovsky has to say. He's saying i t to everyone i n the company, NIJ: Femmka, he's right, I... ROM: No, he's not right. To earn a l i f e , not l i v e i t . To get dirty and go hungry. You want your child to be dirty and starving. To grow up knowing nothing but the land. You want, you want! What about us? What about what we want? Kyra and me? Already because of your dancing, I've had to be separated from her. To put her with strangers i n a hotel. I don't want to lose anymore. I'm going back to New York, to be with Kyra. If you want us, come to us or i f not go and crawl back to your mother, your Russia. 59 ( Exit ROMOLAT NIJINSKY i s l e f t alone i n front of the make-up mirror. ) NIJ: A horse. I w i l l run. I w i l l run, from gate to post to wire. I w i l l run because running i s my l i f e . My wife told me. I cannot give i t up. We need money. I must run for money. I have known nothing but running a l l my l i f e . ( FADEOUT ) CHORUS: Run...run...run Run...run...run Run-run, run-run, run-run Run-run, run-run, run-run Run-run Run-run 60 ACT II - scene 2 (.. Lights., reveal NIJINSKY. i n front of the make-up mirror as ROMQLA enters. ) ROM: Vaslav? NIJ: Yes, femmka. ROM: I've been talking to the doctors. NIJ: Behind my back? ROM: They said you wouldn't l i s t e n . NIJ: To them? Saying stop dancing. Rest. RestI They don't see that I must work to be healthy. ROM: Not forever, Vaslav, just for a l i t t l e while. NIJ: We need money, you said that. ROM: We have enough money for now. Take a vacation. Go somewhere beautiful, just you and me and Kyra. NIJ: Femmka, my work... ROM: A l i t t l e while. To play with our child and maybe...have an- other one. NIJ: Another baby? ROM: A son for you Vaslav. NIJ: A strong boy l i k e his father. ROM: Handsome. NIJ: Beautiful l i k e his mother. ROM: Then we go? NIJ: Yes, for awhile. ROM: I've already found us a lovely v i l l a . It's i n St. MorItz- Dorf, just below the mountains and so beautiful. NIJ: It sounds lovely but. ROM: But? NIJ: I don't l i k e the snow ( FADSOUT ) 62 ACT II - scene 3 ( Light reveals NIJINSKY. standing alone down center* ) NIJ: Sometimes, sometimes while we make love I t e l l her..."I love the audience as much as I love you now.." ...she moans, says she doesn't understand what I'm saying••.that love, love cannot be as indiscrim- inate as the price of an admission.•.or else i t would not be love. She doesn't understand. I t e l l her that God wants us to love every man equally, just be- cause they are men. She says each man does not f e e l this love equally and therefore i s not worthy of the same g i f t s . That i f we were meant to love everybody equally, there would be no fami- l i e s . I cannot make her understand. ( Enter NEGRI, calling for her children. ) NEGRI:Sorent Sorenl Where are you? Come home, I've made sugar cook- ies. Where are you? Excuse me... NIJ: Who are you looking for? NEGRI:For my son Mr. Nijinsky. NIJ: Are the costumes ready? NEGRI:Very nearly. They'll be ready i n time S i r . NIJ: It doesn't matter. I didn't mean to alarm you. Startle you? I mean i t doesn't matter i f they're not ready. NEGRI:They w i l l be. NIJ: Good. Your son, I haven't met him before. NEGRI:He's been away. NIJ: That's not good. A son shouldn't leave his mother. NEGRI:He...he didn't leave. He was taken. NIJ: Who? Who took your son? 63 NEGRI: It doesn't matter. NIJ: It does. NEGRI: No. NIJ: Where did they take him? NEGRI: I don't know. They just took him away one day. He was so small. A l i t t l e boy. Just a few weeks old. Just a l i t t l e boy. NIJ: And you l e t them? NEGRI: I was i l l , I couldn't stop... NIJ: You stupid woman! To l e t them take your son. Well, they won't take mine. Yes, I'm going to have a son. NEGRI: I'm very happy for you. When? NIJ: Soon. As soon as ray wife's doctor says i t ' s a l l right. NEGRI: It isn't started yet? NIJ: He. No, not yet. I am..I'm