THE DREAM ENGINE A Very Hard Rock Musical.


(There is no overture … The stage is set as follows: There is a large black disc in the center. It extends over almost the entire playing area. Up front, close to the audience, stageright and stageleft are two platforms. All the songs are sung “out of the action”, i.e. sung by soloists, like rock “arias” on the platforms, while simultaneously on the disc, very exactly choreographed “rituals” are performed. These rituals are never loose or ragged or simply pop dance steps; and they are never too self-consciously arty or modern dancy … They should be similar in concept to the work of people like Robert Joffrey or Alwin Nikolais: strenuous, strong, always very mu scular, powerful and sensual, and never musical comedy-like or cute.

The band, ten pieces (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums and tympani, two pianos, organ, trombone, trumpet, sax, and electric violin) is on stage behind the disc. In front of them is a scrim. They are in blackness during the play sections; but during the songs, though the scrim stays down, they are lighted from behind, usually with very pure colors: deep red, dark green, or soft blue, always seen in vague shadowy silhouette. During certain sections of the show, projehctions are used on the scrim, but never the usual multi-media effects like light shows or strobes.

The model used for the staging technique was derived in great admiration for the work of Wieland Wagner in producing Wagner’s operas in Germany. The emphasis must always be on strong movement and an almost overwhelming mythic power: what he referred to as the “hypnotic force of an heroic hallucination … taking place in a strange, fascinating god-inhabited world of the future.”

Immediately as the show starts, the Historian enters. He is a dirty, greasy, crotchety, withered old man. But he must be played by a young man, and though he can suggest all the above-mentioned qualities, he should still be strangely appealing to the audience, and much of his role is played for comedy like some cosmic W.C. Fields, without the accent.

The Historian enters, stares at the audience, spits a few times, utters some absurdly guttural noises. From his filthy desk, on stage left, he brings forth a collection of model airplanes, ships, toy soldiers, dusty books, raw meat, and plastic anatomical nude models of the male and female body.

Methodically, he smashes the soldiers to the floor, rips the pages from the books and hurls them away in a cloud of dust, shatters the airplanes and ships with a hammer, cracks off limbs from the anatomical models and caresses them, and finally throws chunks of raw meat over the whole thing and smothers it all with ketchup. He says to himself, quite pleased, “Delicccciousss.” He stares stonily at the audience, and goes over to his blackboard and writes “KETCHUP OR BLOOD” in big letters as if beginning a lecture. He turns back to the audience as he finishes, wipes his hands to signify that the time has come to officially begin, takes one step forward and promptly falls off the stage. After one “SHUT UP!” at the audience, he regains his dignity.)

(During the course of the following ten-minute speech, projected on the scrim behind him is an animated film. It runs the course of the speech. It is done in very stark, strongly contrasted black and white shades. In other words, richly drawn, heavily outlined forms either in pure white or very dark black or grey. It depicts the growth and fall of a city in the form of a slow evolution, like Walt Disney’s technique of showing a tulip opening in time-lapse photography. First we see nothing but a barren wasteland. Gradually shapes start rising from the earth: young boys and girls. More and more bodies arise. Soon they start “evolving” into metal, shiny cold metal. They become beams, parts of a structure, and gradually we see a huge building rising, and then another, formed from these “metal bodies.” More and more buildings. Finally, a soaring city has formed. Then the reverse evolution begins. Decay, filth, pollution seeps in. The beams of the city become blacker, begin to collapse. The city begins to crumble. And then finally, there is ruin everywhere, broken stone, shattered walls, stained sky, and dried-up land. The fallen parts of the city turn back into young men and women again, crawling on the ground, reach for each other, grasping at each other’s bodies. The bodies merge into one tombstone. In the background, we see other clear white tombstones. In front, two people are left, a young boy and girl. They hold each other and begin making love. If there ever was an erotic animated film, this should be it … hopefully. They continue, and around them, more and more tombstones arise, surrounded by flowers. Finally, the whole scene is a huge cemetery extending forever, complete with flowers, and the two kids making it. The sky is black. At the end, the heads of the two kids become skulls and from the skulls two lips come out and kiss each other. On the sky the letters: “FLOWER POWER, 1971” appear. And it is over, coinciding with the end of the Historian’s speech.)

(NOTE: There is an optional little ending that can be used with this film: a lovely white haired old lady, smiling cheerfully, everybody’s favorite grandmother, wheels herself up to the large grave in the center on her wheelchair. She blissfully gets up and strides over to the grave, ignoring the young couple next to her, who are sleeping on each other, She’s wearing a pretty hat, and smiling all the time, she “waters” the grave, and when arms immediately begin to grow up out of the ground, she snips them off with a shears, places them in her little basket, and gets back in her wheelchair, driving right over the boy and girl, singing happily to herself.)

HISTORIAN) Ladies and gentlemen, I am an historian. (He tastes a bit of the raw meat and ketchup, savors it, smacks his lips, then chokes)

Ketchup or blood … Yes? … No? … YES! Ketchup or blood? And which is which? … Yes? … No? … Yes! Ketchup or blood! Does it matter? They both disgust me. Ketchup or blood!? Does it matter? KETCHUP OR BLOOD!? KETCHUP OR BLOOD!? KETCHUP OR BLOOD!? KETCHUP OR BLOOD!? DOES IT MATTER!? We pour one on our meats to make our meals more colorful. We pour the other on our flesh to make our deaths more colorful. To make our banquets more colorful, to make our wars more colorful! To make our stockyards shine brighter! To make our streets run richer with red! … So … Yes? No? YES! We pour one on our meats to make our meals more colorful and the other on our flesh to make our wars more colorful, to make our slaughter more colorful for the movies! And yes, we do have colorful movies … Yes. Do you like the movies? I find them immeasurably more entertaining than the theatre, don’t you?

Ketchup or blood! We enjoy them both! Ketchup or blood! We love our movies! Ketchup or blood! We love our lives! Ketchup or blood! We love our banquets! Ketchup or blood! We love our wars! Ketchup or blood! We love our games! Ketchup or blood! We love our stockyards! Ketchup or blood! We love our bodies! Ketchup or blood! We love our meat!!!

Well, don’t we? Don’t we love our meat now? DON’T WE!? I asked you a question … DON’T WE LOVE OUR MEAT NOW!? Yes … No??? YES! YES WE LOVE OUR MEAT! ALL TOGETHER NOW! LOOK AT ME! YES WE LOVE OUR MEAT! YES YES YES YES WE LOVE OUR MEAT!!! … so why do we smother it in ketchup? Why do we drown it in blood? yes? no? yes … yes … yes …


We love our meat and our flesh and our movies and our lives and our banquets and our wars and our stockyards and our streets and our ketchup and our blood! And who can tell the difference from one to the other? It’s all the same, no matter how you slice it … The Last supper will be no different from the Last Day of Judgement … nothing but ruin … and emaciated people … (He smiles) nibbling on one another … with ketchup … with blood … Deliccciousss … (He laughs to himself)

Yes, I am an historian. I have to keep reminding myself. Something that hideous you try to forget. (Smug) I deal in life. (Sarcastically stuffy) So little to do and so much time to do it in. Centuries. Endless centuries. What a pity. I think I’m going to puke … (cheerfully) I make myself sick, don’t you?

Well, forget what I said. It’s irrelevant. It has nothing to do with tonight’s subject, nothing to do with it at all. Forget what I said. SHUT UP! ALL OF YOU!

Don’t anybody move. You’re trying to surround me as usual, a common tactic, circle him on all sides, pounce on him when he’s not looking. Well, I can assure you it won’t work. I know what you’re trying to do. I’ve been watching you! I’ve been watching every one of you and I know what you’re trying to do!

But it won’t work … You can’t hold me here, you can’t keep me prisoner, you can’t bind me in chains, you can’t stuff me with nails! TAKE YOUR SHINY SPIKES AWAY! I protect nobody’s filthy secrets! It does no good to try and torture me, no good to try and surround me, no good to try and destroy me or my sick swollen memory! I’ll remember everything. I’ll tell it all! I protect nobody’s filthy secrets! NOBODY’s! SO SHUT UP! … I know just what you’re thinking … forget it!

(Pause) Ladies and gentlemen, I am an historian. I am also your narrator for tonight. (Gags) Don’t anybody speak! Don’t anybody so much as look around, or blink, or wince, or twitch, or laugh, or convulse, or cry! Stare straight ahead … as stony as a corpse … Now that shouldn’t be too difficult … Most of you look like rigor mortis was a way of life … FOOLS! … you bore me … (Dozes off for a second) Who do you think you are!? Well, you’re not! Or maybe you are. Well, so much the worse for you … Only the slightest breathing … Only the slightest.

Ah, Ladies and gentlemen, how do I appear to you? Oh, I can guess your answer. (Very cavalier) You see one very slimy, very greasy, perhaps even repulsive man. Don’t let it bother you … It’s only my business manner, my own special brand of distilled insanity. Without my madness — I’d lose my mind. Whatever’s left of it, anyway … It is not easy being the caretaker of the largest, most inevitable, most relentless, most rancid, and most inescapable cemetery in the scope of the human imagination. It is not easy being an historian.

For centuries we have continued, oblivious and diseased. For years we have all been at the brink of eternal coma, and I am sick of playing nurse to a patient without hope! The scabs are extraordinary. For a while I tried being optimistic. I wrote long tracts on the grandeur of man, the progress of civilization, and the sublime hopes of humanity …

Gradually it made me sick to my stomach. At least now I am honest with myself. THERE IS A MAJOR LESSON TO BE LEARNED HERE! And I don’t have the foggiest idea what it is … (Rummages through notes) Oh yes! Vaseline is no cure for cancer! I offer no more comforting lubrication. Only the facts. Therefore, my admittedly putrid business manner. I am what you see, no more, no less. You can ignore me for now. Do you think I care? Most of you mean nothing to me. Sooner or later you’ll all be victims of the Historian.

(Seized by convulsions at once frightening and comic) My heart is foaming, my brain is soaking wet, my eyes are shaking my tongue, my stomach is queasy, my thighs are hallucinating … I’m in the middle of a fit! It’s starting again … (Suddenly very pleasant and polite) Won’t you join me? (The old boy collapses)

(Trying to retain dignity, blubbering) I am an historian. My products make you sick, and yet you remain my faithful foolish customers. Why can’t you learn, idiots!? Or — perhaps my products don’t make you sick, perhaps it’s too late for that now. Maybe you’re immune … A terrifying thought … What good is the historian if he has lost his power to shock? Am I no longer rated “X”? Have children ceased to be afraid of my finest atrocities? Oh God, is there no succor!?

Shit … Oh well, at times like these, I remember so well the words of the great Indian mystic Petoooroo, who said to me with infinite sadness: “(Here he improvises some absurd Indian-dialect gibberish in the best Peter Sellers style)” … which means almost the same thing in English … God help us …

AAAAAAAGHHHH! My vein is twitching again! A vein in the middle of my eye! Twitching again and again and again! There … now it’s stopped. Now it’s quiet. It’s waiting to catch me off guard. I can feel it out of the corner of my eye. I can feel it. It’s waiting … Always waiting … (simply, sadly) How nice it would be to feel clean again …

I can see you smirking. How amusing all this is. The little man is making a fool of himself. At least that’s what the younger ones think. The older ones understand my power better, they’re closer to me now. But the young ones—- sometimes they never do understand until the time comes. (smiling) And the time has come.

The ludicrous parade of young boys, the ludicrous display of young girls, stuffed to their cruel mouths in exhaustive breathing, ecstatic moaning, and voluptuous couplings … I am going to cough. Again. And again. And again. It’s expected of me. I always do what’s expected of me. That’s why I’ve lived so long. I think …

All right already! ALL RIGHT! I am an historian! We know that, but I have vomited up your poisons for centuries and still you feed me with your vile foods! Still you continue to live in your own shit, and still I continue to deliver it to your doorstep! Must we continue to torture each other!? AAAAAGGGHHHH! Watch the vein! Watch the vein! … (He clutches at his throat, and stumbles onto the lap of someone in the first row … He speaks softly and very confidentially) We can’t go on meeting like this. It just won’t work … (He gets up) Now, where was I? Oh yes. The young girls and the young boys, with whom we concern ourselves this evening. First the girls: the girls who submerge themselves night after night in long strenuous swims against the hard stiff undertow of young boys’ waves — and don’t give a damn if they drown or not! How long do you think it will last? How long before you find yourselves sweating from one supermarket to the other, looking with horror at your own flabby irrigated flesh? I can see you now, yes, I can see you — wobbling down the street, your fat tits erupting in front of you, your fat hideous tits, smothered in silicone, bouncing hysterically like two middle-aged cheer leaders trying desperately but hopelessly to arouse enthusiasm for the tired antique body that follows far behind … I use the word body loosely. I — giving you the benefit of the doubt, to say the least …

And, finally, you’ll turn into a gnarled twig, hobbling home, and wherever you go, there is always frost …

AAAAH! Where is my vein!? Where has it gone!? You fools, you let it get away! I warned you! Look around! Don’t just sit there like assholes! FIND MY VEIN! THERE! I’ve got it! (“Moves” it up from his foot to his neck) I — sorry … My body has a tendency to drift and flake … I’ve got to be careful at all times … I’m sorry.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes, the fine young boys, the blue-eyed boys. How proud they are, hurtling themselves through space, in the middle of a clear green field, legs tightly wrapped around a pliant apple tree … They rip open their pants, they pull out that panting naked capsule which they softly call their own, that sadistically exultant prick burning in their hands. Yes, I can see them, I can see them watching with monstrous desire. (Getting out of control) The goddamned bullet goes shooting its way up toward the sky, a bullet of flesh pointing its way toward the heavens like some divine gargoyle accusing God himself and challenging HIM to a confrontation! One spurt of rushing youth to cleanse the polluted sky! (He collapses, “spent”)

(Brushing off his clothes) How I hate them all. And how soon before all that is gone? I can ask all of these young boys: How long before your shattered remains are found in some enemy swamp somewhere far off in some enemy swampland and then sent home to Mother in a tin-pan coffin with your name inscribed on your ass and the lid opened wide … How long before your lovely head explodes in a blaze of blonde chaos, after just one golden overdose more than you can stand? How long?

