Opéra Bouffe                         Neil de la Flor, Maureen Seaton & Kristine Snodgrass

 

 

Venus, my oriflamme!  My sweet shield, such is a cannon. Place a mirror to it and we will all remain constant in the depth of the light, the tunnel. Pull something from me.  Pull me a tin or an overturned bowl. We had water, you see?  It is gone. It walked down to the shore to be with sister blood. We swish and swish. We sway to the light.  

Such a billowy stream—arms and legs of cannon fodder floating and the way armor peels away like a hospital gown—in the name of spears and lately hazmats we love yummy war. We do! We lick it! 

And we all know you were the mother of the bastard child we love to call son. And we know your flesh is not real but we want to touch. And we know that you were abloom in something scandalous and anti-something. And we all want to be you because you are about-faced. And we abolished the need for gravity.

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Mars, I know your sons. Such elegy and dereliction. Take me to the charnel house and I will refute your bound love. Let me tie your boots and I will twist my torso for you.  See how the light is still on me? See how we admire you? We are intoxicated and intolerant in your dirty gaze.

Once, when the volcanoes threw ash too far and the people had carved the cold, it was like war had happened backwards. Petroglyphs and sex. You petrified me with your funny hat and your little skirt. 

Easter was always Saturday then. It was. And the man with color under his command, the one with the feather possibly in his hat, chose to paint a rendition of you and me in awhirl. It was Saturday and the idea of Lord or Master was ancillary as Andromeda without Perseus. I admired the swish in your eyes.

Ladies and men, can we not sing together? Sit, sit with the ashes of this one or that one and dance into the stone ruins. Play a range of notes into the depth and see what comes of it. Languid Perseus, remain staged and aloof. We will get along fine without you. 

 

after “The Return from War: Mars Disarmed by Venus,”

a collaboration by Brueghel & Rubens, 1610-1612