The Digger Papers (August, 1968)
Free City Bloodlight
No play can change your life unless you are in it.
A requiem for audience, a morgue for voyeurs.
Some grandiose Palace of National Honor and Culture is
prepared for a final performance: searchlights, white canopy, funeral wreaths.
Solemn politicians greet overdressed notables at the
door. BIack-veiled ladies hand out lit white tapers. Ushers hang oversize tickets like
bibs around patrons' necks and stuff white silk handkerchieves down their throats to
Curtain opens on an exact duplicate of the house and a
cast identical to the audience, also gagged, ticketed and holding candles.
Fidgeting in the house, fidgeting on stage. Someone
rernoves a soggy handkerchief to cough. Everyone in the cast mimicks him. Now the rest of
the audience imitates the cast. Volleys of coughs are exchanged for 15 minutes.
"What the hell is this?" mumbles the boldest
"What the hell is this?" mumbles the cast
Volleys of mumbles for another 15 minutes.
The mayor clears his throat and stutters,
"St-the-star start the show."
"Start the show," roars the cast, "or
we'll kill you!"
Murmurs through the house. A fat benefactress whispers,
"I thought it was a proper memorial for years of attending Shakespeare, Brecht and
"I heard that," snorts a gentleman in the cast
"Listen, lady, I've been watching you slobs fidget, mumble, murmur and whisper for 37
"They'd murder you at La Scala," shouts an
opera buff, pitching a candle onto the stage.
Cast boos and send a wave of candles into the house.
"A happening! How wild!" It's a critic giggling
in the balcony
"Fuck you," screams the mayor's mother and aims
a candle at her counterpart on stage. Enraged pediatricians and stockbrokers are charging
down flaming aisles to strangle their doubles.
Cast dives into the first row, snatching jewelry and
bellowing, "Fraud! You call this art? Give us our money back!"
The Final Act of Police Theater
Listen tool, we got a man on every exit
Nobody wants to live forever anymore.
But suppose some citizen unaware
he's a source of carwreck meat
pastes up the windows with parking tickets
won't report missing?
Who counts his change?
Who gets an erection in the unemployment office?
Who pays the rent and THEN locks up?
Anyone's an exit but no one leaves.
Right! We got 'em standing in the aisles
Sit down and watch the line-up.
Life acts! Acts that can create the condition of life
No electrochemical limbo. Man a protozoan shockroll hits
each face in the back of the neck. Visions off the mainline are natural free.
No frozen moments re-enacted for tomorrow's fantasy
revolution. Life-acting is freeing eternity in now!
Put free in front of words that guard the
universe. Free liberation.
"Free World" is a prisoner of propaganda. Try
Free Earth, Free Planet. It is a free planet. No cosmic landlord.
Planet creaturesfree beginning, free autonomy, free
Any free creature can stammer through any moment's lip,
electrocute oblivion with flesh.
Improvisations out of Industrial Age roles:
Job. Free job. Show up for a free job.
"I didn't know you worked here."
"Came in this morning to try it. You know, free
Money. Free money. Trade grafitti bills for cookie
nickels. Counterfeiters are stodgy purists.
Career. Free career. Give away your name and adopt a free
What was time before it was bought?
Buds, sun, fruit, ice. Seasons.
Theater originated as ritual seasonal myths. Bodies
moving stories, magic words. Their function was not history or enterainment but action.
Action essential to the seasonal cycle. Universe movement of bloodlight.
Corn dance for summer at Santo Domingo Pueblo in New
Mexico. Men, women and children dance 12 hours dawn to sunset invoking natural elements,
animal spirits and plant powers of their cosmos. Each dancer helps create the world of
growing life. Dancing is being.
Before time was bought it was hand-made.
Free time is nowever ritual.
Being an act of celebration. Free.
No message or moral of bought time, pretend time.
Bloodlight of present. Ascension of anyone.
Nowever stance is one person/free universe. Your style is
Vernal equinox, summer solstice, autumnal equinox, winter
Social movement as rites of passage!
Free men. women and children will move a free city in San
Francisco on the summer solstice, 1968.