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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Elephant Long, Jeremy Patrick 1973

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V  ELEPHANT by JEREMY" PATRICK LONG B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1971  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  i n the Department of Creative Writing We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1973  In presenting  t h i s thesis in p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for  an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t freely available for reference  and  study.  I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may by his representatives.  be granted by the Head of my Department or  It i s understood that copying or publication  of this thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  CREATIVE VlRTTTWft  The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada  Date  APRIL 26. 1971  ii  ABSTRACT  Elephant, a c o l l e c t i o n of material produced during the past two years, attempts to create an environment within which the personna of the writer may e x i s t without benefit of a corporeal r e a l i t y . I t becomes an environment of memory. By d e f i n i t i o n , the genres of drama and poetry must be presented to an audience i f they are to succeed i n t h e i r avowed purpose of communication between creator and audience. I t 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 technology. In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r instance, both genres are presented within the same medium, the t h e s i s . They are therefore s i m i l a r 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 memory of the personna and the c o l l e c t i v e memory of the environment i n which he e x i s t s . I t i s not "now", i t i s "then".  iii TABLE OF CONTENTS TITLE  o  i  ABSTRACT  i i  TABLE OF CONTENTS...  •  . . i i i  ACKNOWLEDGMENT  iv  POEMS - PART ONE: I. Our Lady of the Rocks I I . 2-Our Lady of the Rocks I I I . Habitat......... IV. Refraction V. Preparation. • VI. Trophy VII. Collapse VIII. Continuance. IX. The Name X. Face Under Water XI. Wound XJ-I. Patsy Jean Oregon. XIII. The Apathy XIV. Lighthouse Barbara  •  •  THE FINAL PERFORMANCE OF VASLAV NIJINSKY SAINT MORITZ-DORF, 1919 I. II.  III.  L i s t of Characters Act 1 Act I - scene 2 Act I - scene 3  17 .18  20 •.••••.••.•••.••33 ....41  •  kk 60  Act I I - scene 1 Act I I - scene 2  Act I I - scene 3*<*«* IV.  ....1 3 5 6 7 8 9 .10 11 12 13 Ik 15 16  •••••••.•62 68  Act I I I  POEMS - Part Two: I. II. III. IV. V.  Savage Seeds of the Water Sleeper Driftwood An Older Poem (For Barbara)  •  75 .77 78 80 82  TABEL OF CONTENTS ( C o n ' t )  FOOTNOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY VITA  '  .83  ACKNOWLEDGMENT  Mrs. Kathleen Long f o r the time Dr. Douglas Bankson f o r the energy.  1 OUR LADY OF THE ROCKS 1.  B e l l a Donna we l a y  day  breaking on coasts  a horizon bloody enough to be v i r g i n we l a y together puddle of water amid the rock B e l l a Donna  we l a y  t h i s rock supports moss insect existence i n the i c e preserved f o r the future  the past f a l l s deep as night  i n t o the vast  i n v i s i b l e b e l l y of the horizon  B e l l a Donna concerned with temperature while a new age marches down mountain t o sea  2  and we i n paths cracked i n the c l i f f by now  Now B e l l a Donna the minutes of your l i f e stand sentry t o your sleep f o r i n the morning  cries  as you look b l i n d folded into rock  Fire a horizon of riflemen Cassandra executed f o r her crime  B e l l a Donna  we l a y  together i n a morning too distant f o r us  B e l l a Donna  man l i o n  climbs a jungle to t h i s cave  morning with a mane of l i g h t drags a dark carcass the ocean flames t o death  B e l l a Donna  beautiful  lady i n the rock your poison your c h i l d your blood burns across a morning dying  B e l l a Donna  beautiful  lady dying i n mourning  B e l l a Donna the dead c h i l d i s yours i s not the b i r t h of morning  i s not a corpse i n a rock c o f f i n B e l l a Donna  the poison to a c h i l d dead the h i s t o r y 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 t h e i r roots  and d i s s o l v e , on t h e i r knees.  Wind comes out of the surrounding sand.  The desert c o l l e c t s .  6  REFRACTION  The r e f l e c t i o n of one or l e s s , we had Last night, i s gone.  I s p i l l e d i n t o distance Between mirror and image, While you l a y amid gasps of l i g h t And shadow f a u l t e d your face Into mountains too distant f o r morning.  7  PREPARATION  Nothing i s l e f t t o hunt. The wilderness  holds  Only the empty s k i n . Hung, frozen In the t r e e l e s s a i r .  Below, the carcass, Shapeless against the tundra, Howls i n t o the voiceless night.  Snared between the teeth And the appetite to k i l l , I must take The animal with me.  I am c l e a r ;  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 c e l l e d insect whose track wasted i n the wadded a i r a f t e r I had k i l l e d him, because he was behind me and t h i c k with the blood of my passage through.  9  COLLAPSE  The t o r t o i s e moves  old  Out of the water Unprotected  white  he crawls  Inland Silent  the ocean senses  The empty s h e l l One wave  another  the l a s t  Forage f o r the route of h i s escape Between the rocks Static  the body of water  F a l l s inward The t o r t o i s e climbs a t r e e To the ground and spins His web over sand Between rocks  CONTINUANCE  1.  snow covers the l e n g t h 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 l i o n s . You often s a i d . . .  A raindrop roars i n 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 t h i s l i o n l i f e , where the name gives too much sense of purpose.  FACE UNDER WATER  Usually you c r y when we make love. The l i g h t 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 d r i z z l e you d i s s o l v e i n t o the shallow puddle at my f e e t .  When the next express a r r i v e s , I ' l l step through you, into i t and carry you only i n the ruined shine of my shoes.  13  WOUND  He streams from the bottom, upriver.  Green  dark and s t i n k i n g , r i p a r i a n seaweed drips a new wound. This  city  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, p i l e s them. consecration to the f e e t of the naked girl-child.  who i t was didn't matter, her breast i n my hand, damp-hair  stranded  the bed i n abeyance of i n t e r e s t ,  ice-salt  water rushes her f e e t , she refutes the f l e s h .  her tone irrelevant, only sleep.  15  THE APATHY  waves clean over the breast of shorel i n e 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 t i d e l i n e  eruption curdles below the b e l l y excuses everything  food  LIGHTHOUSE BARBARA.  Your eye opens regularly, i n the dark, intent on s a l v a t i o n . You l i g h t candles, i n the p u p i l of your eye to a t t r a c t , dozens of dizzy moths, or another b l i n d man, who cannot f i n d you when daylight swarms ashore.  Nevertheless, your thighs dried me out and you saw me f l u 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 b a l l e t dancer. ROMOLA, h i s wife. EMMA, Romola's mother. SERGEI DIAGHILEV, the Russian  entrepreneur.  KOSTROVSKY, a Russian technician with the B a l l e t Russe. KARSVTNA, a b a l l e r i n a with the B a l l e t Russe. PROSTITUTE, another character played bv the same actress as Karsvina. NEGRI, a Swiss peasant dressmaker, played by the same actress as Karsvina. SOLDIER, a Hungarian s o l d i e r 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 f o r N i i i n s k y .  TIME: January,  1919.  SETTING: Act I & II...Dressing Room, St. Moritz. Act I I I  The stage, St. Moritz.  My l i t t l e g i r l i s singing: *Ah ah ah ah. I do not understand i t s meaning but I f e e l what she wants to say. She wants t o say that everything . . . i s not horror, but j o y . 1  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. s i t s on a stool, facing the audience. In front of him i s a small table, on which r e s t s 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 t o . . .  NIJ:  The make-up i s very important...to create the i l l u s i o n f o r . . .  ROM:  I know Vaslav.  NIJ:  Wonderful..I'm going to dance again.  ROM:  Yes I  NIJ:  No pieces.  ROM:  But what s h a l l I t e l l Madame Asseo? W i l l you dance without music?  NIJ:  Don't t e l l her anything.  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 t o accompany me. She w i l l understand...when I dance... She w i l l know what pieces to play.  ROM:  She asked  NIJ:  T e l l her that  Are you well?  Vaslav, what pieces?  Do you f e e l up to i t ?  I have to t e l l . .  I w i l l dance what I f e e l .  me...  She needs music to play.  