going to start work again soon also. NEGRI: I know, I think i t ' s wonderful. It's been some years since you danced. NIJ: One, just one year but I ' l l be a sucess again. NEGRI: I'm sure of i t . NIJ: You must come. No, I i n s i s t . You made the costumes, you must come. It w i l l be just a small audience. Friends, I have i n - vited. NEGRI: I would be honoured... NIJ: You said you made some cookies. I'm very hungry. I haven't eaten today. Could I have one? NEGRI: They're not very special, just sugar cookies. NIJ: Negri, the dressmaker, also makes cookies. You're very wonder- f u l . ( She gives him the cookie, he eats i t . ) NEGRI: You must be very hungry to eat so fast. NIJ: I haven't eaten for...quite some time. NEGRI: Don't they feed you at hom? Your wife... NIJ: They eat meat. I won't eat any meat. It isn't good for me. They even feed i t to my l i t t l e daughter. NEGRI: Kyra? NIJ: You know her? NEGRI: She's beautiful. NIJ: Yes, she's very special. She i s a child of God. NEGRI: So i s my son. NIJ: Your son i s dead. NEGRI: I know. NIJ: But you c a l l him? NEGRI: He can hear me. NIJ: You believe that? NEGRI: Yes. NIJ: You're very lovely. NEGRI: Thank you. NIJ: I'm very cold; may I come to your home with you? NEGRI: If you l i k e . NIJ: Perhaps you could rent me a room? I need somewhere to work. Somewhere that I won't be disturbed. NEGRI: We have one spare room. I w i l l ask my husband. NIJ: Good. I ' l l come tonight. NEGRI: Very well. NIJ: You're very wonderful and I love you. 65 NEGRI: Thank you. NIJ: You b e l i e v e me? NEGRI: Yes...I be l i e v e you. You love me, as you love the c h i l d r e n , the mountains, the snow, the t r e e s . You are very wonderful, Mon- sieu r N i j i n s k y . I ' l l see you t h i s evening. NIJ: Thank you. NEGRI: I t ' s nothing. NIJ: You be l i e v e that I love you. I t ' s enough. NEGRI: Good-bye. NIJ: Good-bye. ( E x i t NEGRI. NIJINSKY turns and moves i n t o the audience. ) NIJ: Where have you been? Have you been t o the house of our Lord? Did you touch the breast of the v i r g i n ? Have you s a i d a prayer f o r peace? Have you been t o church? Why don't you go t o church? C h r i s t died f o r you? Jesus loved you. I love you. God loves you. God loves me. I love you. I am a horse. I have won a l o t of races. Do you love me? God i s a race horse. Have you been to see C h r i s t ? Did you t a l k with God? Have you been to church? ( Enter ROMOLA. ) ROM: Come away, Vaslav. Leave those people alone. NIJ: I'm only asking i f they've been to church. 66 ROM: They don't want you to ask them. NIJ: They should go. ROM: Come with me. NIJ: For a walk? ROM: Yes, for a walk. NIJ: No, I can't. ROM: Why, Vaslav? NIJ: There's blood on the snow. ROM: No, there is n ' t . NIJ: I sense i t . Traces of blood. ROM: There's nothing there. NIJ: Someone who i s s t i l l alive has been k i l l e d . We must change d i - rection. More blood. I'm afraid. ROM: Don't be stupid, Vaslav. NIJ: I've got to follow. There, there's a c l i f f . It's not blood, only manure. Walk i n the snow. The mark of skis. They stopped here, beside the blood. Someone's buried a man. Someone's knocked a man down. Someone's k i l l e d him. I'm afraid. I must run, run back. I must go back. God wants to know i f I'm afraid. Afraid of him? No, I'm not afraid of God. He i s l i f e not death. Walk toward the precipice. No, I can't. I can't. You...you are the devil, a l l of you are devils. You tempt me to take my l i f e . You say jump, jump down, only then w i l l we believe you. ROM: Vaslav, don't... NIJ: I am afraid. Can't you see that. I'm afraid. ROM: Yes, Vaslav yes. I see... NIJ: No, you don't see. How can you? I haven't shown you. 67 ROM: Shown me what? NIJ: I am drawn, drawn to the edge. Nearly s l i p , f a l l , I am saved, some branches, I am saved, ROM: Vaslav... NIJ: I w i l l f a l l i f I l e t go. God save me I'm insane. Insane. Do you understand. ROM: Yes, I understand. I t ' s time f o r the performance. We must go. NIJ: I have to take o f f t h i s make-up. ROM: Why.,.you spent so long.