UNDERGROUND CURRENT

posted in: archives, Novel | 0

Our first offering will be the serialization of an original novel (available only on the internet) about the strange life of two families trapped in a Mexican sinkhole by drug lords. Follow their harrowing experience week after week as they deal with deprivation, snakes and intrusions by outsiders. What’s their history? Who will survive and who won’t? And what’s the deep dark secret behind the whole saga?…Twenty-seven episodes posted! READ FINALE NOW!

Snappy Takes a Hairpin Turn

posted in: Featured, One Act Play | 0


A young man sits in a doorway on the street. He is thin and disheveled.
He huddles in a shabby jean jacket. In front of him is a sign, poorly
lettered:

ASHAMED AND EMBARRASSED. HOMELESS AND HAVE AIDS.
PLEASE HELP ME.

Another young man, SNAPPY, walks past the young man in the
doorway. He is healthy and vibrant, the epitome of gay well being. He
wears a GMHC tote bag slung over his head and shoulder, and a huge
rainbow button pinned to the bag.

SNAPPY stops dead in his tracks and turns back to look back at the
seated, shivering young man, HAPPY.

Snappy:
(Aside) It can’t be.
Happy:
(Aside) Can it be?
Snappy:
(Aside, angrily) It shouldn’t be.
Happy:
(Aside) Could it be?
Snappy:
It’s embarrassing.
SNAPPY walks away, proceeds to make a cell phone call.
Happy:
(Aside) Well, that was embarrassing.
Snappy:
(Into cell phone) Hi, who is this? Let me speak with
Charles.
Happy:
(Aside) Guess it can’t be.
Snappy:
(Into cell phone) Charles…I’m on 14th Street and there’s
a guy panhandling on the sidewalk with a sign in front
of him saying…
SNAPPY turns slightly upstage and continues his conversation, his
voice muffled.
Happy:
(Aside, incredulously) He can’t be calling the cops on
me. Man, he’s got no shame.
Snappy:
(Turning downstage, audible again, into cell) Send a car

around. I’ll wait here to make sure he doesn’t get away.
Roger that.
Happy:
(Aside) Oh my God, he did call the cops!
Snappy:
(Aside) Better stall him before he bolts. (Strolls up to
HAPPY and stops with his crotch at eye level ) Hey,
buddy, where do you live?
Happy:
(Aside) Oh my God, what a basket! (To SNAPPY) Right
here on 14th Street.
Snappy:
Have you got an address?
Happy:
On this lime slice of a sidewalk.
Snappy:
Very poetic. But you’re not supposed to sleep on the
sidewalk.
Happy:
(Aside) Here it comes.
Snappy:
(Aside) He’s really cute in a skanky sort of way. (With
curiosity) How do you eat?
Happy:
Basically, I put food in my mouth, chew and swallow.
Just like anybody else.
Snappy:
Ha-ha. You don’t dumpster dive, do you?
Happy:
Hell no, that’s some nasty shit.
Snappy:
(Aside) Greasy and grimy.
Happy:
Much to my chagrine, I beg.
Snappy:
(Aside) And he won’t put up much of a fight. (To HAPPY)
I noticed your sign.
Happy:
Sucks, huh?
Snappy:
And not in a good way.
Happy:
(Eyeing him with interest) You said it. (To SNAPPY) Say,
would you have the time to…
SNAPPY turns away abruptly, takes his cell phone from its holster.
Looks at his watch.
Snappy:
It’s on vibrate. (Stepping away) Excuse me.
Happy:
(Aside) I wonder if he’s under cover. I wonder how he
is under the covers.
Snappy:
(Into phone) All right! Hurry up!
Happy:
I thought you’d be much…longer.
Snappy:
Sorry for the interruption. So…why are you on the

