Friday, January 20, 2012

Sam Shepard-Nightwalk

I’m on a field as the sun rises. The long sweet grass licks my legs like snake tongues. A meadowlark keeps her distance, hiding her nest. I’m reminded of a dirty joke. There in the middle of the field with the sun rising a dirty joke plays on my mind. I shake it off. I got nothing against sex but I’m after something else. It keeps forcing its way in so I let it in. Tits and ass flash across my mind. The sky is golden pink. Like skin. A young deer bounds off toward the edge of the forest. The joke passes. It’s replaced by a song. Piano ringing through my ears. I’m no match for my imagination. The damp morning oozes into my boots and soaks my socks. It’s much different now from when I started out. It changes from moment to moment. Still I keep walking toward a clump of saplings. The idea of hot coffee and toast puts me in conflict. A wish to go back to the warm kitchen. Strange birds set up a song, warning each other of my coming. I’m a stranger here. Then everything leaves me at once. I’m left in an empty body. The sun splashes into my face. What was my reason for coming? I must’ve just wandered out here from my bed without a plan. Now I’m in the future of my day. I see myself having a good time later. I have to get this walk over with so I can have a good time. I turn to go back but it looks the same as when I started. The sun’s just rising. The grass licking my legs. The dirty joke. I try to remember where I started. I go back too far. Before I was born. A star. An angel. A demon. Something glittering through time. This is a whole new day and already I’m lost.

first performed in 1973, as part of a collective theatre piece written with Megan Terry and Jean-Claude van Itallie, for Joseph Chaikin's Open Theater.

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