Man (The Idea):
Mechanical music machine
|Amy:||It's a black, blacker-than-black night in the luminiferous ether of the prairie--where the girls are cleaner because of the dust. There's a sickle moon in front of me just rising again to its sea-legs, and over my head are the giants and the dwarves, and Hercules counting teeth in the mouth of the Dog Star, and under my bare feet is the center of the flat flat earth.|
|Amy:||Oh Columbus, I've lost my way tapping in the black-soaked mazes of the dark with only my thought experiments to guide me. Everything thinks -- all of nature and ideas and machines. They speak or they sing, and I listen.|
|Chorus:||"Let your body do the walking"|
|Amy:||Yes, my body has followed me here. It seems to go everywhere I do. But it must be a phantom. My body doesn't remain the same. it doesn't change with time, and it isn't in motion. I think therefore, I am not a body. I mean, I know I must have a body but I seem to lack a physical interpretation. I mean, what I mean to say is, I think my body has been de- souled.|
|Chorus:||"Let your body do the walking"|
|Amy:||I don't want to walk, I walk enough in my thoughts, and sometimes they walk in me. There's one thought,though, it's almost an idea. There's a voice inside the idea that seems to endure fire, but I can only hear it, I can't see it. I don't know what it is.|
|Barn owl. Water cave|
|Man (The Idea):||Humanity, some say, doesn't know what it is. Neither ruler of ice nor fire; an animal with reason who has learned to walk; a god with desire who has learned to walk.|
|Chorus:||"Let your body do the walking";
|Amy:||I can't, because I don't have one, because I lost it to the Great Old Fathers of Science. I let them split my mind from my body. I don't really remember how they made the split or why I let them do it. I must have misunderstood them, or they misunderstood me, or I suppose, maybe, I could just have mis- understood myself.|
|Repetition of gavel
Auction house ambiance
|Woman (Text):||Amy Glennon is misunderstood.|
|Auctioneer:||Start the bidding at 'misunderstood'. What do I hear?
'Garbled', up front
'perverted', at the back wall
'distorted', the lady in red
'unvalued', the lady in yellow
'unwept', in the red
|Woman (Text):||Amy Glennon is unwept.|
|Auctioneer:||Is that how you want it to read? Elaborate, please.
'Tears', in the aisle
'salt water', the lady in red
'substance', the gentleman by the post
'matter', the lady in red.
Further bid? Further bid?
|Woman (Text):||Amy Glennon is Matter.|
|Auctioneer:||Or should it read...Text!|
|Woman (Text):||Matter is Amy Glennon.|
|Auctioneer:||Which one is it? Any advance, any advance?
'Why will it be', is standing at the back
'Why will it be, why will it be', any advance? Yes.
'How could it', the man on the right
'When does it', against the wall
'What is the', on the left. Any advance?
>'What is the, what is the', anymore?
All right, first sentence. Text!
|Woman (Text):||What is the Matter in Amy Glennon?|
|Auctioneer:||Very good then, let's explode the word 'Matter'.
'Matter, as in dynamic geometry,' the gentleman in front
'as in quantum wave', the lady in front
'as in external world', the gentleman
'internal soul', the lady
'gold', the gentleman
'silver, the lady
'lead', the gentleman
'arsenic', the lady
'bitterness', the gentleman.
'Matter as in bitterness', Yes?