You can’t escape. The battlefield of eternal undeclared wars is unbounded and endless. There are no limits there, there never will be.

And terrified young men, very much like yourselves, will continue to set one another’s skulls on fire and hurl them into the sky — like strange birds that are burning themselves alive — There is no way out.

And after that, how soon before you find yourself trapped in a business suit, a prisoner in your own nightly bath, with pink soap balls for eyes, with nothing to see, and no reason to try …

The perfect American marriage, perhaps … The vegetable husband and his vegetarian wife … (Laughs harshly) An empty shell, nothing more, a shell in which you can’t even hear the ocean, no matter how hard you try, no matter how close to your ear you listen … An empty shell …

FOOLS! Young boys! FOOLS! Young girls! I warn you but you never listen! FOOLS! ALL OF YOU!

Well, I could go on but I won’t. There’s no point. Tonight is a festive occasion and I let myself get carried away. (Exaggerated, like Bette Davis) Forgive me. It won’t happen again.

So, I am an historian. I don’t ask for pity, I don’t ask for compassion, I don’t ask for condolences, I don’t ask for hope, I don’t ask for promises and I don’t ask for feelings! I ask only that you keep your distance as I have tried to keep mine, though we have both failed too many times to count.

I am an historian. I ask only to be left alone. After all these years, I think I deserve that! I think I deserve that, don’t you!? (He begins the final, total crack-up) If you would all just leave me alone! Give my veins some peace! Leave me alone! Die faster, die more cleanly, die more smoothly, forget the ketchup, forget the blood, die in black and white and fuck the colors! But please: Give history the rest it has earned! Give us all some mercy … (He explodes)

Take your confessions somewhere else!!! Give history the rest it deserves! TAKE YOUR CONFESSIONS SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!

(Pause. He is shattered. Quiet) I’m sorry. There is nowhere else. I will do my best. I’m really very sorry … I suppose I seem to be crying … Well, don’t let it fool you shit-holes!

I admit it. There is nowhere else. I’ll do my best. I’ll do what’s expected of me. (Moves back with dignity to his blackboard) I’ll do my best. (Stares straight at the audience. Quietly. Strongly) Can’t you see how much I hate you?

(The film ends behind him. On the screen is projected the effect of waves, water, an ocean. The play itself begins here)

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, tonight’s history! Let us begin with our location.

(Like a herald) We are on the coast of northern California, on the jagged rocks overlooking the ocean, on the shining rim of the searing edge of the west, in the farthest dream of essential America! And we are in the near future!

You can’t go any further than here. This is the end point, where the wind drives you out to the open sea and never back again. You can’t go any further than here.

On the cliffs overlooking the purple water, we find our main character. His name is Baal. B-A-A-L. Baal. Get it right! He is 19 years old, and has left his home to live on the rocks in the open air. Young men and women will follow him there. And now, a song for your pleasure.

(A light on Baal. He comes forward to sing the first “rock-aria”.)

PHASE ONE! The Invocation and Formation of the Tribe!

Lyrics for “Come in the Night”

(While Baal sings this, the tribe is formed from all sides. First, a boy and girl come from opposite sides of the stage and kneel next to each other in the center of the disc. The boy stares at her, then raises his arm high into the air and brings it smashing down on her body. She clutches at him. In essence, then, they inflict pain on each other and then hold each other desperately. They bring each other into the tribe. When done, these two bring over someone else and perform an “initiation ritual” on him and her. Then the three of them repeat the process on a fourth person, and so on till all 19 of the tribe are formed by the end of the song. The first half of the song is sung by Baal, and he is joined in the second half by a girl with a strong gospel voice who has already entered the tribe at the beginning of the song. All the staging is violent, strong, and often exultant, rising to a peak at the end when the tribe is together.)

How do you bury the skull of your country?
How do you bury a nation of fears?
Where do you put all the long years of dying?
Give me a tombstone and a wreath of all your tears!

Come! in the night, Come in the day
Anytime, And play our game
It’s all right … Special flight! You’ll fly home into our game
See the light! Shining bright!
Shining down upon our game!
In the night! Come in the day!
Won’t you play our game … Come away!

Turn around, it’s a black day dawning
Turn around, there’s a corpse in mourning
Turn around, cause the sun is rotting
Turn around, can’t you feel sweet Satan plotting

Turn around, let a new world in now
Turn around, let a final dance begin now
Turn around, give us all your guns now
Turn around, look at us! We’re your outlaw sons now
Turn around bright eyes! Turn around bright eyes!

Don’t let the slaughter drag you down
Whoever said that madness was a sin!
It’s too late for the rain to wash you down
Whoever killed the ocean and the wind!

Down on your knees now! What do you see now!?
Down on your knees now! What do you see now!?

How do you bury the skull of your country?
How do you bury a nation of fears?
Where do you put all the long years of dying!?
Give me a tombstone and a wreath of all your tears!

Bring in all the children, with their bodies up against the wall
No time for crying and there’s no time left to stall
No time for love now and there’s no peace left at all
We’re on the edge now and it won’t be me that falls!

(Repeat “Come in the Night” section through the chorus again)

(After the song ends, the tribe rises up and stands quietly together in a pure blue light. Here begins the “Indoctrination song,” which is preceded by a brief “Indoctrination Scene.” It is chanted, but with variety: not all loud, most of it whispered, or even almost moaned. And some parts build to a complete howl. During the course of this next section, “rituals of rape” are enacted … very stylized, very slow-motion … two boys and a girl, three boys and a girl, three boys and a boy, two girls and a boy etc. All this is accompanied by the ”Indoctrination Scene.”)

(Baal speaks the next sections softly, numb, as if in a trance)

BAAL) Seek and find America’s children. Send them back. Send them back.
Seek and find America’s children, 1971.
And America finally came home.
She came with her outlaw son deep inside her belly, waiting to be born.
She came with her outlaw son
Her eyes full of lightning
Her hair all undone
And her screams melting into the sun.
She came with her outlaw son
And she bathed in a sheath of silk
With the sweet smell of sperm and the warm smell of milk.
She came with her outlaw son
And she gave birth till the night decayed away …
… To a hint of gun dust — tinged with hair spray …
America’s children, 1971. (smiles) A hint of gun dust — tinged with hair spray …

(The next section is lightning fast, Baal and the Historian overlapping, and alternating lines with whip-lash tempo)

BAAL and HISTORIAN) Aren’t we beautiful? Answer me. ANSWER ME! Stop looking at me like that. Over here. Over here! Before it’s all gone. Save me! STOP! Over there! Answer me! Look! Save me! Get away from here! Stop looking at me like that! This is not a microscope and we are not your specimens. I am sick of the smell of the laboratories. Fuck the laboratories. (very weary) The experiments are over. The test tubes are starting to bleed …

HISTORIAN) And then what?

BAAL) And then what?

HISTORIAN) (furious) And then what!!!?

BAAL) (soft) America’s children, 1971. Aren’t we beautiful? Aren’t we filthy? Aren’t we real?


BAAL) (while the Historian cackles) Aren’t we more than beautiful? Aren’t we more than filthy? Aren’t we more than real?

(The tribe whispers “yes” from every side)

BAAL and TRIBE MEMBERS) There are no lies on my body … yes … Worship the truth … yes … touch me … yes … no lies on my body … swell to my size. yes. Swell to my size. yes! SWELL TO MY SIZE! YES!

HISTORIAN) Enough! (It is quiet)

HISTORIAN) So — America seems to be choking — So —

BAAL and HISTORIAN) Make love to the rhythm of its gasps.

HISTORIAN) And then what!? (cymbal crash)

Ladies and gentlemen, Phase two! The indoctrination of the Tribe! A prayer for the future!

(The following “prayer” must be carefully “orchestrated” for voices to get the richest possible variety of tones. The effect should be intense but stately)

BAAL and CHORUS) Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Beautiful mutants!
Voluptuous acrobats!
Psychotic magicians!
Mescaline cowboys!
Renegade niggers!
Amphetamine prophets!
Satanic orphans!
Anarchist bike-boys!
Alchemical freaks!
Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Off to a million midnights, black black voyager
Off to a million tomorrows, black and black
Seek and find Hiroshima’s children,
Send them back. Send them back.
Tear open doorways to unknown altars!
Fill vacant theatres with miracle and wonder!
Stain the streets with the magic of chaos!
Give us back the twisted sons poisoned by mildewed fathers!
Find again the used up whores, dying in forgotten corners!
Find sunlight!
Find thunder!
Find wolves to devour!
Find hunger to feed on!
Find pity!
Find hell for wax bitches!
Find love and an everlasting fix for nightmare junkies!
Find lost nights! Find lost time!
Find fury! Find power!
Find tears of fire!
Find tears of rage!
Find the flesh of assassinated poets!
Find linen and light to clothe all the wretched!
Find chemical blood to fill all the vessels!
Find suns of fertility to melt all the ice fields!
Voyager now! Surveyor of ruins! Off to a million midnights, black black voyager! Off to a million tomorrows, black and black! Seek and find Hiroshima’s children, Send them back! Send them back!

(Like a “fugue”, Baal and the tribe begin chanting the following with names of different cities. Each one says a city and then “Send them back” over and over until a swirling fugue is formed.)

Find Hiroshima’s children, Find Chicago’s children, Find New York’s children, Find Missouri’s children, Find California’s children, Find Wichita’s children, Find Alabama’s children, Find America’s children, Send them back! Send them back! Send them back!

(The tribe continues to chant “Send them back” softly under the following)

BAAL) (very fast) Voyager now, Surveyor of ruins, Beautiful mutants, Voluptuous acrobats, psychotic magicians, mescaline cowboys, Renegade niggers, Amphetamine prophets, Satanic orphans, Anarchist bike-boys, Alchemical freaks! Voyager now, surveyor of ruins, Off to a million midnights, Black and black, Seek and find all of the children, Send them back! Send them back!

HISTORIAN) Give them back the twisted sons poisoned by mildewed fathers! Give them back!!! (It becomes quiet)

BAAL and HISTORIAN) (very soft, sharp) We need all the mutants we can get

HISTORIAN) “The song of the Indoctrination!”


Can’t you hear the choir now?
Listen to the amputees sing?
Can’t you hear the slaughterhouse bells?
Listen to their lovely old ring!
In the land of the pig, the Butcher is king!
In the land of the pig, the Butcher is king!

And I’m the only one that’s free
For I’d rather have my country die for me!

BAAL and HISTORIAN) (After the song) For hundreds of years, they’ve been butchering up my reality, chopping it up into sick bloody pieces. Reality is in agony, and it’s about time it stopped. It’s about time we put reality out of its misery. There has got to be somebody left with the grace to try euthanasia …

(whispered) Aren’t we more than real?

(Loud cymbal crash)

HISTORIAN) It is said that strange orgiastic and brutal rites are performed on these rocks. Nearby is a huge black city, a monster that breeds on its own inescapable pollution and wears its decay like a shrill mincing smile. The citizens of this metropolis are terrified, worried that Baal and his savage cult might leave their cliffs and come wandering into the city limits, thus destroying the peaceful balance of urban life. Civilization is tense. Action is taken! Baal’s youth and apparent freedom are a threat! The city sends out Max and Emily, two special agents, assassins of the young and masters of impersonation! Their job is simple: Tame the Wild Beasts and bring them back alive! Girding their loins for the task before them, Max and Emily sing “The Assassin Song”, their bitter creed and fervent anthem! “Who Needs the Young!?”