She must f o l l o w .  21 ROM:  Very well, but don't expect miracles of her.  NIJ:  Miracle? For that you need a s a i n t . A man i n the hands of God. They expect a miracle of me. They think a r t i s t s are touched by God. We are a r t i s t s , we are touched by God. He i s with us. Femraka, don't worry, don't t h i n k . Trust i n God.  FeelI  I t w i l l be a l l r i g h t .  ROM:  Don't be upset with me Vaslav. But there are people out there. They expect so much. Our f r i e n d s , mother, s i s t e r . 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 f o r those people.  ROM:  A l l right.  NIJ:  I'm not. mance.  ROM:  I'll  NIJ:  Just a moment. Who  ROM:  Only those we i n v i t e d .  NIJ:  No c r i t i c s ?  ROM:  None were i n v i t e d .  NIJ:  Diaghilev? No, he wouldn't come. Posted i t myself. I wrote i t .  Don't be upset. You shouldn't bother me l i k e t h i s before a perfor-  go. else i s here?  You saw the l i s t . I sent him the i n v i t a t i o n .  I spelled his name wrong...on purpose...so he would know how I felt. ROM:  He won't be here, Vaslav. ica.  He's with the touring company i n Amer-  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 t o a r t " , he s a i d . I ' l l make more money than he's ever imagined and I ' l l show him what a r t 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 e x i t s . )  NIJ:  I don't have a l i t t l e alarm clock i nrayhead, set t o r i n g 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 t o 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 i n s e c t . . .  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, r u n . run run run run-run, run-run, run-run...  NIJ:  ( extended ) You were i n v i t e d ! Invited! w i l l dance...a new work...  CHORUS:  Run-run, run-run, run-run...  NIJ:  I c a n ' t . . . w i l l not...not perform t i l l I'm ready...you don't understand...you must..•  9  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 t o l d .  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.  I i n v i t e d you t o see me dance.  I  2k NIJ:  I am Nijinsky, Le Dieu de l a danse...  CHORUS: S i x . NIJ:  Nineteen-nineteen...  CHORUS:  FIVE!  NIJ:  St. Moritz, I'm r e s t i n g . . .  CHORUS:  Four.  NIJ:  The war...  CHORUS:  Three.  NIJ:  Take me back to Russia...  CHORUS:  Two.  NIJ:  I don't want t o 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 r e s t of the CHORUS enter as buyers. )  AUCTIONEER: OrderI Order, l a d i e s and gentlemen, please. t y , number twenty f o r your inspection.  Item number twen-  ( As the AUCTIONEER begins h i s next speech. THE CHORUS, enters the audience and confront i n d i v i d u a l members of the audience with o f f e r s of NIJINSKY* S love, the various parts of h i s body and soul. ) AUCTIONEER: Number twenty, Vaslav Nijinsky; born on February twenty-eight, eighteen ninety i n Kiev, Russia. Second c o l t of Eleanore Bereda, one time prancer of the P o l i s h court. Sired by Thomas N i jinsky, freelance racer i n the Russian Hinterland. B i r t h regi s t e r e d i n Poland to avoid service with the Russian armed f o r c e s . Two s i b l i n g s : a brother currently registered i n the St. Petersburg catalogue of the mentally disturbed, a defect due e n t i r e l y to accident and not a genetic d e f i c i e n c y we assure you. A s i s t e r currently on display at the Imperial School i n St. Petersburg.  25 ( The CHORUS continue to ..circulate .their, offers, amongst- the.Audience as Nijinsky's MOTHER enters and- -takes him from -the AUCTIONEER; she p u l l s h i s pants down and smacks h i s bottom. ) MOTHER:  You cannot continue.  The school i s the best place f o r you t o be.  NIJ:  I know that mama.  MOTHER:  Well i f you know, why do you p e r s i s t i n these a n t i c s . T h e y ' l l make you leave, Vaslav, t h e y ' l l send you home and we can't a f f o r d 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 f o r the Czar, a member of the Marinsky...your father always wanted that himself.  NIJ:  My father i s a great dancer...  MOTHER:  Yes, a great one, but not a Russian.  NIJ:  I won't go back. Bronislava.  MOTHER:  Y o u ' l l go back and t h e r e ' l l be no more t a l k about i t .  NIJ:  I don't l i k e i t there...  MOTHER:  Be quiet, you're not you're very nearly a you, what you should professor's eyes, no of these, there w i l l  NIJ:  Yes but who w i l l look a f t e r you and...  MOTHER:  God w i l l see f o r us, don't you worry. Do you promise?  NIJ:  Yes, mama. I promise.  MOTHER:  Good, now, don't look so unhappy. We do what we think i s r i g h t 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 a f t e r you.  I will, stay here and take care of you and  a s n i v e l l i n g l i t t l e boy anymore Vaslav, man and you should see without my t e l l i n g do. T h e r e ' l l be no more s l i n g shots into more bad marks and i f there are no more be no more punishments, do you understand?  Just study very hard.  26 MOTHER:  Yes, then y o u ' l l look a f t e r us. Now, go along, i t ' s time you went back. ( She e x i t s . )  AUCTIONEER: Gentlemen, an o f f e r , do I hear an offer? ( NIJINSKY .sits a t the mirror and begins t o put on the makeup 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 f o r the partner of Pavlova?  CHORUS:  Three hundred.  NIJ:  Even a horse i s n ' t worth t h i s much.  AUC:  Creator of Petrushka, clown d o l l with a l i v i n g  CHORUS:  Four hundred.  NIJ:  What i s worth t h i s much?  AUC:  The faun, only half man, h a l f animal...  CHORUS:  Five hundred.  NIJ:  I don't understand.  AUC:  Such a f i n e animal...  CHORUS:  Six hundred.  NIJ:  I'm not a horseI  AUC:^~  Seven?  soul..  27 CHORUS:  Seven hundred.  NIJ:  I won't race anymoreI  CHORUS:  Eight hundred.  NIJ:  I don't belong t o anybodyt  CHORUS:  Nine hundred.  AUC:  Higher!  CHORUS:  One thousand!  NIJ:  I'm a man!  AUC:  One thousand.  NIJ:  I'm not d i f f e r e n t from...  AUC:  One thousand going once  NIJ:  From you...  AUC:  One thousand going twice.  NIJ:  Or you...  AUC:  ( Bangs h i s gavel.) Sold f o r one thousand gold rubles.  NIJ:  An immortal cog i n the machine. ( The CHORUS e x i t , 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 r i g h t away, i n case you were dressing or something. I didn't r e a l l y understand why.  28 NIJ:  Nevertheless, I am happy to meet you too.  KOS:  The pleasure i s mine Mr. N i j i n s k y .  NIJ:  I hope you w i l l l i k e i t here.  KOS:  I'm sure I w i l l .  NIJ:  Yes, I'm sure we w i l l . theatres.  KOS:  Yes, i t i s .  KAR:  S h a l l 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 t h i s card. Sergei Pavlovitch Diagh i l e v . 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? should f i n d 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 f o r Vaslav to f i n d out, i s n ' t there?  KOS:  I suppose so, yes.  KAR:  You boys are so stupid sometimes.  KOS:  I t ' s the peasant i n us.  NIJ:  Yes, i t i s . I t makes us stupid.  KAR:  Now, now l e t ' s not quarrel on our f i r s t meeting. I ' l l send him i n , Vaslav.  We must get together and t a l k sometime. I t ' s almost i n e v i t a b l e i n these places.,  You  Let's go.  ( They e x i t . NIJINSKY. s i t s and continues h i s make-up process, u n t i l DIAGHTLEV enters. NIJINSKY. takes note of h i s a r r i v a l , but does not stop h i s 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, t h i s i s Sergei Pavlovitch Diaghilev. More than that I can't t e l l e i t h e r of you. Except that you have a mutual acquaintance. Good-bye.  DIA:  There i s n ' t anything quite as s t r i k i n g as a Russian i n t e l l e c tual. Karsvina?  NIJ:  Yes, she i s s t r i k i n g .  DIA:  I meant the i n t e l l e c t u a l .  NIJ:  That she i s an  DIA:  I t ' s obvious that she's s t r i k i n g . there be?  NIJ:  I don't understand.  DIA:  The Russian i n t e l l e c t u a l , an e l i t e group, much as Nietzsche might have seen i t . Do you know him?  NIJ:  No, we haven't  DIA:  I meant h i s work. Personally, he's been dead f o r some time. Some rather v i r u l e n t s t r a i n of venereal disease, contracted, no doubt, from one of h i s equally i n t e l l e c t u a l feminine contemporaries. Turned him i n t o a blubbering f o o l at a r e l a t i v e l y e a r l y stage of h i s career. A shame. Now, Socrates, there was a philosopher. And a man. He knew what was what, who was who; women were f o r bearing c h i l d r e n and love was l e f t to men...and boys.  Don't you agree?  intellectual? What other question can  met.  We w i l l waste no more time. Prince Ivor t o l d 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 f r i e n d s 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 f o r Russia as w e l l .  30 NIJ:  What i s your idea, Mr. Diaghilev?  