MONOLOGUE: Garden of Crows

by Brian Beatty

Front porch of a broken-down suburban ranch house. Piles of black feathers litter downstage.

Early morning, just a flickering hint of sunlight.

STEVE, Late 40s.

STEVE wears plaid flannel pajama bottoms, a contrasting flannel shirt, a ragged, outdated sport coat, muddy work boots and a hunter orange knit cap pulled down to his eyebrows. 


These neighborhood crows know something they’re not telling us—and they refuse to shut up about it. So I’m out here every morning, a bit before sunrise, with my cup of coffee and my shotgun.


What I’m doing is doing everybody a favor. That’s right. A favor. Can’t leave your windows open if you expect to get any kind of beauty rest. That’s what my wife used to say. My ex-wife.


Before all this ruckus, I was one handsome son-of-a-bitch. She’d say that once in a while, too. If she was drunk.


Look at me now. Not a pretty picture. I know it.


So my plan is to blast every last one of these birds to Crow-dom Come. Their smug, smart-ass days are numbered. Nobody appears to miss the couple dozen I’ve blasted so far. Haven’t heard any complaints, anyway. Except that morning some shot ricocheted off a city streetlamp post and beaned Mrs. Nelson’s front door window glass. She got a little upset, I suppose. Then I got upset. That crack cost me a hundred bucks. But the old lady was sweet as can be again, once it was all fixed up. She carried over a pie fresh from the oven the very next day. Old Man Nelson chuckled he wished she’d find it in her heart to be that nice to him sometimes. Then the two of them scooted back over to their house to hide.


I quartered that hundred-dollar pie into four and ate it for breakfast the rest of that week. Brought it out here so the birds could see I wasn’t done with them. Tossed the plates off the porch like clay pigeons. Thought that would send the message. Think again. These are the dumbest goddamn creatures you’ve ever seen. They just keep it up with that same stupid, blank stink-eye. As if I’m the one ought to be scared. I’m not scared. Merely annoyed. We’re not living in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950s around here.  Continue reading

(Sir) Tristram Bexindale-Webb implores you to…Meet Our Summer Intern Applicants

Meet Charlotte Branney. She’s scrappy, bounding in energy, and is fully quasi-illiterate. She is able to crawl under men’s legs and slip her hands into their pockets, retrieving the finest of treasures. Knowing the alphabet up to the letter “D,” Charlotte may be useful in obtaining office supplies at a very low cost to us. At no cost, actually. None at all.

This nameless applicant (on right) is a personal acquaintance of our in-house urchin. Were this applicant taken on as a summer intern, it would present confusion in addressing him aggressively. Would he be referred to as Urchin 1 or Urchin 2? Will his still-soft head sustain the blows of my rolled-up Daily Telegraph? Which urchin am I supposed to kick first?

Yes, I know. He looks a bit old to be an intern. But Edwood’s application is impressive.  He’s high-spirited. He often initiates games and larks. His feet compulsively move in a sort of dance or “reel.” He is rarely sick with bile. His rants are minimalist. He will only steal from those he despises. He’s an “even” drunk—at once belligerent and glad. He is happiest with buttons, twigs, and lint. He only tried to kill one American president. He rarely wets himself, when “rarely” means “always.”
He is not my father.
Can you help us decide to made this difficult decision with supplementary decision-making?(Just tell me what to do. )

MONOLOGUE: Liora (God’s Gift Of Light To Me)

by Kimberly Mercado

Interrogation room

LIORA, 20s, is a multi-racial young woman with a soothing southern drawl that evokes innocence.

LIORA sits in a chair on a bare stage.


That night child Jamal kept goin’ on an on about who knows what. I just made sure I looked like I’s listening real good. Frowning real hard like I’s thinkin’ with him. Except, I had a real hard time with that. I didn’t tell ‘im that or nothin’. But what’d he expect? We were in the middle of something else, you know gettin’ it on, and I’ve never been any good at doing more than one thing at once. Besides Jamal wuz never much for talkin’, especially when he’s in the middle of… um…

(Embarrassed) …Grindin’ and poundin’ like boys do. But that night child he kept goin’ on and on while he’s on top of me looking straight at me and what he said… Wait — I wanna make sure I get it right… “Liora, e-ve-ry human… person –” Yeah that’s what he said, “human person… when their life’s gone to crap realize suicide’s right there for one’s taking. Most try to shake their heads straight cause it’s a sin to go against God’s law but then for others, its God calling on ‘em.” And then as he come inside of me, Jamal shouted to the heavens above.

(Imitating Jamal, she shouts) “As God is my witness, I’m no coward.” I couldn’t keep my eyes off him even if I wanted to. Jamal’s hands found themselves around my neck. Grunting like a bull in heat. His dark eyes stared down at me while his sweat kept dripping on my forehead and his hands got tighter and tighter around my neck. Continue reading


by Deidre Dowling

Setting:       An artist’s studio in Paris, France

Time:          Christmas Eve in the late 19th century

Character:   JOANNA HIFFERNAN, 25 years old, artist and model. For six years Joanna was the Irish mistress of painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler.


Do I want him to come? Well, I do…and then maybe I don’t… I’m expecting “the curse” an I feel like a piece of stretched elastic…and I’m that mad at him. Who the hell does he think he is ranting and raving at me like that? Maybe he has some little whore’s melt lined up somewhere whose only too happy to put him up these last few nights

(She vigorously brushes her hair) The best thing my Da did for me—the red hair…the only thing…the drunken ole shite! Though, it has to be said…I’ve never met the like of him…and he does stir me up so! His lovemaking isn’t all talk like some I could mention! I suppose you can’t blame the fellas back home, what with the priest and their mammies breathing down their necks and them afraid they’ll be hauled before the parish priest and condemned from the pulpit for immoral and debauched behavior with a girl of “uncertain” character! If it wasn’t for me Ma, I’d have been carted off to one of those homes for women—where they keep you in slavery washing sheets and scrubbing floors. What would the good people of Ballyjamesduff make of me now? I could be living at home with nothing better to do than saying a Novena to the Blessed Virgin. I wouldn’t go back if they paid my fare and threw in a hundred pound! Glory be to God, I’d go out of me mind and be sent off to the looney bin like Mary Henderson! Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Modigliani’s Muse

A fantasy on poems by Jacqueline Kolosov

by Norman A. Bert

Outside an apartment, on a little balcony, 12 stories up.

Late at night.

PETE, 50s

PETE is in his pajamas, sitting in a plastic chair, smoking.


I get back from lunch, drowsy. Wander through those three rooms. My world. Mine? That’s a good one. Pictures of strange, long-necked women. Watch for the hidden camera, the reaching hand—what makes people think they can touch the paintings? Gotta remember to pick up the eggs, the tortillas—means taking the slow way home. Jesse. Who did he think he was, saying that to our mother? Then I notice her. Where did she come from?

Blue scarf. Foreign. Maybe European.

And then he expects you to fix his car. After a comment like that. Must be the water pump.

She’s slow, this one. Gonna be here a while. Methodical. One picture at a time.

Then the kids come in with their teacher. Third graders? Giggles. Pointing. More giggles. What was that teacher thinking? Didn’t she know about the nudes? She’s gonna catch hell from the parents. Serves her right. Continue reading