Read more poems by Jared Carter: Jared Carter Poems at Poetry X.
Vous n'etes que les masques sur des faces masquees —Apollinaire Start, then, with a sense of beginning, of sleep entered like a metal door backstage—the weight of heavy, plush curtains lifted and folded, hanging motionless, while the catwalk sways, and winches and pulleys creak. It is no longer rest one seeks, but mastery—the knowledge of ways to choose among strands of rope rising into the dark, boxes of switches, levers to be thrown, dials gleaming. The action comes closer now—the murmur of voices tinged with laughter, issuing from the cavernous space beyond the footlights. And sporadic applause, followed by music. But though this mattered once, though dreams well up in this way, too, with easy, delicious abandon, and sleep has its own texture—the painted faces seem familiar, even your father is here, looking the way he always did—still, this is only rehearsal. Truth to tell, there is no one out there except the director, sitting with his clipboard, thirty seats back. In the wings, the pianist goes over the same simple tune. Yes, there are spotlights, from a place you cannot see, and scenery rises and falls, and darkened figures glide across the stage during blackout, rearranging the furniture—all this is happening, yet it goes on whether you reach out, or whether you simply watch. But they have lost the script, or dropped the only copy. Its pages flutter across the stage, lifted by a cold wind blowing from the air shaft, swirling up from the alley and the blank walls beyond. Fluorescent lights flicker in the wardrobe room. In the corridor, the red exit sign glimmers. All of this is waiting. You must write it now, you must make it happen. There are only a few days left until opening night. Come, then: rest, slumber, dream; take my hand, we will visit the forgotten dressing rooms under the stage, where the old tragedians scrawled verses on the bare planks. We will go up into the attic, above the chandeliers and the catwalks, where silence settles like a fine dust on the broken props, and the trunks filled with ruined costumes. Will they arrive in time, these truths to tell, this chorus of voices? I am convinced of it. Let us each take a part, let us begin the first reading.
Added: 20 May 2003 | Last Read: 24 Mar 2017 8:05 AM | Viewed: 5848 times
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