Back

Dream EngineTranscript Part III

ENTR'ACTE: SOLO BY THE BAND, "SUNDANCE"

ACT TWO


HISTORIAN: Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now able to make an announcement that pleases me as much as I am sure it will please you. As of this moment, history has lost all its shock value. From now on in, it is nothing but endless, boring repetitions. There will be no more grisly surprises from the fun world of history. You've seen all our big production numbers, so, sing along as you go.

["The 'TRUCKING' number is an absurd, freak-Busby Berkely sort of thing. All of a sudden the tribe comes out in splash psychedelic costumes, smiling, dancing and waving their hands like a bunch of happy marionettes. The HISTORIAN smears blackface on, and the song goes from torch song to rag time to gospel to big Broadway production boom-boom ending."]

[HISTORIAN picks up a hat and cane, and begins his number like a song-and-dance man.]

KEEP ON TRUCKING!

HISTORIAN:
Once I was young, and now I am old
The years keep passing by
Once I was clean, and now I am soiled
My life has come and gone.
I asked my savior: What should I do?
He put a crown of thorns on my head.
He told me never to forget these words
And this is what he said:

[Slow and dreamily]

Keep on truckin'! Keep on truckin'!
On down the line, on down the line!

[Gradual increase in tempo from here on]

Keep on truckin'! Keep on trucking'!
On down the line, on down the line!
Keep on truckin' your heavy load
Keep on truckin' that endless road
Keep on truckin'! Truckin'!
On down the line, on down the line!

(repeat)

[Fancy dance steps from the Historian here.]


Keep on truckin' your blues away....(repeat)

[Intro soft shoe dance number.]

[Sudden eruption into heavy Black beat, Chorus Line appears.]

Keep on truckin' Keep on truckin'!
On down the line, on down the line!
(repeat...)

Keep on truckin' your heavy load
Keep on truckin' that endless road
Keep on truckin'! Truckin'!
On down the line, on down the line!

Keep on truckin' your blues away...(repeat)

[Music pauses for HISTORIAN's speech:]

HISTORIAN: Ladies and gentlemen, let's build a pleasure palace for every human being in existence, filled with a garden of perfect delights. Watermelon for the niggers, cesspools for the Polacks, grease for the Spics, garlic for the Wops, bar-room brawls for the Micks, fags for the Limeys, torture chambers for the Chinks, rice paddies for the Gooks, police dogs for the Honkies, rifles for the Gringos, cash registers for the Kikes, a minimum wage for the Hunkies, and a truck full of blues for every poor pitiable schmuck in every timid lonely audience in every ancient rotting theater on the acne-scarred face of the earth! KEEP ON TRUCKING!

HISTORIAN AND TRIBE:
Keep on truckin' your blues away...(repeat)

Killer Nuns

HISTORIAN: THE INVASION AND SLAUGHTER OF THE CITY!

Thousands of young men and women sweep through the boundaries of the city. They are met by huge massive lines of armed troops, the defenders of our civilization. Ideally for these terrifying scenes of violence and chaos we should be able to provide mammoth forces of police units and national guard platoons. Unfortunately these costumes are impossible to obtain. Therefore we've done the next best thing. Baal and his tribe will confront a fierce squadron of killer nuns. Why nuns, you ask? Well, don't ask! I'm running this show and by my proclamation, the killer nuns, led by Emily, the Mother Superior, the greatest Mother of them All, are, at this moment, in this very theater, the feared and awesome Protectors of the Holy City.

["EMILY strides out in a huge grotesque habit, which, when she spreads her arms and opens it lake a pair of bat's wings, reveals an inner lining of garishly gilded silk, with a grossly colored 'mural' of the Last Supper painted on it."]

EMILY: In my family, we always respected the uniform. Any uniform. My husband became a cop, because he loved the law. I became a nun, because I love order. Sometimes we exchange uniforms and nobody seems to notice. In effect, my uniform makes me holy.

HISTORIAN: Emily sings THE MOTHER RIVER SONG. A hymn to our urban womb.

MOTHER RIVER SONG

EMILY:
And I'm the only one that's free
For I'd rather have my children die for me!

I was born on a rack in a rotting shack
And the cities have nothing to scare me
All my victims are wild and I won't be defiled
So the bodies pile up in the alley
I adore Novocain
I've dismissed all my pain
And my children are mine to devour
And I don't give a damn for the rights of a man
And I can't get enough of my power!