Down it goes at 'bitterness'
|Woman (Text):||The Matter in Amy Glennon is bitterness. She has spent her life staring at other people in their private cages of bone, and has therefore neglected her own flesh. Behind Amy Glennon is the sign of the sickle moon. Before her is the ticket window, aglow under mercury vapor street-lamps. In one hand she carries a suitcase, in the other a small harpoon.|
|Train signal. Owl|
|Train-Chorus:||"Follow me, follow me, follow me down"|
|Amy:||I seem to be going somewhere. I've got this harpoon and a suitcase. And, let's see, I've got my gyroscope, my idea tubes, my geiger counter, my pocket gramophone, and my compass.|
|Chorus:||"Little superluminal chameleons "|
|Amy:||And yes, my jar of lizards, I can't forget my jar of lizards, my favorite creatures because they grow new parts of themselves, and they shed their tails into my legs and their skins into my feet--that are walking--|
|Water cave. Footsteps. Sound|
|Amy:||I'm moving into the idea, through it's compacted layers of solid ice, beneath its sheared, crushed masses of rock, toward its molten interior. This idea never sleeps--it dreams, but doesn't sleep--and I can hear it talk, but I still can't see anything.|
|Man (The Idea):||She was born after the moon had risen twice and before the sun had risen once. The arch-heretic magician appeared, twirling his subjacent consciousness like a prayer wheel. Her black-star, sapphire eyes threw a shadow across her own face, but she entered the world feet- first. She listened and she slept. Some say, whatever has been hidden and is then exposed, this is a human act. Some say. to have memories inside of life, but neither before nor after life, is the truly human realm. And, some say, there is no such thing as humanity, that humanity is something men have stolen from animals and plants and weather, from the universe and the atoms.|
|Mechanical music machine|
|Chorus:||"Particles and waves" (backwards)|
|Amy:||Of course, yes, I remember now. I used to live in quantum, and I did have a body that was intimately joined to the constancy of the speed of light. and when I was three years old, I used to play with atoms and the void.|
|Chorus:||"Particles and waves..."|
|Amy:||Yes, and then I experimented with particles and waves. And when I was six years old, I dug up some large numbers made of ice. There were just a handful of memories preserved in the ice--large cold numbers. Oh number beauty and rapture, number calisthenics, the exercise of number beauty had me aligned to the Great Old Fathers of Science themselves. I lifted the edges of their cloaks, I turned their pockets out, and there they were, as real as algebra. Stuck on them I was...in a swoon. Schoolgirl crush.|
|Chorus:||"Early American passion"|
|Crickets. Owl. Music|
|Amy:||They said, we never lose our need for more numbers, numbers are the new articles of faith. They said, let us bless you, let us delight you with our numbers, let us turn your body into an equation. So they blinded my thoughts with sheer rapture and stole my body right out of quantum. The things they could do because their times were mechanical! And in the name of progress, and number beauty, and good stage magic, that's how the Great Old Fathers of Science settled the western world.|
blood on the ground
great big gobs of blood all around.
Hey hey hey hey
Pity the cowboy
bloody and red
the old cow-pony done stepped on his head."
|Amy:||I think the mind is in the feet as often as it's in the head. I entered the world feet-first, each foot a fable, each foot winged in curious search for the perfect steps of narrative. I know that every human foot needs a set of steps to walk, but I don't know what size, or combination. I don't know what the code is. To me, it's a mystery of dimension|
|Gavel. Auction house ambiance.|
|Auctioneer:||These dimensions are open for bidding.
'A 2-inch rise and a 15-inch tread', the blond man. Will you go 3-14 sir? Yes.
'A 3-inch rise and a 14-inch tread', the dark haired woman.
'A 12-inch rise and a 5-inch tread', the blond man.
'A 4-inch rise and a 13-inch tread', the dark-haired woman.
> 'A 7-inch rise and a 10-inch tread', new bidder there.
'A 7-inch rise and a 10-inch tread'.
Going once, twice, perfect! At 7-10 Text!
|Woman (Text):||In a classical pose, Amy Glennon contemplates a black rock staircase with steps perfect for her feet at a 7-inch rise and a 10-inch tread. it spirals up into the night sky, and down into the core of the earth. Her bitterness gathers in back of her.|
|Auctioneer:||Do I hear 'in front of her'? Yes I do.
'In front', at the back.
'Behind', right here.
'In back', in the back.
'To the side', in the center.
'In back', in the front.
'In front', in the back.
'In front', in the front.
