Ultraslant  ::  Shop  ::  Journal  ::  About  ::  Submit  ::  Cart

Jayita Bhattacharya

Aroused Planets Crash Soundless
A monologue, I think.

Vivian’s eyes – black, no brown.
Licking now my hand
the back of my—
so aroused more erotic than i—
I’d have wanted
a thing to be
(we only have minutes)
(to go)

Vivian muses – a muse amused.
She bites me it doesn’t hurt
still all I can do is watch her teeth

this not-witnessed silence might not be silence at all.
some where—two planets, three planets, crashing
into one another
(it was an accident, of sorts)
the one had only meant to lick the other on the hand (had seen this done on tv,
millennia ago) neither planet had expected to be so aroused.
“This is pleasing, momentarily, this world I am grazing. Am grazing on.”
the third planet just got caught in their rip tide
(Vivian’s eyes get darker the longer she stares. Except it’s not even Vivian)
two planets colliding and quite so close cannot be—be—be—word for
resisted/avoided…be escaped.
there there was must have been the sound of their crashing
but distance is too great from there to here to now (even carried on light’s coattails)
worse the planets in their crashing cannot witness my silence inside of this room, it’s not
silence at all but the memory of the imagined sound of their coming at into out of each

(in sound’s event horizon: does it go before light into gravitational collapse? what
dies first – the sound or the light?
“Thick pile of dust, what then?”)

the intelligence of this body can be neither measured nor overstated. this body is dying.
what does it understand that i cannot know?
can the body in its vast intelligence discover, emit, the sound of a universe? can it emit
the infinity of sounds within this sound? (she emits a sound, listens for the universe)

He Laughed A Little Too, but Very Low    

He thought about the goats, but then remembered his mother's warning.
He went home instead.
He laughed too little, this he knew.
But what was he supposed to –

It is here, in the marshes that we remember to play with fire.
Because this is where it's easiest to drown it.
He won't play with fire when you ask him, but if you just start playing sometimes he'll
join you.
He's very serious, but this is to be expected, since his mother has forbidden him from
falling down.
A terror of falling will breed all sorts of eccentricities.
Just look at him, it's obvious.
When he laughed he laughed too low.
So she was discouraged and went elsewhere to play.
He thinks if she comes round again maybe things will be different.
He'll never think of it for more than a moment, for fear the thought will be caught out,
but he's waiting for his mother to die.
She isn't, dying.
He thinks about things the way they were before – when he couldn't walk yet and so was
not forbidden.
He can't remember much about before.
He goes back to the marshes but no one is there, and there've been no fires.
He wishes and wishes he weren't so serious, and tries to stumble down the hill behind
the broken steeple and perhaps scrape a knee or blacken an eye but his balance is too
good and besides he's still afraid of her, his mother.
He wishes for a time before her and doesn't think there was one.
He thought about the goats the one time, forgetting.
At the bottom of the hill and he sat, he cried and cried.
He tries to laugh again, he's getting older, but now no sound comes out at all; he

They haven't spoken in years, not since that other day when his laugh wouldn't come out
right, and she's watching from behind that tree over there.
They consider clasping hands, but then he remembers the goats and what came of
forgetting the warning, he won't do that a second time.
They falter away to forget each other's names again.

1Gertrude Stein, Three Lives

Jayita Bhattacharya is an interdisciplinary writer, director, performer and choreographer whose work includes To End To Seem To End, today like a kind of shivering, I Know the Bird By It's Call (but do you know the bird's call?), ElvisBride, Make Sweat an Oak, should we put it out? (the smoke), and Green Science Bloody Done Hate. For Curious Theatre Branch she has directed or assistant-directed Waiting for Godot, Endgame, The Caretaker, Mexico, and The Madelyn Trilogy, Part II: The McGuffins Run the 440. She holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.