Take a look at your Mother River!
As it sweeps like a siren through my hair
Should you go swim against the current?
Never.
If you should try to make it, you'll bow to me
If you would hope to make it, you'll kneel to me
Maybe I'll forgive you if you just learn how to crawl
And you're down upon your knees to the greatest mother of them all!

Bless you!

Doors are locked and windows closed
Shut your eyes and wipe your nose
Say another prayer and go to sleep now!

Send your arms and legs to war
Have a party! Rent a whore!
Say a final prayer! Do you want to weep now?

Then stain your sheets with TV dreams
Hide your body, it's obscene!
Wash your coffin, you'll stay clean.
Don't cry now! Don't cry now!

Money buys you all you need
Flowers die, so worship weeds
Say a prayer to me, and go to sleep now

Stop your running, running wild!
Surrender now, my helpless child
All roads come to me, would you like to weep now?

Then stain your sheets with TV dreams
Hide your body, it's obscene!
Wash your coffin, you'll stay clean.
Don't cry now! Don't cry now!

And I'm the only one that's free
For I'd rather have my children die for me!

For a ride on my knees, for a single reprieve
You can take what you want if you ask me
For I know what's best and I know all the rest
And you just can't survive here without me

I adore Novocain, I've dismissed all my pain
And my children are mine to devour
And I don't give a damn for the rights of a man
And I can't get enough of my power

Take a look at your Mother River
As it sweeps like a siren through my hair
Should you go swim against the current? Never.
If you should try to make it, you'll kneel to me.
If you would dare to make it, you'll bow to me.
Maybe I'll forgive you if you'd just learn how to crawl
And you're down upon your knees to the greatest mother of them all

Good times!

Look at your mother, look at your mother
Look at your Mother River!

Say another prayer to the skull of your country
Say another prayer to a nation of fears
Who gives a damn for your long years of dying
So kiss the tombstone with a wreath of all your tears.

Bring in all the orphans! Put their bodies up against the wall!
No time for crying, and there's no time left to stall
No place to hide now, and there's no peace left at all.
We're on the edge now and it won't be me that falls!

Take a look at your Mother River
As it sweeps like a siren through my hair
Should you go swim against the current? Never.
If you should try to make it, you'll bow to me.
If you should dare to make it, you'll kneel to me.
Maybe I'll forgive you if you just learn how to crawl
And you're down upon your knees to the greatest mother of them all - bless you

And I'm the only one that's free
For I'd rather have my country die for me!!

[MAX appears on stage. He is dressed as a nun.]

EMILY: Sister! Get over here!

MAX: I'm sorry I'm late, I was looking at the chaos down in the streets. It's revolting!

EMILY: You have good fingers, like magnets. Rub me!

["MAX puts his head and hands under her 'dress' and rubs."]

EMILY: How do you like it? Now what's wrong?

["Pulling out as if smelling something foul."]

MAX: You have filthy habits.

EMILY: ["Kicks him away."] Enough! Get out of my sight!

MAX: It was only a joke.

EMILY: A very bad one! This is certainly not the time or the place. What do they want? Why don't they leave us alone?

MAX: They're insane.

EMILY: Drug fiends! There are no reasons for this, none at all!

MAX: Any real revolutionary has a plan, a system, a definite purpose - and discipline.

EMILY: They have none of that. They're just children.

MAX: Yes - but they're our children.

EMILY: You bastard! I can see you're weakening! I won't stand for it. We'll destroy all of them before this is over.

MAX: Yes, of course.

EMILY: Why don't they say what they're looking for?

MAX: They probably don't even know themselves.

EMILY: ["MAX starts moving right behind her and they both go about in a circle"] Fools!

MAX: Fools!

EMILY: ["Suddenly turning around to face MAX who stops in his tracks."] Stop following me!

MAX: ["Slaps her."] You bastard.

EMILY: That's better.

MAX: Thank you.

EMILY: ["Smiling."] I could have you excommunicated or defrocked or crucified or converted or martyred or murdered or...

MAX: All of the above?

EMILY: Perhaps.

MAX: I'd like that.

EMILY: Enough!

MAX: Of course.

EMILY: I have never particularly liked the sound of fire. Look, it's absurd. Sweating, ripping of their clothes...sweating, endlessly touching...

MAX: Caressing themselves...

EMILY: Fondling...

MAX: Sweating...

EMILY: Screaming...

MAX: Sweating...