*. NIJ: I don't want i t anymore. I don't need i t anymore. ( FADEOUT as NIJINSKY removes the Petrushka persona. ) 68 ACT I I I ( Ligh t s up. The stage i s bare. NIJINSKY. enters. He c a r r i e s two b o l t s of c l o t h , one black, one white. . He l a y s out the c l o t h i n the shape of a c r o s s . Then he goes t o the wing and gets a c h a i r , which he places center stage and s i t s i n . ) NIJ: What? What am I doing here? Here with you? Why am I here? I've been here before, before now. I know what to do. I've done a l l t h i s before, many times before. So many times. But I am always here and you, you are always there. An audience. You are always d i f f e r e n t , y e t always the same. An audience. You a l l know how to be an audience. Why? How do I know that I am always me, here? I have nothing you don't. I don't have a l i t t l e alarm clock i n my mind, set to r i n g when you a r r i v e . I'm a man, l i k e you. I'm muscle and bone l i k e you. But, I'm always here. You're l i k e r a i n running down dry beds i n the mountains, each time I walk through you I get wet i n a d i f f e r e n t way. I'm more i n t e r e s t e d i n you, than you are i n me. God. God, whoever, whatever, whyever, even i f never, we are both here, you and I . Neither of us any d i f f e r e n t from the other i n our reasons f o r being here. There i s no reason. We are j u s t here. Probably because there i s no reason to be elsewhere. Even me, I have no other reason. You could be me. I could be you. You could dance f o r me, j u s t f o r tonight. Someone could come, take my place. Someone dance f o r me? Someone? Dance with me? With me? I w i l l not dance alone. Not anymore. No more. I'm j u s t l i k e you, a man. Just a man.... This dance i s to show that I l o v e . I love you and you and you, each of you. I have danced a l l my l i f e t o show my l o v e . I have t r i e d to touch you. Many I have not reached. There are many of you who don't know how to l o v e . I know many of you. ( Long Pause ) The War. THE WARI 69 ( CHORUS enters. ) EMMA: Put him away. He's crazy. ROM: No. KARS: A p i t y . ROM: No. DIA: I t was to be expected. ROM: Don't say tha t . EMMA: L i s t e n t o the doctors. ROM: They're wrong. DIA: They're s c i e n t i s t s . EMMA: L i s t e n to them dear. They're r i g h t . They wouldn't l i e to you. KARS: The s t r a i n was too much. KOS: I t could happen to anyone. DIA: I t was f a t e d f o r him. ROM: Shut up a l l of you. Vaslav. I don't want you to go. Even f o r a l i t t l e while. But, they say i t ' s the best t h i n g to do. You've s a i d y o u r s e l f . . . NIJ: I say...everybody says many things they don't mean. ROM: That you love me, that you love Kyra, that you love a l l of us. You say that too Vaslav, what am I to believe...? NIJ: Believe what you want. You don't understand. I can't make you understand. ROM: I want to understand. To be able to speak to you with the words that are s o f t enough f o r you t o be l i e v e that I love you. Every- body loves you, wants to understand you. You have to give us the chance. NIJ: I have explained and explained u n t i l I am t i r e d of f e e l i n g any- t h i n g . You can't understand, because you don't want t o . 70 ROM: Understand what? NIJ: Why I want to be a vegetarian. I have explained that k i l l i n g , even i f i t i s to eat... ROM: Wait, you don't make sense.