Libretto

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<td width=”200″><strong>Description</strong></td>
<td width=”200″><strong>INNER SELF, Soprano</strong></td>
<td width=”200″><strong>YLAJALI, mezzo-soprano</strong></td>
<td width=”200″><strong>OUMENOS, baritone (outer self)</strong><strong> </strong></td>
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<td width=”300″>OUMENOS is scribbling underneath a streetlight. He has no paper and may be scribbling on a wall, telephone pole, a piece of newspaper, or his own skin. His forehead leans against the wall as he writes.&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″>OUMENOS barks at the children watching him.&nbsp;

OUMENOS scrambles to fetch the bread crumb.

&nbsp;

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”254″>It is not meet to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.&nbsp;

It is not meet to take the children’s bread. It is not meet…</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>woof!</td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″>As he reaches for the bread, his INNER SELF bites his hand.</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″>OUMENOS crouches, hurt, YLAJALI steps out from the butcher shop and throws a pile of bones for stray dogs onto the sidewalk. She doesn’t see OUMENOS, or maybe if she does, he seems a dog to her at that moment. She disappears into the shop’s backroom.</td>
<td width=”254″><em> </em></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>woof woof Woof!It is…</td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>I paused. (then through the doorway, into the butcher’s shop…)I held my right arm in my hand as if it were</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″>calling into the backroom</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Meat.</td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>the chops in the case. the sausage hanging on pegs. Which to–</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″>to INNER SELF</td>
<td width=”254″><em> </em></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>that is a minor question!</td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>And flanks. Which flank…&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″><em> </em><em> </em></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″>YLAJALI enters behind a counter or table, looking directly at him.</td>
<td width=”254″>Had I invented that word? Flank.It quivered, it was full of import

&nbsp;

(more real than the chops in the countercase)</td>
<td width=”212″><em> </em></td>
<td width=”284″>PORK… <em>(timidly, nervously, uncertain of what he’s really seeing)</em></td>
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<td width=”300″>concerned</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>Sir?</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>and there was the counter girl offering me her mouth&nbsp;

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″>She recognizes him. He does not recognize her. Or rather, he recognizes a figure from his fantasies and is confused to find her… real. (unintelligible small talk) [Hello, yes, can I, what, sir, OK, etc.]</td>
<td width=”254″>talking, only talking…

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″>You</td>
<td width=”284″>No…&nbsp;</td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>and there she was, as if she recognized me, turning to blush…she turned and there was only her ear and her delicious</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>&nbsp;

&nbsp;

FLANK</td>
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<td width=”300″>(in response to baritone, turning back, composing herself)</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>Cow or pig?</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>her lips the color of</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>BEEFSTEAK</td>
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<td width=”254″>(it was the girl from the spermbank)</td>
<td width=”212″>Beef then</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″>As an aside</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>With a mica of crushed glass&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Unless</td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>Yes?</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Unless you’ve something better to offer?</td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>(hadn’t I thought (yesterday?) that her lips were the color of…)</td>
<td width=”212″>Yesterday you said my cheeks were the color of</td>
<td width=”284″>cum

&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>Yes</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>Shhh</td>
<td width=”284″>But we’ve never met&nbsp;</td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>Had we met? Had we…she… that was not her.. that was not… meet(How much I’d rather sit still looking at her…)</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Yes?&nbsp;</td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>was she offering me her mouth?…

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″>Shh… (This flickering at night…)</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>Yes?</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Yes?</td>
</tr>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>Sometimes I hear…</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″>(INNER SELF leans in very close to YLAJALI– whispers in her ear as if to suggest what to say next?)</td>
<td width=”254″>The whisperings of the blood, the prayers of the bone…?</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Yes?&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>(silence)</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>(moves away) She said nothing of import …</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>PORKLOIN. SOUSE MEAT</td>
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<td width=”300″>(YLAJALI begins to take off her apron, climb atop the counter to sponge herself, very chastely, shyly)(only the INNER SELF hears her, not OUMENOS)</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>Yes. First I must wash…(In the casing of my thoughts…)</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>Yes! The skin is an admirably calculated machinery for restraining the consciousness it encases.</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<td width=”300″>(interrupting, turning from INNER SELF toward YLAJALI)&nbsp;

(calling on himself, OUMENOS, to return to scene in outer world)</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>CASINGS!</td>
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<td width=”300″>[But… Sir… my puntarella… my marmalata… my chubby little offal… Sir…]</td>
<td width=”254″>If the material encasement be coarse &amp; simple…</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>SAUSAGE?&nbsp;</td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>(frustrated)<em> They buried the hunger artist along with his straw and in what had been his cage they put a young panther…</em>&nbsp;

These kabobs of chatter These immediate products are but infallible indices of greatness…

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”300″>(Speaking to OUMENOS now, getting in between him and YLAJALI, who is now lying, somewhat clothed, on the counter)&nbsp;

&nbsp;

