Kabuki Sundays: Dancing on a Big Wave under an August Summer Moon – Act II

(Click here to read Act I)

Esmeralda and Diamante both enter from stage right in a hurry. Esmeralda takes off her blonde wig revealing short brown hair. She slips out of her black gown to reveal a white t-shirt and black and purple shorts underneath. She takes off her high heels and slips into a blue pair of flip-flops.

Esmeralda: My name isn’t really Esmeralda, it’s João.

Diamante: I didn’t ask.

João wanders back over to the bench, sits down, crosses his legs, places his elbow on his thigh and his chin in the palm of his hand and lets out a sigh. Diamante takes off her wig as well, revealing slicked back black hair. She tosses her dress and socks to the side, so that she is now only wearing a snug sunga bathing suit and quickly runs her hands down her body.

Diamante: My real name is Filippe.

João: Grand!

Filippe: I didn’t ask.

João: I was staring at the moon the other night.

Filippe: You shouldn’t do that.

João: Why not?

Filippe: I dunno, the light or something. It’ll make you go blind.

João: I’m pretty sure that’s the sun.

Filippe: If it were the sun, then that’s what I would’ve said.

João: Ok. Well, I was staring at the moon and it got me thinking…

Filippe: This isn’t going to end well.

João: Can I finish?

Filippe: I wish you wouldn’t.

João: Filippe!

Filippe: You’re so sensitive sometimes.

João: I was thinking, well, you know how beautiful the moon is right? I don’t have to say it, do I?

Filippe: No, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the moon before. Please tell me what it looks like.

João: You’re a gas, you know that, Filippe?

Filippe: That’s not how I would describe you…

João: So it’s so beautiful, and I was thinking romantic thoughts, and suddenly it hit me: I should get a new job!

Filippe: I told you this wouldn’t end well.

João: I was thinking maybe that’s just what I need. A new career, a new start, a new…

Filippe: Who would hire you?

João: I’m a very talented young man. Want to see what I can do with my tongue?

Filippe: Ewww, pass! Why would I want to see that nasty thing?

João: And you know how passionate I’ve always been about money. This could be the break I need!

Filippe: And what kind of work did you have in mind exactly?

João: Oh, that part doesn’t really matter, does it?

Filippe: Umm…

João: Ohh, I know, a star! I’m going to work as star!

Filippe: Maybe you should think about something that’s a little more in demand at the moment.

João: Good idea! I could be a computer star!

Filippe: Of course…

João: Filippe! Go get out your phone and start filming!

Filippe: You were serious?

João: Hurry up!

Filippe sighs and pulls his phone out of his pocket. 

João stands up and turns his back to Filippe. He puts his right hand on his head while extending his left hand outwards, twirling it around his wrist. His hips slowly start rocking back and forth, up and down. Gently he brings his hands back down, brings them up and down, back and forth in waves until his whole body becomes an ocean, moving at the whim of distant lunar objects, moving to the call of a clarinet.

João’s hips thrust forward and then stop. His hips thrust to the left and stop again.

João touches the top of his head with his left hand as his right hand nearly floats away.  First his left than his right leg fly out to the side and come back. His knees contort into fantastic angles and come back. He throws his left shoulder down to his hips and comes back. He throws his right shoulder down to his hips and comes back. Then he lowers both of his hands back down again and stops suddenly. 

His head drops all the way down to his knees, and he sweeps the ground with his hands. The tambourine and drums start, and then he really gets into. He slowly raises himself again grinning, tears off his t-shirt and lets go altogether.

His hips go wild. His arms just barely stay out of the way. This is when his chest and shoulders start: POP-boom-boom, POP-boom-boom! They’re out of control; they’ve got a mind of their own. João is still grinning. 

Doesn’t he notice? Isn’t he at all concerned? What if his hips go this way and his chest goes that way, and they completely detach from each other? But João doesn’t look the slightest bit worried. 

As if this weren’t enough, his legs go flying out from under him again, first one then the other and he starts spinning in circles. Each part of his body seems completely independent from and uninterested in what the other part is doing. His stomach looks like it’s caught in a never ending earthquake; he bends backwards and shakes his short hair so that it almost scrapes the ground, then suddenly he vaults forwards into a front flip and lands in a split raises his arms into the sky and screams out with joy. 

Life is beautiful!

Filippe doesn’t say anything. He turns off the camera and puts it slowly back in his pocket.

They’re both silent for a few minutes.

Filippe: Hey, João! What school did you go to?

João: What do you mean?

Filippe: I mean where did you study?

João: How should I know?

Filippe: Because you went there!

João: It was a long time ago…

Filippe: You’re not that old, João!

João: I’ve had more important things on my mind!

Filippe: I doubt it… Why don’t you check what you put on your resume?