•• NIJ: Even i f i t i s to eat, cannot be sanctioned. We are a l l crea- tures of God. He i s with i n us. I cannot eat meat. ROM: A l l r i g h t , Vaslav. I have t r i e d . I can't t r y anymore. I t ' s time. NIJ: Time? For what? ROM: I don't know. I have to give up. I'm sorr y . NIJ: That I'm insane. Only a t r i a l of God. Him speaking with my tongue. The tongue of God l i c k i n g . . . EMMA: The men are here to take you. NIJ: What men? EMMA: The attendants from the c l i n i c . You've got to go with them. Get up, please. Go q u i e t l y , we don't need another scene. NIJ: Does femmka know about t h i s ? EMMA: Yes. NIJ: She said i t was ; a l l r i g h t ? EMMA: S h e ' l l think i t best. NIJ: W i l l they make me eat meat? CHORUS: No, meat's expensive since the war. The war used up a l o t of i t . Wouldn't want to waste i t on someone who didn't want i t . NIJ: I won't eat meat. CHORUS: Horses don't eat meat anyway do they? NIJ: I'm a horse. CHORUS: Okay. 71 NIJ: Horses can run though. I can't anymore. I could once though, I was quite good, CHORUS: In Vienna, before the war. Those were the days, EMMA: Please hurry. We want this done before my daughter returns. NIJ: I won't go. CHORUS: I'm afraid you have to. NIJ: Don't upset me... CHORUS: We think you should go, NIJ: It's my choice. GOD? CHORUS: One two out with the old i n with the new NIJ: Do you want me to go? CHORUS: Three four shut the fuckin' door. NIJ: If you want me to go... CHORUS: Five six gonna s t i r your balls with swizzle sticks NIJ: I won't survive this God. CHORUS: Seven eight you're i n the gate NIJ: Take me unto youI CHORUS: Nine ten we play big... ( The CHORUS have formed an operating table on which they, have placed NIJINSKY. DIAGHILEV appears i n the role of the DOCTOR. ) DOC: Horsey, horsey tear i n his eye, So alive he's scared to die. A rhyme, a joke. These things sometimes help a man i n your condition. They relieve the tension which grips your subcon- scious. A horse i n your condition needs stimuli. Things to grasp the subconscious with two hands and shake i t . That's what this l i t t l e needle i s . It makes you pay attention. Not a shock or a j o l t , as some might recommend but just something to take quiet control and shake i t . 72 DOC: There now. That didn't hurt did i t ? Now, we just l e t i t take (con't) quiet control» one two three four f i v e six... ( He continues to count as the sounds of NIJINSKY*S l i f e sources drain away. ) ( Blackout slowly, then i n the darkness. ) NIJ: Midnight? Midnight or noon? I would have to open at least one eye to find out. Do horses close their eyes when they sleep? I must find out. I'm supposed to find out. They want me to prove I'm not what I am. They say I'm a man. Only a man? Nothing i s only a man. Men are gods and gods are men. God i s with me. ( Lights up.. NIJINSKY stands i n the center of the cross formed by the cloth. ) The tree has saved me. If I l e t go of i t I w i l l f a l l . God wants me to stay on this precipice. To try me. GODt God, try me no more. You know what i s i n my heart. I ' l l give a l l I have to other men. I w i l l lead other men to you. Friend. Have you been to church? Have you kissed the breast of the virgin. Tasted of the blood of Jesus? Eaten of God? He said this i s my body, this i s my blood. Eat. Eat of me! Take me into your belly! Let me bleed into your womb! I grow thorns i n my mind. To make a man of me. Thorns grow holes i n my brains. They crucify me! I am convinced of my madness. I am horse. I am man. I am God. EMMA: Maker of judgements. DIA: Save man from sin? KARS: Do we know sin? 73 ROM: Who do you want? KOS: Give us his blood. DIA: Give us his f l e s h . EMMA: Give us his l i f e . PROS: I w i l l wash his body. ROM: Who do you want? DIA: Give us Petrushka. KOS: He tr i e s to escape. EMMA: From God. NEGRI: Escape his fate? ROM: Who do you want? DIA: Give us Nijinsky. KOS: The god. EMMA: The man. NEGRI: The dead. ROM: He i s not guilty, he must die for himself. DIA: To be immortal, naturally. Surely we a l l can see that. ROM: Yes. NIJ: Take me God. I'm your seed. Flesh of your flesh. You don't want me to f a l l , not anymore, DEATHt DIA: On the third day he w i l