'In front', 'in front', down it goes 'in front'.
|Woman (Text):||Her bitterness gathers in front of her. As Amy Glennon descends the staircase into it, and is swallowed alive in its thick dark chill, she realizes for the first time that the opposite of bitterness must be water.|
|Amy:||Oh, the Great Old Fathers of Science and me, we were so in love. We took baths together; we swam in the seas and rivers; we drank water; we froze and heated and vaporized water. Together we were making a story from re-animated morning dew and spring rain. The story was an elixir, a legend, a rhapsody, a song that the Great fathers gave me initiation to sing, and we rehearsed the number again and again, cleansing and rinsing its air-colored content. I perfected the melody with such a slow fix of glamour that the story became a string of pearls around my neck, and long beaded gloves, and clothes of marble dust, and I became the brightest star in the great white way. In the great white way. I was so in love I didn't even notice that the Fathers were changing the words to the story in such a way that I would drown in the watery dross of all the great themes we had nurtured together. My voice was heard everywhere, and my practices as a radio star grew, embracing the cylinder and the diamond disc, round-headed sapphire needles, records pressed in amber and black wax, floral horns and fiddle phones. Distance always lends enchantment.|
|Pink noise. Song:|
|Amy:||We live in a story
of gloom and of glory
the universe isn't a static affair
We came from a fireball
and fell through the stars
to the earth's blue saltwater
|Fathers:||Symbols are nonsense
everything is surface
earth, fire, and the rest
all is determined, equated, and known
|Amy:||But look at the prairie
the mountains and canyons
earth took 4 billion years to make some dirt
And gravity is not a force
|Fathers:||Her name is Amy
weird, but mechanical
she is the finite American girl
|Amy:||What is the matter with me?
I am finite.
||You have no beginning or middle or end.|
|Amy:|| My heart is finite
and swelling beyond its size
inside of my bones -
|Great grey owl. Crickets|
|Train-chorus:||"Wa wa wa wa wa wa."|
|Amy:||Science can turn bones to an outcross of powder and flesh into a soul that they peel away. Science can steal drama the way bleach takes color, because the Fathers need the heat of passion to split the mind from the body, there's no other way. I call it piracy. They call it the one, divided. They call it fission. They call it the passion of their genius.|
|Train-Chorus:||"Brave enough for genius".
" Vindicate our species."
|Amy:||But genius isn't seperation, it isn't the one divided. The Fathers have misunderstood the whole idea. It's really coagulation,coalescence, the many is one, when sometimes your whole body wanders in a single particle of your mind, and other times your mind moves fast like waves through your body.|
|Chorus:||"Particle yet wave."|
|Amy:||Genius is forethought. Its' the second thought. It's a kind of inspiration. It's an ancient air that everyone has forgotten how to do.|
|Chorus:||"Vindicate our species."
"Be brave enough to be a genius.
|Amy:||Now they say the story of the species is: You're born, you discover, you appropriate: that nature is dead, the world is a clock, and you can kick the dog like a doglike demon machine.|
|Chorus:||"They're fun, they're history, they're America."|
|Amy:||Fun? No, they're really not, they're not. Wait, wait, wait, wait, you've got to stop. They're not--they're a hoax and a rumor, they're gossip, they're figments and fate-spinners. No, they're the...|
|Chorus:||"Oracle mongers..."; simultaneously with Amy:|
|Chorus:||"Banner yet wave."|
|Amy:||They add the story like debt..|
|Chorus:||"Anthrax, ruby, and cinnabar."|
|Amy:||...so if we listen to them, if we watch them do it, our own time will spin us into theft and betrayal and disintegration.|
|Chorus:||"Ruby and cinnabar."|
|Amy:||Blister in heat, vehement fires, garnet fever, infection and putrefaction. A flood of red and yellow flames unleashed from the jaws of some kind of apocalypse.|
|Gavel. Auction house ambiance|
|Auctioneer:|| Very good. Let's mystify the word apocalypse.
'The 4 horses of the apocalypse--war, famine, pestilence, death'--right here.
'The dragon of the apocalypse with 7 heads and 10 horns', over there.
'The apocalypse of the beyond, called the fire of Gehenna', on the aisle.
'The 3 angles of the apaocalypse', right here.
Now, can we dissect this phenomenon--the three angels of the apocalypse? Yes.
'Ophidam', the boy near the post.
'Seraphim', the girl next to him.
'Cherubim', the boy near the post.
Now, young man, you have Cherubim, will you apply all three to the phenomenon?