(Two large coffins are brought in, flag-draped. As the music starts, on the first dissonant down-beat, the lids of the coffins simultaneously open. Max and Emily are inside the plush velvet interiors, holding microphones. They immediately launch into their song, which is very Kurt Weillish. During their absurd “ballet interlude”, they perform a wild sort of mini-marathon dance, smearing makeup on each other trying desperately to look younger … The whole effect should be very funny, but very grotesque.)


Who needs the young?
The revelation of their faces and their hair
When all we have are withered traces of the faces we once were
And suffocation in the dirty fatal air
Who needs the young bodies floating in the sun
Who needs the young!?
The celebration of the races that they’ve won
The self-indulgent things, of course, we’ve never done
And all the places that we never will have gone
Who needs the young bodies floating in the sun
Who needs the young!?

My eyes just aren’t what they were. (repeat)
Is there anyone left who can see? Blind him!

My lips just aren’t what they were. (repeat)
Is there anyone left who can kiss? Spit on him!

My legs just aren’t what they were. (repeat)
Is there anyone left who can dance? Cripple him!

My mind just isn’t what it was. (repeat)
Is there anyone left who can dream? Wake him!

My voice just isn’t what it was. (repeat)
Is there anyone left who can sing? Silence him!

My sex just isn’t what it was. (repeat)
Is there anyone left who can fuck? Screw him!

(“Ballet interlude”)

Who needs the young?
The perfect star of flesh that never has to cry
Who needs the filthy moaning passed from thigh to thigh
Who needs to see them take the trips we’ll never try
Who needs the young when we’re spending all the rest of our wonderful lives learning to die!

HISTORIAN) After pouring out their deepest feelings for you, Max and Emily retreat to plan their strategy … and they will return!

But now, to keep things moving right along here, a necessary component of any romantic musical: The seduction scene! A 14 year old girl escapes from the iron grip of the city and, having heard of Baal and his tribe, she comes to the rocks of the coast. Phase three: The Initiation!

(The 14 year old girl crawls up the disc to Baal, standing at the top. This scene should go fast, since the real point of it is contained in the two big songs that come at its climax)

GIRL) Let me in.

BAAL) Why?

GIRL) It’s getting hungry. I can feel it.

BAAL) Yeah. I know.

GIRL) The air is hard and my face is dry.

BAAL) And your eyes are empty. Empty space. It’s very sad.

GIRL) It’s not my fault.

BAAL) Ask me for something.

GIRL) Well, what do I need?

BAAL) (smiling) A hiding place?

GIRL) All right. Yes. Please.

BAAL) I’m sorry. There are no more hiding places. All the hiding places are hiding.

GIRL) I’m sick of this game! Tell me what’s left. Tell me what I need.

BAAL) Mattress of velvet?

GIRL) Let me in now! Hurry! Tell me!

BAAL) (like a chant) Mattress of velvet and a clear water candle … How old are you?

GIRL) 14.

BAAL) Years?

GIRL) Yes.

BAAL) Good. That makes things easier.

GIRL) I will not go back. And I will not lose!

BAAL) How did you get here?

GIRL) I escaped.

BAAL) From where?

GIRL) I don’t want to talk about it.

BAAL) From where!?

GIRL) Where I came from!

BAAL) (violently) Say it!!

GIRL) From the city! They know about me. They all know by this time! The city is following me! It’s creeping up behind me!

BAAL) You haven’t escaped anything. Not yet. Maybe soon.

GIRL) I can’t wait anymore!

BAAL) You’ll have to. Tell me about yourself.

GIRL) What do you want to know?

BAAL) Well— are you anal, rectal, vaginal, oral, genital, bestial, hetero, homo, bi-, tri-, quatre-, cinq, six, sick, lonely, desperate, monolingual, bilingual, cunnilingual, passionate, poetic, hallucinogenic, barbarian, Caesarian, mammalian, cornucopian, horn of plenty, plenty horny —

GIRL) All right! Stop! What do you want me to say?


GIRL) Yes, I’m all of them. (weary) I’m everything you want.

BAAL) (smiling) Aren’t you exhausted?

GIRL) (pause) Yes. Very.

BAAL) How do you like it out here?

GIRL) It’s very lovely.

BAAL) On a clear night you can see the labia minor.

GIRL) Can I stay?

BAAL) Yes, you can stay. I need you here. What do you know about mirrors?

GIRL) What kind of question is that?

BAAL) What do you know about mirrors!? … Just that.

GIRL) Nothing. Just nothing.

(From the tribe, two other kids step forth now, a black boy and a white girl. They stand on either side of Baal. The girl must now face this “tribunal.” Whatever lines are designated here for “Baal” can be split between these three members of the tribunal. Sometimes a sentence can be said by all three at once … )

BAAL)I believe that … Nothing at all … But you’ll have to meet my mirrors … They’re very strange … You see, my mirrors keep getting larger, they keep growing, they keep spreading out, they keep getting larger and I can’t seem to stop them! I have to keep filling them up, I have to keep feeding them, and they are still getting larger and larger and larger and larger … My mirrors have become vast and beautiful and very very hungry. My mirrors have become vast and beautiful and hungry and pretty soon they’re going to devour me, they’re going to swallow me up, piece by piece, bit by bit, flesh on flesh, limb by limb, kiss on kiss, shiver by shiver, tremble by tremble, sliver and sliver and splinter by splinter! But you’re going to help me. I’m going to feed you to my mirrors. I’m going to make you one of my reflections and feed you to my mirrors … I’m going to pin you to the cold glass and watch you soak up the light … I need you here … We’re going to share a little chromosome damage—

GIRL) Now!

BAAL) Soon!

GIRL) Hurry!

BAAL) Slowly!

(Abrupt change of lighting … Actors are frozen … Then suddenly they begin another segment of the initiation)

BAAL) Look at me.

GIRL) I don’t need to.

BAAL) Touch my leg.

GIRL) It’s wet.

BAAL) It’s soaked … There’s a flood coming.

GIRL) I can swim.

BAAL) It’s not good enough.

GIRL) Why!?

BAAL) Certain rules!

GIRL) Give me more!

BAAL) Louder!

GIRL) I can swim!

BAAL) Again!


BAAL) NO! It’s just not good enough.

GIRL) I can only carry this so far—

BAAL) Then you’re going to have to get there faster, that’s all.

GIRL) I will not be tortured like this.

Other Tribunal Members (Alternating phrases) Oh, but you will. you will be tortured. You will be tortured and celebrated and worshipped and suffered and exulted and caressed and submerged and awakened and pierced and shattered and sucked on and spit upon and cried into and held onto and lovingly torn apart until we are ready to stop. Until we are ready to put you back together again and you are ready to open your eyes and begin to see!

GIRL) See what!?

BAAL) (smile) You’ll see.

GIRL) I am not an object.

BAAL) Good for you.

GIRL) All right. There’s a flood coming. All right.

BAAL) Now. Whatever are you going to do?

GIRL) I don’t know.

BAAL) We’re going to have to teach you then. We’re going to have to teach you to drown—

GIRL) Just try it!

BAAL) Yeah! Try it!

GIRL) Show me!

BAAL) (grabs her throat) Say it!

GIRL) Drown!

BAAL) Again! You know the rules!

GIRL) (tears at his face slowly) Teach me to drown!

BAAL) (releasing her. Touches blood on his face) There’s time … After all — we’re young and in love and the whole world is springtime.

BAAL) Your skin is so white. There are no scars on your body.

GIRL) I’m sorry.

BAAL) (gently, smiling) We’ll have to make some.

GIRL) (full, defiant, throaty laugh) My skin is white. Incredibly white.

BAAL) There are no scars.

GIRL) You’ll have to make some!

BAAL) We’ll have to make some.

(Pause. They stare at each other. Her back is to the audience. He rubs his clothes and body. She runs her hands along her face and chest. She turns around. There is blood coming from a wound in her forehead, neck, and breasts. She touches it sweetly. She smiles. She has entered the game)

BAAL) Mattress of velvet?

GIRL) Mattress of velvet and a clear water candle …

BAAL) Finally. You know the rules.

GIRL) (harshly) More! (black-out)

(When the lights go, the girl is in the center of the disc … she is tightly bound with leather straps; they tear and pull at her body. The straps are very long. They are wrapped about her body and held on the other end by members of the tribe. Each tribe member has a strap that goes around her body. The tribe members surround her and are standing all about the outer rim of the disc in a circle. One by one they fall backwards, thus causing, one by one, each leather strap to pull viciously tight on the girl’s body. While this strange ritual goes on, Baal speaks from behind her, like a man in a delirium. While he speaks he pulls at her skull, as if to detach it from her body in a slow, strange hypnotic manner)

BAAL) Yeah. Leather. Black and tight. Leather. Clinging. Black and tight. The revolution likes leather. The revolution wears leather to survive all the storms … Leather looks for holes to hide in … Dark holes. Damp holes. Dark damp holes. Black and tight and clinging. Deep holes. Dark damp deep holes, black and tight and clinging. Dangerous holes. Dark damp deep dangerous holes, black and tight and clinging! And it’s all over my body. It’s looking for hiding places all over my body. Do you want to come inside now? Do you want to come inside and look for holes now!? Do you want to come inside and look for hiding places now!? Do you want to come inside and look for deep dark damp dangerous holes now!? Do you want to come inside and look for dark damp dangerous deep holes now!? Do you want to come inside and look for damp dangerous deep dark holes now!? Do you want to come inside and look for dangerous deep dark damp holes now!? Do you want to come inside now!? Do you want to look for holes now!?! Do you want to look for hiding places now!!? Do you want to look for mattress of velvet now!? Do you want to look for clear water candle now!? Do you want to come inside at all now!!!!? … And do you ever want to leave? And do you ever think you can? Do you ever think I can? Please? …

GIRL) (As the tribe pulls the cords tight and begins closing in on her) No! Not again! I couldn’t stand it! Not again! PLEASE!

BAAL) (To the tribe) Go ahead. We’re almost there.

GIRL) Turn it off! Turn it off! (A thump is heard, loud and hard. Silence. A girl gasping; a sharp intake of either pain or pleasure as the lights go out)

(On the screen behind the disc we now see a very important film projection. First the screen is dark. Then in the distance something lights up, very far and small. The sound of a huge engine revving up. The spot of light begins coming closer, and the engine gets louder. It continues to grow. We gradually make out that it is two large headlights coming straight at us. Then we make out the outlines of a large luxury car. It’s facing us. We see the huge clear windshield soaring back. When it gets right up front, comes as far as it can, and looms huge and overwhelming on the screen, we hear twelve terrifyingly loud gun shots. The windshield shatters. And then a face, that of an old, white-haired lady takes up the whole screen. She is screaming, though we hear nothing but the shots. Both eyes have been shot, and she runs her hands wildly over her white hair, smearing it with red. Finally she collapses out of the screen. It is blank. Lights come up on the girl sitting on the edge of the disc.)

GIRL) I aimed and shot twelve times. Just like you said. It was all just like you said … I didn’t cry afterward … Just like you said … I’m going to be all right … My mother was always very proud of her white hair … She used to let me touch it … That was the worst part … all that beautiful white hair … ruined, reddened like that … that was the worst part … but I’m going to be all right … just like you said …


BAAL) Only one more step. And then you’re ready.

GIRL) I don’t want any more dreams. I’m stuffed with dreams! There’s no more room! Can’t you understand that!? There’s no more room!

BAAL) Listen to it … Listen to it beating. Listen to it beating down on the rocks. Listen to it beating down on the cold rocks!

GIRL) I don’t want to hear it!

BAAL) It’s going to break out, very soon now! It’s going to break out! Listen to it! (We hear the sound of an ocean getting louder and more out of control, as if the record was turned from 16 rpm to 33 to 45 to 78 rpm) Listen to the revolution!!!

GIRL) What revolution!? Tell me! Give me an answer! Give me something I can hold on to! Tell me! What Revolution!!!?

BAAL) All of them!!!

(Lights very bright)

GIRL) (drained, resigned) No more room, just no more room.

BAAL) Step by step … all that’s left … we want to hear you scream.

GIRL) I have screamed.

BAAL) No, it’s got to be better than that. We want a perfect pure scream. Then you can join.

GIRL) I’m much too tired to scream.

BAAL) Then we’ll help you again. Lie down. Don’t move. (She lies down facing up at him on the bottom of the disc, center stage, her head pointing up the disc, turned away from the audience. The two tribunal members hold her down. Baal stands over her and very methodically flicks ashes in her eyes from a burning cigarette … She writhes and tries to cover her eyes.)

(They grab her hands, hold them down. He continues to drop ashes. She twists, contorts in agony, but is unable to scream)

BAAL) No, don’t cover them. Look at it. Look at the tip. Watch it burn. Just let it slip in your eyes. Don’t stop it. Slim slow slider … Slim slow slider … Scream, damn you! Scream!

GIRL) It doesn’t matter!

BAAL) Breathe. More. Breathe. Harder.