DIA:  I plan on creating a company, Vaslav. A great b a l l e t company which w i l l carry the greatest works of our culture t o the r e s t of Europe. Ninety percent of the world are ignorant of a r t which i s created i n Russia, not because i t i s n ' t worthy of t h e i r attention but because we have not allowed them opportunity t o note i t s true value. In the past we have waited f o r them to come t o us, my plan i s to take us to them. The b a l l e t of Russia, Vaslav, should belong to everybody, the world, not j u s t the e l i t e c i r c l e of Russian r o y a l t y a n d . . . i n t e l lectuals . I understand you have had some t r o u b l e . With the managers of the Marinsky. Leave them, Vaslav, leave the Marinsky. Join my company, come to P a r i s .  NIJ:  I cannot leave the Marinsky, my t r a i n i n g . . .  DIA:  How much do they pay you, Vaslav. A meagre s i x t y - f i v e 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 s i x t y - f i v e 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 t o answer r i g h t away.  NIJ:  I w i l l consider i t .  DIA:  We could do great things young man, great things f o r Russia, f o r ourselves, f o r a r t . We should be f r i e n d s , you and I . Friends can accomplish so much more, together.  NIJ:  Yes, l e t ' s be f r i e n d s at l e a s t .  DIA:  Better friends than anybody e l s e .  NIJ:  We can help each other, love each other, I've wanted a f r i e n d for so long. Someone who could understand what the b a l l e t means to me and I can already see that you understand.  DIA:  Yes, I can understand. We are a r t i s t s , you and I . We must share with each other that t a l e n t which we have. I f you can dance...  NIJ:  I love t o dance. When I dance I f e e l that I don't belong to any company, to anybody, that I am f r e e , that I love.  DIA:  The only great a r t i s l o v e .  31 NIJ:  I w i l l go with you, to P a r i s . But you must pay me. mother and s i s t e r to look a f t e r .  DIA.:  I w i l l pay you, don't worry. Vaslav?  NIJ:  Yes, f r i e n d s .  DIA:  Together we w i l l make love to the world?  I have my  And so...we are to be f r i e n d s , eh  We w i l l rape them? We w i l l take t h e i r love and mould i t as one would c l a y to create the Venus de Milo or paint the Mona L i s a and we w i l l create t h e i r a r t . NIJ:  I t must give l o v e .  DIA:  That's what I said...we w i l l love them. a drink?  Enough!  Would you l i k e  .(, He takes a s i l v e r f l a s k from h i s pocket and o f f e r s i t to NIJINSKY. ) To celebrate our union? NIJ:  I don't drink vodka.  DIA:  Don't drink?  NIJ:  Wine, occasionally.  DIA:  Well then, l e t ' s get some wine, drink.  NIJ:  I t i s n ' t good f o r the body.  DIA:  Exactly, you must look a f t e r y o u r s e l f . body. I t ' s your fortune.  NIJ:  My l i f e , without i t I couldn't dance.  DIA:  May  NIJ:  Why?  DIA:  To show my l o v e .  NIJ:  I f you  I k i s s you.  feel...  I t makes me d i z z y .  (pause)  I t ' s good you donft  Take good care of your  32 DIA:  What I f e e l , i s that i f we are to be f r i e n d s , 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 k i s s you but I want t o . Do you think I'm wrong?  NIJ:  Not i f you must show your love to me t h i s way,  DIA:  You understand?  NIJ:  I understand l o v e .  DIA:  But not t h i s love, not my  NIJ:  I understand. I understand because i t was Prince Ivor who you and he loves me.  DIA:  I love you more or perhaps d i f f e r e n t l y than Ivor.  NIJ:  Why?  DIA:  I watched you dance t h i s  instead of another.  love? sent  You don't know me? evening.  (-DIAGHILSV..- moves to k i s s NIJINSKY... but instead of..kissing, him., he p r i e s open h i s mouth with h i s f i n g e r s and inspects h i s teeth.)  BLACKOUT  33 ACT I - scene 2  ( Lights r e v e a l NIJINSKY. again before the make-up mirror, f i n i s h i n g the make-up f o r Petrushka. Enter DIAGHILEV. )  DIA:  Vaslav, how are you f e e l i n g today?  NIJ:  I f e e l well.  DIA:  The fever has gone?  NIJ:  Yes, a l l gone.  DIA:  I t r u s t t h i s has taught you to stay away from Parisian water.  NIJ:  From now on I ' l l only drink mineral water, from the b o t t l e .  DIA:  E x c e l l e n t . Let's go f o r a walk. ( They begin to walk i n c i r c l e s around the stage area. )  DIA:  Paris i s so b e a u t i f u l i n the spring, eh Vaslav.  NIJ:  Very b e a u t i f u l .  DIA:  Do you l i k e i t here?  NIJ:  Yes, very much.  DIA:  That s e t t l e s i t then. prepare f o r the next. v i l l a on the...  NIJ:  We can't stay here Sergei. We should go home. to see my mother and s i s t e r .  DIA:  You just said you l i k e d i t here, now you want to leave. 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 t r y i n g to explain the s i t u a t i o n to you Vaslav.  NIJ:  I'm.jsorry Sergei but I should go home to see my family."  We w i l l stay here f o r the off-season and I've made arrangements f o r a charming I would l i k e You're  3k  DIA:  The t r u t h of the matter, Vaslav, i s that I don't have the money to send the company back to Russia f o r 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. I t was probably a l l that bad p u b l i c i t y over "Faun", that made them stay away. Controversy doesn't make money Vaslav.  NIJ:  I'm sorry Sergei. 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. 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 l e t ' s forget i t and get on with next season.  NIJ:  Perhaps, i f you paid me back some of the f o r t y thousand francs I l e n t you, I could go back f o r 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 t o l d you when I borrowed i t that there was some r i s k involved. We needed i t t o stage "Faun" and i t didn't succeed. There i s n ' t any money.  NIJ:  I must go back somehow.  DIA:  I have an idea. season.  NIJ:  But everybody i s t i r e d , Sergei.  DIA:  TiredI They're not t i r e d , j u s t l a z y . A r t i s t s ! They don't know what they are. They have no d i s c i p l i n e and d i s c i p l i n e 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 r e s t too.  DIA:  No, they need to work. Work, work and more work, that's what we t h r i v e on. South America! A tour of South America, to r e store our saggy s p i r i t s and...purses eh?  "Faun" was perhaps a mistake and the f a u l t  They didn't understand what I was  A summer tour.  To make some money, f o r next  35 NIJ:  I f you think i t best.  DIA:  Of course i t s best. And then a triumphal return t o Europe, eh? I t ' l l be a f i r s t , Vaslav. Come on, l e t ' s go back t o the h o t e l . I want t o s t a r t making the arrangements, as soon as possible.  NIJ:  You go on, I would l i k e t o walk a l i t t l e longer.  DIA:  A l r i g h t but not too long now. We have work to do.  f  C DIAGHILEV.- e x i t s . the PROSTITUTE. )  NIJINSKY continues walking u n t i l he meets  ( 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. w i l l be e x c i t i n g .  You do, i t  ( She takes h i s hand i n hers. ) NIJ:  Your hand i s moist.  PROS:  ( Dropping h i s 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:  I f i t ' s my face you want...it can be arranged.  NIJ:  I sweat when I dance or p r a c t i s e . the body.  PROS:  I don't have a l l day t o stand here and discuss i t with you. Do you or don't you?  NIJ:  I don't know.  PROS:  You do. I t w i l l be e x c i t i n g . . .  NIJ:  I don't l i k e excitement.  I t ' s good t o sweat, i t cools  36 PROS:  Don't teach how a about  be a f r a i d . Have y o u never been w i t h a woman b e f o r e ? 1*11 you, i t ' l l be f u n and y o u c a n go back and t e l l y o u r f r i e n d s woman o f t h e s t r e e t s o f P a r i s t a u g h t y o u what y o u know love.  NIJ:  I a t e meat t o d a y .  PROS:  So?  NIJ:  I t makes y o u e x c i t a b l e .  PROS:  A l l t h e b e t t e r , a l i t t l e a n i m a l now and a g a i n .  NIJ:  I'm n o t an a n i m a l , I'm a man.  PROS:  You're s a y i n g t h a t I'm an animal?  NIJ:  You do t h i s .  PROS:  What?  NIJ:  Why do y o u do t h i s ?  PROS:  Because I ' l l s t a r v e i f I d o n ' t .  NIJ:  Lust i s t h e death o f l i f e .  PROS:  You're a v e r y mixed up l i t t l e boy, go home.  NIJ:  I can't  PROS:  No money?  NIJ:  Not enough.  PROS:  Good-bye.  NIJ:  Not enough t o g e t home t o R u s s i a .  PROS:  But enough f o r me?  NIJ:  How much do y o u want?  PROS:  Ten f r a n c s f o r a moment o r f i f t y f o r t h e n i g h t .  NIJ:  I have enough f o r s e v e r a l n i g h t s .  PROS:  BetterI  This?  This i s l i f e ,  t h i s i s breath,  making l o v e .  go home, I don't have t h e money.  You c a n l e a r n more.  Come...  37 ( She leads NIJINSKY. upstage and begins t o undress him. ) PROS:  I promise y o u ' l l l i k e i t .  