Yes. Once, twice, three times applied.
|Woman (Text):||Suddently Amy is in the thick of an insight that comes on her like the ophidam, seraphim, and cherubim of the apocalypse. "My whole story is hidden in the bitter matter. The story is a creature coiled around my lungs who devours itself from the tail upwards until its entire body has been swallowed into its own scaling head."|
|Auctioneer:||Shall we psychify the creature? Let's throw the tongue
in this one.
'Uroboros', right here.
'Salamander', over there.
'Winged dragon', against you madam.
Will you go 'wingless'?
'Wingless dragon' for the lady.
'Celestrial pterodactyle' on the phone.
'Womblike giant serpent' on the floor.
'A sea dragon with a human torso and horned head', on the phone.
'A fabulous primordial serpent with a putrefying sea-anemone mouth growing on its back', absentee bid.
|Woman (Text):||A fabulous primordial serpent with a putrefying sea-anemone mouth growing on its back, awakens as Amy decends the last black stair at the deepest center of the earth. The serpent rears up from its bed of molten iron, and lashes its tail around Amy's bare feet. "Consider this," says the serpent, "Bitterness seldom comes from an unhappy fate. It arises in people who fight themselves."|
|Auctioneer:||The serpent is quoting from someone. What do I hear?
Do I hear Freud? Yes.
Sigmund Freud is standing at the back
Marie-Louise von Franz, in the front.
Anais Nin, beside me.
Amelia Ehrhart, absentee bid.
Henry Miller, on the aisle.
Andre Breton, at the back.
Djuna Barnes, to the side.
C.G. Jung, in the center.
C.G.Jung, C.G. Jung - has the quote.
Now, what is the source of Amy's bitterness?
'Shame', in the center.
'Remorse', the young man here.
'A cosmic violation', at the back.
'A melancholic nature', the young man here.
'Loneliness', at the back.
'Self-knowledge', I do see now in the center.
Anymore? 'Self-knowledge', in time.
|Woman (Text):||"Self-knowledge is a bitter experience in the beginning," continues the serpent, "because everything you are you must make your own. Therefore, stare at yourself as you are staring at me. Practice the divine bitter art. Make the hidden visible, and only then will you understand the whole work."|
Footsteps. Water cave. Fire
|Amy:||Pressing downward into the idea, something pulls me like a magnet. I can't see everything, but the light of pure darkness, stones of liquid, liquid penetrating liquid. I can't see the shape of the idea all around me, but it feels like a vessel, clouded black at the glass. This must be the nucleous, I must be inside the golden germ of my own brooding, where thought is fire alone.|
|Man (The Idea):|
|Amy:||Radical moisture in the brainpan, this arcane voice is really alive. Who does it belong to, I mean, is he the youngest place of me or am I the oldest place of him? I mean, he's the solution of something, maybe he's a lover of wisdom, and if that's true, maybe he knows the story of our own time, but he doesn't tell it. He listens to it. He gives it a fragrance of immortality because nature has kept it preserved in HIM--her liquid and malleable, pre-existent idea.|
|Chorus:|| "It's a bright astral blue, and it
rides like a stallion."
|Amy:||He's a horse with no rider, a horse with no rider, who's got order in his chaos, and the play of quantum, who always knows nothing when he observes the familiar, and who is full of the most profound doubt.|
|Chorus:||"Evolution is a billion year detour."