GIRL) (crying, in terror) It’s burning my eyelids off!

BAAL) Good! Without your eyelids, you can’t close your eyes. And if you can’t close your eyes, then you won’t miss anything!

GIRL) No more! No more!

BAAL) Beating down on the rocks. Beating down on the cold rocks! We’re there! Now! Breathe! Scream! Fly! Breathe! Scream! Fly! Let it go! Let it out! Breathe! Scream! Fly! Now! Stop!!! (He stuffs the cigarette out in her eye, and slams his hand down next to her)


BAAL) (Getting off her) I already have — stopped.

GIRL) (Trembling in agony) I can’t do it … Why must I scream!?

BAAL) To prove it. To prove that you need us.

GIRL) There’s nowhere else.

BAAL and HISTORIAN)And this is the end point. You can’t go any further than here. And you just can’t go back.

GIRL) I don’t want to go back.

GIRL) That’s why we want the scream. To prove that. To prove that you belong here … on the edge.

GIRL) Help me.

BAAL) Don’t rub it.

GIRL) I’m shaking.

BAAL) Well, that’s something. (Machine-like, quick) Mattress of velvet.

GIRL) (Playing the game like a reflex response) Mattress of velvet and a clear water candle … I won’t be able to go through with it.

BAAL) Yeah. You will. (He bends down, puts her face against his chest) Breathe with me. Make it even. Make it rhyme. (From the tribe: Sounds of breathing, rhythmic, speeding up and slowing down smoothly) Can you hear it now?

GIRL) Yes.

BAAL) Our breathing will rhyme. Don’t stop it …

GIRL) Don’t let it stop.

BAAL) And your eyes are still empty holes. They’re still empty space.

GIRL) Breathing will rhyme … Hurry?

BAAL) Slowly?

GIRL) What could you possibly want to do?

BAAL) We’re filling a space. Bit by bit. That’s all. It’s all right. We’re filling a space. Spacccccccccccce … (He walks off)

(The chorus takes up the sound of “spacccccce” like hissing air)

GIRL) (realizing she’s alone) The ashes!

BAAL) Leave them alone.

GIRL) They’re still burning.

BAAL) I just wanted to teach you. Never protect your eyes. Let everything in. Let it all come through …

(Cymbal crash. Blackout)

HISTORIAN) The Liberation through Pain! Love Song!

(During the singing of this song, by Baal and another tribe member, the tribe enacts “pain-dances”, stylized representations of all forms of agony. Their appearance is like those seized by convulsions and controlled by horror. The girl is surrounded by them and tries to reach out to comfort them. Each time she touches one, his pain is intensified. The pain spreads to her. She tries to escape. They hurl her from one to the other. At the climax she is thrown into the air, and caught at the last minute, with the tribe clutching every part of her body, like many knives … After the song, she stands in the center, and the whole tribe, starting with a low humming sound, builds up almost into a monstrous howl. Just as the howl is about to break, the girl gives off a powerful scream that racks her body. It should be amplified, and then echoed on and on. Then it is still)

Lyrics for the Love Song

Walking down by the riverside
I can hear those wild dogs barking
And I know that it’s cold outside
And I just can’t keep from walking

You’ve got to come to me now
Let your hair hang heavy and low
You’ve got to come to me now
Cause you don’t have anywhere left to go!

Walking down by the riverside
I can hear those vultures calling
And I know that it’s cold outside
And I just can’t keep from falling

You’ve got to come to me now
Let the night hang heavy and low
You’ve got to come to me now
Cause you don’t have anywhere left to go!

You’ve got to love me with the sun in your eyes!
You’ve got to love me with the sun in your eyes!
You’ve got to love me with the sun in your eyes!
Until the day that you go blind …

And I can’t feel your body
Tell me does it flow anymore
And can I go with the hungry tide

Where have the mountains gone to?
Why is the sky so low?
Is anything left on the other side?

I can’t touch my legs now
My eyes are frozen still
And I can’t tell if I’m still alive

I don’t need your nightmares
I don’t need your smiles
And I don’t have to hear your song

You’ve got to fly in the morning
You’ve got to fly at night
Cause I’ve been waiting so damn long!

You’ve got to love me with the sun in your eyes!
You’ve got to love me with the sun in your eyes!
You’ve got to love me with the sun in your eyes!
Until the day that you go blind …
Until the day we both go blind …

You can be free from questions why!
You can be free from questions why!
But you’re gonna have to die and die
You’re gonna have to die again and again
Until you learn how to live
And we’re gonna take from you until you learn how to give …

(Now the scream is performed … Afterwards, Baal walks over to the center of the disc, directly behind the girl. He slams his hands down on her shoulders.)

BAAL) On a hot summer night — would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

GIRL) Will he offer me his mouth?

BAAL) Yes.

GIRL) Will he offer me his teeth?

BAAL) Yes.

GIRL) Will he offer me his jaws?

BAAL) Yes.

GIRL) Will he offer me his hunger?

BAAL) Yes.

GIRL) Again! Will he offer me his hunger?

BAAL) Yes!

GIRL) Yes.

BAAL) On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

GIRL) Yes.

BAAL) You’re ready.

HISTORIAN) The Liberation through Pleasure!

(The last stage of the girl’s initiation is now undertaken. It is a form of stylized “orgy” wherein the girl is “sucked into” the pleasures of the tribe … )

(What is most important about this segment is that, in contrast to the “heat” of the “Liberation through Pain”, this ritual is cool, icy, strangely muted though extremely sensual. The tribe is almost like children rediscovering their bodies. The tone is very narcissistic and yet very innocent. The main theme of the music is set to “Ride a Cock Horse”, the nursery rhyme which starts off very prettily, then becomes darker and sinister, and builds finally to hard rock and strong solos on electric violin, electric cello, and harpsichord. The song is sung by a black girl at the center stage top of the disc and by Baal down stage left. The girl sings the verses. Baal sings the chorus.)

Lyrics for “Ride a Cock Horse”

And the time for your prayers will be done
When the god and the body become one! And the light will come!

Pretty boy in the city, staring out at the sea
And your dreams are wild, and your eyes can’t believe what you see
In the city, In the circus in the streets
By the snipers at your feet
Come over here, I’m gonna give you something sweet!
Find yourself a new god!

Pretty boy with the needles that wash out your veins
With chemical blood
And you drown in the flood that you made
In your body and it’s almost the end
Now can you think back to when you could still find peace at home!
Find yourself a new god!

Pretty boy with the power that shines on the bike
The leather and spike, and the thunder you bring to the sky
Pretty bike boy, The call of the road, And how far can you go
And your head is opened wide! Find yourself a new god!

And you sing once again that innocent song
The childhood rhyme that you’ve known so long
And your pain … Ain’t it almost gone!?
Come along and

Ride a cock horse
To Bamberry Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse …

(Repeat this “Cock Horse” chorus alternating with solos to the end of the song)

HISTORIAN) Max and Emily re-enter the scene! Baal is confronted by the forces of power! We enter the nightmare of a 19 year old boy! First, Max becomes the Chief of Police! He has come in the name of — Force! Phase Four: The Interrogation!

(All the following Max and Emily scenes merge together and slip from one to the other smoothly as if in a dream. In between the individual segments, Max and Emily perform their “dances of power” to the hard music of interludes, while changing costumes onstage for the next segment. They always enter in huge (over 8 feet) plaster of paris puppet figures, monstrous symbols of their roles. For instance, as the cop, Max enters in a “giant puppet” figure, exaggerating a sort of robot-policeman, armored, with a gas mask for a face and headlights for eyes. These puppets are made so that the actor can actually step out from them, become himself again, and the puppet figure is still left standing on the stage like a statue. All the Max and Emily scenes have the black-humor quality of a bad dream)

(The chorus crawls about almost as animals, making strange sounds, as if speaking a new language … Max comes forth as the giant policeman … He slashes at the bodies with a confetti-streamer, used as a whip. He wipes the sweat from his face with an American flag handkerchief)

MAX) Where is he!? Give him to me! It won’t do any good. I’m going to find him sooner or later … Sooner or later! You can’t escape me Baal. Sooner or later I’m there, sooner or later I’m always there, and sooner or later I’m all that’s left! There must be an interrogation, there must be questions, there must be answers, there must be quiet, there must be limits, there must be boundaries, there must be law, there must be order, and I must have Baal!

BAAL) (“rising up” from the bodies) You can have me, Max, You can have me.

(Cymbal crash. With a single harsh white light on them, Baal and Max begin their “Interrogation” … very fast … like rifle shots)

MAX) Confess! Confess! Confess!

BAAL) I can’t hear you, Max.

MAX) Baal!

BAAL) I can’t see you, Max!

MAX) Answer me!

BAAL) I can’t reach you, Max.

MAX) Confess!

BAAL) I can’t taste you, Max!

MAX) Baal!

BAAL) I can’t feel you, Max!

MAX) Answer me!

BAAL) I can’t smell you, Max!

MAX) Confess!

BAAL) I can’t remember you!

MAX) Listen to me!

BAAL) I can’t touch you!

MAX) Remember me!

BAAL) I can’t smell you!

MAX) Look at me, Baal!

BAAL) I can’t hear you, Max!

MAX) Think of me, Baal! Think of me!

BAAL) I can’t remember, Max!


BAAL) I can’t reach you, Max!

MAX) Remember me, Baal! Remember me!

BAAL) I can’t feel you, Max!

MAX) Taste me, Baal!

BAAL) I can’t smell you, Max!

MAX) Smell me, Baal!

BAAL) I can’t see you!

MAX) Hold me, Baal!

BAAL) I can’t touch you!

MAX) Don’t hurt me, Baal!

BAAL) I don’t need you, Max!

MAX) Don’t hurt me, Baal?

BAAL) I don’t need you, Max!

MAX) (seeming defiant, but with a touch of fear) You won’t hurt me, will you, Baal!?

BAAL) I-Don’t-Need-You-Max!

MAX) (scared and disappointed) You won’t hurt me?

BAAL) Only if you ask — nicely.

MAX) (seeming confident) Well! I’m glad that you’ve decided to co-operate … It’s been a fine interrogation. (strong again) Let me hear you, Baal.

BAAL) Think of me, Max.

MAX) Let me taste you.

BAAL) Remember me, Max?

MAX) Let me smell you.

BAAL) Taste me.

MAX) Let me hold you.

BAAL) Smell me.

MAX) Let me reach you; Let me see you; Let me hurt you; let me answer you —

BAAL) (interrupting Max’s reverie) Answer me!

MAX) What!?

BAAL) Answer me!

MAX) No! Enough!

BAAL) Answer me!

MAX) There is nothing to answer!

BAAL) Confess!

MAX) I can’t remember!

BAAL) Confess!

MAX) Boundaries, Baal, boundaries! We agreed! There are certain limits!


BAAL)You can’t hurt me, Max!

MAX) Why!?

BAAL) You can’t hurt me!

MAX) Why!? Why!? Confess! Why!? Stop! Why!? Confess! Stop! Why!? Stop! I can’t reach you! Stop! I can’t smell you stop! I can’t taste you stop! I can’t answer you! Stop! I can’t feel you! Stop! I can’t hurt you! Stop! I can’t remember you! Stop!

BAAL) (pause) I can’t stop.

MAX) (weary) Why?

BAAL) Because I’m too young to stop.

MAX) Remember me, Baal? Remember me?


MAX) Then touch me. Just once. Touch me.

BAAL) I never touch what I don’t want to remember.

MAX) You’re very young, aren’t you?

BAAL) About 19.

MAX) 19 … (sadly) 19 … (suddenly harsh) We’re getting nowhere. You’re going to have to co-operate sooner or later … (In German accent) Ve have vays of making people talk … Now, where were you last night? (Accent ends)

BAAL) I was here.

MAX) Where were you last night!!?

BAAL) I was here!!!

MAX) That’s better … And the night before?

BAAL) Here!

MAX) Before!?

BAAL) Here!



MAX) (losing temper) Where were you before you were here!!!?

BAAL) Before I was here, I was on my way over here. I was either here or on my way over here.

MAX) So — you would have us believe that you were always here or on your way over here?

BAAL) Yes.

MAX) (pouncing) And where do you think you are now!?

BAAL) Here.


BAAL) On the edge! Right here! On the edge!

MAX) And just what are you doing here — on the edge?

BAAL) (smiling) Balancing myself.

MAX) Just answer the questions … How long are your legs!?

BAAL) They’re hard.

MAX) How long are your legs without your clothes on?

BAAL) Five inches.

MAX) Is that all?

BAAL) Eight when erect.

MAX) Are your arms very white?

BAAL) In the sun they’re gold.

MAX) And at night?

BAAL) Silver.

MAX) How long are the legs of all your friends laid end to end?

BAAL) Silver …

MAX) Are they hard or soft?

BAAL) Silver …

MAX) (fast) Why is your hair so long?! —

BAAL) (fast) I don’t cut it.