street, anyway?
Happy:
Like it says on the sign, I’ve got AIDS.
Happy:
(Aside) This is all wrong. (To SNAPPY) I noticed your
GMHC bag. And the button. Very good, if a bit
overstated.
Snappy:
Excuse me?
Happy:
You’re vice, right?
Snappy:
Huh?!
Happy:
Well, forget it. I’m not going to proposition you, so you
can just move on.
Snappy:
If I’m the heat, shouldn’t I say that to you?
Happy:
(Laughs) Though it has crossed my mind to come on to
you. (In Dracula voice) I vant to suck your…
Snappy:
Come on, dude. (Offering his arm) May I accompany
you across the street?
Happy:
My, aren’t you the gentleman!
Snappy:
You overestimate me.
HAPPY struggles feebly.
Snappy:
I’m not a cop!
Happy:
(Stops struggling) Too bad. Some of my best fantasies
are cops.
Snappy:
(Helping HAPPY to his feet) Cut the crap.
Happy:
They cut out housing for PWAs on welfare.
Snappy:
Not yet. We’re fighting it.
Happy:
The sons of bitches are gonna. So I beat them to it. I
moved out of their crappy lodgings.
Snappy:
(Aside) Where the hell is that car?!
Happy:
I’ve got my gay pride, you know.
Snappy:
Your sign says you’re ashamed and embarrassed. Do
you really even have AIDS?
Happy:
You fucking ass! You don’t have a clue. And what the
hell kind of “car” are you talking about? You sure it’s
not a squad car?
Snappy:
(Benevolently) My limo.
Happy:
Your limo! Just where do you think you’re taking me in

your homo limo, Prince Charming? Sign wasn’t lying.
That’s AIDS, A-I-D-S, AIDS.
Snappy:
I believe you. Don’t feel so sorry for yourself. I’m
positive, too.
Happy:
Aw, damn! Sure?
Snappy:
I’d like to help you. Think of it as becoming more
positive.
Happy:
(Sings) Baby, you can drive my car…
Snappy:
You think I’m bullshitting?
Happy:
Frankly, Scarlet…
Snappy:
Look. I just want to help. I’m rich.
Happy:
That don’t mean I want to be your bitch.
Snappy:
You are a pain! (Looking off stage) Finally! There he
is…Charles, over here.
SNAPPY momentarily walks off stage and makes a phony screeching
brake sound.
Snappy:
(Shouting from backstage) Just park across the street.
Be right there. (Walks back on. To HAPPY)
Well…coming?
Happy:
Almost. Wow! Rich, gay and positive! I’m swooning.
Snappy:
Fuck it. I can’t wait any more!
SNAPPY runs off. HAPPY starts humping the ground. BLACKOUT.
Sounds of two men climaxing. LIGHTS SNAP BACK UP.
Happy:
Oh, baby, that was mad!
Snappy:
(Comes back on stage, zipping up his pants) You make
me crazy!
Happy:
Just want to keep you happy, baby.
Snappy:
(Slipping him cash) See you tomorrow, then?
Happy:
Sure. Got no place else to go.
Lights fade down as SNAPPY walks off.

Golden Sandeled Dawn

posted in: Featured, One Act Play | 0

Older Woman: Kittenish. That’s how I’d describe her. Kittenish.
Younger Woman: I’ve always respected her. But now, somehow…
Older Woman: She’s very respectful toward me. One might even say, solicitous.
Younger Woman: When I look at her mouth, I hear a whispered wind of sibilants. Fox-x-x-x-x-y.
Older Woman: Congenitally inverted, that’s what I think. My tongue is useless.
Younger Woman: How fortunate I am. She’s a hard grader, and I get all A’s. A is for Aphrodite. Blah-blah-blah.
Older Woman: What is her name? Erinna? Djuna? Virginia? Frida? Ma Rainey?
Younger Woman: I’m so distressed! I feel foolish, as if I’m drowning in a….well, a well of loneliness. Yet here she is, as bold as factory smoke.
Older Woman: Here she is, right in my face. Her budding breasts, her supple waist.
Younger Woman: She’s got no shame. I like that.
Older Woman: I must be true to myself. No shame. Look her directly in the eye.
Younger Woman: She’s looking straight in my eyes! My panties are getting wet.
Older Woman: The scent of her…from here, like vanilla cream and strawberries. I yearn and I seek.
Younger Woman: I bet her breasts are still erect. And she is so cut!
Older Woman: She is so cute! Would I be her first? A golden pulse grows along the shores.