EMILY: Soaring...

MAX: Burning...

EMILY: Screaming...

MAX: Sweating...

EMILY: Fondling...

MAX: All of the above!

EMILY: Shut up!

MAX: I'm sorry.

EMILY: How are the citizens reacting?

MAX: As well as could be expected.

EMILY: I have great faith in them.

MAX: Of course, a few thousand have joined the rebels.

EMILY: Peasants!

MAX: Peasants!

EMILY: How do you join?

MAX: You run...

EMILY: ...into the streets?

MAX: You rip off your clothes...

EMILY: Savages!

MAX: Freaks!

EMILY: Sweating...

MAX: Fondling...

EMILY: Touching...

MAX: Caressing...

EMILY: Soaring...

MAX: Burning...

EMILY: Screaming...

MAX: Screaming...

EMILY: Sweating...

MAX: Screaming...

EMILY: Stop it!

MAX: Stop!

EMILY: Stop, it's disgusting!

MAX: I'm sorry. I wasn't listening.

EMILY: I was talking to you, shit-face. They must be stopped.

MAX: We're trying.

EMILY: The very survival of years of culture, civilization and order is at stake.

MAX: Their bodies are all over the streets. We're doing all that's possible, but it doesn't do any good. They don't seem to mind.

EMILY: They're mad!

MAX: Yes, but who are they mad at?

EMILY: I don't know - that's your job. Get me some answers I can deal with.

MAX: Yes, Mother. [Pause.]

EMILY: Do they ever accuse me of anything?

MAX: Oh, well, I...I really wouldn't know that.

EMILY: Do they even mention our name?

MAX: Well, maybe...

EMILY: At all?

MAX: I suppose so.

EMILY: What do they say?

MAX: Well, just the usual, you know. Just the usual.

EMILY: Yes, of course. Just the usual. But at least they do use my name sometimes.

MAX: Sometimes very loudly.

EMILY: And sometimes softly?

MAX: Maybe.

EMILY: Tell me, Max, tell me!

MAX: Maybe. ["Cold."] Rub my back, you have good fingers.

EMILY: Yes, I know, like magnets. If they knew that fact, they wouldn't be so cruel.

MAX: They're not really cruel.

EMILY: I have never oppressed anything or anybody. I've only defended tender things...things getting old, things that kick with their hind legs...Is your mouth fixed now?

MAX: It is fixed.

EMILY: Good. Say it. Make yourself holy.

MAX: Again?

EMILY: Say it!

MAX: Mmmmmmmmmmmoooooooootttttttttthhhhhhhhher!
Mmmmmmmmmmmoooooooootttttttttthhhhhhhhher!

[He collapses.]

[Manuscript version: "They begin their strange prayer ritual as the bell tolls in the distance, gradually turning into drum/gun blasts. MAX begins saying the word 'Mother' three times. He says it in a hideously distorted voice, as if it is oozing out of the pit of his body, like 'Mo-------ther!' each syllable held out as if to eternity. The last time he says the word, his body, contorted into a weird shape, suddenly takes the form of a crucified man with a jerky quick gesture. He hold that position for a second, then collapses. Then EMILY does the same thing, but with the word "Fa---------ther!' After she collapses and both are on the ground, they wait a second, then whisper together, 'Save us.'"]

EMILY: If only they knew that, perhaps they wouldn't be so cruel. No, I've never oppressed anything or anybody. I've only defended tender things - things getting old, things which kick with their hind legs...Max, wake up! [MAX gets up.] That was very good, Sister.

MAX: Thank you, Mother.

EMILY: Your habits are filthy.

MAX: Very funny.

EMILY: I thought so. There is not one of us without perversion.

[A group of Nuns suddenly drag in BAAL. He is battered and bloody. They hold him in front of EMILY. She laughs.]

EMILY: [Seductively] What do you want? Just say it. [Coldly] SAY IT! What do you want!

BAAL: Obliteration!

EMILY: With what?

BAAL: Sanctification!

EMILY: For what?

BAAL: Liberation!

EMILY: To what?

BAAL: Energy!

EMILY: How much?

BAAL: Kneel down!

EMILY: For how long?

[BAAL does not reply.]

MAX: He won't speak. He's mocking us.

EMILY: No one mocks us. Out with it! [Pause.] I find you very strange.

BAAL: Flesh on flesh, the bodies dripping blood...

EMILY: Young bodies!

