Monologue – from An Inked Heart
Like any work of art, a tattoo begins with an idea. Not always a good one; too many begin with the name of some soon-to-be ex, or the Tasmanian Devil, or Aerosmith. But a worthy tattoo begins with an equally worthy idea – something so intimately a part of yourself, you want to wear it on your skin.
The first touch of the needle, laying down the bare black-ink outline, doesn’t seem so bad. It stings a little, like when you accidentally brush against a sunburn. If it’s your first time, you might even laugh at yourself – this is what I’ve been afraid of? Then the artist stops for a moment, and you look down. And there’s blood, your blood, mixed in with the ink, and you start to realize just what you’ve signed up for. The needle begins to buzz again, sounding like the drill in a dentist’s office, and you grit your teeth instinctively. Now you feel the pain – when the needle touches you for a second time, when you’re already bruised and bleeding. Now it feels like being stabbed – the sharp pain of the point driving into your flesh over, and over, and over again. You dig your fingers into the arm of the chair; you bite down hard on your bottom lip, trying not to be obvious as you check the clock and wonder why you wanted this in the first place.
But the next time they stop and carefully wipe your skin clean, there it is – enough of the design to be recognizable. Your design. Your idea. You realize you’ve already been changed.
When asked if you’re ready to do more, you anticipate the touch of the needle. The pain is welcome – you even find yourself starting to crave it. It is the touch of the fire that transforms you.
Dialogue – from Godzilla on Sundays
(notices the videotape on the coffee table)
What’ve you got there?
(holds up the tape, sliding it halfway out of the cardboard sleeve)
I brought a little bit of entertainment for the evening.
Kadin, you dog. I’m a married man.
(handing it over)
Godzilla Vs. Megalon.
That’s supposed to be one of the worst ones! Where’s the remote?
(Kadin holds it up, out of reach)
I don’t know … I think you’re too drunk to be in remote control. You better just give me back the tape, and I’ll put it in.
Give me the remote!
Give me the tape.
Give me the remote!
Hand over the tape first.
(a la Raiders of the Lost Ark)
No time to argue. Throw me the idol, I’ll throw you the whip.
(laughing, sets the remote down)
You realize that makes me Indiana Jones, and you die in the next scene.
Damn. Well, I’ll switch.
(snags the remote)
Dr. Jones. Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.
Just put the damn tape in, Belloq.
(while doing so, sings to himself)
“Up from the depths, thirty stories high …”
(he settles back on the couch and hits a button on the remote)
I can’t believe you couldn’t use your influence to get these back on the air.
Wait until I run the world. That’s the whole reason I’m entering the industry, to bring the finest in men in rubber suits to our children and our children’s children …
(Dale puts his hand over his heart and hums the National Anthem.)
… to raise awareness of the tragic plight of Japanese boys in short pants named Kenny –
Wait, their pants are named Kenny?
Yes. All those times you thought the mothers were worried about their kids? They were actually calling out to their brutally short pants.
Poetry – “Gardening“
my tongue slides slick sensuous snail-trails across your body eyes flutter like bee-wings dart from bright to beautiful from sun to shade our hearts, hummingbirds trapped between us as i sip nectar delicately, my proboscis between petals as i pull you down into the rich dark damp garden bed while above shades of green shiver
Prose – from “A History of Flight”
“One hundred and twenty-one feet! One hundred and twenty-one feet, by god!” Manny’s father was ecstatic, although the words had the wear of many repetitions.
“That’s one foot further than the Wright Brothers on their first trip,” his mother added, waiting for congratulations on her genetic achievement. “And he’s not even six years old.”
The guests from next door murmured uneasily. “Are you certain,” a female voice asked, “that it is absolutely safe, you know, to …such a young boy …”
“Oh, he follows all of the safety precautions to the letter,” Manny’s father assured them. “No child of ours takes foolish chances.”
Meanwhile, Manny crouched in his sandbox just beyond the light from the window. Carefully he piped liquid oxygen and hydrogen into the storage tanks fixed to the outside of his spacecraft. He kept his hands wrapped in his blankie, in case of a spill.
“I’ll tell you what, you can ask him yourself. Manny! Manny, come downstairs and say hello to our guests!” After a moment, his mother echoed the call with somewhat less patience.
Outside, the young boy turned his head, and his cherubic lips seemed on the verge of shaping a reply. But then he looked to the night sky, starlight reflecting in the depths of his huge, liquid eyes, and did not seem to hear their voices again.