NIJ:  What?  PROS:  With a woman.  NIJ:  No but I have seen a l o t of women. At the b a l l e t , i n the dressing rooms.  PROS:  You're f a m i l i a r then?  NIJ: PROS:  Never before?  Yes. I don't have to t e l l you what's what? ( She laughs and begins t o undress h e r s e l f . ) ( NIJINSKY. watches her. )  NIJ:  Why do you do t h i s ?  PROS:  I t o l d you, I'd starve i f I didn't.  NIJ:  There must be other work you could do?  PROS:  I t wouldn't pay as much and besides, i t i s n ' t too bad. 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.  My f e e t  38  NIJ:  I dance.  PROS:  You're crazy.  NIJ:  I want t o understand why?  PROS:  I'm very good at i t I  NIJ:  You're proud of i t ?  PROS:  Why don't you f i n d 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. V i r g i n s . Look, I'm clean, I have a l i c e n s e , I'm twenty-four years o l d 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 f o r ?  NIJ:  Take i t .  PROS:  I haven't earned i t .  NIJ:  Take i t .  PROS:  Thanks. ( She e x i t s . ) You should have t r i e d i t , you might have liked i t .  Let's go.  I don't need i t .  I loved you f o r a few moments.  ( NIJINSKY. returns t o the make-up mirror. The CHORUS enter upstage and begin a series of b a l l e t exercises using a b a l l e t bar. DIAGHILEV. enters. )  DIA: NIJ:  Vaslav, are you ready? Yes.  DIA:  Good. Y o u ' l l go to the boat with Karsavina. a l l the d e t a i l s f o r you.  NIJ:  Aren't you coming with us?  S h e ' l l look after  39 DIA:  No, s e a voyages do n o t agree w i t h me. My h e a l t h won't a l l o w me t o go w i t h you, much as I would l i k e . Don't worry V a s l a v . E v erything i s arranged. I ' l l meet y o u i n S p a i n when y o u r e t u r n . Don't l o o k so morose, i t ' s a g r e a t adventure y o u ' r e b e g i n n i n g , enjoy i t .  NIJ:  I ' l l miss you, S e r g e i .  DIA:  I t o o , b u t we mustn't l e t o u r p e r s o n a l l i v e s i n t e r f e r e w i t h o u r work. They expect t o s e e y o u dance i n Buenos A i r e s , n o t me. I can do more here, s e t t i n g up n e x t s e a s o n . Good-bye V a s l a v , t a k e care o f y o u r s e l f . One t h i n g V a s l a v . I have n o t i c e d t h a t a c e r t a i n female member o f t h e company has been p a y i n g p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n t o y o u h e r e .  NIJ:  Who?  DIA:  That Hungarian g i r l we t o o k on i n V i e n n a . She o n l y wants t o make a name f o r h e r s e l f , watch h e r V a s l a v .  NIJ:  Why?  DIA:  She's a f t e r y o u .  NIJ:  I s t h e r e something  DIA:  Don't l e t h e r c a t c h y o u .  NIJ:  Why n o t ?  DIA:  J u s t keep what I s a y i n y o u r mind.  NIJ:  A l r i g h t S e r g e i , as y o u s a y .  DIA: -  That's my b o y . O f f y o u go.  NIJ:  I w i l l Sergei.  :  wrong w i t h t h a t ?  W r i t e t o me.  ( DIAGHILEV. e x i t s . ROMOLA e n t e r s , walks p a s t NIJINSKY and .joins t h e o t h e r s a t t h e b a r . ) ( NIJINSKY. b e g i n s h i s own e x e r c i s e s down c e n t e r . )  ROM:  Why doesn't he e x e r c i s e w i t h u s ?  KAR:  I don't  speak Hungarian.  Do y o u speak  French?  ko ROM:  Oh yes, I'm sorry.  I spoke subconsciously.  KAR:  That's a l r i g h t .  ROM:  I was j u s t wondering why he didn't take exercise with us.  KAR:  He doesn't think we work hard enough. He prefers t o concentrate on h i s own. An idea that our f r i e n d Diaghilev put i n t o h i s 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. h i s art...and Sergei's pleasure.  ROM:  I understand...he  KAR:  Vaslav?  ROM:  I'd l i k e t o be h i s f r i e n d .  KAR:  Be c a r e f u l g i r l . Sergei doesn't approve of Vaslav having women f r i e n d s . You're too new with us. Wait awhile, y o u ' l l see.  ROM:  Could you introduce me t o 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.  ROM:  What d i d he say?  KAR:  Speak t o her i n French Vaslav, she doesn't understand Russian.  NIJ:  I don't want t o speak t o her i n French. w e l l enough.  KAR:  He won't speak t o you i n French because he's embarrassed by h i s accent but he i s happy to make your acquaintance.  ROM:  T e l l him that I am very pleased t o meet him too, I've heard so much about him and admired h i s a r t f o r so long.  What was i t you asked?  Keeps him pure f o r  must be l o n e l y .  He has h i s work.  How do you do?  I don't understand i t  ( NIJINSKY waves KARSAVINA away, takes ROMOLA'S hand i n h i s 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 f o r me I was meant f o r you Nature fashioned you And when she was done You were a l l the sweet things Rolled i n t o one Youre l i k e a p l a i n t i v e melody That never sets me f r e e . " La l a l a l a l a e t c . ( They continue to hum throughout the scene. )  ROMOLA:  Good evening Mr. N i j i n s k y . derstand my French?  I t ' s a l o v e l y evening.  Can you un-  NIJ:  I.understand your French but I w i l l speak to you i n Russian because I am Russian.  ROM:  I'm sorry I don't understand you.  NIJ:  I'm very happy that you are interested i n me. when he described you t o me.  ROM:  Sergei? man.  NIJ:  A very petty manI  ROM:  I didn't mean to upset you, perhaps I should go.  NIJ:  No, stay. happy.  ROM:  Good-bye, Monsieur N i j i n s k y .  I wish we could t a l k together, Sergei was wrong  You must be t a l k i n g about Monsieur Diaghilev, a great  I w i l l go instead.  Talking to you has made me very  (.. NIJINSKY moves upstage, writes a note and gives i t to KOSTROVSKY who goes down t o ROMOLA and gives i t t o her. )  42 Good evening, Monsieur Kostrovsky. Good evening Mademoiselle. t h i s note t o you. Oh, but i t ' s i n Russian. Kostrovsky.  Monsieur Nijinsky asked me t o d e l i v e r Could you t r a n s l a t e i t f o r me Monsieur  Delighted. Dear Mademoiselle, You would do me the greatest honour, i f you would consent t o become my wife. Sincerely, Vaslav N i j i n s k y .  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 a t 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 b r i e f wedding ceremony and e x i t singing the previous song, which fades away. )  ( ROMOLA and NIJINSKY. separate. ROMOLA turns her back t o NIJINSKY and begins t o undress. )  43 NIJ:  Femmka, I . . .  ROM:  ( Turning. ) " Femmka * • ...how l o v e l y , you must promise t o c a l l me that always.  NIJ:  I will...I...  ROM:  Won't you t r y t o speak French now...we're married, there's no need t o be embarrassed about your accent, I ' l l understand.  NIJ:  No, I won't speak French.  ROM:  I don't understand you. A few, just a few words of French...je t'airae, j e t'aime...je...t..aime..  NIJ:  Je t'aime.  I'm Russian, I can't.••  ( ROMOLA laughs, then continues t o 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 t o do them up again. ) \ What are you doing?  NIJ:  Femmka..I..don't b e l i e v e . . . i t i s n ' t necessary r i g h t away...pas vite...  ROM:  Not so quickly?  NIJ:  Goodnight...bon n u i t . ( He e x i t s . 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 a f r a i d . God does not want me to f a l l , only you do. ( Enter DIAGETLBV. ) Hello, Vaslav. How was the journey. rough, I take i t .  The ocean wasn't too  Sergei.•. Vaslav, don't explain. You married her or rather she caught you. You aren't my f r i e n d anymore? Eh Vaslav? I am always your f r i e n d Sergei, I love you... No, no you couldn't be my f r i e n d . My f r i e n d , the f r i e n d I once had, would have t o l d me f i r s t , proudly, that he was going to be married. Perhaps my f r i e n d would even have asked my advice or blessing of h i s 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 v a r i e t y female. Our plans s t i l l e x i s t Sergei... No Vaslav...they don't.•.they're l o s t . . . a s you are l o s t . Dead, sucked l i k e so much a i r i n t o the eye of that female. Floating i n a vacuum. I n e r t i a . You move no more. Sergei I . . .  45 DIA:  No, no more whining..Sergei t h i s . . S e r g e i I want. Sergei wants too...everybody wants but only the great N i j i n s k y i s allowed t o 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, l i b e r a t e d from Appollo's r e i n , no tether on h i s soul, no master but that o f h i s own body, f l y i n g r i n g s 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. it. (He  Y o u ' l l never dance again, I'm going t o see t o  begins t o e x i t , then turns. )  I'm a petty man Vaslav. Concerned with d e t a i l s , minutae. But I'm a c a r e f u l man too Vaslav and I take precautions and your contract takes precautions against marriage. Good-bye. (He e x i t s . NIJINSKY returns t o the make-up mirror. ) NIJ:  Diaghilev always uses that t r i c k ; he thinks that nobody understands him but I...I understand him and therefore challenge him., to a b u l l f i g h t . 