Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Senseless Counterfeit Act 3 Sc. iii

Act 3. Scene iii.
(Slime’s home in Stapleton. Enter SLEAZE & MR LUVVERTORY, the former still disguised as the Vicar of Stiffkey, with a gun)

SLEAZE.
Luvvertory, I’ll put off this garb.
The Snail can know me in my own true form,
and that way I’ll most cunningly erase the trail
that lies between his armourer and me.
(Dispenses with his disguise, which he hands to MR LUVVERTORY)
On second thoughts, you might sport it yourself. 5
(MR LUVVERTORY donning the disguise)
That way, the Snail remarks a man of cloth,
and apprehends a fellow hierophant
in Nabokov’s most sacred mysteries,
and not his Luvvertorial nemesis.
I’ll say you are the armourer, a Monsignor 10
who carries on a supplementary trade.

MR LUVVERTORY.
I thank you for my smooth investiture.
You marked, I think, my most refin├ęd taste,
for ministering to fallen girls.

SLEAZE.
I did!
(Aside)
Ministering to fallen girls indeed! 15
Fadya’s an apple most unripely plucked
ere she could fall from Suli’s drooping bough.
No older than fourteen is my surmise.
On which account, I count this hypocrite
as of my tribe. And this doth please me well, 20
for I can always use a hypocrite.
(Knocks at Slime’s gate)
Good Snail! Let your antennae now extrude.
I dance attendance with a pistolet,
and also with my friend the Monsignor,
the armourer, who’s also of our tribe. 25

(Enter SLIME)

SLIME.
Father, forgive me for your peccadills.

MR LUVVERTORY.
It doth behove me thus, for this swart cloth
doth garb me hypocritical, and thus
dear Nabokovian, you are absolved.

SLEAZE.
Never a truer word was spoke between 30
three lodge masonicals.

SLIME.
I’m satisfied.
About the gun … ?

SLEAZE.
(flourishing the gun)
This is the article.
I’ll let you have it presently, but first
a word of explanation in your lug.
Incline to me. It’s been preloaded, this 35
for your benefit, being as the armourer
feared lest by your callowness with guns,
contagions vile would compass you about:
the bite of mamba, rabies, radiation’s burn,
buboes, lesions, anthrax flay your hide 40
should you like Marsyas with this deadly flute
o’er reach your expertise.

SLIME.
I study well.
I am to point the rod, the trigger press,
and fire will issue forth and bathe my enemies,
who then do suffer final agonies, 45
and deaths over-determinate ensue.
This is the nub of it.

MR LUVVERTORY.
A righteous thing!
Fit to defend this house of Nabokov.
I’ll sanctify it now. Lord! Bless this gun!

SLEAZE.
A more becoming hypocrite than you, 50
dear Monsignor, there never was.

MR LUVVERTORY.
True dat!
No scruples do I entertain to sup
with diverse sinners, fornicating girls
my speciality. Speaking of whom,
there’s one, squatting in stews in Picton Street, 55
who now preoccupies my ministry.

SLIME.
In Picton Street? I squatted there myself
betimes, downloading juvenilia,
until that bearded ogre Mr L
exposed me to the notice of the mob, 60
and I, being driven from that Eden, Picton Street,
skulk in the desert wastes of Stapleton.

MR LUVVERTORY.
A veritable Hinnom, ’tis, no doubt.

SLEAZE.
The Monsignor grows weary of your plaint.
Betake yourself within and tend your buds, 65
and guard your hydroponics with your gun.

SLIME.
Although it is an irksome life, marry I will.
I’ll lie in ambuscade for enemies,
who’ll prove diverting when they face my fire.
(Exit SLIME into his home)
SLEAZE.
See how a paedophile is easily guiled. 70
Beware the Greeks when bearing BB guns.
Therefore seek out Fukboi and Little Shit.
Bring them back here, exhibit them to Slime,
who with his cozened boldness will emerge.
MR LUVVERTORY.
If he should shoot them, what of that? 75

SLEAZE.
’Twill be
nought but a pin-prick, goading Fukboi’s rage.
He’ll introduce the Snail to worlds of pain,
transfix him writhing on his instruments,
affix tight clamps to his extremities,
squeeze diverse juices from his jelly eyes, 80
insert hot chilis up his fundament.
And finally, when Slime doth plead for death,
he’ll ransom us his rich inheritance.
Therefore, go now, strike while the iron’s hot.

(Exit MR LUVVERTORY)

SLEAZE.
(soliloquy)
The blue touchpaper punctiliously lit 85
I will betake myself away from here,
and watch from a cozy and sequestered spot
the fireworks which presently ensue.

(Exit SLEAZE, as MR LUVVERTORY enters, no longer disguised, and leading LITTLE SHIT & FUKBOI.)

MR. LUVVERTORY
He’s been provided with a gun.

LITTLE SHIT.
What then?
He fills us full of snake-bit rabid lead. 90

FUKBOI.
It was explained to me before. In brief,
the gun will function as our Trojan Horse.

MR LUVVERTORY.
Knock on his door.

(LITTLE SHIT knocks on SLIME’s door.)

SLIME.
(Within)
Good morrow, hypocrites.
Prepare yourselves to meet the turning worm!