BAAL: ...dripping blood, float in the air and point to the...

EMILY: Sun!

BAAL: Yeah...the sun.

EMILY: I'll give you one more chance. Tell me the meaning of all these fires and all these screams. ANSWER ME! [Pause.] [German accent] Ve have vays of making people confess! [Pause.] [Normal voice] Well, it works sometimes.

MAX: It's not your fault.

EMILY: Be quiet! Don't you know where you are? I have never oppressed anybody. I have only defended tender things, very tender things. There is not one of us without perversion.

MAX: There's no need to apologize.

EMILY: FUCK OFF!

[EMILY goes up to BAAL and kisses his eyes very tenderly.]

EMILY: Oh, a bit of blood comes out of his eyelids. Oh, this bit of blood is sweeter than butter.

HISTORIAN: THE REVOLUTION IN WORDS AND MUSIC! Baal and his followers assert their complete innocence and proclaim their rebirth. They sing an anthem: THE SONG OF THE DREAM ENGINE

["During this song, BAAL is strung up like a piece of meat and tortured by the NUNS in a parody of a bizarre religious ritual. The TRIBE walks out, nude, and sings the following anthem, standing around the disc...god-like"]

[In the stage production, TRIBE members were dressed and undressed in torn clothing, with much body paint, signifying both wounds and war paint. They were now transformed into 'freaks' and their appearance, zombie-like at first, then more animated as the scene progressed, was chilling.]


1. SONG OF THE DREAM ENGINE

TRIBE AND SOLOISTS:
Hear the screams of the newborn dominions
Hear the screams of your proud outlaw sons
Hear the screams of the old kingdom dying
Hear the screams of the new kingdom come
God speed, God speed, God speed us home!!

Hear the screams of the street-fighting angels
Hear the scream of a land being torn
Hear the scream of the magic of chaos
Hear the screams of a dream being born
God speed, God speed, God speed us home!!

Don't ask me questions
Don't give me flowers
Don't tell me love is the only way!
Don't look for reasons
Don't look for meaning
Just get yourself out of the way!

Black panthers scream at the heat!
White panthers scream at the heat!
Flesh on flesh in the street
Kingdom come, kingdom come, kingdom come!

Hear the screams of the newborn dominions
Hear the screams of your proud outlaw sons
Hear the screams of the old kingdom dying
Hear the screams of the new kingdom come
God speed, God speed, God speed us home!!

Hear the screams of the street-fighting angels
Hear the screams of a land being torn
Hear the screams of the magic of chaos
Hear the screams of a dream being born
God speed, God speed, God speed us home!!

HISTORIAN: THE REVOLUTION IN WORDS AND MUSIC! Baal's Delirium and Call to the City, during the course of which he imagines himself transformed into what he thinks is a god, and what others think is a beast, and what is, in reality, a combination of the two.

2. BAAL'S DELIRIUM
(No music)

[BAAL is tied up, crucified, in the center of the stage. The NUNS and the TRIBE stand apart from him. As BAAL's speech develops, the TRIBE spreads out in front of him on the disc, pantomiming his words in groups of twos and threes...mimicking the death of the buffalo, for example, in ritualistic expressionistic gestures. For his part, HISTORIAN remains at the side of the stage, standing in the audience, shouting his comments and amplifications from time to time.]

BAAL: They asked me where this earthquake would begin. I offered to let them feel my pulse. They asked me if I was insane. I pointed my finger at them. They turned away and played with their pencils.

HISTORIAN: DREAM OF THE ANCIENT BEAST!

BAAL: Somewhere, not very far from here, in the glittering center of some sequined desert the last buffalo in America is dying. He's dying of onesomeness. Quietly, slowly, painfully. The sky is leaving his face. His eyes are blinded by TV screens and radar antennae. His skin is burned by nuclear dust. His heart is clogged with detergent and cold cream. His lugs are sick with fumes of neon, and he's choking on his own vomit. Quietly, slowly, painfully. But there's no point in being quiet any more! The last buffalo in America is dying of onesomeness, and choking on his vomit. And when he starts to convulse and beg for help, iron robots disguised as cops will beat him to death on the eyes. And then they'll go to their locker rooms, and then they'll whisper sweet nothings to their billy clubs, and then they'll take long showers together. And then there'll be nobody around to stop it! The last beautiful buffalo in America is dying of onesomeness and choking on his own vomit in the glittering center of some sequined desert, choking on his own vomit, and nobody's there to stop it! I'd like to make love to the rhythms of his gasps, I'd like to make love without stopping until he becomes extinct or I become extinct. Whichever comes first. It's going to be a close race. And even now seems too late.

