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. )
I am currently looking for a well-appointed garden shed or cave for hermetic possibilities on your property.
I require very little upkeep as I am partial to voles. I am suitably apoplectic, adequately eccentric, and erudite in my mutterings.
Let me be your living lawn ornament.
I can be reached at… I am not reachable.
“And so with the
sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things
grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning
over again with the summer.”
I wrote that. From my novel Gatsby: Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires, The Great. The slow molasses transmutation from spring into summer…
Ah, summer. Blistering. Parching. Incandescent. Tweeds scratch. Starch collars pinch. Seemed the only way to cool down was to splash in the fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel, kick back a quart of bathtub gin, and bare-bottom wrestle Hemingway to the pavement (whenever the arrogant bastard was in town). Smoke Chesterfields. Do the latest dance craze. Zelda would throw shapes and pitch fits.
And we would drink more gin.
While I was often too incapacitated to write anything beyond a string of unrelated flapper idioms, I have to admire these playwrights of whom you’ll see on these worldly-wide web-net pages of The Good Ear Review this summer. These are writers who, presumably, are not distracted by the cool, tall glass of the Tom Collins, or the flat-footed thumping of Zelda’s schizophrenic pirouettes.
Yes, spin, my darling. Spin. Without the cat, dear.
You will find that these dramatists exude a certain talent that I had when I was, say, 23—fresh-faced from bullshit Princeton and full of all the promise of jazz and endless nighttime. And one mammoth, mountainous, hugely humongous, ever-flowing pyramid of martini, martini, martini.
Over the hot summer weeks, expect wondrous new monologues from Natalie Smith (UK), Kim Wiltshire (UK), Richard Ballon (USA), Ella Greenhill (UK), Ethan Kanfer (USA), Les Hunter (USA), Claire Booker (UK), Nathaniel Kressen (USA), Susan Hodgetts (UK), Rahila Gupta (UK), Michael Monkhouse (UK), Dick Curran (UK), and Deirdre Dowling (USA).
Have yourself a good drama read and pass the scotch, Scottie.
Was it Chaucer who said, “Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote / The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote” which, loosely translated from Ye Olde Englishie, means “April follows March in the Gregorian calendar as established in 1582.” Clinical, yes. But you could see that Chaucer was indeed psyched by the season we call “Spring.”
I’ve been known to lose my bonnet over the months of begonias and bloodroots. Was it me who said, “A light exists in spring / Not present on the year / At any other period”? Yes, a little obvious, I know. Now that I look at that again. Yeah. That’s a bit crap.
With the promise of spring comes the promise of good writing. And that excites me. To no end. I believe it was me who penned “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” Totally and completely psyched. I mean it. I’m talking like the Zapruder film, where rhyme is the grassy knoll and rhythm is the Texas School Book Depository. Like that kind of psyched.
So, I’m super pleased and in wall-eyed wonder to have been asked by Sir Tristram Stjohn Bexindale-Webb (editor-in-chief) to give a peekaboo of some of the playwrights to be published on The Good Ear Review this spring. You will be seeing monologues by Catherine Harvey (UK), William Cameron (USA), Robert McClure Smith (USA), Taylor Gould (USA), Kevin McCann (UK), Celine Gibson (New Zealand), Lee Sutton (UK), Judy Darley (UK), Lucas Johnson (Canada), Kate Kogut (USA), Katherine Burkman (USA), Ann Harvie (Scotland), and Marjana Cosic (Serbia).
See? Look at her dancing already. Jesus, everybody’s got the spring fever. Did you reset your clocks an hour forward, by the way? If you’re too lazy-assed, get your Irish maid to do it. You don’t want to be all circadianly out of whack. Get with the programme—it’s the mid-19th century already, sugar tits.
Beware, beware! Take shelter! We are hurling toward the bleak mid-winter. Yes, we are. Now that Christian Christmas season is at a close and the New Year rings loud with its bells and cacophony. It is indeed mid-winter-esque, as you can plainly see.
But it need not be bleak! No!
I’m sorry—I was loud. (sotto) Nooo.
There are lovely bits of writing to make your mid-to-late winter as toasty and pleasing as a warm hand muff made of dead fox or some other swift and beautiful animal. You can expect to be reading monologues by the likes of Atar Hadari (UK), Jon Spano (USA), Yolanda Nieves (USA), Alistair Hewitt (UK), Niamh Bagnell (Ireland), Tracy Harris (UK), Carla Grauls (UK/South Africa), Colin Garrow (UK), Elaine Romero (USA), and Bill Cameron (USA).
I don’t have anything more to say.