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 b i r d , a sea b i r d . I am the t r e e of Tolstoy. Tolstoy i s mine, I am h i s . Once...once I went f o r 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:  Once  CHORUS:  Onet  46 NIJ:  Once I went  CHORUS:  Twot  NIJ:  Went f o r a walk  CHORUS:  Three four...got yal  NIJ:  For a walk and...  CHORUS:  Five s i x pick up s t i c k s .  NIJ:  And i t seemed I . . .  CHORUS:  Seven f o r God and a gory heaven.  NIJ:  I t seemed I saw blood...  CHORUS:  Eight angelic r a t b a i t .  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, t h i s i s my mother...  EMMA:  C a l l me Emma, I've heard so much about you that I f e e l we already know one another.  ROM:  And t h i s i s Naja, the upstairs maid...  NAJA:  Pleased t o make your acquaintance S i r .  ROM:  And Gyorgy the chauffer and gardener.  GYORGY:  Howdy-dot  EMMA:  Gyorgy1  GYORGY:  Sorry Ma'am...  k? EMMA.:  I t ' s so hard getting decent help these days. I t ' s t h i s damned war scare, everyone running o f f t o j o i n t h i s that and the other thing.. Patriotism i s replacing the family.  NAJA:  My boyfriend just joined up.  GYORGY:  I t ' s those damned Ruskies t h a t ' l l s t a r t 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 t o our hotel, Romola.  EMMA:  Why don't you stay here?  ROM:  I don't think so Mama. Vaslav's t i r e d , we should go.  There's l o t s of room.  OFFICIAL: ( Appearing upstage center. ) Vaslav Nijinsky, number f i v e four three two one. You are a Russian C i t i z e n . Being on Hungarian s o i l a t the commencement of h o s t i l i t i e s , you are under the j u r i s d i c t i o n 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 t o the attention of the International Red Cross Organization. You are not t o leave your habitat, the house o f your wife's mother, Emma. You are not t o indulge i n any a c t i v i t y outside the realm of personal needs. EMMA:  I suppose you can have the rooms upstairs i n the east wing. Dinner i s at e i g h t .  NAJA:  He's Russian, l e t him clean up a f t e r h i s s e l f .  GYORGY:  Carry em yerselfI  EMMA:  Naja cannot be expected t o clean up a f t e r you when her lover i s being butchered by your countrymen,  GYORGY:  W i l l you please not dance on the grass. The weight you know?  EMMA:  Naja t e l l s me you dance i n the h a l l s . on the f l o o r s .  I t k i l l s the r o o t s .  The r o s i n leaves marks  48 NIJ:  Femraka, I must dance...1 have to have space.  OFFICIAL: I'm sorry N i j i n s k y . You're Russian. Space i s a t premium i n Budapest and as an a l i e n you're at the very bottom of the r e l o cation l i s t s . ROM:  Vaslav, I'm pregnant.  NIJ:  Femmka?  ROM:  A baby.  NIJ:  How?  ROM:  A son f o r you.  NAJA:  I'm not going t o do f o r any c z a r i s t bastardI  EMMA:  You'd best h i r e a nurse.  NIJ:  Money?  ROM:  We'll need a wet nurse Vaslav.  EMMA:  Perhaps you think you have a l l the a t t r i b u t e s of a woman? You can't look a f t e r yourself, l e t alone anybody elset  ROM:  I'm sure s h e ' l l lend us the money i f only you would approach her properly.  EMMA:  Why don't you work?  Romola can't go through t h i s alone.  I can't do everything myself.  OFFICIAL: Impossible, Hungary cannot sponsor Russian culture when she i s at war with that c u l t u r e . Perhaps, a benefit could be arranged, f o r the casualties, t o show your good w i l l ? NAJA:  B u l l s h i t , we know where h i s sympathies are.  ROM:  You must ask her again, t r y not to l o s e your temper.  EMMA:  A l l r i g h t , I ' l l lend i t to you, but only f o r Romola and the Baby's sake.  NIJ:  I loved the c h i l d as soon as she was born. I wasn't allowed t o see her at f i r s t but they t o l d me I had a daughter. I was sorry i t wasn't a son. I had prayed to God f o r a son. I loved my daughter anyway.  EMMA:  What s h a l l we c a l l her?  49 NIJ:  Emma.  EMMA.:  No, no i t i s n ' t  ROM:  I'd l i k e t o .  EMMA:  You don't owe me a n y t h i n g .  NIJ:  W e ' l l c a l l her  EMMA:  How can you s t a n d 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,  NIJ:  I c a r v e d a wooden duck, put i t on wheels and p a i n t e d i t b r i g h t colours; p u r p l e and orange. I put i t on wheels so t h a t she c o u l d p u l l i t b e h i n d her a s she t r o t t e d between t h e w a l l s o f our two rooms.  ROM:  He's so good w i t h t h e baby.  EMMA:  He's s u b v e r t i n g your a u t h o r i t y w i t h t h e  ROM:  V a s l a v wouldn't t h i n k o f a n y t h i n g l i k e t h a t .  EMMA:  S h e ' l l be s p o i l t .  necessary.  Kyra.  he's no good.  child.  OFFICIAL: N i j i n s k y , V a s l a v . . . y o u a r e t o proceed t o V i e n n a . There you w i l l be i n f o r n e d c o n c e r n i n g your r e p a t r i a t i o n . The t r a i n l e a v e s a t ten o'clock tonight. EMMA:  You c a n ' t t a k e t h e c h i l d t o R u s s i a .  ROM:  Tonight?  EMMA:  The t r a i n s a r e so crowded.  ROM:  I hope I'm s t r o n g enough.  EMMA:  The c h i l d c a n ' t p o s s i b l y  NAJA:  Good r i d d a n c e , t h a t ' s what I s a y .  travel.  50 GYORGY:  Right you are.  EMMA:  I won't allow the c h i l d t o go.  NIJ:  A c h i l d should be with i t ' s mother.  EMMA:  I don't think Romola should go e i t h e r . ( At the t r a i n s t a t i o n . )  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 t o go.  EMMA:  You and l i t t l e Kyra can always come home, i f things don't work out.  ROM:  I t w i l l be a l l r i g h t .  EMMA:  Come with me. him t o know.  ROM:  A l l right...Vaslav, I ' l l be back i n just a moment.  NIJ:  Hurry femmka...  I want to give you some money, but I don't want  ( 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 d o l l y , about s i x inches o f f the ground. )  SOL:  Evening.  NIJ:  Good evening.  SOL:  Nice night.  NIJ:  I t i s lovely.  SOL:  Going t o Vienna?  51 NIJ:  Yes.  SOL:  Me t o o . Going t o t h e h o s p i t a l t h e r e . what a r e g o i n g t o g i v e me new l e g s .  NIJ:  New l e g s ?  SOL:  Wooden ones, y o u know. Won't be a b l e t o do no d a n c i n * b u t a t l e a s t I ' l l be a b l e t o g e t r i d o f t h i s t h i n g . My arms a r e so bloody t i r e d . P u s h i n ' myself about a l l day. I t ' s t i r i n g .  NIJ:  I can imagine.  SOL:  Do I n o t e a b i t o f an a c c e n t i n y o u r v o i c e ? i a n a r e you?  NIJ:  No.  SOL:  What a r e you?  NIJ:  I'm a d a n c e r .  SOL:  No, what c o u n t r y ?  NIJ:  I'm R u s s i a n .  SOL:  Russian?  NIJ:  But I was b o r n i n P o l a n d . A t l e a s t I'm r e g i s t e r e d t h e r e .  SOL:  Polish?  They've g o t d o c t o r s t h e r e  You're n o t Hungar-  NIJ:  Yes.  SOL:  I t ' s a good t h i n g y o u s a i d t h a t .  NIJ:  Why?  SOL:  I g e t v e r y d i s t u r b e d a t t h e thought o f R u s s i a n s .  NIJ:  You h a t e them?  SOL:  I k i l l them don't I ?  NIJ:  They're j u s t men, l i k e y o u .  SOL:  We're a t war.  NIJ:  Your c o u n t r y ' s enemy, b u t i n d i v i d u a l l y t h e y a r e j u s t men.  They're t h e enemy.  52 SOL:  Hold on a minute. friend?  Just where do your sympathies l i e my P o l i s h  NIJ:  With  SOL:  Who's men?  NIJ:  A l l men.  SOL:  You can't be on both sides.  NIJ:  I don't belong to either s i d e .  SOL:  You have t o , you have to belong to one side or the other.  NIJ:  Why?  SOL:  Because i t ' s war. Warl Do you know what that i s ? Do you know what i t ' s l i k e ? Have you ever been i n a battle? Have you?  NIJ:  No, I don't...  SOL:  Pansified a r t i s t e s . You're a l l the same. Spouting some t r i p e 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 . . .  men.  Why do I have to belong to some side?  ...acres of Roosky cavalry, men an* horses as f a r 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 c r o s s f i r e . They got about halfway across an' we h i t em. Machine guns, mortars, a r t i l l e r y . A bloody g a l l e r y 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 r i v e r and begin to p i l i n * up. Duck pond i n October i t was... ...they t r i e d another charge, running on the surface created by the f l e s h of t h e i r own men an' horses. They got a l i t t l e b i t further that time but they eventually had t o 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 s l i d e back down again cause of a l l the guts there was. A great v i c t o r y f o r us. I saw a Roosky Captain get his brains kicked out by h i s own horse. NIJ:  God, God wouldn't l e t i t happen.  53 SOL:  Of course not, but war a i n ' t the work of God. I t ' s a job that men do, ment The kind of men what you care about. I t ' s t h e i r 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.  