[a goat falls off a mountain, a donkey is consumed by bees…buzz…] [do you have goat heart… stung donkey flank…? a bone to gnaw…]

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”254″>Not sausage, not tenderloin, but: the martyred breast of an ancient strumpet… The piss of hogwash… I keep returning to the miry path… To thinking belong the movement as well as the arrest of thoughts…</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″>(to INNER SELF)&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Arrest, arrest!</td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″>[her apron now hung upon its peg][revolting]</td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>Shhh</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>No:after long negotiations we will tell each other our names…

&nbsp;

Hers, (I said, was) Ylajali</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Ylajali</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>it had a gliding sound…</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”300″>(YLAJALI hears this and stands on the counter)</td>
<td width=”254″>divorced from any body[NO…]

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>[PORK…]</td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>Mine, she said, was</td>
<td width=”212″>Oulomenos&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>She did not explain…Her mouth opened and moaned…her uvula flicking with o’s…

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>If I were to take the knife and(cut out her ululating parts)</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Cut out your ululating parts

&nbsp;

Ylajali…!

&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”300″>(YLAJALI lies down on counter again)</td>
<td width=”254″>She lay down&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>as softly as Dryope turning into a lotus</td>
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<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″></td>
<td width=”212″>Dryope</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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<tr>
<td width=”300″></td>
<td width=”254″>Flesh crept up to cover her clothes, enfolded her groin… she was.. And I… a rich man before his rich sauce…</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
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</table>
<strong> </strong>
<table width=”1049″>
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<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>I distill the eternal from the transitory</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Ylajali!</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>Afterward…would she wrap herself in butcher paper…?</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Ylajali…</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>In her mouth my tongue became grotesque</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>Oumenos&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>(A separation again— A cash register or external sound— OUMENOS is living one scene—a transaction in a butcher shop (?) and the INNER SELF is living a more intimate transaction.)</td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Goat heart! Merchant!</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>Her breasts</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>(can I see your breasts)</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>The breast meat&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>Perhaps INNER SELF has a meat cleaver in hand now? Or a fork?Director may decide whether YLAJALI is really there lying on the counter or whether she is conducting a more normal transaction with OUMENOS</td>
<td width=”252″>Her pre-slaughter eyes</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>On lamb chops mint jelly goes best</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>She lay before me…(on the counter… for inspection…)</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>(a slab)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>(the intelligent poor individual was a much finer observer than the intelligent rich one…)</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>You are lucky I’ve such a discerning eye…&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>And the lamp is very good</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>to herself&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>(this is no light fed by cleric)</td>
<td width=”284″>(a rich man in pause before his rich sauce)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>INNER SELF steps between YLAJALI and OUMENOS</td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>(they both say this to S? perhaps Y sees S in some way, perhaps they say this at the same time, or perhaps staggered?)</td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>Look at yourself…!</td>
<td width=”284″>Look at yourself!</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>I did… (pause?)&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>to OUMENOS</td>
<td width=”252″>Dead hair on your shoulders!&nbsp;

Dead skin crusted on your sleeves

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>Humiliated, to Ylajali</td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>I… I… (Had I been wiping my eyes?)&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>INNER SELF is taunting OUMENOS, while YLAJALI is trying to coax him back to a lighter scene</td>
<td width=”252″>I!I!I! the filthiest of the pronounsThe lice of thought</td>
<td width=”212″>&nbsp;

The lightest of thoughts</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>(B retreats to corner of shop like shamed dog?)</td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>My desk… (CHOP…)<em>(biting his finger)</em></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>Mange…! Mange…!&nbsp;

After long negotiations, I am become a dog eating its own skin…

&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>My thumb instead of an onion!</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Woof (CHOP…)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>Shhh…(I meant light as a bird, not as a feather…)</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>I am the mites on the skinbiting mongrel</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Woof</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>Shhh… A collar then, a collar and</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>(moved by Y’s tenderness?)</td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Ylajali!</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>Mongrel!</td>
<td width=”212″>…morsels</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>She was offering me a packet of meat wrapped tidily by her tiny fingers&nbsp;</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>The meat was her toes… her own toes…</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>But how will you(But I…)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>She’d have to take goat hooves from the waste pile to stand on</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>It’s no inheritance, no goodluck charm</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>Took them…</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>I will take them</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>(B could easily be accepting a small packet of scrapmeat from her)</td>
<td width=”252″>I took them… to suck on as I worked…</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>To suck on as I work</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Ylajali!</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>Ylajali does not have toesYlajali is too pure… for a body</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>But… She was too pure</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>If you smear yourself with ox marrow–</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>Ox marrow!</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>And with what tenderness was she now chopping off her own thumb</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″>(offering him things)</td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>Or shower in this phial of dew—</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>For me</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>For me?</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″></td>
<td width=”212″>The moon will suck you up…</td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>Her own thumb</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″>How beautiful</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td width=”302″></td>
<td width=”252″>How beautiful you are now</td>
<td width=”212″></td>
<td width=”284″></td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
&nbsp;

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