Younger Woman: My nipples are erect. Oh, this is disgraceful. I’m probably just imagining the whole thing.
Older Woman: I’ve let my imagination run away with me. Maybe I should just go home and…watch Oprah.
Younger Woman: I should just forget about the whole thing, go home and…do my homework.
The Younger Woman turns around to go.
The Older Woman drags her finger across her desktop. It makes a squeaky noise.
The Younger Woman turns around with curiosity.
Older Woman: Mabel?
Younger Woman: Yes, Miss Hall?
Older Woman: (To herself) I’m thinking about her silky pubic hair and sweetly turned up mouth. As if always in a smile.
Younger Woman: Miss Hall?
Older Woman You are very promising, you know.
Younger Woman: (To herself) Should I ask her to tea? Christ on a crutch! What am I thinking?!
Older Woman: (To herself) What a vapid thing to say to her. Still, better than nothing.
An awkward silence.
Older Woman: I mean your poetry.
Younger Woman: Your Titian hair.
Older Woman: Excuse me, dear?
Younger Woman: Your teaching here has been such an inspiration to me. (To herself) Stupid Sappho.
Older Woman: Do you…have the time?
Younger Woman: (Looking at her watch) I have a class.
Older Woman: Is that all? I thought you’d be rushing off to meet your beau.
Younger Woman: (To herself) Who says “beau” any more? How adorable. (To Older Woman) I don’t have one.
Older Woman: Perhaps later, then? I have some remarkable literary memorabilia I think you’d find very enlightening. It might even provide some good fodder for your final paper.
Younger Woman: Or next poem.
Older Woman: You understand me.
Younger Woman: Let’s see what you got.
Older Woman: (Under her breath) It’s all so fast. (To Younger Woman) Shall we say 8:00 this evening, then?
Younger Woman: Cool, cool, cool…How about Prairie Lights? They’ve got a nice little coffee house on the second floor…
Older Woman: I’m familiar with it. (She gingerly puts on a pair of white lace gloves) In fact, my flat’s close by there.
Younger Woman: (Playing with her hair) Awesome.
Blackout. Sound of ticking. Lights snap back up.
Later. Older Woman sits alone at a table, a big scrapbook on her lap. She leafs through it without interest. Her back is to the door. She’s slightly slumped. The clock: reads: 9:30.
Older Woman: (She sits up with resolve, reads aloud): Better the swan’s chant than a windy world of rocks in an April Sky.
Younger Woman: (At the door) “Antipater of Sidon.” Sorry I’m late.
Older Woman: Andrew Lang, 1844-1912. Right on time, Mabel.
Younger Woman: My friends call me Sita.

Parity

posted in: Featured, Poetry | 0


PARITY

Oh, Carsin,

My dear sweet buoyant struggling tough

Marshmallow lesbian genius savant dead friend

Carsin

Who knows what we shall live to see

Or not see?

Who knows what we will not live to see

Or from that literary

Susie Salmon The Lovely Bones

Heaven, unbeknownst to others, see,

Or choose to turn away from?

Can you see it? Do you want to?

Oh, Carsin,

My dear sweet funny indefatigable

Forward-looking history fanatic friend

Do you feel tragic earthquakes and tsunamis?

Do you know that corporations now have

Appropriated the Supreme (sic) Court?

You would probably laugh if you could

See Congress haggling like two rabid dogs

Across the aisle about whether people

Deserve to be nursed, doctored, tended—

Yet effortlessly approve and fund another war?

Can you see it? Do you want to?