SOL:  A l l r i g h t then, have i t your way. seen i t .  I don't believe you. You can't face i t , but I  ( 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 understand.  OFFICIAL: Five four three two one, you are to proceed to the I t a l i a n border, where you w i l l be met by representatives of the Swiss government who w i l l conduct you to the American Consul i n Geneva, i n whose hands you w i l l remain f o r the duration of h o s t i l i t i e s . (NIJINSKY s i t s again at the make-up mirror, s t i l l i n the persona of Petrushka. ) ( There i s a knock on the door, enter DIAGHILEV. )  DIA:  Hello Vaslav.  NIJ:  Sergei.  DIA:  Dreadful business t h i s ,  NIJ:  I don't hate you.  DIA:  Thank you f o r t h a t . I've missed you. Nobody has come t o take your place. I was sorry t o 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 c h i l d .  NIJ:  A l i t t l e g i r l , Kyra.  DIA:  How nice f o r you, a g i r l .  NIJ:  She's b e a u t i f u l .  DIA:  Splendid, s t i l l , that's not what I came f o r .  NIJ:  To j o i n your company?  still...  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 h a l f m i l l i o n gold f r a n c s .  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 f o r art. There i s only money f o r bodies. Hundreds of thousands of bodies. They're at a premium. You have such a f i n e body, Vaslav. An immortal one i f I remember c o r r e c t l y . I'm sure that one or another of these warring f a c t i o n s would give you quite a t i d y sum f o r i t .  NIJ:  I'm not interested i n money.  DIA:  Good, that solves my problem. I f you should change your a t t i tude, you should approach the Americans. They have a l o t of money but no " a r t " . I'm thinking of going over myself. ( T h e 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 a i r We don't know nothin* bout dancin But you know we r e a l l y care So down on your back Feet i n the a i r Open wide your mind We're gonna fuck you I f we get the chance Cause we're quick r i c h m i l l i o n a i r e s . Oh alaman l e f t your partner Swing 'im dosey doe I f ' n he's a b a l l e t dancer Then stomp on a l l h i s toes. Stomp on a l l h i s toes.  55 •(••• NIJINSKY. l e f t alone as the CHORUS e x i t , s i t s again i n f r o n t 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 f r i e n d s . I'm the money behind o l d Coppicus, who you've been dealing with up to now..  NIJ:  Mr. Kahn...  KAHN:  Now look Nijinsky, I put up a half m i l l i o n bucks f o r t h i s l i t t l e s o c i a l of yours and I didn't do i t out of c h a r i t y or because I l i k e to do a l i t t l e j i g now an* then. I d i d i t because I expected 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 h a l f to keep up h i s end. We hired you cause you were supposed to be the best at whatever i t i s you do and we gave you s u f f i c i e n t 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 h i s chance N i j i n s k y . We've given you three weeks to produce a b a l l e t f o r us an* i t a i n ' t ready. We've already s o l d half the t i c k e t s an' we don't want to give the money back. Where's the b a l l e t ?  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 f o r the past week. The doctor's orders have been f o r him to rest...completely. He i s n ' t supposed to work.  KAHN:  Who  are you?  KOS:  Kostrovsky.  KAHN:  I heard about you. Crazy too.  YouVe some kind of Bollsheevic aren't you.  56 NIJ:  Kostrovsky i s subject to epilepsy Mr. Kahn, he i s not "crazy" and I w i l l not stand f o r you coming i n here and i n s u l t i n g the members of my company. lour b a l l e t w i l l go on Mr. Kahn. I t w i l l be ready but I w i l l not be held responsible f o r the quali 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 t h e r e ' l l be no need of any f u r ther discussion on t h i s point.  NIJ:  Good-bye ( E x i t KAHN. )  KOS:  You can't dance Vaslav.  NIJ:  I have t o , 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 h i s kind know because they've never been without i t .  NIJ:  We too need money Kostrovsky, t h e i r 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 t h i s country.  NIJ:  Where would you go?  KOS:  Back t o Russia.  NIJ:  What more?  KOS:  There i s the land, the peasant, the "moujic" who l i v e s and dies on h i s own s o i l . There i s Russia, mother of our fathers.  NIJ:  I t ' s money there too. family.  KOS:  Not anymore Vaslav. Things are changing i n Russia. I t ' s the people now Vaslav. The people are r i s i n g against the Czar. Rising f o r love of Russia.  NIJ:  I met him once. The Czar. He gave me a gold watch because he l i k e d the way I danced. I didn't want t o 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 f o r Romola. I'd l i k e t o make a l o t of money one day and buy the watch back.  There...there i s more than a b e l i e f i n d o l l a r s ,  That's why I l e f t t o make money f o r ray  57 KOS:  Trinkets, symbols. That's what they always gave us, while they s t o l e 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. You've read Tolstoy?  NIJ:  Yes.  KOS:  He said Russia i s l i k e a great tree, with roots that plunge deeply i n t o the earth where i t s l i f e comes from and the people are the leaves of the t r e e . They take i n the sunshine and give food, l i f e to the t r e e . Russia f o r the love of the people.  Tolstoy loves the people, not money.  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 f o r them. NIJ:  I don't l i k e war. Men k i l l eachother f o r reasons I don't understand. I understand and b e l i e v e i n what you say...but to k i l l the god that i s any man...  KOS:  You're a coward, Vaslav. 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 c h i l d ' s b e l l y , 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 y o u ' l l l e a r n to k i l l .  NIJ:  No, no I won't k i l l .  KOS:  Then y o u ' l l d i e .  NIJ:  I want t o . men.  KOS:  Then come and d i e f o r Russia. they are k i l l i n g her.  We have to f i g h t f o r what we believe,  I want to d i e , i f i t w i l l end the k i l l i n g of other  Come and save our Mother because  ( Enter ROMOLA. )  NIJ:  I ' l l think about what you've s a i d .  58 KOS:  Good, I ' l l be waiting.  ROM:  Kostrovsky.  KOS:  Madame N i j i n s k y . ( KOSTROVSKY e x i t s . )  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. l i k e America...  ROM:  Why?  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 t o 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 r i g h t , I . . .  ROM:  No, he's not r i g h t . To earn a l i f e , not l i v e i t . To get d i r t y and go hungry. You want your c h i l d t o be d i r t y 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?  I don't  Why go back to Russia, what's there?  Already because of your dancing, I've had t o be separated from her. To put her with strangers i n a h o t e l . I don't want to lose anymore. I'm going back to New York, to be with Kyra. I f you want us, come t o us or i f not go and crawl back to your mother, your Russia.  59 ( Exit ROMOLA NIJINSKY i s l e f t alone i n f r o n t of the make-up mirror. ) T  NIJ:  A horse. I w i l l run. I w i l l run, from gate t o post t o wire. I w i l l run because running i s my l i f e . My wife t o l d me. I cannot give i t up. We need money. I must run f o r 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 I I - scene 2  (.. Lights., r e v e a l NIJINSKY. i n f r o n t of the make-up mirror as ROMQLA enters. ) ROM:  Vaslav?  NIJ:  Yes, femmka.  ROM:  I've been t a l k i n g 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. that I must work to be healthy.  ROM:  Not forever, Vaslav, just f o r a l i t t l e while.  NIJ:  We need money, you said t h a t .  ROM:  We have enough money f o r now. Take a vacation. b e a u t i f u l , just you and me and Kyra.  NIJ:  Femmka, my work...  ROM:  A l i t t l e while. other one.  NIJ:  Another baby?  ROM:  A son f o r you Vaslav.  NIJ:  A strong boy l i k e h i s f a t h e r .  ROM:  RestI  They don't see  Go somewhere  To play with our c h i l d and maybe...have an-  Handsome.  NIJ:  B e a u t i f u l l i k e h i s mother.  ROM:  Then we go?  NIJ:  Yes, f o r awhile.  ROM:  I've already found us a l o v e l y v i l l a . I t ' s i n St. MorItzDorf, just below the mountains and so b e a u t i f u l .  NIJ:  I t sounds l o v e l y but.  ROM:  But?  NIJ:  I don't l i k e the snow  ( FADSOUT )  62 ACT I I - 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 i n d i s c r i m inate as the p r i c e of an admission.•.or else i t would not be l o v e . She doesn't understand. I t e l l her that God wants us to love every man equally, j u s t because they are men. She says each man does not f e e l t h i s 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 famil i e s . I cannot make her understand.  ( Enter NEGRI, c a l l i n g f o r her c h i l d r e n . ) NEGRI:Sorent Sorenl Where are you? Come home, I've made sugar cookies. Where are you? Excuse me... NIJ:  Who  are you looking f o r ?  NEGRI:For my son Mr. N i j i n s k y . NIJ:  Are the costumes ready?  NEGRI:Very nearly. NIJ:  T h e y ' l l be ready i n time S i r .  I t doesn't matter. I didn't mean t o alarm you. mean i t doesn't matter i f they're not ready.  S t a r t l e you?  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 h i s mother.  NEGRI:He...he didn't leave. NIJ:  Who?  He was taken.  Who took your son?  I  63 NEGRI:  I t doesn't matter.  NIJ:  I t does.  NEGRI:  No.  NIJ:  Where d i d 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 o l d . Just a l i t t l e boy.  NIJ:  And you l e t them?  NEGRI:  I was i l l ,  NIJ:  You stupid woman! To l e t them take your son. Well, they won't take mine. Yes, I'm going t o have a son.  NEGRI:  I'm very happy f o r you. When?  NIJ:  Soon.  NEGRI:  I t i s n ' t started yet?  NIJ:  He. No, not y e t . also.  NEGRI:  I know, I think i t ' s wonderful. 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. I t 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. eaten today. Could I have one?  NEGRI:  They're not very s p e c i a l , just sugar cookies.  NIJ:  Negri, the dressmaker, also makes cookies. ful.  I couldn't stop...  As soon asraywife's doctor says i t ' s a l l r i g h t .  I am..I'm going t o s t a r t work again soon I t ' s been some years since you  I'm very hungry.  ( She gives him the cookie, he eats i t . )  I haven't  You're very wonder-  NEGRI:  You must be very hungry t o eat so f a s t .  NIJ:  I haven't eaten f o r . . . q u i t e some time.  NEGRI:  Don't they feed you at hom?  NIJ:  They eat meat. I won't eat any meat. I t i s n ' t good f o r They even feed i t t o my l i t t l e daughter.  NEGRI:  Kyra?  NIJ:  You know her?  NEGRI:  She's b e a u t i f u l .  NIJ:  Yes, she's very s p e c i a l .  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 l o v e l y .  NEGRI:  Thank you.  NIJ:  I'm very cold;  NEGRI:  I f you l i k e .  NIJ:  Perhaps you could rent me a room? I need somewhere t o work. Somewhere that I won't be disturbed.  NEGRI:  We have one spare room.  NIJ:  Good.  NEGRI:  Very w e l l .  NIJ:  You're very wonderful and I love you.  Your wife... me.  She i s a c h i l d of God.  may I come t o your home with you?  I w i l l ask my husband.  I ' l l come tonight.  65 NEGRI:  Thank y o u .  NIJ:  You b e l i e v e me?  NEGRI:  Y e s . . . I b e l i e v e y o u . You l o v e me, as y o u l o v e t h e c h i l d r e n , t h e mountains, t h e snow, t h e t r e e s . You a r e v e r y w o n d e r f u l , Mons i e u r N i j i n s k y . I ' l l see y o u t h i s e v e n i n g .  NIJ:  Thank y o u .  NEGRI:  I t ' s nothing.  NIJ:  You b e l i e v e t h a t I l o v e y o u .  NEGRI:  Good-bye.  NIJ:  Good-bye.  I t ' s enough.  ( E x i t NEGRI. NIJINSKY t u r n s and moves i n t o t h e a u d i e n c e . )  NIJ:  Where have y o u been? Have y o u been t o t h e house o f o u r L o r d ? Did you touch t h e breast o f t h e v i r g i n ? Have y o u s a i d a p r a y e r f o r peace? Have y o u been t o church? Why don't y o u go t o church? C h r i s t d i e d f o r you? Jesus l o v e d y o u . I love you. God l o v e s y o u . God l o v e s me. I love you. I am a h o r s e . I have won a l o t o f r a c e s . Do y o u l o v e me? God i s a r a c e h o r s e . Have y o u been t o s e e C h r i s t ? D i d y o u t a l k w i t h God? Have y o u been t o church?  ( E n t e r ROMOLA. )  ROM:  Come away, V a s l a v .  Leave t h o s e p e o p l e  alone.  NIJ:  I'm o n l y a s k i n g i f t h e y ' v e been t o c h u r c h .  66 ROM:  They don't want you to ask them.  NIJ:  They should go.  ROM:  Come with  NIJ:  For a walk?  ROM:  Yes, f o r a walk.  NIJ:  No, I can't.  ROM:  Why,  NIJ:  There's blood on the snow.  ROM:  No, there i s 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 a l i v e has been k i l l e d . r e c t i o n . More blood. I'm a f r a i d .  ROM:  Don't be stupid, Vaslav.  NIJ:  I've got to f o l l o w . There, there's a c l i f f . I t ' s not blood, only manure. Walk i n the snow. The mark of s k i s . 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.  me.  Vaslav?  We must change d i -  I'm a f r a i d . I must run, run back. I must go back. God wants to know i f I'm a f r a i d . A f r a i d of him? No, I'm not a f r a i d of God. He i s l i f e not death. Walk toward the p r e c i p i c e . No, I can't. I can't. You...you are the d e v i l , a l l of you are d e v i l s . You tempt me t o 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 a f r a i d .  ROM:  Yes, Vaslav yes.  NIJ:  No, you don't see.  Can't you see t h a t .  I'm  afraid.  I see... How can you?  I haven't shown you.  67 ROM:  Shown me what?  NIJ:  I am drawn, drawn t o t h e edge. some b r a n c h e s , I am saved,  ROM:  Vaslav...  NIJ:  I w i l l f a l l i f I l e t go. you u n d e r s t a n d .  ROM:  Yes, I understand.  NIJ:  I have t o t a k e o f f t h i s make-up.  ROM:  Why.,.you spent so l o n g . * .  NIJ:  I don't want i t anymore.  Nearly s l i p , f a l l ,  God save me I'm i n s a n e .  I t ' s time f o r t h e performance.  I am saved,  Insane.  Do  We must go.  I don't need i t anymore.  ( FADEOUT as NIJINSKY removes t h e P e t r u s h k a p e r s o n a . )  68 ACT I I I  ( L i g h t s up. The s t a g e i s b a r e . NIJINSKY. e n t e r s . He c a r r i e s two b o l t s o f c l o t h , one b l a c k , one w h i t e . . He l a y s o u t t h e c l o t h i n t h e shape o f a c r o s s . Then he goes t o t h e wing and g e t s a c h a i r , which he p l a c e s c e n t e r s t a g e and s i t s i n . )  NIJ:  What? What am I d o i n g h e r e ? Here w i t h you? Why am I here? I've been h e r e b e f o r e , b e f o r e now. I know what t o do. I've done a l l t h i s b e f o r e , many t i m e s b e f o r e . So many t i m e s . But I am always h e r e and you, y o u a r e always t h e r e . An a u d i e n c e . You a r e always d i f f e r e n t , y e t always t h e same. An a u d i e n c e . You a l l know how t o be an a u d i e n c e . Why? How do I know t h a t I am always me, h e r e ? I have n o t h i n g y o u d o n ' t . I don't have a l i t t l e a l a r m c l o c k i n my mind, s e t t o r i n g when you a r r i v e . I'm a man, l i k e y o u . I'm muscle and bone l i k e y o u . But, I'm always h e r e . You're l i k e r a i n r u n n i n g down d r y beds i n t h e mountains, t i m e I walk t h r o u g h y o u I g e t wet i n a d i f f e r e n t way.  each  I'm more i n t e r e s t e d i n you, t h a n y o u a r e i n me. God. God, whoever, whatever, whyever, even i f never, we a r e b o t h h e r e , y o u and I . N e i t h e r o f us any d i f f e r e n t from t h e o t h e r i n o u r r e a s o n s f o r b e i n g h e r e . There i s no r e a s o n . We a r e j u s t h e r e . P r o b a b l y because t h e r e i s no r e a s o n t o be elsewhere. Even me, I have no o t h e r r e a s o n . You c o u l d be me. I c o u l d be y o u . You c o u l d dance f o r me, j u s t f o r t o n i g h t . Someone c o u l d come, t a k e my p l a c e . Someone dance f o r me? Someone? Dance w i t h me? W i t h me? I w i l l n o t dance a l o n e . Not anymore. you, a man. J u s t a man....  No more.  I'm j u s t  like  T h i s dance i s t o show t h a t I l o v e . I l o v e y o u and y o u and y o u , each o f y o u . 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 t o touch you. Many I have n o t r e a c h e d . There a r e many o f you who don't know how t o l o v e . I know many o f y o u . ( Long Pause ) The War.  THE WARI  69 ( CHORUS e n t e r s . )  EMMA:  P u t him away.  He's c r a z y .  ROM:  No.  KARS:  A pity.  ROM:  No.  DIA:  I t was t o be e x p e c t e d .  ROM:  Don't say t h a t .  EMMA:  Listen 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 t o them d e a r .  KARS:  The s t r a i n was t o o much.  KOS:  I t c o u l d happen t o anyone.  DIA:  I t was f a t e d f o r h i m .  ROM:  Shut up a l l o f y o u . V a s l a v . I don't want y o u t o go. Even f o r a l i t t l e while. But, they say i t ' s t h e b e s t t h i n g t o do. You've s a i d y o u r s e l f . . .  NIJ:  I say...everybody says many t h i n g s t h e y don't mean.  ROM:  T h a t y o u l o v e me, t h a t y o u l o v e K y r a , t h a t y o u l o v e a l l o f u s . You s a y t h a t t o o V a s l a v , what am I t o b e l i e v e . . . ?  NIJ:  B e l i e v e what y o u want. understand.  ROM:  I want t o u n d e r s t a n d . To be a b l e t o speak t o y o u w i t h t h e words t h a t a r e s o f t enough f o r y o u t o b e l i e v e t h a t I l o v e y o u . E v e r y body l o v e s y o u , wants t o u n d e r s t a n d y o u . You have t o g i v e us t h e chance.  