MAX) (not hearing him) It disgusts me. (almost seductive) Is it soft? Does it glow in the dark? Does it curl at the nape of your neck? If I touched your thigh with an ice pick, would you blink?

BAAL)I might.

MAX) You’re very young, aren’t you?

BAAL) About —

MAX) — 19 … (sad) 19 … I’m rather old, don’t you think?

BAAL) Yes, Max … What does it taste like?

MAX) I don’t know … I can’t remember.

BAAL) Then you’re very old. Then you’re past the limits.

MAX) But there are no limits … you promised that …

BAAL) Is this the end, Max? Is this when you win!?

MAX) There are no limits!

BAAL) Is this when you win!?

MAX) (trembling) Your hair is long and dirty, you have no sense of morality, your body is distasteful, exposed and caked with earth, you’ve forgotten how to wash, violence means nothing to you, you’re a sick dangerous outlaw, an offense to the society we all know and love as our own, a danger, a threat to the ideals we fought for, the principles we stood for, the life we hoped for our children and the hopes we lived for our fathers! You disgust me!!!

BAAL) (soft) I know 36 positions.

MAX) (raising his hands in anguish) Why am I so pale!?

BAAL) Your face is like chalk.

MAX) It must be the moon.

BAAL) 82 positions if three are involved.

MAX) (sadly) There are no limits at all?

BAAL) And I’m only 19.

MAX) Give or take a little?

BAAL) Just a little.

MAX) Just a little?

BAAL) You can have more later, but just a little for now … You can have more later.

MAX) No! Emily! It is unfortunate but we must resort to cruder methods …

(Emily strides in, as a grotesque policewoman, carrying a large bag. She pulls out a gun and throws it to Max.)

MAX) Emily! Release the gas!

(She fumbles in her bag)

MAX) (impatient) Emily! Release the gas! Now! Emily! The gas! Now! You fool!

(Emily pulls things from her bag frantically … Finally, desperately she brings out a red spray can … She starts spraying the tribe in the eyes, almost a robot gone berserk)

EMILY) There! Begone! Cry your tears now in the clouds of gas! Begone! Freaks! Infants! There! Begone! Submit! Submit! Begone! Submit! —

MAX) (interrupting her) Emily —

EMILY) Yes —

MAX) That’s not the Mace.

EMILY) It isn’t?

MAX) That’s your feminine hygiene deodorant spray. The Mace is in the blue container.

EMILY) Oh, dear … (She puts the can away) (To the tribe) Let that be a lesson to you! … (As she leaves) You don’t have to understand the law to obey it …

MAX) (Takes the gun out, begins shooting at the tribe. A searing burst of feedback is heard … Tympani) Confess or die! One-two-three!

(The lights go out and on the back screen a large projection of an American flag is seen. It provides the only light for the ending of the scene. During the “Confession”, the colors of the flag change in sickly patterns. The stars become blue green purple pink, the stripes black, orange, green, yellow, etc. Constantly shifting colors to the end)

(The chorus begins the “Confession” which is a recitation of the “Pledge of Allegiance” spoken in a sepulchral, gasping, hollow, slow tone of voice. When they reach the middle, they seem to become frozen. No words come from their throats. Their bodies become like stiff rods … )

MAX) (afraid) Don’t stop there … Are you all right? You were almost done! We were almost home free! Finish the confession! Don’t stop there!

(Suddenly the flag projection “catches fire” and burns away into darkness)

MAX) (terrified) Baal! Where are you!? Where is the flag, Baal!? Where is the light!?

BAAL) (very strong, sinister) Max, listen. The flag is extinguished, the flag has blown a fuse. You’ve gone blind and this is only the beginning …

MAX) No! We agreed! I can’t see!

BAAL) We’re all you have now, Max. Do we glow in the dark? This is our land you’re standing on. Do we glow in the dark!?

MAX) Don’t leave! I can’t find my way.

BAAL) Follow your gun.

MAX) Don’t leave!

BAAL) Now, Max, Now!!

MAX) Let me in!

BAAL) Let me out!

(Sounds of agitated breathing from the chorus stops here. It is dead quiet)

MAX) (Gently, leaning over Baal) Baal … If I touch my lips to your shoulder, is it my mouth or your shoulder that is giving the kiss? And is it my mouth or your shoulder that is receiving it?

BAAL) Does it matter?

MAX) Yes, it matters. Help me, I need answers.

BAAL) Even for that, Max? … Then you’re older than I thought …

MAX) Does it matter?

BAAL) Yes, Max, yes it matters. Yes, Max, yes. Yessssssssss … (Sounds fade away)

(In the hazy light, Max kisses Baal on the shoulder, then rises. Emily comes and leads him away slowly)

MAX) It was a perfect interrogation, Emily … We got just what we wanted … We’re winning now … only a matter of time … This definitely proves it … Definite homosexual tendencies … frightened, trapped … underneath it all, nothing but a weak child … only a weak child …

EMILY) And only 19 …

MAX) Very sad …

EMILY) 19 …

MAX) Very sad …

EMILY) Max, why are you so pale? (They leave. Lights out totally)

(The swirling “Interlude Music” begins again … During their “dance” Max and Emily become the “parents”, a frail little old man and a sweet-looking old lady. Both sit peacefully in their wheel chairs … Baal stands at far stage left, staring straight ahead … During Max’s “Viet Cong” speech, he wheels his wheel chair slowly around the disc till he finally reaches Baal … Meanwhile, Emily sits in the center of the disc … She has a little tray attached to her wheelchair with various personal “treasures” on it … She is reading her Bible … During Max’s speech, strange black-pajamawearing figures rush back and forth along the stage … As they go past Emily, every now and then they take something from her and she responds in horror; First, they get her photo album, then her toothbrush, then her wedding ring, tea pot, silverware, then her wig, then her skirt, then her shoes, then her teeth. She is left bald and almost unable to speak … “They got my teeth! They’ve got my Bible! Help! My beautiful silverware … Give me my hair! No! Not my wedding ring!” etc. interspersed throughout the scene for best comic effect … Toward the end, one of the black-pajama figures with a “coolie” hat “mounts” Emily on her wheelchair and begins obscenely “humping” her while she wildly whirls the wheelchair in circles about the disc … )

HISTORIAN) Max and Emily try a different approach. Gentle persuasion and familial love! They become Baal’s aging parents! Phase Five: The Family Reunion!

(Max begins his speech. This is accompanied by soft, bittersweet music)

MAX) Baal, listen to your father … It’s dark back at the house, it’s almost winter there, and the Viet Cong are back in the yard …

I tried to get rid of them last week once and for all, but it did no good. This is the tenth year in a row … There is no doubt … They plan to destroy your mother and me and ruin our precious home … your home, Baal … I called the police, but they were powerless against them. I’ve tried praying, to nobody in particular, just scattered shots here and there, but we’ve had no response. We even had the garden sprayed, but it just got cloudy. It’s always the same …

Those hideous yellow faces smirking through the trees! I threw a rake at them, and they had the nerve to laugh! They watched us through the windows, they listen at the bedroom doors, they know what’s going on in the bathrooms, they can tell what we keep in the closet! I can’t stand it anymore …

You’ve got to come back and help us. You’ve got to protect your father and preserve your mother. You’re our one hope. We’re getting old now, much faster than we planned, much faster …

You won’t have to stay forever. Just a while. Just until we die, maybe. That won’t be long, I promise you. Just until then, son? That’s not asking very much, is it, Baal? That’s not asking very much!

It’s dark back at the house, it’s almost winter there, and the Viet Cong are back in the yard … Help us …

BAAL) I’m not moving.

MAX) (furious, gets right up out of his wheelchair) Shit!

EMILY) (As Max pulls her off) I told you it wouldn’t work.

MAX) Shut up!


(Again, the interlude music breaks forth, and Max and Emily launch into another grandiose dance. This time Max emerges as a military officer and Emily like some sort of Theda Bara apparition gone berserk. She’s in white silk with a purple hat and her face is pure chalk white with black make-up around the eyes and blood-red lips … All of a sudden the lights come up on her standing next to Baal, who is kneeling in the center of the disc … She holds a large bag again, and begins by making faintly obscene clucking, licking, sucking and gurgling noises — her attempt to be seductive that comes out absurdly comic)

HISTORIAN) Baal is visited by an older woman! Emily becomes the Local Selective Service Board #6! She comes with business to attend to, a matter of life and death! Friendlier methods have failed! More devious tactics are tried! Phase Six: The Induction!

EMILY) (abruptly) Do you consider me old?

BAAL) Now? I don’t consider you at all.

EMILY) Oh, but you will.

BAAL) Maybe.

EMILY) I need a drink. No doubt about that. (Takes out a glass from her bag, throws it away; then takes out a bottle, sticks her finger into its neck, pulls it out, then licks her finger) Cheers! (Offers Baal her finger) Take some. You’ll need it … (She pours the rest of the bottle away in her bag) Whiskey doesn’t interest me anymore. I have no further need of whiskey! (Heaves a sigh of relief) My arms are still good. Look. They’re smooth. You can see that. Anyone can see that.

BAAL) All America can see that.

EMILY) I’ve always felt that youth is more a state of mind than a — a —

BAAL) Youth is a seizure. I’m foaming at the mouth.

EMILY) Old wives’ tale. Nothing more. Forget it! (Caressing her arms) Look at them. They’re firm, but pliant —

BAAL) Tart but delicate. Light but not too light —

EMILY) Would you like your zipper polished? It must be a lovely zipper. Is it bright and shiny?

BAAL) It’s rusty. It gets wet.

EMILY) Ah, it’s cold.

BAAL) Well, it takes time to really get to know it —

EMILY) (starting to pull the zipper down) Whatever goes up must come down —

BAAL) (slaps her hand) No! Don’t help a good boy go bad! Lock your car!

EMILY) Don’t mock me! Max! (Max enters, grabs Baal, twists his arm behind his back, kicks him in the stomach and the groin and forces him down on the floor, facing the sky. He stands by him for the rest of the scene with a bayonet fixed on him) Now, we can get down to business. I’ve brought some interesting news …

BAAL) I expected this.

EMILY) (Forgetting business again) You know I’ve never lost my shape.

BAAL) (sneering) Yes, you’re very clean.

EMILY) But it can be easily changed. (She takes clumps of earth from her bag, rubs the filth on her face) I like earthy women, too … and I want you to feel right at home for this.

BAAL) Is my hair dry?

EMILY) Perfectly dry.

BAAL) Change it! I want it wet!

EMILY) I was just coming to that … (She takes a large orange from her bag) I’m never without them …

BAAL) Bite it!

EMILY) (not hearing what he has said) I’m going to bite it!

BAAL) Good idea.

EMILY) And don’t you wish you had thought of it? … (Laughs throatily, bites the orange) It’s going to burst! There! Just look at it drip!

(She stands above him, her legs pinning down his arms)

(She starts squeezing the orange over his face … a huge quantity of liquid pours out all over him)

EMILY) I’m in the prime of my life! I have nothing to lose, no time to waste, the world at my fingertips! (She turns to one side, as if asking someone a question) How do you like it? (She turns to the other side, as if answering someone’s question) It’s wonderful. Very satisfying.

BAAL) The perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

EMILY) I feel so refreshed. Look at my face. Look! They’re dying, one by one! Wrinkle by wrinkle! They’re all dying! A sweeping total destruction! My skin is tightening, my wrinkles are falling away, my eyes are stepping out on the town! (Her skin seems to tighten and tighten, finally in a hideous skull-like grin) (Feels Baal’s forehead) He’s hot. No, he’s freezing cold. Like touching an iceberg. No —

BAAL) Like being next to the sun —

EMILY) (Transfixed. She continues to squeeze orange after orange through to the end of the scene. While she speaks, Baal reaches up and runs his hands along her leg) O brilliant full light! Shine on forever! Give me an hour and my face is reborn! Like a sudden miracle and the left-over years are lost in a vision! The wrinkles are gone!

(angrily confronting the audience) And there’s nothing wrong with that, is there!? Having your wrinkles disappear!? There’s nothing wrong with that, is there!? HOW DARE YOU!!!

There’s nothing wrong with killing wrinkles, alien wrinkles, here and now in this land, in America, in this beautiful country and it is beautiful.

Filled to the brim with magnificent specimens like Baal, filled with promise, just waiting for the rest of us to make use of them, to make use of all this youth, to make it ours! It belongs to us! It belongs to me! You belong to me! And we’re all still young! We can bathe in the sweet sweet juice of our fine precious youth! (Makes a funny face at her little rhyme) (Grabbing Baal) Give him to me!!! His time has come!

The wrinkles are captured and tortured and finally exterminated for good! The wrinkles are dead! The battle is won! The war will soon be over! Big money! Cheeseburgers! Quality products! Cheeseburgers! High profit margins and cheeseburgers! Fringe benefits, unlimited prospects, a thrilling young army that’s constantly wounded!