HISTORIAN: Half the world is insane, the other half is scared, and who knows which came first or which will finish last.

[TRIBE members have reformed into groups on the stage, facing the audience. As a Chorus, now, they join individually, and then collectively, to speak with BAAL.]

BAAL AND TRIBE MEMBERS:
There is not a blessed tree left in this land! No sacred rivers have been spared! This is a land named after rapists and racists! Cortez! DeSoto! Sherman! Boone! Franklin! This is a land named after its conquered! Dakota! Ojibwa! Iowa! Cherokee! This people has soaked occult power sources dry for every dime and not paid back one watt of power! This race has chased all message-bearing birds down canyon, out of the sky, and replaced them with bloodless planes!

Get it through your fucking heads! America was not discovered by Columbus! America is still a secret land, as yet undiscovered by anyone!

The circus has gone crazy! The exhibits are turning against their cages! The Dream Engine is ready to attack! Your experiments are over!

Your mutants are fighting back! Your test tubes are starting to bleed! And it's about time the freaks really started acting like freaks!

And this, sir, is why your fathers are stuffed with chains; why your mothers are turning to liquid; why black children walk the streets with those jungle markings on their chests; why motorcycles reproduce in nocturnal alleys, groaning with greasy pleasure!

And this, sir, is why your ketchup is turning to blood; why your highways are turning into stockyards; why the national colors are black and blue and pure gangrene! Why your leaders are all either murdered or haunted; why the limp dick of J. Edgar Hoover is hung at half mast! Why the barbecue pits are stinking of napalm and burning your steaks!

And this, sir, is why a broken bargain with the Iroquois tribe is avenged by Vietcong warriors; why the smashing of the Inca temples is avenged by new African Armies, burning the ghettos and dancing with the flames!

And this, sir, is why your children are going insane. And this, sir, is because our insanity is the greatest gift we can give a world whose mental health makes us sick! Our insanity is the greatest insult we can give a world whose mental health can be measured in uniformed corpses and packaged decay!

And this, sir, is why the War of Liberation has finally come home! Where it belongs! WHERE WE CAN KEEP AN EYE ON IT!

I AM THE AMERICONG! I AM THE AMERICONG! I AM THE AMERICONG! (repeat)

[The TRIBE remains on stage, but they are straining the bonds of theatrical convention. They seem to be gathering energy, waiting to explode into the auditorium.]

HISTORIAN: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but the War goes on!

EVERYONE: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our veins are swelling with chemical blood. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our muscles are swelling with the music of revolt, played at the decibel level of pain. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our brains are swelling with electrified nerve endings. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our mirrors are getting larger and larger. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but there seem to be far more gods here than there are temples. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but there seems to be no reason why I should feel all of this, since I've had no experience. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but the War goes on and even the bullets are bored! Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!

TRIBE MEMBER: January 20th, 1969, Inauguration Day for Richard Shithouse Nixon!

[The TRIBE breaks its static formation as a Chorus, and swirls around the stage, forming smaller pantomime groups.]

TRIBE MEMBERS: The Nix is on! WE'RE ALL NIGGERS NOW!!

HISTORIAN: DREAM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION REBORN, THE GOLDEN AGE OF DYING!

[The TRIBE pantomimes various execution rites, various ritual killings.]

BAAL: Once they killed with silver blades and shiny shadows on guillotined faces dripping sweet blood thickly into sand and soft lace baskets. Now they kill with foam and mist and spray and gas and poisoned spit from germ-free cans. Now they kill with antiseptics approved by Christ and the President. There are no more silver songs or whistling blades. Once it was better...

[The sound of guillotine-gestures grow to a climax, the victims screaming at the final whoosh! of the blade. The HISTORIAN's words are drowned out.]

HISTORIAN: Once they killed with silver blades! Now they don't! It's all the same, no matter how you slice it!

[TRIBE members reform into new groups, develop new, quieter killing rituals, to accompany the chanting.]

BAAL AND TRIBE MEMBERS: How do you bury a severed body?

Do you bury the head with it?

Do you place the head on the neck, in the hands, on the chest, between the legs??

Do they put the right head with the right body?? DOES IT MATTER?

Do they dig separate graves? Do they make a trench? Does it matter where they're all buried?