João: My what? I don’t speak French, Filippe!

Filippe: Your resume! Jesus, João, you do have a resume, don’t you?

João: I’m a beautiful young man in my prime, and everybody loves me! What more could I possibly need to get a job? A suit? Do you think I need a suit, Filippe?

Filippe: I don’t think that’s your first priority.

João: I bet I’d look good in a suit, don’t you think? Where’s a mirror when you need one?

João gets up from the bench and starts looking around in bushes, behind trees and in a trashcan.

Filippe: If you find where I left my ouzo, let me know!

João: I know I left it around here somewhere…

Filippe’s phone starts ringing.

João: Don’t answer that! It might be Leon! I can’t talk to him like this.

Filippe: That’s great… Did you find my ouzo though? Try checking if I buried it in the grass behind the water fountain.

Filippe’s phone is still ringing. Filippe looks at it calmly before answering.

Filippe: Hello? Yes? Yes? Uh huh. Really? One minute. Yeah. Sure. Yeah. Ok. Hold on. Yeah. Uh huh. I’ll go get him. He motions to João. It’s for you!

Filippe tosses the phone to João who almost drops it and glares at Filippe before answering.

João: Hello? Yes? Uh huh. This is he! Uh huh. Yes. In five minutes? Uh uh. Yeah. Sure. Where? Yeah. Yeah. What? Ok. Ok. Ok. Ok. Thank you! Ok. Ok. Ok. Great! Bye.

Filippe gets up from the bench, crouches down on all fours and starts looking around.

Filippe: This is going to drive me crazy.

João: This is crazy. I don’t know how they found me.

Filippe: I couldn’t have drank it all, could I have?

João: Do you think they saw the video you posted on youtube? Does this mean I’m going to be rich and famous?

Filippe starts digging up dirt with his hands and tossing it aside. João is pacing.

João: I’m kinda hungry… Oh, but I can’t wait! I can’t wait!

Filippe’s head is now buried in the grass and his elbows are pointing out to his sides.

João: Filippe? …FILIPPE!!

Filippe turns his head slightly towards João.

Filippe: Yeah?

João: What are you supposed to say at an interview?

Filippe: How should I know? Just don’t be too honest, ok? Make yourself look good.

João: I can’t lie at my job interview!

Filippe: Look, like the French poet Steve Jobs once said: Earnestness is for books.

João: I don’t get it.

Filippe lifts himself up from the grass, walks over to João and calmly but forcefully slaps him.

João slowly shifts his gaze from Filippe to the sky behind him.

João: Ummm… I gotta go. Bye!

Filippe: Bye!

João starts walking towards stage left. Two green lights appear in the sky and get bigger and bigger. As the lights get closer, it becomes possible to make out what appears to be the dark outline of a spaceship.  

Filippe’s head is back in the grass again. The lights on the stage dim.

Kabuki Sundays: Dancing on a Big Wave under an August Summer Moon – Act I

The curtain opens revealing the figures of Esmeralda and Diamante on stage. They are standing on a stone path holding beautiful umbrellas with intricate colored patterns and images. The artwork on Esmeralda’s umbrella depicts a giant fish leaping out of the water after a smaller fish that’s already in the air. On Diamante’s umbrella there is a purple plum tree in full bloom. Esmeralda is wearing a long elegant black ballroom gown with sequins. Diamante is wearing a short bright red strapless dress and bright blue socks.

Esmeralda is about to speak when a turkey enters stage left gobbling loudly. The animal struts in front of the the two characters, staring them down, before sprinting off stage right. A stage hand appears stage left panting and chases after it off stage right.

A light mist falls from above.

ESMERALDA: This rain is bad for my health.


E: No, I’m serious. I can already feel a cold coming in the back of my throat.

D: Hmmmmm.

E: What do you mean ‘hmmmm’? Do you think I’m making it up?

D: Hmmmmm.

E: Diamante!


E: Sorry?


E: What?

D: You smell bad, Esmeralda.

E: Diamante!

D: Putrid.



Esmeralda yanks on Diamante’s dress and rips a piece off, which she proudly waves in front of the audience. Diamante claws at Esmeralda, but she jumps aside. Diamante slaps her hard in the cheek. Esmeralda giggles and then sits down on a bench. Diamante moans, and then sits down shortly afterwards.

D: I do wish you’d take a bath though.

E: So do I. It sounds nice.

D: Yeah.

E: Yeah.

A phone rings. Esmeralda struggles to locate the phone before yanking it from underneath Diamante’s legs. Diamante sticks her tongue out at her and Esmeralda bats her away. She answers.

E: This is she.

D: I like shoes.

E: Hello?

D: I’m a beautiful woman normally, but with the right pair of shoes… wow, just wow!

E: You bastard, fuck off and die!

