Saturday, October 18, 2014

EC 433 / 7 Smartass John
Eso A.B.

Smartass John and Crazy Jane
Scene 6: Professing the Sins of Yesteryear
Translation © Eso A.B.

Synopsis: The Old Witch Ra-Zhanna, aka the Sun incarnate, has died due to human neglect. Technology has got the better of Her. Nevertheless, She appears on the stage as a huge ball or straw and rags (a pseudo-technological re-creation of Herself) and in various ways makes a fool of Smartass John. Among other things, Smartass John tells the ‘Dearest of Suns’ (there is no Other, but one Sun, the Sun informs him) that he wishes to marry Princess Unsurpassable, little realizing that the latter may be but a lesser reincarnation of the Ra-Zhanna.

The Poet:
In spite of wearing
The Devil’s Own Boots,
Rozinante has a difficult time
ascending Sun Mountain.
An earthquake shakes it.
Rocks and bolders slide
and obstruct passage.
When on top,
A sign announces:
“Approach at your own risk!
The Sun died the day before yesterday.
All you see or hear happen
may be of yesteryear,
illumined only by the artifice
of the dark of starlight.”

Indeed, Smartass John takes note
that he and Rozinante
move their limbs,
without the sensation of time
and as if the Mind (whatever that is)
is a clock with no gears moving.
For all the warning,
the Sun appears.
She is as large as the entire stage
and has the dead face
of a full Moon.
There is a writ on her face:
“I am dead.”

Still, the air is as hot
as a hot summer night
and reaks of ebola victims
buried in haste in shallow graves.

Smartass John:
Where am I?
Where is the Sun?

John notices that the eyes of Rozinante
Shoine as if they are of moonstone,
sodium potassium aluminium silicate
as the technocrats call it.

Having circled the globe
trailing silver strands
of moonlit fog and
matted gold of desert sands,
the Sun had only contempt
for those who saw traffic lights
but did not see Her.
She was a patriot of the land
once known as Land of St. Johns
filled with refrains of joyful allegro,
but now deserted of its ancient song.

Chorus (right):
The Sun thirsts for the blood of life.

Chorus (left):
A voice whispered in Smartass John’s ear:
When dead,
the Sun shines black snakes
and poisons all dreams.

The Poet:
Smartass John had no wish to cut
and bleed blood from his finger.

But, suddenly, a peal of thunder
shatters the night,
and the Sun-moon gave
a caesarean birth.
A monster ball of old rags,
brown and foamy plastic
brakes through the face
of the Moon’s artifice
and rolls center stage.

The Chorus:
Greetings, Smartass John.
Here speaks the Sun
from the netherworld.

Smartass John:
I am alright.
You scared the hell out of me,
…who or whatever you are.

The Sun:
Let me make that good:
here is a present for you.
It will keep you warm,
when you fly above the clouds.

The Poet:
The Sun presents Smartass John
with a vest of bear fur.

The Dead Sun:
It fits you well.

Smartass John:
Thank you,
am I to presume you are the Sun?

The Sun:
Tell me, Smartass John,
what brings you to me?
What do you wish to know?

Smartass John:
If you are the Sun,
I came to visit and invite you
To return to Old Ra-Zhanna’s Inn
for a free, all expenses paid weekend
of bed and breakfast fun.
I wish to acquaint you
with what post-proto-Latvians
with some help from Harvard University,
are doing to rebuild their nation.
The tourist business
is foremost on the list.

The Sun:
How wonderful, Smartass John!
There is but one trouble with the plan.
All would be developers
are willing to develop only if
they will be able to grow cannabis,
that will heal their stressed visitors
from Alleluialand.

Unfortunately, the Latvian government,
with the God of Westphalia
dictating it its morals will not allow
anyone to entertain the thought
before entertaining the thought
of spending five years in jail.
Is there anything else on your mind?

Smartass John:
At the foot of Sun Mountain,
Rozinante and myself saw
A long line of people
with rope in hand
making nooses.
How long must they continue
To do so?

The Sun:
It depends for how long
your government will cause them unhappiness.
It’s the 11th Commandment
that commands taxes
that is to blame.

Smartass John:
One more question, Dearest of Suns.

The Sun:
What other Sun is there beside me?
Speak to me in singular, John.

Smartass John:
I know this lady.
Her name is Crazy Jane.
You see, she is stressed and standing
knee deep in the waters of the River Styx
and ladling water
with a bucket that has no bottom.
For how long must she do this?

The Sun:
That is a difficult question, John.
It is my punishment for
her being stupid enough to trust you.
Why did she steal her father’s boots
and give them for you and Rozinante to wear?
I have noticed that you have not
put on the boots on yourself feet.
Are you afraid where they might take you?
Give them back to her
and she is free to go.

The Poet:
The Sun was noticeably angry.
Though said to be dead,
She was growing angrier by the minute
and shooting off green sparks.
The vest, Her gift to Smartass John,
was baking his shoulders.
Smartass retreated,
but had one more question.

Smartass John:
Dearest of Suns,
While passing through Alleluialand.
I spoke with a raven in the garden
of King John First the Sun’s Divine Devil.
The raven wishes to know for how long,
it must sit tied to the pine tree?

The Sun:
The raven may depart
As soon as you give proper burial
To the dead newborn
of the kitchen maid your brothers laid.
She left the babe
but covered with pine branches.

Smartass John:
What about the whale of a fish
Tied to Alleluialand’s shores?

The Sun:
What a load of silly questions
you ask, Smartass John.
Tell that fish not to be so presumptuous.
Its size is its own sea.
Let it consult a shrink.
But, Smartass John, now tell me:
What is the real purpose of your visit?

Smartass John:
Dearest of Suns, I wish
To marry Princess Unsurpassable
and become rich.

The Sun:
And where do you think
Such a Princess lives?
If I lead you to her, will you pay me
with your blood?

Smartass John:
I have not yet met her,
But hear she is said to be the daughter of
King John First the Sun’s Own Devil’s.

(The curtain falls. Back stage: Pandemonium, laughter, and explosions.)

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