a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
It is either prepare to spend
a lot of money to get equipment
or make friends with someone
who already has room, staff,
equipment, and imagination,
and would be willing to share
now… in the spirit of keeping
live performance… alive… live.
(Though equipment is very hot stuff:
virus loves a microphone and lens
cap!) As for the show going on,
the authorities are only talking
about sport stadiums, renegade
churches, and restaurants…
but here in NYC we all know it’s code
for living theater, opera, ballet;
everything we love and live for…
Performers will HAVE to have
antibody tests… the divided self…
though, there are several plays
that might actually benefit
from masked performances.
Japanese, Venetian, French.
Modern. Or old Greek
masks with fabric stretched
across the mouths to keep spit
from flying all over fellow actors
standing, proclaiming from
the processional end. Hang
in there. This won’t last forever.
Wash those paws. Wilson,
a border collie, an alert sheep dog,
eyes a screen of sheep
from across a keyboard;
I, too, have shifted to working
remotely from home.
Sept. 6, 1916, Memphis, Tennessee,
the long ancient curve of attentive
Old-World shop service
began to drop at Piggly Wiggly.
With stocked shelves and shopping carts
for roaming the modern shopper’s grocery
department store, Piggly Wiggly
offered new rules of engagement.
By 1935, Porky Pig—sans pants
[plurale tantum]—with a bowtie, a stutter,
a son of a gun/bitch blooper,
and help from Mel Blanc
was out and about and on his way
to uncovered stardom.
Five and a half decades later, ochre
Homer Simpson sits alone on his brown couch
wearing a tight superman undershirt
and tiny briefs (another plurale tantum)
worthy of SpongeBob SquarePants.
His eyes balloon into an opium screen stare.
“Mister, git your skid-marked plurale
tantum off that sofa!” Who knows
what studio news broadcasters wear.
Today, a friend calls to tell me
how in this tedious time of isolation
and distancing, she is going
to have to learn to let her
lycra yoga-latte pants breathe.
Fuck pants! Now, work
and entertainment stream in.
And, for groceries, there is
on-line shopping and delivery
Scott Hightower is the author of four books of poetry in the US and two bilingual (English/Spanish) collections published in Madrid. He lives in Manhattan and teaches at New York University at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study.