DOES ANYONE KNOW?? DOES IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE TO KNOW??

BAAL: HOW DO YOU BURY THE SKULL OF YOUR COUNTRY?

TRIBE MEMBER: Once they killed with silver blades and shiny shadows on guillotined faces dripping sweet blood thickly into sand and soft lace baskets. Once the bodies dripping blood would float in the air and point to the sun. Now they don't point to anything. Now they can't even see the sun behind clouds of mace and gas and poison spit from germ-free cans. Once the blades were clear and sharp and shining silver. Once you could see your reflection on the tip of the blade. Now they use their dull wooden clubs. Now they shoot from a distance. Now you can't even see your pig!

There are no more silver songs or whistling blades. Once it was better!

[The rituals have stopped, the TRIBE begins moving towards the front of the stage. The energy is building for them to explode into the auditorium. Their voices build, first one by one, then they begin talking over each other, repeating and repeating until they are shouting themselves towards the audience.]

GIRL: There's no reason why I should feel all of this, I've had no experience. There's no reason why I should feel all of this, I've had no experience. (repeat)

BAAL: Will this Revolution ever get off this stage? Will this Revolution ever get out of this theater? Nothing can keep us from swelling! (repeat)

TRIBE MEMBERS:
Kingdom Come! Mutate Now! There Is No Reason Why! (repeat)

[The TRIBE picks up the final chant, while BAAL and the GIRL punctuate their rising chant with their voices, their questions. The TRIBE breaks and pours into the auditorium, yelling and screaming. They freeze on the HISTORIAN's announcement. Then they begin chanting again, building slowly, shouting to each other across the theater. BAAL remains in his posture of crucifixion, center stage.]

HISTORIAN: STREET FIGHTING PRAYER!

[Long pause. Then BAAL begins.]

BAAL:
Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Beautiful mutants!
Voluptuous acrobats!
Psychotic magicians!
Mescaline cowboys!
Anarchist bikeboys!
Alchemical freaks!

[The TRIBE joins in.]

BAAL AND TRIBE:
Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Off to a million midnights,
Black, black voyager!
Off to a million tomorrows,
Black and black!
Seek and find Hiroshima's children!
Send them back!
Send them back!

Tear open doorways to unknown altars!
Fill vacant theaters with miracle and wonder!
Stain the streets with the magic of chaos!
Give us back the twisted sons poisoned by mildewed fathers!
Find again the used-up whores, dying in forgotten corners!
Find sunlight!
Find barking dogs!
Find wolves to devour!
Find hunger to feed on!
Find pity!
Find hell for wax bitches!
Find love and an everlasting fix for nightmare junkies!
Find lost nights! Find lost time!
FIND FURY!
FIND RAGE!
Find the flesh of assassinated poets!
Find linen and light to clothe all the wretched!
Find chemical blood to fill all the vessels!
Find music and truth to pour in our underwear!
Find sons of fertility to melt all the ice fields!

Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Beautiful mutants!
Voluptuous acrobats!
Psychotic magicians!
Mescaline cowboys!
Anarchist bikeboys!
Alchemical freaks!

Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Off to a million midnights,
Black, black voyager!
Off to a million tomorrows,
Black and black!
Seek and find Hiroshima's children!
Send them back!
Send them back!

[The TRIBE in the Auditorium starts shouting at audience members, looking for all the children they are talking about. As they chant, they are backing up toward the stage, pulling back together again as a TRIBE. By the time the "Send them back" chant begins, the TRIBE members themselves are coming back to the center of the stage, crawling towards each other, gathered together, eventually around the feet of BAAL.]

Find Hiroshima's children, find America's children, find Chicago's children, find Harlem's children, find Cornell's children, find America's children, etc. etc.

Send them back, send them back, SEND THEM BACK, etc.

BAAL:
Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Beautiful mutants!
Voluptuous acrobats!
Psychotic magicians!
Mescaline cowboys!
Anarchist bikeboys!
Alchemical freaks!

Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Off to a million midnights
Black and black!
Seek and find Hiroshima's children!
Send them back!
Send them back!

WE NEED ALL THE MUTANTS WE CAN GET!

TRIBE MEMBERS:
Kingdom Come, Mutate Now, There Is No Reason Why!
Kingdom Come, Mutate Now, There Is No Reason Why! (repeat)

[The TRIBE is huddling now on the stage, partly defiant, partly protective. They shout and glare at the audience. When the HISTORIAN begins, they fall silent.]