Mechanical music machine. Owl
|Amy:||Of course, it's the legend of the species, that humanity too will pass, and he's the sad voice of philosophy, 2.000 years lost, who has his mind in his soul, his soul in his heart, and his heart in his mind. He's the idea of what a human is, no one really knows, the idea that inspires you to produce a body now before there's no time left to do it. Salt the tail of the idea with fire, inflame the bitterness of your idea's throat, and taste with the taste of bitter things. Brood this substance into heat, not so hot that the story evaporates, but just the temperature of fresh horse dung, and cook it in the golden germ of the idea until it's volatile.|
|Amy:||Real bitterness finds a spirit through vapor, a heart through anguish, a glowing flesh through the rigor of gold, a mind through finality, and a principle through the bitterest root. Real bitterness is a kind of self-heating that cooks its stained and perfumed grace into an original human form. And just when there are sparks of breath, when there is a subtle quickening, then move into the body--my head a rose-gold crown, my feet seeded with streaks of pearls. With you, my Idea, I have made this body. You have entered my ear and opened my tomb; and with this body I have made the hidden visible, which is the practice of the divine bitter art, and that is the whole work as I understand it.|
|Auction house ambiance|
|Amy:||I didn't know àyou Ä had a body. I thought you were the voice of my idea. I mean, it's...wait a second. I seem to be falling, I seem to be falling through, I...|
|Woman (Text):||"I seem to have run into myself, becoming myself ," rejoins Amy, staring in fixed amazement at the writhing creature before her, as it tightens its tail around her feet and opens wide both of its putrefacted mouths. With vigor, Amy raises her small harpoon aims rightly, and shoots the serpent in the heart of its gullet. A spume of fiery, lung-driven, radical water spews forth and a viscous black mass oozes through a fissure in the side of the ancient bulk. And as the serpent corrosively expires, out climbs Amy's bridegroom---the genuine man of philosophy---twirling his subjacent consciousness like a prayer wheel. Still clutching her jar of lizards, Amy turns and runs up the sharp stone stairs, her philosophical bridegroom following quickly in her footsteps. As she reaches the top of the staircase, a perfect circle in the open air, Amy enters the world feet-first.|
|Woman (Text):||Behind her is the sickle moon, seen twice before the rising of the luminiferous morning sun. Above her are bright plumaged birds, aloft in the warm wind. As the inheritance of a thousand centuries falls away over her shoulder, Amy slowly turns to philosophy, who comes forward now and holds her in his arms.|
|Auctioneer:||Now, it seems that her bridegroom is holding some
kind of object. What is it?
'The fiery red sulphur', the lady on my left.
'The philosopher's stone', the gentleman on my right.
'The seven-petalled flower', the man there.
'A vessel of quicksilver', right here.
'A cup of coffee', the woman in the center.
'A cup of coffee', is that your bid?
All right, 'a cup of coffee', just in time.
Shall we make it plural? Yes. Two cups of coffee, that's wonderful.
Now, what sort of cups are they?"
'Canopic jars', thank you sir.
'Styrofoam cups', you madam.
'Paper cups', my bidder.
'Styrofoam', you madam.
'Paper', my bidder.
'Styrofoam', yes madam.
'Paper cups', my bidder!
|Woman (Text):||Amy's bridegroom is holding two paper cups of coffee as if they are the ends of a divining rod. They raise their paper cups and drink down the divine bitter water of Amy Glennon's wisdom.|
|Auctioneer:||Excellent! What am I bid for this magnificent postmodern
alchemical opus: The story of Amy Glennon who faces the dark ground of
herself and thereby transmutes her bitterness into wisdom, who unites
her matter and her mind, and who redeems her human soul from the body
of a putrefying serpent, all toward the fruitful marriage of pure science
and mythological philosophy. What am I bid for this entire text?
Start the bidding at 400 thousand dollars.
4 hundred is 5 hundred is 6 hundred is 7 hundred, right here.
8 hundred thousand, over there.
9 hundred thousand, against you. Will you go 1 million?
1 million dollars, in the front row.
2 million dollars, over there.
3 million dollars, Aristotle at the back.
4 million, Roger Bacon to the side.
55 million, the Cartesian fathers, yes I'd be delighted to take your bid.
65 million, Copernicus.
100 million dollars, Sir Isaac Newton, there.
300 million, the Swiss Alchemists, here.
500, the Greek philsophers.
700, the fathers of relativity.
750, the fathers of Chaos.
850, the Quantum Fathers.
1 billion dollars for the Cartesian fathers.
1 billion dollars is now the bid.
2 billion, the Quantum fathers.
3 billion, the Cartesian fathers.
Yes! New bidder there in the center of the aisle.
5 billion, 120 million dollars and 4 cents, going once, twice, three times. SOLD! To the young woman holding the jar of lizards.
|Train-Chorus:||"Amy Lovely, where are you?
get your gloves and say your knowledge."
|Amy:||In the light of the early morning -|
|Chorus:|| "One becomes two, two becomes three,
and out of the third comes the one as the fourth."
|Amy:||I awaken in my birth and I feel myself electropult in the confidence of creation. And in the wings of my own story, I go running with an apple in each hand.|