l ascend, don't worry. He's planned i t that way. NIJ: I am the one who dies when he i s not loved. Today i s my marri- age with God. I take him to couch, l i k e a whore. You are a l l guilty. Petrushka must die. Have I not shown you how to love? Like children play butter- f l i e s on the green lawn. I must t e l l you stories and teach you how to die for love, the love I have for you. 74 NIJ: "My l i t t l e g i r l i s singing: (con't) 'Ah ah ah ah 1 I do not understand i t s meaning but I f e e l what she wants to say. She wants to say that everything . . . i s not horror, but joy."^ I choose to be God. CHORUS: We don't know where he went but he never came back. He died i n 1950. CURTAIN Earthy Lazarus, Dies twice for a l l his knowledge. The spider winds round his leg. the cosmos spreads wide lazarus lookin' for eggs down on his knees he begs at the union of her legs shit sucker done went down down to reunion union with nothin 1 The words penetrate, Punctures a sticky l i n e Through the fabric. He i s webbed and whispers: "Come now, the silencet X am seed i n autumn, Food for the child." His hand traces Obsidian flesh to the grotto. Sweaty palm on A pane of glass. bellyrub bellyrub she gonna come l i k e jesus did Deeper than space, Lazarus waves to immortality. The bloodless weapon Limp i n his fingers. His second hour too old, Too feeble, To hold anything But time. 77 SEEDS OF THE WATER he r o l l s to the shore i n waves, v i s i t i n g the sea only at night to sleep, to water, to his woman sleeping i n water, to sleep, to his woman. the sea-cracked s h e l l , be l ly fu l of sand, doting on the w i l l of t ides. while moonshafts penetrate the ocean. 78 SLEEPER Tha foot walks from rock to rock considering, resting upon each one, turned only by the sense of direction. The occasional pool of water poses only an imaginary threat that i t connects with the ocean. A l i n e , strung taut across the nipple of the i n l e t , extends to the figure thigh deep i n boulders on the opposite point. The head turns toward him. A gull rises from the rocks, white as a g i r l on the f i r s t day of school. She rises and c i r c l e s , the struggle of the crab trapped between her l i p s . SLEEPER (con't) He smells her breath blow across his back, touches the a r r i v a l before he f a l l s . Bits of dry and splintered shell on top of a barnacled rock. DRIFTWOOD The wave returns to the li n e of the previous tide, bringing back the fraction that survives. Worms carve a child's cathedral, spire upon spire; Papa, my papa Your worm-riddled l i v e r . Sometimes you forgot to drink even water. You, soldier transported on oceans, to k i l l . The tiny holes in my past, belong to you. Seas flow by the cycle of the moon. You travel by night; my blood rush racing the course that crumbles, gripped by my hand. DRIFTWOOD (con't) Fragment, broken my sea-life; turning crab-boulders toward the sun; a l l night circles mist the shore; broken sense of memory and of sand* AN OLDER POEM (For Barbara) "Spring seems almost Here," he said. Instant replays are Not for real, they've Already been here. Bullets. Footballs. Spirals. "Murder-ball Is no fun for short Guys l i k e me," He said, Impishly. Kids today Are not as Old as we are. 83 FOOTNOTES 1 Romola Nijinsky, ed., THE DIARY OF VASLAV NIJINSKY, Berkeley, Los Angeles, California, University of California Press, 1971 (copyright 1936 by Simon and Schuster, Inc.) p. 184. BIBLIOGRAPHY Nijinsky, Romola, eh., The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, University of California Press, 1971. Skelton, Robin ed., Malahat Review University of Victoria, Spring 1971. Srinivas, Dr. Krishna ed., Poet. Industries Press, T Nagar Madras 17, German Number, July 1970, ed. Andreas P. Shroeder. Yates, J. Michael, ed. Contemporary Poetry of B.C.. Vol. 2, Sono Nis, 1973.


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