NIJ:  I have e x p l a i n e d and e x p l a i n e d u n t i l I am t i r e d o f f e e l i n g anyt h i n g . You c a n ' t u n d e r s t a n d , because y o u don't want t o .  They're r i g h t .  They wouldn't l i e t o y o u .  You don't u n d e r s t a n d .  I c a n ' t make y o u  70 ROM:  Understand what?  NIJ:  Why I want t o be a v e g e t a r i a n . even i f i t i s t o e a t . . .  ROM:  Wait, y o u don't make sense.••  NIJ:  Even i f i t i s t o e a t , cannot be s a n c t i o n e d . We a r e a l l c r e a t u r e s o f God. He i s w i t h i n u s . I cannot e a t meat.  ROM:  A l l r i g h t , Vaslav. time.  NIJ:  Time?  ROM:  I don't know.  NIJ:  T h a t I'm i n s a n e . Only a t r i a l o f God. tongue. The tongue o f God l i c k i n g . . .  EMMA:  The men a r e h e r e t o t a k e y o u .  NIJ:  What men?  EMMA:  The a t t e n d a n t s f r o m t h e c l i n i c . You've g o t t o go w i t h them. Get up, p l e a s e . Go q u i e t l y , we don't need a n o t h e r s c e n e .  NIJ:  Does femmka know about  EMMA:  I have e x p l a i n e d t h a t  I have t r i e d .  killing,  I c a n ' t t r y anymore.  It's  F o r what? I have t o g i v e up.  I'm s o r r y . Him s p e a k i n g w i t h my  this?  Yes.  NIJ:  She s a i d i t was ; a l l  right?  EMMA:  She'll think i tbest.  NIJ:  W i l l t h e y make me e a t meat?  CHORUS:  No, meat's e x p e n s i v e s i n c e t h e war. The war u s e d up a l o t o f it. Wouldn't want t o waste i t on someone who d i d n ' t want i t .  NIJ:  I won't e a t meat.  CHORUS:  Horses don't e a t meat anyway do t h e y ?  NIJ:  I'm a h o r s e .  CHORUS:  Okay.  71 NIJ:  Horses can run though. was quite good,  I can't anymore.  I could once though, I  CHORUS:  In Vienna, before the war.  EMMA:  Please hurry. We want t h i s done before my daughter returns.  NIJ:  I won't go.  CHORUS:  I'm a f r a i d you have t o .  NIJ:  Don't upset me...  CHORUS:  We think you should go,  NIJ:  I t ' s my choice.  CHORUS:  One two out with the o l d i n with the new  NIJ:  Do you want me t o go?  CHORUS:  Three four shut the f u c k i n ' door.  NIJ:  I f you want me t o go...  CHORUS:  Five s i x gonna s t i r your b a l l s with swizzle s t i c k s  NIJ:  I won't survive t h i s God.  CHORUS:  Seven eight you're i n the gate  NIJ:  Take me unto youI  CHORUS:  Nine ten we play b i g . . .  Those were the days,  GOD?  ( The CHORUS have formed an operating table on which they, have placed NIJINSKY. DIAGHILEV appears i n the r o l e of the DOCTOR. ) DOC:  Horsey, horsey tear i n h i s eye, So a l i v e he's scared t o d i e . A rhyme, a joke. These things sometimes help a man i n your condition. They r e l i e v e the tension which grips your subconscious. A horse i n your condition needs s t i m u l i . Things to grasp the subconscious with two hands and shake i t . That's what t h i s l i t t l e needle i s . I t makes you pay attention. Not a shock or a j o l t , as some might recommend but just something t o take quiet control and shake i t .  72 DOC: (con't)  There now. That didn't hurt d i d i t ? Now, we just l e t i t take quiet control» one two three four f i v e s i x . . . ( He continues t o count as the sounds of NIJINSKY*S l i f e sources d r a i n away. ) ( Blackout slowly, then i n the darkness. )  NIJ:  Midnight? Midnight or noon? I would have to open at l e a s t one eye t o f i n d out. Do horses close t h e i r eyes when they sleep? I must f i n d out. I'm supposed to f i n d out. They want me t o prove I'm not what I am. They say I'm a man. Only a man? Nothing i s only a man. are gods and gods are men. God i s with me.  Men  ( Lights up.. NIJINSKY stands i n the center of the cross formed by the c l o t h . ) The tree has saved me. I f I l e t go o f i t I w i l l f a l l . God wants me to stay on t h i s p r e c i p i c e . To t r y me. GODt God, t r y 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 v i r g i n . Tasted of the blood of Jesus? Eaten of God? He said t h i s i s my body, t h i s i s my blood. E a t . Eat of me! Take me into your b e l l y ! Let me bleed i n t o your womb! I grow thorns i n my mind. To make a man of me. Thorns grow holes i n my brains. They c r u c i f y 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 h i s blood.  DIA:  Give us h i s f l e s h .  EMMA:  Give us h i s l i f e .  PROS:  I w i l l wash h i s body.  ROM:  Who do you want?  DIA:  Give us Petrushka.  KOS:  He t r i e s t o escape.  EMMA:  From God.  NEGRI:  Escape h i s fate?  ROM:  Who do you want?  DIA:  Give us N i j i n s k y .  KOS:  The god.  EMMA:  The man.  NEGRI:  The dead.  ROM:  He i s not g u i l t y , he must d i e f o r himself.  DIA:  To be immortal, n a t u r a l l y .  ROM:  Surely we a l l can see that.  Yes.  NIJ:  Take me God. I'm your seed. Flesh of your f l e s h . want me t o f a l l , not anymore, DEATHt  You don't  DIA:  On the t h i r d day he w i l l ascend, don't worry. that way.  NIJ:  I am the one who dies when he i s not loved. Today i s my marriage with God. I take him t o couch, l i k e a whore. You are a l l g u i l t y . Petrushka must d i e .  He's planned i t  Have I not shown you how t o love? Like children play butterf l i e s on the green lawn. I must t e l l you s t o r i e s and teach you how t o d i e f o r love, the love I have f o r you.  74 NIJ: (con't)  "My l i t t l e g i r l i s singing: 'Ah ah ah ah I do not understand i t s meaning but I f e e l what she wants to say. She wants t o say that everything . . . i s not horror, but joy."^ 1  I choose t o be God. CHORUS:  We don't know where he went but he never came back.  1950.  CURTAIN  He died i n  Earthy Lazarus, Dies twice f o r a l l h i s knowledge. The spider winds round h i s l e g .  the cosmos spreads wide lazarus l o o k i n ' f o r eggs down on h i s knees he begs at the union of her legs  s h i t sucker done went down down to reunion with nothin  union 1  The words penetrate, Punctures a s t i c k y l i n e Through the f a b r i c . He i s webbed and whispers:  "Come now, the silencet X am seed i n autumn, Food f o r the c h i l d . "  His hand traces Obsidian f l e s h t o the grotto. Sweaty palm on A pane of glass.  bellyrub  bellyrub  she gonna come l i k e jesus d i d  Deeper than space, Lazarus waves to immortality. The bloodless weapon Limp i n h i s f i n g e r s .  His second hour too o l d , 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 , b e l l y f u l of sand, doting on the w i l l of t i d e s . while moonshafts penetrate the ocean.  78 SLEEPER  Tha foot walks from rock to rock considering, r e s t i n g upon each one, turned only by the sense of d i r e c t i o n . 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 f i g u r e thigh deep i n boulders on the opposite point. The head turns toward him. A g u l l r i s e s from the rocks, white as a g i r l on the f i r s t day of school. She r i s e s and  circles,  the struggle of the crab trapped between her l i p s .  SLEEPER (con't) He smells her breath blow across h i s back, touches the a r r i v a l before he f a l l s . B i t s of dry and splintered s h e l l on top of a barnacled rock.  DRIFTWOOD  The wave returns to the l i n e of the previous t i d e , bringing back the f r a c t i o n that survives. Worms carve a c h i l d ' s cathedral, spire upon spire; Papa, my papa Your worm-riddled l i v e r . Sometimes you forgot t o drink even water.  You, s o l d i e r  transported on oceans, t o k i l l . The t i n y holes i n my past, belong t o you.  Seas flow by the c y c l e of the moon.  You t r a v e l  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 c i r c l e s  mist the shore;  broken sense  of memory and of sand*  AN OLDER POEM  (For Barbara)  "Spring seems almost Here," he s a i d . Instant replays are Not f o r r e a l , they've Already been here.  Bullets. Footballs. Spirals.  "Murder-ball Is no fun f o r short Guys l i k e me,"  He said, Impishly.  Kids today Are not as Old as we a r e .  83 FOOTNOTES  1 Romola Nijinsky, ed., THE DIARY OF VASLAV NIJINSKY, Berkeley, Los Angeles, C a l i f o r n i a , University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1971 (copyright by Simon and Schuster, Inc.) p. 184.  1936  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Nijinsky, Romola, eh., The Diary of Vaslav N i j i n s k y . Berkeley and Los Angeles, C a l i f o r n i a , University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, Skelton, Robin ed., Malahat Review Srinivas, Dr. Krishna ed., Poet. German Number, July 1970,  University of V i c t o r i a , Spring  1971.  Industries Press, T Nagar Madras 17,  ed. Andreas P. Shroeder.  Yates, J . Michael, ed. Contemporary Poetry of B.C..  1973.  1971.  V o l . 2, Sono Nis,  

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