D: Esmeralda! That’s no way for a lady to talk.

Esmeralda looks at Diamante with a cold grin.

E: Fuck you, too!

D: What’s the matter with you?

E: It’s a mystery.

D: What do you mean?

E: Some bastard keeps calling me and hanging up before I can answer.

D: Maybe it’s Leon.

E: It’s not Leon.

D: You never know, it could be.

E: It’s not Leon!

D: Maybe you should let me answer next time. You’re probably scaring him away.

E: It’s not… You barely know him anyways.

D: He’s so beautiful!

E: I told you not to fall in love

The phone rings again. Diamante snatches the phone out of Esmeralda’s hand and runs away giggling and hides under a bush.

D: Hello? Hello? You gorgeous devil, are you there?

E: I should buy you your own phone so you stop taking mine.

Diamante, still crouching down, stares at the cellphone and frowns.

E: I told you it wasn’t Leon!

D: Why doesn’t he want to talk to me?

E: It’s not Leon! They probably want my credit card information.

D: So give it to them already! You might win a SmartCooker!

Diamante stands up and paces in front of Esmeralda, who massages her eyelids.

E: I’m not going to ask.

D: Haven’t you seen the videos on Youtube? You can cook an entire chicken and it will come out tasting like a fish!

E: It’s quite a time we live in!

D: It’s quite a time to live!

Inviting brass notes break in from offstage. Calling and responding to each other. Diamante looks at Esmeralda and nods, and they both stand up. Esmeralda sprints to a nearby trashcan, tosses her arm at her side and gallops back with periodic jumps. A drum line sounds. Esmeralda tosses her arm towards Diamante and nods again. Diamante dashes into Esmeralda’s arms, who proceeds to toss Diamante into the air, catch her again and spin around in a circle. An entire orchestra is now playing in the background. The drum is getting louder and louder.

Esmeralda puts Diamante back down at her side, they step apart, Esmeralda raises her right arm and Diamante raises her left, and they gaze off to God only knows where. The orchestra is getting faster and faster: BOOM-bah-bah! BOOM-bah-bah! Esmeralda and Diamante switches places and hold hands. They take two steps to the left and jump in the air, then they take two steps to the right and jump in the air. Then they jump backwards and throw their hands in the air.

Their steps are getting faster and faster. It’s hard to keep track of where their feet are at any one moment. They grab each other around the waist with their right arms and spin in circles. Faster and faster and faster and faster and…

The phone rings again. The music cuts. They stop suddenly and Esmeralda falls to the ground. Diamante hands her the phone.

E: Never mind I’ve got to get to work.

D: Me too!

Esmeralda places the phone on the bench and they both exit off opposite ends of the stage. The phone is still ringing after they’ve left.

(Click here to see Act II)

Serious Writing


I want to write something serious
a theory
an interview
an article
editorializing everything
a piece of think
a transcript
from my visit to the shrink
a review
a political thing
manifesto, I meant, manifesto
a recipe
capital J – journalism
a clever tinder profile
a biography
a play with no lines
ad copy
a thesis
a textbook chapter

But all that comes out is stupid fucking

blow me

Of Ants and Babes

Growing up
I knew I was special
My ears were bigger
My fluff was thicker

My pillows were made of dreams

Give me your honey covered tongues
Or I’ll tear them off
Hand over your hearts
Or you better watch out

Life isn’t for the easy sitters

Ants tear into the skin
Heh, look at them go
Stare into the lights

And they’ll start to glow

I told my mommy to keep it down
Told the mailman to watch his head
I am the Batman
Coming for you tonight

In bed before nine and I’ll be alright

I can’t escape my fate
Greatness among ya
Hold my crown while I spit
I’m the bearer of the claws of justice

Perpetrator of the laws of trust us

Ants tear into the skin
Heh, look at them go
Stare into the lights

And they’ll start to glow

Death from above
I am the chosen
It’s what I tell the doll
When I’m about to drop

Some plastic munitions on its head

Freedom is another word for play
With the cat’s tail or chasing
He’s better off this way
You called me your favorite little man

Come give me my hug

Ants tear into the skin
Heh, look at them go
Stare into the lights

And they’ll start to glow

The crowd cheers
The girls fear me
I am a dinosaur
Throw them in the pen with the rest

There is no rest, I’ve got school soon

I love me a little competition
Why are you crying?
Sit in the corner, you’re out
No time for mourning

What’s fair is fair is fair is fair is fair is fair is fair

Ants tear into the skin
Heh, look at them go
Stare into the lights

And they’ll start to glow

I am your son
You can’t deny me
I am your son
Isn’t this what you wanted?
Isn’t this what you wanted?

Isn’t this what you wanted?

Ants tear into the skin
Heh, look at them go
Stare into the lights
And they’ll start to glow