Rifles and tanks and Cinerama attacks! Plush carpeting! Skim milk skin that never curdles! Wall to wall luxury! Rockets red glare! More and more more cheeseburgers! The latest in comfort! The glitter of chrome on every coffin! Purple mountain majesties! Our flag is still there! Yes! Yes!

It’s all waiting for you, Baal! It’s all waiting for all of us! A feast of riches! The last supper is back! Eat my child eat! Enjoy! Enjoy! The breakfast of champions awaits you in Asia! Fill your mouth with star spangled turds! Enjoy! Enjoy! Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow your deferment is ended!!!

(She smiles, pauses, looks at him)

Poor little boy-chik.

I’m sorry, but we do get hungry; You see, you’re quite young and poor, and we’re quite aged and rich … The result is simple: Your life is our cosmetic … We’ve got to keep growing, we’ve got to keep finding new things to eat. You understand, don’t you, Baal? You’ve been re-classified 1-A. That’s my little surprise. We order you to report for induction in one day. Just to make sure, Dr. Rosenbloom will be here tomorrow to give you a preliminary physical. Now — wasn’t this more interesting than an impersonal note in the mail?

I hope you’re not resentful. We were just worried that you were getting a bit out of control, moving out of our grasp. We have a big stake in your young life, Baal, and — we simply decided to drive that stake home. To your heart. Where your love is. Poor little boy-chik. (She squeezes the last orange on him) Don’t you have anything left to say?

BAAL) Yeah. Save the pits. I’m hungry too … Save the pits!

(Throwing the peels down)

EMILY) (With overwhelming contempt) You slimy, pathetic little man … I’m finished with you … I’m done … Black-out!

(And, following her orders, it does indeed black-out)

HISTORIAN) Night falls! People dream!

MAX) (standing with Emily in a blue light in the back) Are you awake?

EMILY) I don’t like it out here. It’s unnatural.

MAX) Yes, but at least we have our memories.

EMILY) I wish we were back in the city, our city.

MAX) We will be … very soon … we’re almost done … almost done …

(Lights out on Max and Emily … up on Baal and a tribe member in the back)

BOY) (He screams in terror) I thought I heard it!

BAAL) Be quiet!

BOY) I thought I heard the city!

BAAL) There’s nothing there.

BOY) It’ll never leave me alone! It’ll never leave me in peace!

(Lights down on them … )

HISTORIAN) A night for reminiscing! We hear the “City Song”, an ode to a distant homeland!

(First verse sung by Tribe … Second by Max and Emily)


City night. And all the children in their cages sleeping tight.
City night. While the inmates are making love by the T.V. light.
City night. All the shadows roam the streets looking for fights.

So — Give yourself to the rising wind!
The gradual execution will now begin!
And there’s nothing to lose if there’s nothing left to win!
And who knows where America ends and the House of Detention begins?
Who knows where America ends and a real new world begins?

Bring the bodies in!
Let the bodies kiss, let the bodies crawl, let the bodies cry!
Bring the bodies in!
Let the bodies puke, let the bodies pray, let the bodies die!

And give yourself to the rising wind!
The gradual execution will now begin!
And there’s nothing to lose if there’s nothing left to win!
Who knows where America ends and the House of Detention begins!

Bring the bodies in!

(Lights out)

HISTORIAN) The final Scene of the First Act! Force and Persuasion have failed to drive Baal back to the city! Max tries a final tactic! The manipulation of the Mind! He will push Baal into a corner, challenge him to enter the city of his own free Will! Ladies and gentlemen, we meet Dr. Rosenbloom! We have heard his name before! He is a noted psychiatrist! He has come in the name of — reason! Phase Seven: The Analysis!

(Max walks to the front of stage right. He speaks to the audience. He’s in a tweedy suit, with a pipe. Speaks smoothly, self-confidently, and with a hint of unctuousness and condescension.)

MAX) I find, ladies and gentlemen, that these kids are really fascinating people to meet and mingle with. I like freaks. No, let me change that. I dig freaks.

I think these young folk truly do want to build a better world for all, in their own peculiarly charming, naive, idealistic way. I find contact with their fresh new minds bracing, invigorating.

After all, we can recognize this phase of growing up. We’ve seen it, we were kids once, weren’t we?

And though the hair may have gotten longer in the interim, underneath it all, boys and girls growing up have always been pretty much the same, haven’t they? And I have a fairly strong feeling inside that they’ll continue to be. There’s nothing here that we can’t manage. Let’s try to communicate. That’s the beginning. That’s where it all starts. And I’ve never had any trouble in the least in that area.

After all, we have ways of making people communicate, don’t we?

MAX) (going over to Baal) It’s nothing, Baal. Nothing at all … All we want, all any of us want, all I want is a little piece of mind.

BAAL) Whose mind?

MAX) Yours, Baal … Just a little piece.

BAAL) Which piece?

MAX) Only the piece that threatens us.

BAAL) Is that all?

MAX) You see, Baal, I find that you’re quite unable to cope with human beings on a mature, civilized level. As an example, your relationship with young girls such as the one we saw a little bit earlier, in that “Initiation” scene … You couldn’t get through to her on a personal basis, so you protected yourself behind sadistic games and rituals, systems whose rules envelop you like a womb. You built a barrier between you so you wouldn’t have to make real contact with the girl as a person equal to yourself. You were afraid! All very common. We could deal with it easily in treatment.

BAAL) I’m sure you could.

MAX) We first have to get you to redefine your distorted outlook about people. To begin with, a girl is a young woman, Baal, and a woman is more than a piece of merchandise to be bought or sold, more than a stanza in a poem to be studied and collected, more than a prop in a narcissistic ceremonies. (radiant) What is a woman, you ask? Ah, well, I’m glad you asked that. A woman is a proud, passionate, boiling river about to burst its banks —

BAAL) What time do the banks open?

MAX) (harsh) We danced to Guy Lombardo after the last war and we’ll dance to Guy Lombardo after the next war. It’s what eternally separates men from the animals … You can’t withdraw from reality. Sooner or later you have to succumb to it … Sooner or later you have to negotiate with it … Work out some sort of peaceful settlement …

BAAL) (With head low, as if in confessional. The Historian says these lines with him) For hundreds of years, they’ve been butchering up my reality, chopping it up into sick bloody pieces. Amputating and amputating and amputating until there’s almost nothing left of it but the infection. Until you can barely hear yourself breathe above the noise of the infection! Until you can barely hear yourself breathe! Reality’s in agony, Doctor. Listen to it! Reality’s in agony and it’s about time it stopped. It’s about time we put reality out of its misery. And there are only a few of us left with the grace to try euthanasia.

(A long pause)

BAAL) (vicious) Show me your numbers.

MAX) (suddenly he has a German-Jewish accent and seems much older) I could buy you!

BAAL) Show me your numbers! Show me your numbers!

MAX) (Rolling up his sleeve) All right! Look! There, a feast for the eyes. “1-5-7-3-8-9-6.” My precious souvenir. Auschwitz for four years. So don’t you talk to me about your suffering or your mercy. There is more to that subject than the whinings of a self-indulgent adolescent! There is more to that subject than the endless droolings of a spoiled onanist! There is more to both suffering and mercy than your flamboyant trivial fantasies! There is more. There is also a truth. My truth! Here! “1-5-7-3-8-9-6.” A feast for the eyes! Here! It’s yours. My pleasure. Look! “1-5-7-3-8-9-6!”

BAAL) Bingo.

MAX) My precious souvenir … I despise you.

BAAL) That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

MAX) I have only scorn for your pain.

BAAL) And my pleasure?

MAX) A fraud, a pose. You won’t know pleasure till you really feel pain.

BAAL) Is that an offer?

MAX) I’d like, just once, to see your pain close up! So close I could grab it! Squeeze it dry of all its puny flimsy grandeur! I’d like to give you just one fraction of the pain I was given!

BAAL) Do you want to send all your children to camp?

MAX) It might do you some good. Teach you what life’s all about.

BAAL) I have nothing to prove to you.

MAX) You have everything in the world to prove. Everything! I’ve built a life of civilization, intellectual rigorousness, and peaceful order out of starvation, barbarism, anarchy and hatred. I’ve earned everything I have! The city belongs to me! I am the city, and I’m proud of it! Once I was trapped like an animal, but now I own the trap like a man! A great man! I am not going to relinquish my humanity to the mindless hallucinations of some pseudo-savage in search of the perfect orgasm. I’ve come too far for that — And I could buy you!

BAAL) Fuck you.

MAX) My race, which has survived apocalypse after apocalypse, spits on your pimply catharsis! And spits on you!

BAAL) Fuck the Jews!

MAX) I was in a concentration camp for four rancid years!

BAAL) You seem very proud of that fact!

MAX) I survived!!

BAAL) Why!!?

MAX) I survived.

BAAL) All of you? Or maybe just a piece … Maybe just the piece that threatens us …

MAX) I have a right to control you, a right to own you! This is my right! This is my proof! (referring to his “numbers”) This is all the proof I need! Be a victim for once in your life and then you can talk to me about revolution!

BAAL) I am a victim!

MAX) Prove it!

BAAL) I have nothing to prove to you!

MAX) Show me your scars!

BAAL) Some scars aren’t visible!

MAX) You’re not even black.

BAAL) Give us time!

MAX) Show me your scars!

BAAL) Some marks aren’t that easy to find!

MAX) Find them!

BAAL) (falling) I have nothing to prove to you!

MAX) Oh, but you know that you do, you effete little puppet! You turn your back on all the traditional values, all the traditional heroes, you spit on heroism, you say “NO!” but there are no heroes! Easy to say! No heroes! All right, I’ll go along! There are no heroes! We have obliterated them all! The world is devoid of heroes! So what do we have!? Mindless figures of everyday clay, people formed of nothingness! Are you one of those, little boy? Are you one of those!? No, of course not! You have stature, you want to be a god of sorts! A god, of all things! But if, indeed, you cannot reach divinity by heroism, which is extinct, what is left, little boy, but suffering!? Martyrdom!? In today’s world, then, if you are not a hero, you can become god-like by being a victim, the greatest victim, the richest pain-monger! Is that you, little-boy!? Are you the greatest victim!? Well, then where is your evidence!?

Mine is here, burned on my arm! I have my proof! I am a victim of blackness! I am heroic! I am god-like! But what about you!? What do you have that sets you above the everyday clay!? Show me your numbers! Show me your numbers!

BAAL) All right! All right!

MAX) Go ahead, squirm. Squirm!

BAAL) You’ve shown us your numbers. Now we’ll show you ours. By the time this night is over, we’ll be glad to compare scars … Tonight we’ll return to the city …

MAX) (smiling) Really … what a surprise …

BAAL) We’ll pick up thousands on the way; the holy invasion! Tomorrow we’ll return to — (smiles) the land of our birth.

MAX) (with savor) You’ll be destroyed.

BAAL) Yeah … And then who’ll have the greatest scars? Then who will have won? (Smiles at Max, who smiles back … ) Max, when was the last time you really listened to the voices of your beloved city … Think back to it … You might want to join us … We’re going back to camp, Max, and nothing can keep us from swelling!

HISTORIAN) Presenting the Voices of Civilization!

(Max goes to his chair in the center of the disc … The tribe lines up along the rim of the disc. Lights present them with large shadows as vague black outlines, giving them a god-like appearance. They begin to “declaim” personal ads from underground papers. These should begin cool, unemotional, gradually building in intensity, until the last few ads are read with feverish desperation … After each one finishes his ad, he repeats the telephone number at the end over and over like a chant … Above all of this, every now and then, Max holds his wrist and yells out his Auschwitz numbers above everyone. “T” stands for any tribe member … I’m just giving examples of typical ads to begin with)

T) Alberto, my Mexican friend from Fire Island. Please contact me. Please. I am on the verge of falling off! WA8-5548.

T) Young muscular male will pose in the nude. PO Box 1922. 567-8976.

T) Some like ‘em hot, I said hot, not pot; Some like ‘em gay, for me that’s the way; Some like ‘em young, and very well hung; Some like ‘em athletic, not short fat and pathetic. I am what I seek. You too? Then let’s meet. Bob Bennett POB 254345 LA 90025.

T) Childless executive seeks to adopt young man who can offer affection and security and an innocent hard body. 765-9326.

T) Wife loves couples with big cocks and hairy pussies, will suck them dry! Husband sucks and takes up the ass. Detailed letter, revealing photo only answered. Act fast. 985-5207

T) Amputee girls wanted. Swinging guy, hemophiliac, 60, civilized and daring, seeks attractive limb deficient girl to explore mutual interests. 845-7298.

T) Animal trainers wanted fast; Swinging blonde in need of help! 666-5876!

T) Elegant lady on the edge of death cries out for young blonde Adonis to explore new pathways of pain. Should be under 18 and over 8 inches. Give me one more pleasure to die with! 777-4329!

