STICKFIGURE

 This is a monologue for two bodies, written in Trinidad, West Indies, spring '04; a kind of adoring and adorning of the Trinidadian tradition of Stickfighting:

Two fighters face one another with 3 foot sticks from the poui tree.
The goal is to "bus' head" - crack your opponent over the head so that blood flows.
The whole fight is danced to drums & chants that accompany and drive the bout.
Once blood is seen, the fight ends.
If the blood is copious, the stickfighter goes and bleeds into a hole in the ground. The "blood hole."
"Bwa" is the creole for "stick." (Usual sp. "bois.")

The "P-A-W" & "P-A-P" lines are familiar Trini license plate letters.
"Popo" is papaya.

The first and last lines are refrains from fight-chants, called Kalindas.


 STICKFIGURE
was performed by Curtis Gross, directed by Wendel Etienne, in the National Museum, Port of Spain.

Dirt stage.
Off-stage right the sound of one man, laughing.
Walking backwards from stage right a man enters, dressed in dirty chinos and a t-shirt, barefoot.
The man is dragging in a freshly dead naked male body, face up, legs first.
The body’s ankles are roped together, and with both hands the man drags the body by a bwa placed behind the rope, between the feet.
The body leaves a wet trail.
The man laughs as he drags the body.
Arriving at center, the legs are dropped, and the man jams the stick vertically into the ground between the legs of the body.
The man sits at the feet of the body, a soft distance away, crosslegged, laughter subsiding.
He quiets.
Gazes at ground and out at house. Not at body.
The ember of laughter in his eyes goes out.

After a time, beginning quietly.
To the ground, to the air.
There is a time to stand up, in the words.
And to sit again.
Plenty room to dance.

sung Ten thousand to bar me
pause

Rub two stick together
pause

laughing The woman on the cross has a penis
pause

P A W three one three nine
P A P six four ought seven
pause

I love that too
Fingering a girl through her fly

One soul

Ach there’s no real way to know There are ambiguities
Situational structural pleasurable biases buildings borders brickfaçades bloodlines boortime banterisms ways and means
pause

My forest goes silent when she appears
pause

Let me come in there let me come in there tell you just tell you
Inside
A whole grip of dirt a whole hand full of dirt I held my hands around your head your head in my hands
Is like now I can whisper in your ear holding the ground in my hands whisper in your ear I loved you
It was you only you only I loved
So f so
It was you
Now all the pages and pages still no not them it was you

Now I can put my tongue on your head, put my tongue to dirt taste you now say this now it was you not rum not weed not mining not sit down and rap nuh it was you always this You this head of wetdown dirt this tongue dirt this heart dirt this ass this balls this cunt this mouth all dirt it was you this here man this dirt fighter him love this ground this
pause

Then my forest she speak
pause

I broke the back of the world’s biggest world breaking the heart of a man like that see
Like that you know

sung Ten thousand

In his bus open heart there I find good dirt, rich dirt, good soil what the breaking opened up, what the breaking made come you need break a man like jerk him off sos his life pour you out his honey Life then fit for growing for eating for sowing for seeding only then so

Yes
And if you don’t have man’s heart then your own heart need break and then that the world’s biggest broken world and then the dirt’s own heart come pumping
There no other heart than a man’s in this world that search for the heart more broken than he
See soh

sung Ten thousand

Come he soh step step step
Come like baby bird on feet like strings
And he want me and cyan say so
And he put his hand in my pot and stir it round
All the way up to his elbow
Mmm, warm he say
Mmm, smell good
And he makes his own hand a spoon
And he drinks me down to taste
Mmm, he say
Mmm
And then makes like his mouth stuck, choking himself
Come up inside and spit me
And his eyes try finding mine
Looking like he cyan even see
You ain got taste for me not yet I say
and Fuck you think you get another
Me a go
And then him cryin him stahvin, him stahvin
And then I make like a great wave made of land
And wrap him up in it one time
And out the end of it I see likkle drip
And then I know his heart too ripe
An it bus like popo hit stone ground
The world’s biggest world done bus on my floor
Here fuh so carried in you see
Him sing him a sing how he love love 

Me
pause

In this world
There no other heart than a man

laughing The woman on the cross has a penis
Is inside our eyes we find our brides
Our grooms

In the blood hole facedown
In our rooms
pause

sung The song of the drum
The song of the drum

Sitting, he props the body up in front of him, and continues to hum-sing the kalinda tune, putting the stick in the corpse’s hands, and making it live like a puppeteer.
The stage slowly blackens.

End.