UAD Issue 12

Issue 12

THEATER
by Steven Salmoni

i

The ability to think in preliminaries fails; i.e. the “why” of the drama that you felt when you witnessed its beginning.  The effect of the auditorium derives from the pull of force acting at a given point, but even this may be all that one can make of gestures and glances omitted or postponed.

ii

One offers a play that holds every minute within a systematic study of its machine.  The course may be separating the “front of the house,” or a falling rain drop.  What is needed is the word for “what to put in, what to leave out” – that part of the graphic solution, a nail in the wall and a line drawn between in wire, with the horizon finding the bases of the proscenium arch and the tension in the wire.  Number depends upon showing the scene drawn taut.  Sometimes the bridge is given only in outline, and thus has a center independent of the orders of tension in the traces.  Flying against a background of black, passing over into the flesh of innumerable pulleys, one can draw, and draw, to see the evening, before hurrying off to draw again.

iii

We make use of the room, that transmissible form which says that the scene that goes by is the same, no matter what the set may be.  If you know nothing, you will find that the rope in each case is parallel to the road.  The shedding of light is a calculus that leads to the solution in the lamps, defined as the lamps that limit the sum of what is there.  The rooms themselves, in the spot-lit meaning of the moment, are the body’s extension to the place of points desired, the haven of point that is the effect of turning measures.

iv

A ladder rests upon and makes the moon provide a wall, with both ladder and wall blazing in the sunlight.  “The characters walked into the story” has no meaning; the wall is smooth, and out of it again comes the sum of the changing signs that stated where in the lines about each the play had chosen to move itself.  In the absence of any certainty, the orthogonal direction is more the noise of thunder, the wash of the concrete, and ourselves standing upright, a ready sea at rest upon the shore.  And conversely, if this condition holds, everything in the plane may vanish, and now a way of scene is possible: namely, from the footlights we can retrace our stops and infer the white and blue and vari-tinted bulbs, an equilibrium of borders that light the scene – were it not that this instance admits to further vanishings, namely: when taken as the vaudevillian incline of the horizon.  A picture of a drop painted to represent a hanging on the wall, the problem of interior of wood or forest; any point in space when the wall is smooth is touched in fleeting memories.  It seems plausible, a body that moves without rotation, dimmed and then excluded, eclipsed by the crowded impressions, and obliged, therefore, both to write and to be given a list of all the little unknowns.  We have no line, being resolved along that line.

 v

The wall, in the relief of the sun, on either side of the visible, describes nothing, but suggests a wall where anything might have its picture, as the character of “participation” in a sign, whereby the monotony of the wall is not more than the intimate tone in a scheme of forms.  The effect is in black and white heaped on masses of strange canvas, drawn in the twist of the summary sequences of white.  One means to curve as stone pressed down in grain, the scale of neutral values by grain, a motif as one treads within it, the dead leaves, never passing.  Generalities in foliage, stalks and branches seizing the scene.  We see the cusp but not the choice, the shudder of relief in the grade along the narrows, the shade that edges the roofed surface, but that never itself wrests size from the windows, from the depth of recess that it introduced within them.

vi

A gate is raised, traversed as a function of time.  I had not given a thought to characters who have nothing to do.  How unconscionable, then, are the hinges?  And the lengths and angles which therefore enter?  Changed to the interior where the light fall of snow on gate shines, rather than reveals, the mechanics only downward along the pathos of the story unfolded.  Finally, one finds intuition.  Atop the gate, to come by chance upon a disconcerted spring.  Here there is no conflict; they were doomed to end inside, and the rime is the folding radius of the distance that secured their end.

vii

We are led to the idea.  The air, you realize, is considered an elaboration at rest in space.  The stone diminishes as the stone before one thinks of spending time, a surface as the surface at the end of each.  There is no fiction of resistance, of what we would like them to be.  Now what we want is a relation.  You will recall the surface of the moon, how high our consideration of the germ of the surface led us farther afield than a mere moon.  A letter, from Paris to London, in consideration of the theme, and the letter released at the end and tying them all up in Paris, and how the letter would reach closely into what I hope may be a London, writing the problem of the text, for helpful definition, on the last page of the moon.

viii

The system is released; the system becomes slack.  The first of many vertical displacements, the span floats vertically before taking up the broader water.  Through what dramatic unities does one seemingly oscillate?  Developed into a near-plot, the buoyancy of the water is always just form.  The last is obvious – a plot has a small solution if it neglects a beginning, a middle and an ending, the retarding effect of the moon stopped, to find where it will stop, we assume, for good.  There has been no clearer statement of its course.  The sights are chosen, and we can make no apology for the harmonies draped around them.

 

Steven Salmoni is on the writing faculty at Pima Community College in Tucson, AZ. His recent publications include poems in Bombay Gin, Cannot Exist, Grasslimb and Anemone Sidecar, and articles in The Journal of Narrative Theory, Studies in Travel Writing and The Critical Companion to Henry James. An article on Charles Bernstein’s “Shadowtime” will come out in the Salt Companion to Charles Bernstein (Salt Press).