T) Help me! Near the end! Almost over! One more chance! Will take anything! Will touch anyone! Will do everything! Help me! Near the end! Almost over! Last chance! Help me! (Keeps repeating)

(The phone numbers are repeated now louder and louder by all. Suddenly a girl bursts forward and stands right behind Max. It is the girl from the Initiation scene. She begins her long ad, slowly and intensely. It builds till she’s almost exploding with bitterness and fury … After this ad begins, Max’s hands go under his pants and as the rhythmic pulse of the ad builds, we realize he is masturbating to it. He convulses grotesquely and with appropriate noises. He is, then, a complete “prisoner” of the ad)

GIRL) This is addressed to all the people who answered or are thinking of answering the personal ad I placed in Volume 2 #15 of this newspaper, two weeks ago Friday. First, my apologies to the huge bartender with the voice and the light-hearted dark-skinned advertising man. If either of you had called me back, I might not be writing this retraction of my ad (even though I will soon be too busy to date much). But why didn’t you call back!?

But to the others — which include the two lesbians; the under 25’s and over 40’s, the numerous ones who dialed my number and hung up as soon as I said hello; the 35 or 40 of you who made dates with me and never showed up (including the one who complained that his penis was so large that he couldn’t get it into anybody) …

The wife-seekers, the already married; that one who was so one-sided that he could think of nothing but sex, and then had the gall to ask me if his nationality was the reason I wouldn’t sleep with him; the two who couldn’t raise their cocks when I was agreeable and the many who could (and did) when I was not; the pleasant young foreigner who turned out to be the private property of his gigantic girlfriend; the ones who were so grotesque in their appearance that I couldn’t possibly get past their faces to even consider a relationship with them (especially sexual); the jerk-off artists and the 69’ers (the latter category which I had specifically stated I didn’t want) and the ones who wanted hand jobs; the ones who wanted to be spanked; the ones who could only boast about the size of their bankrolls and/or their penises, and this definitely includes the teacher who said “All the girls want my cock”; the businessman who had an adjective for every letter of his last name (‘R’ is for “rich”) …

The ones, and there were many, who said: “My name is so-and-so. When can we get together and fuck?”; the faggot who wanted me to support him; the diminutive actor and the other short ones; the racists, including the one at whose pad I left my white sweater (and I’d rather cut off my right thumb than go back for it); the drunks, junkies, and acid-heads; the multitude of liars; and especially the nice ones who never called back — to all of you I say: Just forget my phone number!!! I don’t need all the hassles! I’ll be starting school next month and I just don’t want to be bothered! I’ll be leaving home next month and I just don’t feel like looking back! Don’t hold your breath, any of you.

The Overweight Brunette

(Max is sweating, drained in every day. He breathes heavily, looks about him paranoid … He begins to clean himself up, re-compose himself, get back his dignity as if nothing had happened)

MAX) No! Don’t look at me! No! Voyeurs! … (Gets up, walks up to Baal) It’s nothing, Baal. All we want, all any of us want, all I want is a little piece of mind.

BAAL) Whose mind!?

MAX) Yours.

BAAL) Which piece!?

MAX) (weak) Only the piece that threatens us.

BAAL) Is that all? You disgust me.

MAX) (momentarily lost) Is that all? … Don’t look!

BAAL) I don’t have to.

MAX) What do you want in our city!? You have nothing to offer us …

BAAL) Max, the greatest gift we could give you is fire!

HISTORIAN) (cymbal crash) On the verge of their invasion into the city, Baal and his followers celebrate and sing the joyous hymn to fire, the one element of nature that illuminates as it destroys! “PYRO” celebrating a new kind of hero!

(This number is a wild tribal, African oriented dance, centered around the themes of fire and storm. Max is in the center of the maelstrom, attacked from all sides)


When the sky is hungry
Where you gonna run to?
When the sky is hungry?
Where you gonna run to?

The smell of kerosene is at your door
And our lungs can’t seem to take it anymore
Do you ever feel like asking yourself what for?
Got any doubts? Get out in the storm and check it out!
When the sky is hungry, where you gonna run to!?

When the land is thirsty
Where you gonna run to?
And you clean your guilty skin with gasoline
And the only thing you hear is a lovely scream
Is the fire really there or is it just a dream
Got any doubts!? Get out in the storm! Check it out!
When the land is thirsty, where you gonna run to!?

Take a trip in a star ship
We’ve got demon wings to fly
Take a trip in a star ship
And you’ll never have to die
Take a trip on a star ship
Give salvation one more try!
Take a trip on a star ship!
You go higher! You go higher! You go higher!
When your city’s burning! Where you gonna run to!?
When your flag is burning!? Make love in its light!
When your flag is burning! Make love in its light!
See the light! See the light! See the light!

(At this point, the tribe kills Max … when they realize what they’ve done, and see the blood on their hands, they stop … pause … they touch each other with the blood, kiss, begin smearing it on their bodies … they say “I’m sorry” to each other and the other answers “I forgive you” … This starts tender and builds. Then we hear a hymn start in the background)


Pyro, Pyro, burning cities in the sun!
Make us feel alive again! And make your holy cruelty come!
Country bright, my country fair! Can I touch you everywhere!?
Hold you close and squeeze you tight! Caress your guns all through the night!
Country black, my country blue! Will you hurt me if I hurt you?
Can I sleep inside your parks, and will you still glow in the dark?
Pyro, Pyro, burning Cities in the Sun!
Make us feel alive again, and make your holy cruelty come!
Give us some fire! Give us some fire! Take these dreams away and give us some fire!

(The whole chorus sings the “Come in the Night” section from the opening song to bring the act to a close)

HISTORIAN) (after final chord) Intermission!

End of Act One


(The act begins with an extended instrumental “Entracte”, which includes a ballad sung by a girl from the tribe, as a set piece, oratorio-style … After the “Entracte” ends, the Historian enters)

HISTORIAN) Ladies and gentlemen, let us be thankful for small favors. I am now able to make an announcement that pleases me as much as I am sure it will please you.

As of this moment, history has lost all its shock value. From now on in, it is nothing but endless, boring, mildly annoying, tediously familiar, numbingly brutal and only sporadically entertaining repetitions. We’ve seen it all before: assassinations, holocausts, disasters, celebrations, confrontations … The list goes on and on. How stale and dry it all seems, like dull dinner guests who refuse to leave long after the party is over … Nice metaphor that … Or is it a simile … Shut up!

When you get right down to it, without its much publicized shock value, what good is history after all? Now that the prurient interest is waning, why should we bother with it? Now that its big titillations have become so over-exposed, what thrills are left to cull from it? Now that we’ve seen all its big production numbers, what could be possibly left for its climax?

So — Cheer yourself up with this bright shiny thought to lead us into the second act: You’ve seen it all! You’re one step ahead! There will be no more grisly surprises from the fun world of history! We have reached the saturation point! And since you’re familiar with all our big numbers, sing along as we go!

Don’t despair! No time for brooding or mourning! There’s work to be done, songs to be sung, dances to be done! (He has a violent coughing fit)

(In between spasms) Ladies and gentlemen, I say to you as one victim to another: Keep on Trucking!

(The “Trucking” number is an absurd, freak-Busby Berkeley sort of thing … All of a sudden the tribe comes out in splashy psychedelic costumes, smiling, dancing and waving their hands like a bunch of happy marionettes. The historian smears blackface on, and the song goes from torch song to rag time to gospel to big Broadway production boom-boom ending)


Once I was young … and now I am old
The years keep passing on
Once I was clean … and now I am soiled
My life has come and gone
I asked my saviour: What should I do?
He put a crown of thorns on my head
He told me never to forget these words
And this is what he said: Keep on Trucking
Keep on Trucking … On down the line
Keep on Trucking … Keep on Trucking
On down the line!
Keep on trucking your heavy load
Keep on trucking that endless road!
Keep on trucking down the line!
Keep on trucking your blues away (Three times)

(Right near the climax of the number, the music stops and the Historian gives the following declaration over bass riffs)

HISTORIAN) Ladies and gentlemen, let’s build a pleasure dome for every human being in existence, filled with a garden of infinite delights! Watermelon for the niggers, cesspools for the Polacks, grease for the Spics, garlic for the Wops, bar-room brawls for the Micks, fags for the limeys, torture chambers for the Chinks, rice paddies for the gooks, transistors for the Hips, police dogs for the honkies, rifles for the Gringos, Lucky Pierre for the Frogs, cash registers for the Kikes, whips for the Krauts, a minimum wage for the Hunkies, and a truckful of blues for every poor pitiable schmuck in every timid lonely audience in every ancient rotting theatre on the acne-scarred face of the earth! Keep on Trucking!!!

(The song crashes to a jubilant Dixieland finale)

HISTORIAN) (Cymbal) The Invasion and Slaughter of the City!

Thousands of young men and women swarm through the boundaries of the city, breaking through the standing limits. They are met by huge massive lines of armed troops, the brutal protectors of the great metropolis, the promoters of culture, and the defenders of our civilization. A hideous bloody confrontation ensues and lasts long into the night, leaving thousands of young shattered bodies clogging up the fetid gutters and piled high in ancient alleys. But still they keep coming, as if perversely attracted to their own destruction!

Ideally, for these terrifying scenes of chaos and violence, we should be able to provide mammoth forces of Police Units and National Guard Platoons, intimidating walls of pure Power.

Unfortunately, these particular costumes are impossible to obtain, and our cast must, by necessity, be kept to a minimum of players. Therefore, we’ve done the next best thing.

Baal and his tribe will confront a fierce squadron of killer nuns. Why nuns, you ask? Well, don’t ask! I’m running this show and by my proclamation, the killer nuns, led by Emily, the Mother Superior, the greatest Mother of them all, are, as of now, in this very theatre, the feared and awesome Protectors of the Holy City!

To begin, Emily welcomes us to the city! She sings the “Song of the Mother River”, a hymn to our urban womb! An aria dedicated to pure and richly perverse power!

EMILY) In my family, we always respected the uniform, any uniform. My husband became a cop, because he loved law. I became a nun, because I loved order. Sometimes we exchange uniforms and nobody seems to notice. In effect, my uniform makes me holy … and immune …

(She sings the song … lyrics not included here … At the end, lights up on the set … We see an altar surrounded by laboratory bottles with foetuses in them. On stage right is a huge bottle … )

(Inside is a monstrously big foetus, turning around slowly, immersed in green fluid, staring at the audience.)

(Max is performing his litany)

MAX) And so to insure peace and quiet for all the generations still to come, and keeping in mind that it is better to prevent the crimes of the future than to punish the crimes of the past, I have ordered the immediate execution of all suspicious foetuses …

In the name of the Father, the sun, the moon and the stars, and the infinite galaxies soon to be conquered by our warriors of space. And in the name of the holy ghosts already dead in the service of our country and the unknown soldiers not yet born into the tombs of our choice.

Amen, for now and forever, Amen.

(Lights down on Max, up on Emily, sitting and holding one of the foetus-bottles in her arms, cradling it, humming the “Mother River” tune to it like a lullaby)

EMILY) All of my children … All of the children of the city are finally quiet … calm and serene … Nothing will ever hurt them … I will always protect them. And they will never be without me. They must never be without me.

(A hideous scream is heard, followed by two more in succession)

EMILY) (To the foetus, frantic) Hush. Don’t listen to it. Cover your ears! Shut your eyes! Hush. Hush! Be quiet … Stop making those sounds. Close your mouth! Hold your tongue! Hush! Hush! HUSH!!! (She hurls the body away)

EMILY) Sister! Sister!

MAX) (off-stage) Yes, Mother!

EMILY) Sister, get over here!

MAX) I’m sorry I’m late.

EMILY) I think it is time to take firm action.

MAX) But what can we do? They’re tearing down buildings, setting fires, hurling rocks, breaking windows, destroying churches, desecrating monuments —

EMILY) I know what’s going on! Do you think I’m blind!?

MAX) Of course not.

EMILY) (seductive) Do you think I’m lovely?

MAX) (reflex) Of course not.

EMILY) What!?

MAX) Certainly … I mean, certainly you are!

EMILY) Good.

MAX) Then it’s settled?

EMILY) Settled.

MAX) Good.

EMILY) Well, don’t just stand there like a goddamned statue! What do we do!?

MAX) Do?

EMILY) Yes! Do!

MAX) Well, I think there’s only one possible answer … I think it is time to take firm action!

EMILY) Yes … an interesting idea, that … (Pause) Then it’s settled. That’s what we do … (Pause) You have good fingers, Max. Like magnets. Rub me …

(Max puts his head and hands under her “dress” and rubs)

EMILY) (staring straight ahead) I am imperturbable … How do you like it?

MAX) (pulling his head out as if smelling something foul) You have filthy habits.

EMILY) (kicks him) Get out of my sight!

MAX) It was only a joke.

