Ben Goertzel, September 2001




A poem-play, to be performed by a man and a brown-skinned Barbie doll.   The Barbie leans against a tape recorder, which plays a tape containing the woman’s speaking parts.



SHE:    Talk to me, baby

            Talk to me, baby

            Talk to me


[Long silence]


SHE:    Talk to me, baby

            Talk to me




SHE:    Talk…


HE:      What’s your favorite poem?


SHE:    I don’t know


HE:      Touch me with fingers of love, carry me to the moon on your wings, astound me with shadow love…


SHE:    No


HE:              Northeastern Alaska?


SHE:    No


HE:      Pork chops


SHE:    No


HE:      Soft light kisses all over your body, incurring trembling rhythms and shaking



SHE [smiling]:



HE:      Come here, let me kiss you … kiss ….


SHE:    No.   Not now…

            Not yet…




HE:      Dante’s Inferno?


SHE:    No


HE:             Paradiso


SHE:    No


HE:             Purgatorio


SHE:    No


HE:      Broken Oreo?


SHE [scowling]:



HE:      The Battle Hymn of the Pubic Pirates?


SHE:    No.  Certainly not.

Come on, don’t be ridiculous


HE:      Why not?


SHE:    … I don’t know …




HE:      The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost


SHE:    Heh.  No.


HE:      The Crap Not Taken, by Charles Bukowski


SHE:             Noooo….


HE:      Rainer Maria Rilke, the Duino Elegies

“If I cried out, who would hear me up there among the angelic orders?”


SHE:    No one would hear you

            No one would hear you at all

            No one hears anything you say, you moron

            Haven’t you noticed that?


HE:      Well….


SHE:    I think that I will never hear

            A poem lovely as a beer


            I think that you have never bled

            A poem lovely as my head


            I think that you have never smashed

            A poem lovely as my ass


HE:      Well…


[She stares at him, hand on her hip]


HE:      You know, I’d have to agree with you there

So honey … how about we forget about all this poetry crap and sort of …

head toward the bedroom, huh?


SHE:             Nooo….   

Not until you guess my favorite poem.


HE:      That wasn’t it?  That thing -- I think that I will never hear and so on?


SHE:    No


HE:      Alive words pound against my skull like poisonous, accelerated drops of rain.

Amazing skewers of ulcerated madness riddle my heart and mind.  My body

 yearns for you, explodes for you, sings for you bullets and soft tickled babies; my

 mind reaches out to explode you, to love you, encompass you, to dream you, but

 you always just pull away enchanting, wondering trembling but just out of reach.


SHE:    Well


HE:      Did you like it?


SHE:    I guess … well …


HE:             Purpleness.  Greenness.  Undulations.  Me gripping your flesh in my hands and

revolving.  Ascending to the ululating heavens in a whirlpool of chocolate

-covered infection.  My tongue does a dance of a thousand creations.  Your

fingers corrode the reality of death.  We are stoned, immaculate, bloodfellows,

insaning the braincage of love.  We trample on the graves of our ancestors,

daring them to strike us down, baffling them with our courage, creating new

technologies at random, reconstructing quarks and molecules in bold

configurations – the sun is our jacuzzi, the stars our hallucinogenic mushrooms,

the black hole of non-mind is our sun.


SHE:             Whoa….

            Was that a poem?


HE:      I don’t know…


SHE:    Well…

            Where did it come from?


HE:      I don’t know…

Look … can we…



SHE:    I think that I have never heard

A poem lovely as a turd


He [annoyed]:

That is not true

That’s just not true

You’re so full of shit


SHE:    Heh

            Well, that’s the truth


HE:      Truth? 

            Truth, yeah?

What is truth?

            Tell me that.


Let’s go to bed


SHE:    Now?


HE:      If not now, when?

            Enough foreplay..


SHE:    Is this foreplay?


He [thinks]:      

I don’t know


            I guess so




SHE:    The moon … is it … waves, rolling …. is it … delicate?  … is it … neon? … is it

bold and free?  Can you hold it at night, the moon, and snuggle it?  Can you

whisper in its ear, caress it, call it your cutie little beauty, your snookums

pooferlilly bunnyface, your sweetie tweetie beety cake?  Will it lead you down

paths of wild magic?  Can you surround the moon with your flesh and tell it it’s

the only one in the world?


HE:      No


SHE:    No what


HE:      No you can’t do those things with the moon


SHE:    Why not?


HE:      Well…

It’s too big, basically


SHE:             Mmmm…


HE:      I love you


SHE:    I love you too


HE:      I love you more


SHE:    No you don’t




SHE:    Do you?


HE:      I love you more than poetry


SHE:    Do you really?


HE:      Yeah


SHE:    That’s sweet


HE:      Is it?


SHE [quizzical]:

Yeah, I guess so


HE:      I don’t love poetry very much


SHE:    Oh


HE:      Can we go to bed now?


SHE:             Amazing cavalcades of madness.   I’m not even here anymore.  I’m non-toxic.

I’ve abandoned the earth for invisible moons babied up by the bowels of my

mind.   I love everything and nothing.  Can you dream me a magic unknown?

Move your fingers, make the nerve cells sing?  Speak to me silence in the top-secret code that the birds and the particles use?  You’re the only thing, but you’re nothing.  You are the man for me but you’re not a man at all, you’re a bundle of reflexes, particle and images.  You stand there holding me babbling and lusting but we’re not really here, not at all, not at all


HE:      I see


SHE:    Do you?


HE:      Yeah…


SHE:    So can we go to bed now?


HE:      Can we?


SHE:    Yeah, I think so…


HE:      Let’s go…


[Barbie disappears.]


HE:      Shit


Where are you?




Where did she go?


It was like she just vanished…










She’s gone


Was she ever really there at all?


No, no, I know she was


I couldn’t have been imagining her…






Could I have been imagining her?


She said she wasn’t even there at all…


She said I wasn’t really here either…


It’s all just the madness of the moon…


Or something


But here I am…


Here I am…








[Long pause]


SHE:    Hi honey, I’m ready….


[Barbie reappears, dressed in lingerie this time]


SHE:    What?  There you are…


HE:      All right!!!!

The inevitable happy ending


SHE:    I guess…

Is it inevitable?


HE:      I don’t know

I guess not …


SHE:    Well, come on now

Don’t let’s start that again…


HE:      I’m coming, don’t worry


SHE:    All right, then…


HE:            Mmmmm….


SHE:            Mmmmm…





HE:            Invisible fingers.   Laughing explosions.


SHE:            Condensing green rainbows.


HE:      Wild love.


SHE:            Rainflowers.  Moonshadows.  Beautiful things.


HE:      Blood pulsing, hearts pounding




SHE:    What is my favorite poem?




SHE:    It’s the air


HE:      Your favorite poem is the air?


SHE:    No




HE:      Hear my breathing


SHE:    Hear my breathing


HE:      Yeah




SHE:    I’ve got to…


HE:      Do you?


SHE:    Heh


HE:      Turn this thing off


SHE:    OK


[He turns the tape recorder off]