Oh, Carsin,

I sigh when I see your face and say your name

I miss talking with you, exchanging cynicisms

About the foolishness of the world, to wit,

The powers that be, how they are beneath

You and me. Floating above, it’s easy to have

All the answers, join the dance with celestial

Dancers, winners and losers, insiders and outsiders,

Meat eaters, subway riders, deaths of left-behind friends,

Chi Gung and rain, drug abuse, struggle, illness, pain

Parents, descendents, obstinate barren mothers we

Can you see it? Do you want to see?

—Joanie Fritz Zosike

February 27, 2010

Trancesent Soulstice

posted in: Poetry | 0


TRANCENDENT SOULSTICE

I need a leg up to the platform

Can’t launch me by myself

I reach out for a helping hand

Someone hands me a microphone

And I fall back, right off the stage

I’ll be spammed and jammed

And later I’ll be damned

But you won’t get rid of me

So easily, like a too-dunked donut

Or a lightning stricken tree

I crawl back up ungracefully

To stand on that couch of inequity

The stage, where I get to rage

Where I get to cry, and even die

Where I’ve given birth

Swelled or sunk in girth

Wall-eyed madness of the mouth

Lost in reverie going south

Billowing with bluster

Turn the page, baby buster

Kissing someone I can’t suffer

But in this scene he’s my lover

Touching a woman intimately

To show my adaptivity

Wearing one long satin glove

Feigning glamour like a mourning dove

A grandma, mother, wife or child

A whole lot silly, a little bit wild

Wielding a whip, brandishing a machete

Strewing the stage with rice and confetti

Underdog wobbling on frostbitten feet

I need a leg back up I repeat

Can’t live without the old familiar bitch

Hope my star don’t blister before I get rich

But forget reaching out for helping hands

They’ve all got them down in their own pants

When it comes to climbing, thanks, I’ll do my own

It’s a long time still before I wreck your home

I was born to the stage and I hope to die

Before Messiah is a twinkle in Horus’s eye

I’m burning, churning, who got the mambo

Rustle up a mess o’ grub, I’m aiming for the Congo

Back back back to my black black roots

To the Mother’s belly, Mama Africa touts

The sacred mantle of the primal cradle

Tributaries from her loins are considerable

We all emanate from her yet man enslaves her

But her will and wisdom is what always saves her

Once I played Gaia on my theatrical path

She was my true grandmother, boiling with wrath

At the rape of the earth

At the violence of each birth

Each loss, each boss, each indignity

Yet she seldom wept, just bounced me on her knee

Now she curtsies to Africa, her heiress designate

“You got to carry on, Mama, ‘cause I’ve got a date

You got to bring these ornery creatures in line

Take away their weapons, realign each spine

Turn their eyes from warring to nurturing grain

Put them back in a harmonious crib again

“Teach them poetry, song, compassion, healing

It’s prophecy, baby, that I’m revealing

They can go no more to the poison well

They must get off their asses or they’re going to hell”

Gaia’s tough, but she does it so well

All the creatures shiver as they hear the death knell

“Thank you, Grandma, I owe my life to you,”

Says Africa, turning green and blue

“I can only imagine what you been through,

Battles fought on your terrain set the cosmos askew

Ma, my portion in this quadrant has as well been brutal

What with slavery, colonialists, war lords—futile!

“Or so it seemed to seem, but now I’m fulfilled

My sky is clear and my land is tilled

I’m Mother Africa, the Alpha and Omega

It’s this very concept I want to convey, Ma

This is the role I was born to portray

And when I grow stripes and am reduced to clay

I’ll be resurrected, remolded, and returned to play

Now push me back on that stage, I am emboldened

I will walk like a Gollum, laced in silver and golden

I can dance out loud like a wizened she-bear

Only decades left now for me to prepare

Who says I am a crone, am I left to dance alone?

“I am filled with moisture

I am pliable and flexible

I’m back from the Cloister

Antiquity is undetectable

My skin is soft and smooth

Ma Africa got back her groove

Released from the dreaded dungeon of time

I slide up through the sewers of primordial slime

Have overcome the trenches

Have healed from all the scars

Got my eye on infinity

By way of the stars”

—Joanie Fritz Zosike

12-21-09