MR LUVVERTORY.
The Snail turns fighting vermicello now! 95
Good Slime! My son and his convivial pal
did wonder if they might tease you, gastropod,
out of that close sequestered shell of yours.
Wherefore, we seek out your society.
Do show yourself in all your oozing glory, Slime! 100

SLIME.
Know what? I think I will.
(Enters, brandishing the gun)
Behold this gun.
It is your nemesis. Now, my old cellmate,
Welcome to overdetermined death.
.(Shoots FUKBOI)

FUKBOI.
Well, that stings like fuck.

SLIME.
So does the mamba’s bite.
Pain before death, to which, drawn out and lingering, 105
I do commend you now with all my heart.

FUKBOI.
You will find your reporting of my death
over-precipitate. I am not dying,
so much as by your pellet sorely vexed.

SLIME.
Not dead, but vexed? I foully am betrayed! 110

MR LUVVERTORY.
A snail outwith his shell’s nought but a slug.
Therefore rush forth and bind this bogie smear.
(FUKBOI & LITTLE SHIT seize & pinion SLIME)

FUKBOI.
There now begins your first apprenticeship,
dear Shit, in that fell art of torturing.
Wherefore, be in your studies diligent. 115

LITTLE SHIT.
He shares with that Suliman we metely burnt
a documented taste for childish stuff.
Therefore I’ll study well. Where do we start?

FUKBOI.
(Flourishes a knife)
Ear levels are to be our Lesson One.
Attend the skill with which I wield my blade. 120
(Saws off SLIME’s ear)

LITTLE SHIT.
This master butcher’s much to be admired.
No silk purse needs to make this piggy’s ear

SLIME.
I bear the imprint of your lunacy,
the cruelty of psychopaths.

LITTLE SHIT.
What’s next?

FUKBOI.
Our second lesson concerns drawing out. 125
When steps are taken to protract the pain,
and agony is timed at intervals,
its fond anticipation makes it keen.
Therefore, we’ll leave him now to ruminate
upon the torments we’ll inflict on him 130
next time we drop by for a social call.

MR LUVVERTORY.
I’ll rummage in his pockets first, and take his key,
and we’ll have access to his citadel. 
(MR LUVVERTORY finds & takes SLIME’s key)
We’ll bid you for the nonce, good nonce, adieu.
You may like, while we’re gone, to consider
how best to mitigate our worst severity. 135
(Exeunt MR LUVVERTORY, FUKBOI, & LITTLE SHIT. Enter, while SLIME mopes, SLEAZE)

SLEAZE.
Your shell-like seems to have become detached.

SLIME.
It’s all your fault. The gun was impotent.

SLEAZE.
The Monsignor did say it was a prototype -
didn’t I mention that? I wonder why
it failed. Perhaps Fukboi’s immunity’s 140
to blame. He’ll certainly have been exposed
to every manner of disgustingness.

SLIME.
Who cares? The point is that they’re coming back.
And then they will slice off my other ear.

SLEAZE.
One is bad luck. Both would be carelessness. 145
Go in, and I will cut another key.
(Exit SLIME into his home)

SLEAZE.
(Soliloquy)
Of course, this may take time. Who is to say
that keys get cut before remaining ears?

(Exit)

The Senseless Counterfeit - a Progress Update

The composition of The Senseless Counterfeit has now reached Act 4 Sc iii, which comprises the  stock Jacobean conceit of the play-within-the-play, in which the malefactor's wrongdoing is exposed. The play in question rejoices in the name of The Dogger's Dinner, and is loosely based on Daniel Auber's opera The Masked Ball.

In the next minutes, I'm going to publish another extract from the SC on this blog.

Facebook deleted

I have quite a fractious history with Facebook. I deleted it in January 2010 upon returning from a few months in Paris, and didn't rejoin until last December. Following my return, I made the unpleasant discovery that Facebook seems to have become a forum for juvenile and frankly toxic political ranting. I have found myself drawn into awkward and unpleasant disputes with friends of mine whom I previously considered to be intelligent adult human beings, now somehow transformed by Facebook into the most pathetic kinds of 5th form Marxists. I didn't want to see my friends diminishing themselves like this. And so, about two weeks ago, I quit. I don't think I'll ever go back.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Knee Arthroscopy

On Tuesday, I finally underwent the knee arthroscopy and medial menisectomy which I've been awaiting for a few months. The operation itself was decidedly untraumatic, thanks to the pharmaceutical heroin. The only slightly unpleasant feature of the episode was waking up to find a tube stuck down my throat. However, the nurse whipped it out pretty quickly, and I was wheeled back to the cubicle where my son Joe had been waiting for me, and after about 15 minutes with a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits I felt good to go, and was discharged pretty promptly. The very next day, which was yesterday, I walked the mile to the gym and lifted a ton of weights, then back home, picked up my laptop, and walked again the two miles to the library where I do most of my writing. This morning, I went to the gym again, and put in 30k over 90 minutes on the exercise bike, before putting in another day's writing at the library. I already walk almost without a limp, and my knee is no more than slightly tired. On this basis, minor knee surgery is something I warmly recommend.

My First Foreign Language Publication

My Sonnet 141, which is my first and to date only French composition, has just been published by Barbara Dordi, to whom my thanks, in Issue ...