The Spectacular Origin of Theatre

The Spectacular Origin of Theatre

by Cam M. Roberts
(for Lisa Weller)

When you accost
the sheerness of the garb
which sprawls those surfaces
of privacy –  
the bodily dressing –  
You are nuanced no more
in the guise of gaudy design. 
You pull the stitches taut,
You fit into it,
Neither resembling Atwood’s accusation:
            You fit into me
            like a hook into an eye
            a fish hook
            an open eye *
Thus you fit into it
As if
Some magical flaw,
Flocking the prenatal womb
Of whence you came.
The thread reinforced,
Crossed, looped over
And under and again
And again and so on
And so forth –
Like the memory
Of an ocean wave,
Aquatic servitude
To pummeling amnesia.
Yes, actors, you are privileged
To stand still
While sizing up your
Anatomical dimensions
And your vanity’s ego. 
You must be calm,
stop spreading, look up,
straight, hang that up,
you’re late, you’ve lost
weight, fold along the crease,
not water-based, use the grease
paint, pants up to your waist,
wear a slip for heaven’s sake.
No, you’ll break it, that costs
Money kid, dammit, I’m tired,
I’m sick, I’m through
With this fucking bullshit!
As a rendering, all that’s needed
Is for the actor to be – to act, so to speak –
Like a blank inanimate canvas
To essentially have the imagined creation
Sketched ebulliently upon the fabric. 
Displayed like the synapses
Rapid-fire, shooting sparks onto
The page, the pistons pumping
Through the tight twitch.
The thundering spindle
Weaving a metronome of fibers
From the sewing machine –
Giving birth to genius
Looming textile opuses
From the needling wand;
The nimble hot and eroded
On the thumb –
I am the best you’ll ever have
Child, remember that,
I’m the leaves from the Garden of Eden
You snatched from the tree
To hide your body
You discovered;
A rather reluctant exhibitionist – woe is you –
Even the most corrupt eyes can shut to cover the rest of you:
Afterwards, your indulgences
At which you devoured the apple
Hooking your teeth into God’s eye;
Then God decided you were
Imperfect, Unfit, Unclean.
Thus, the mere sight
Of your naked bodies became
The barbed hooks
Impaling the bulging tight
Bloodshot eyes of yourself
And the other,
They’re all Screaming in horror, in horror –
This element is coded like blood
Sifting through the veins
Upon the zip, out of the buttoning up,
The tying of laces, the fastening of belts,
The brushing of lent, the collar adjusting
To your neck like a serpentine noose –
You are hidden and vanity takes you
To the necessity of circumstance,
A creation from the centre of the prophetic
Brain of which is born boldly
With posture rectified
And nuance rusticated
From the core of conceptual
Bliss; the dwelling space
Of enigma.
The glow commences as if
An impatient daybreak
Tore back and opened
The curtains of clouds
And melancholic falling night. 
The stagnant veal shorn off
In such frantic entropy.
The intangible thinking,
Stands incarnate
Stunning the perceptual
In-ward look –
A welcomed delusion,
A sideward step in another direction –
Whether shoes, worlds, lights, speeches, color of hues.
The costume is the thing – 

And you are not you. 


© CMR, 2013