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Clean as a Broke Dick Dog Alex Stolis

The Red Ceilings Press

MMXI [rcp 35]

Clean as a Broke Dick Dog Alex Stolis

for J

Soundtrack: Drinking Again

Haley Bonar

Long Monday

John Prine

How Do You Think It Feels

Lou Reed (Berlin: Live at St Ann’s Warehouse)

Wasp Nest

The National

Pale Blue Eyes

Alejandro Escovedo

Perfect Halves

The Ashtray Hearts

9th & Hennepin

Tom Waits

You’re a Big Girl

Bob Dylan

I’d Rather Go Blind

Etta James

Rain Dogs

Tom Waits

How To Be Invisible

Kate Bush

When The Stars Go Blue

Ryan Adams

Where Is My Love

Cat Power

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry Cowboy Junkies Too Far Apart

Wilco (Austin City Limits 9/15/07)


Johnny Cash

prelude(nosebleeds and Falstaff) your friend wanted to kiss me but we fucked instead. seemed easy at the time to pretend it never happened. Crack open another beer; I’m drunk and you’re jilted, there is no romance without misery.

Act 1 Scene i the corner of 25th & Park it is spring & the sun is the kind of bright that comes from hiding out She (smiling as she walks toward him): Hello Him (smiles but does not say a word until they embrace): Hi there Their hands touch, briefly held and then silence. In her back pocket is a story she has been carrying for the past two weeks. She is trying to finish it for him. Brushing the hair from her face, she glances at him from the corner of her eye. Him: I gotta go She: Let’s meet later (hesitates) if you like Him: Yes. I would like that

At the bar she asks me to write a poem from memory promises me that whatever words we utter will be kept strictly between the two of us.

Act 1 Scene ii Pre-dawn in the parking lot of Walgreen’s Drugstore, the lot is deserted but for three other cars. They are in the back seat. They wait to be caught.

Letter number one Dear J, I want to lay with you, quiet and still; our lives, a murmur and hush in a foreign land Yours, L

--One week later the letter comes back unopened. In the corner under the return address someone has written “yes”--

two plus two will always equal whatever the hell you want it to: as long as you get what you think you want

I fell but not far enough to hit bottom

Act I Scene iv (Not a typo. There was another scene, (3), but what happened is of no interest and has little bearing on the following events) It is night. She is having difficulty staying warm, feels like a footnote but does not have the words to express this to him. They are in the parking lot of a Motel 6. He looks toward the road as he speaks to her. Him: I don’t like being halfway between things I don’t understand She (wraps her arms around herself): I’m not sure I know what you mean Him (opening his car door, looks to her and smiles): I love you She watches him leave, takes out a cigarette then changes her mind gets in her car and drives away.

the quick brown fox junps over the lazy dog the quick broqn fox jumps over the lazy dog the quick brown fox jumps ovrr the lazy dog the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog she puts a wooden match in her mouth and dares you to light it (everything but sin burns at the right temperature)

Act I Scene v It’s the obligatory last call clichÊ scene. (Shot in soft grays and mute blacks.) The one where he talks her into going home with him even though under normal circumstances she would have nothing to do with him. (Sharp focus to start but fade and blur slowly) She finally figures out that, yes, she really loves him, but it is too late of course. It is clear they will never see each other again. (Cue music and exit.)

--star light, star bright first star I see tonight.-Letter number two Dear J, I’m one of those guys at the bar that falls in love with you, the girl who woke up after twenty years of sleeping. Unsure of myself, I don’t try to buy you a drink but instead scrawl directions on a bar napkin, call it a poem. Last call is one more unheard cry yelled into the wind; drunken door slams and breaking glass reminds the orphans time is running fast. So I tear apart all intentions, hide them with my cigarettes, go home with the first woman who’ll get me there because I’m willing to take any chance but rejection. Later, wide awake and dreaming--I see you sleepless, writing stories for stray dogs caught in the rain. L

Act I Scene vi you will never be far from me, never out of reach; two bodies together make a silent prayer A well-appointed hotel room, a couple is in bed and it is apparent they have just made love. you watch me sleep, the corner of your eye, naked on my lips (Lights dim, screen fades & closes.)