HISTORIAN: Who among you will run with the hunt? Run through the streets of your city, run through the pale forests that never die? Who among you will run with the hunt? Battered by clubs, rammed by tanks, sprayed by gas, slaughtered by pigs in the stockyards of your own backyard?

Who among you will run with the hunt? Shivering with ecstasy, breaking the limits, breathing the breathless, breathing the breathtaking, beaten cold with beauty...beaten cold with a very final beauty, beaten cold with a beauty that comes right before the end!

And this, and nothing less...THIS is how you bury the skull of your country!

THE REVOLUTION IN MUSIC!

[In this climatic dance of the drama, the killer NUNS appear on stage, and begin slaughtering the TRIBE. But first, they must catch them, and screaming TRIBE members, half-clothed or totally unclothed, go running around the auditorium, being chased by the NUNS wielding billy clubs. Certain fights and slaughters are choreographed on stage, many are improvised. During the drum solo, a single girl is being chased by NUNS in center stage. She dances to her death, being thrown back and forth from one torment to another. The TRIBE fights back. The NUNS are slaughtered too. The auditorium is dimly lit, the music is terribly loud, the spectacle is grisly and gripping. TRIBE members are dragged from the auditorium, where they have been seeking refuge amid the audience, and brought onto stage, where their bodies are gradually piled on top of each other. The NUNS too are attacked. In the end, a pile of grey bodies, most naked - NUNS and TRIBE having lost their clothes - lie on the grey disc. BAAL appears. He, too, is naked. He crawls over the pile of corpses and finds the GIRL.]

BAAL: American Revolution, 1969. The beast lives forever. The creatures are behind you! The universe is in a state of triumph.

I am meat. I am muscled space. I am electrified nerve ends! I am colored light! I am chemical blood! I am the meat of the universe! I am the muscles of space! I am the colored light of a god! I am the nerve end of a star. I am the chemical blood of the future.

I am a nineteen year-old boy. There are no lies on my body. Drink from my skull.

The revolution will be fought with meat. The revolution will be fought with muscled space. The revolution will be fought with colored lights. The revolution will be fought with electrified nerve ends. The revolution will be fought with chemical blood! With the muscles of space, with the meat of the universe, with the colored light of a god, with the nerve end of a star, with the chemical blood of the future! The revolution will be real, because I am real. I am real, swell to my size. I am real, swell to my size. I am real...I am real...(repeat)

[He repeats parts of his speech beneath the HISTORIAN.]

HISTORIAN: There is more to a street-fight than we see in a photograph.  There is more to a revolution than what is real.

Mescaline cowboys, indeed!

[The HISTORIAN packs up his books, tossing things around on his desk; he is preparing to abandon us to our own thoughts. He starts disappearing down the back of the auditorium.]

HISTORIAN: There'll be an orgy tonight in the White House. Mrs. Nixon will supply the guns and butter.

God isn't dead, he's just gone flaccid.

Oh, how I love the old jokes!

[Pause.]

The fight is over. You can barely crawl between the bodies. Everyone is satisfied. Or, at least, satiated.

[BAAL is still holding the GIRL. The stage is getting darker, but a spotlight illuminates BAAL, standing center stage, front.]

BAAL: America. How can it be, America, that already you're reduced to ashes, and you've never burned?

America, you came with your outlaw son, your eyes full of lightening, your hair all undone, and your genes melting into the sun, America. Beautiful mutant. Beautiful outlaw, America! You came with your outlaw son, and you bathed in a sheath of milk - and blood...young blood all over your streets, America! America, you came with your outlaw son, and you stayed till the night decayed away, you gave birth, to a hint of gun dust, tinged with hairspray. American Revolution, 1969. Aren't we beautiful? Aren't we filthy? Aren't we real? And isn't our blood sweet?

HISTORIAN: Ketchup or blood, ketchup or blood...what's the difference? Metaphor is dead. It's all theater, now. And in the theater, as well as in madness, it's not how far out you go, or how much you see out there. It's what you bring back.

Give them time.

BAAL: It's almost morning. It's almost light outside. We'll be able to see the corpses more clearly. It's almost light. And if it gets any lighter, we won't see a thing!

HISTORIAN: Ladies and gentlemen, while we still have time...if we still have time...please, let's make our cemeteries safe for our children.

Goodnight.

CURTAIN

 

The Dream Engine