Let’s skip the middle part get right to the action, cut immediately to the wowfinish and dispense with boring details. No one is really interested in the minutia of who did what to whom.

Act 3 Scene i She is in a studio painting. On the loveseat is a sleeping dog, you imagine his name is Otis. She is wearing a man’s oxford with the sleeves rolled up past her elbows. You think her hair should be tied back and wonder how she does not get paint in it, smile at the thought of her hair getting in her eyes. On the canvas is a still-life; a chair, a table, an ashtray and an unopened letter, the window is one-quarter open. You hear a man’s voice call her name, imagine it is her husband, imagine he is impatient. Imagine she does not love him. Otis raises his head, yawns, then lays his head back down. The sun streams in the open window, she becomes the filament that sets day apart from night, land from air, lust from love.

(Urban Haiku –after Basho) At Stand-Up Frank’s:   a cool fall night— getting drinks, we closed the bar, our hearts                      

Act 3 Scene ii   He listens to the tick, tick, tick of the engine as it cools down. The radio hums static, he wonders where she is. He reads the last story she wrote, the one with the unfinished ending. He tries to fill in the blanks but is uncertain and struggles to find the right words.   He appears to mutter something under his breath, turns the radio off, starts the car. Hands on the wheel (ten & two) he stares straight ahead. --fade to black  no music only the sound of the engine running-       

February 4 1:15 pm Hi, this is J, sorry I can’t come to the phone right now but if you leave a message I’ll get back to you as soon as I can... finally the birds have stopped maybe the rest of the day will be the beginning again

Act 3 Scene iii Street scene--black & white, sidewalk level: All you see are shoes; loafers, wingtips, boots. Some fast, moving in and out of the frame. Some slow (a woman loses her balance in a pair of heels). A cigarette butt bounces into the street. There is the low murmur of traffic. Slowly the sound of birds chirping blends into the soundtrack until the traffic and street noise is drowned out completely. A man coughs, the frame freezes. Count: one thousand one, one thousand two--screen goes black; mouth the words to your favorite song.

hip to hip and bone against bone, our shadows dissolve into air (souvenir) hold tight to the smooth coin, the one you found in St. Mark’s Square, the one that burns a hole in your pocket

Act 3 Scene iv (The scenes take place simultaneously) She is at home, cooking. Husband in his office not hiding the fact he is ignoring her. The dog in the corner of the kitchen watches her peel eggplant, cucumbers. She wipes her forehead with the back of her hand and catches a glimpse of a watercolor hanging on the wall. She knows every day tastes different: Monday is sour, Tuesday sweet (her breast, a small apple, fits perfectly in his hand). Wednesday is salty, Thursday bitter and Friday pungent, the taste of grief. He is walking downtown. Midday. It feels like spring, starts to sprinkle rain. He looks up, pulls a book out of his back pocket. Keeps walking as he thumbs through the pages. There is nothing more to learn.

(cheating at solitaire) Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday dear... One after another after another after one more after another and over and out

Act 3 Scene v It is dusk. An almost deserted street; one car parked on the corner. A car drives slowly down the street and turns the corner (left). A stray dog wanders into the frame. When it is in the middle of the street it stops, watches the car as it finishes its turn. Then it starts to walk across the street. Count: one thousand one--screen goes black; white noise. Count: one thousand one, one thousand two—silence. Cue music, roll credits.

Alex Stolis Alex lives in Minneapolis, MN

The Red Ceilings Press

MMXI [rcp 35]

Clean as a Broke Dick Dog  

by Alex Stolis

Clean as a Broke Dick Dog  

by Alex Stolis