EMILY) We are not laughing … And this is certainly not the time or the place for bad jokes …

(Another scream)

EMILY) What do they want? Why don’t they leave us alone?

MAX) They’re insane.

EMILY) That’s only a gimmick.

MAX) Drug fiends!

EMILY) There are no reasons for this, none at all.

MAX) Any real revolutionary has a plan, a system, a definite purpose — and discipline.

EMILY) They have none of that. They’re just children.

MAX) (smiling weakly) Yes, but they’re our children.

EMILY) (slaps him) You bastard! I can see you’re weakening. I won’t stand for it. We’ll destroy them all before this is over.

MAX) Yes, of course.

EMILY) Why don’t they say what they’re looking for?

MAX) They probably don’t even know themselves.

EMILY) Yes, of course.

MAX) It’s not completely real to them.

EMILY) Nothing is completely real to them.

MAX) This is no revolution … It’s just another one of their drugged fantasies … Just another sick fantasy …

EMILY) Yes, of course. I know that, and you know that … but do they know that?

MAX) They’re too young to understand.

EMILY) Fools!

MAX) Fools!

EMILY) Stop following me!

MAX) (slaps her) You bastard!

EMILY) That’s better.

MAX) Thank you.

EMILY) (smiling) I could have you excommunicated, or defrocked, or crucified, or converted, or martyred — or —

MAX) All of the above?

EMILY) (coy) Perhaps.

MAX) I’d like that.

EMILY) Enough!

MAX) Of course!

EMILY) I have never particularly liked the sound of fire … Look, it’s absurd … Sweating, ripping off their clothes … sweating, endlessly touching …

MAX) Caressing themselves.

EMILY) Fondling —

MAX) Sweating —

EMILY) Screaming —

MAX) Sweating —

EMILY) Soaring —

MAX) Burning —

EMILY) Moaning —

MAX) Writhing —

EMILY) Screaming —

MAX) Sweating —

EMILY) Fondling —

MAX) All of the above!

EMILY) Shut up.

MAX) I’m sorry.

EMILY) How are the citizens reacting?

MAX) As well as could be expected.

EMILY) I have great faith in them.

MAX) On the other hand, thousands have joined the freaks —

EMILY) Peasants!

MAX) Peasants!

EMILY) (softer, thoughtful) How do you join?

MAX) You run —

EMILY) Into the streets —

MAX) You rip off your clothes —

EMILY) Savages!

MAX) Fanatics —

EMILY) Sweating —

MAX) Fondling —

EMILY) Touching —

MAX) Holding —

EMILY) Grasping —

MAX) Clutching —

EMILY) Smashing —

MAX) Crushing —

EMILY) Sucking —

MAX) Caressing —

EMILY) Soaring —

MAX) Burning —

EMILY) Screaming —

MAX) Screaming —

EMILY) Sweating —

MAX) Screaming —

EMILY) Stop!

MAX) Stop!

EMILY) I was talking to you, shit-face.

MAX) Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.

EMILY) Then you must repent.

MAX) Yes, of course.

EMILY) Ten “Our Fathers” and ten “Hail Marys”.

MAX) And a good act of contrition. (He slaps himself)

(He begins chanting to himself)

EMILY) They must be stopped. The very survival of years of culture, civilization, and order is at stake —

MAX) (Looks up from chanting) Well, you pays your money and you takes your choice — (He slaps himself again and continues chanting)

EMILY) Their bodies are all over the city.

MAX) Nothing seems to do any good.

EMILY) They’re mad.

MAX) Yes, but who are they mad at?

EMILY) I don’t know. That’s your job. Get me some answers I can deal with.

MAX) Yes, Mother.

EMILY) (sad and wistful) Do they ever — accuse me of anything?

MAX) I really wouldn’t know that. (he’s hedging)

EMILY) (plaintive) Do they ever even mention my name?

MAX) Well, maybe.

EMILY) Do they stare at my picture? Do they think of me often?

MAX) Perhaps —

EMILY) At all?

MAX) I suppose they do.

EMILY) What do they say?

MAX) Just the usual. You know. Just the usual.

EMILY) (sad) Yes, of course. Just the usual. But, at least — at least they think of me — they do use my name — sometimes.

MAX) Sometimes very loudly.

EMILY) And sometimes softly?

MAX) (hard smile) Maybe.

EMILY) (desperate) Tell me, Max, tell me!

MAX) Maybe … Rub my back. You have good fingers.

EMILY) Yes, I know. Like magnets. (smiles) I attract metal wherever I go. Hard, cold, shiny metal.

MAX) Metal can be very beautiful.

EMILY) (rubbing him) Of course it can. I have never oppressed anything or anybody. I’ve only defended — innocent things, I’ve defended — vulnerable things — (smiles) Things which kick with their hind legs …

(It becomes dark; a loud bell tolls; another scream is heard)

EMILY) Max, are you there?

MAX) Yes, of course.

EMILY) There is very little time left. We must pray.

MAX) Yes, we must pray.

(He begins saying the word “Mo—ther!” three times, hideously distorted, as if it is oozing out of his body. On the last time, he quickly contorts the shape of his body into that of a crucified man, then collapses. She does the same thing, saying “Fa——ther!” and collapses. When both are on the ground, they wait a second, then whisper together, very softly, and very hoarsely: “Save us.”)

(The lights go back on)

(Baal is dragged in, battered, naked)

EMILY) What do you want!? Just say it … Say it! WHAT DO YOU WANT!? With what? From what? Why not? How soon? For what? To what? Then what? How much? Kneel down … For how long? (She kneels and touches him. The nuns itch and scratch) For how long? …

MAX) He won’t speak. He’s mocking us.

EMILY) Nobody mocks us! Out with it! … I’ll give you one more chance. What is the meaning of all these fires and all these screams!? ANSWER ME!

(She suddenly and violently pulls a large jeweled cross out of her habit and pushes it right in front of Baal’s face in a dramatic sweeping gesture)

EMILY) Ve have vays of making people confess!

(Pause … puts the cross away resignedly)

EMILY) Well, it works sometimes.

MAX) It’s not your fault.

EMILY) Be quiet! Don’t you know where you are!? I have never oppressed anybody! (gentle) I have only defended — tender things, very tender things, isolated things, wrinkled things, sterile things, things getting old — all these things I’ve defended — all these —

MAX) There is no need to apologize.


MAX) Yes, of course.

(She kisses Baal’s eyes)

EMILY) (very tenderly) Oh, a drop of blood falls down his cheek. A beautiful drop of blood —

MAX) (reverently) It fell from the sky —

EMILY) (looking up smiling) I wonder who’s being tortured up there … TELL ME WHO’s BEING TORTURED UP THERE!?


HISTORIAN) The Revolution in Words and Music! Baal and his Tribe Assert Their Complete Innocence and Proclaim their Rebirth! They Sing an Anthem: The Song of the Dream Engine!

(During this song, Baal is strung up like a piece of meat and tortured by the nuns in a parody of a bizarre religious ritual)

(The chorus walks out, nude, and sings the following anthem, standing around the disc … god-like)


Hear the screams of the newborn dominions
Hear the screams of your proud outlaw sons
Hear the screams of the old kingdom dying
Hear the screams of the new kingdom come!
God speed! God speed! God speed us home!

Hear the screams of the street-fighting angels
Hear the screams of a land being torn
Hear the screams of the magic of chaos
Hear the screams of a dream being born
God speed! God speed! God speed us home!

Don’t ask me questions!
Don’t give me flowers!
Don’t tell me love is the only way!

Come thru the back door!
Come thru the alley!
With the moon behind you like a bird of prey!

Black panthers scream at the heat
White panthers scream at the heat
Flesh on flesh in the street
Kingdom Come, Kingdom Come, Kingdom Come!

(Repeat first two verses)

HISTORIAN) Baal’s delirium and Call to the City!

(In all of this, “T” stands for tribe member)

BAAL) They asked me where this earthquake would begin. I offered to let them feel my pulse. They asked me if I was insane. I pointed my finger at them. They turned away and played with their pencils …

HISTORIAN) Dream of the Ancient Beast!

BAAL) Somewhere, not very far from here, in the flashy center of some sequined desert, the last buffalo in America is dying. He’s dying of onesomeness. Quietly. Slowly. Painfully. The sky is leaving his face. His eyes are blinded by T.V. screens and radar antennae, his skin is burned by nuclear dust, his heart is clogged with detergent and cold cream, his lungs are sick with fumes of neon, and he’s choking on his own vomit. Quietly. Slowly. Painfully. But there’s no point in being quiet anymore! He’s dying of onesomeness and choking on his own vomit. And when he starts to convulse and beg for help, iron robots disguised as cops will beat him to death on the eyes. And then they’ll go to their locker rooms, and then they’ll take long showers together, and then they’ll whisper sweet nothings to their billy clubs. And then there will be nobody around to stop them! The last beautiful buffalo in America is choking on his own vomit. In the flashy center of some sequined desert. Choking on his own vomit and nobody is there to stop it! I’d like to make love to the rhythm of his gasps. I’d like to make love without stopping until he becomes extinct or I become extinct. Whichever comes first. It’s going to be a close race. And even now seems too late …

HISTORIAN) Half the world is insane, and the other half is scared! And who knows which came first or which will finish last!?

BAAL and “T”) There is not a blessed tree left in this land! No sacred rivers have been spared! This is a land named after rapists and racists! Cortez! DeSoto! Sherman! Boone! Franklin! This is a land named after its conquered! Dakota! Ojibwa! Iowa! Cherokee! This people has soaked occult power sources dry for every dime and not paid back one watt of power! This race has chased all message-bearing birds down canyon, out of the sky, and replaced them with bloodless planes!

Get it through your fucking heads! America was not discovered by Columbus! America is still a secret land, as yet undiscovered by anyone.

The circus has gone crazy, the exhibits are turning against their cages, the test tubes are starting to bleed, the dream engines are ready to attack! The experiments are over! And it’s about time the freaks really started acting like freaks!

BAAL) (in terror) I don’t want to die in this laboratory … I don’t want to die in this laboratory … Stop me! Stop me!!!

BAAL and “T”)And this, sir, is why your fathers are stuffed with chains; why your mothers are turning to liquids; why black children walk the streets with those jungle markings on their chests; why motorcycles reproduce in nocturnal alleys, groaning with greasy pleasure!

And this, sir, is why your ketchup is turning to blood; why your highways are turning into stockyards; why the national colors are black and blue and pure gang-grene! Why all our leaders are either murdered or haunted; why the limp dick of J. Edgar Hoover is hung at half mast! Why the barbeque pits are stinking of napalm and burning your steaks!

And this, sir, is why a broken bargain with the Iroquois tribe is avenged by Vietcong warriors; why the smashing of the Inca temples is avenged by new African Armies burning the ghettos and dancing with the flames! And this, sir, is why your children are going insane! And this, sir, is because our insanity is the greatest insult we can give a world whose mental health makes us sick! Our insanity is the greatest insult we can give a world whose mental health can be measured in uniformed corpses and packaged decay!

And this, sir, is why the War of Liberation has finally come home! Where it belongs! Where we can keep an eye on it! I am the Americong! I am the Americong! I am the Americong!

BAAL and HISTORIAN) Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but the war goes on. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our veins are swelling with chemical blood. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our muscles are swelling with the music of revolt, played at the decibel level of pain. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our brains are swelling with electrified nerve ends. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our mirrors are getting larger and larger. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but there seem to be far more gods here than there are temples. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but there seems to be no reason why I should feel all of this, since I’ve had no experience. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but the War goes on and even the bullets are bored! Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!

HISTORIAN) Delirium Continued! The Golden Age of Dying! Dream of the American Revolution!

BAAL) Once they killed with silver blades and shiny shadows on guillotined faces dripping sweet blood thickly into pure white sand and soft lace baskets. Once the bodies dripping blood were young and hard. Once the bodies dripping blood would float in the air and point to the sun. Once they killed with silver blades and now we decay in sterile chambers, now our veins are sucked out dry in secret rooms, now our skin is cleaned with napkins, now our eyes are T.V. cameras! Now the bodies don’t point to anything! Now they can’t even find the sun!

BAAL and “T” and HISTORIAN) Once they killed with silver blades and shiny shadows on guillotined faces dripping sweet blood thickly into pure white sand and soft lace baskets. Now they kill with foam and mist and spray and gas and poisoned spit from germ-free cans. Now they kill with antiseptics approved by Christ and the President. There are no more silver songs or whistling blades. Once it was better …

HISTORIAN) Once they killed with silver blades! Now they don’t! It’s all the same, no matter how you slice it!

“T”) (While tribe enacts execution rites) Once they killed with silver blades and shiny shadows on guillotined faces dripping sweet blood thickly into pure white sand and soft lace baskets. Once the bodies dripping blood would float in the air and point to the sun. Now they don’t point to anything. Now they can’t even see the sun behind the clouds of Mace and gas and poisoned spit from germ-free cans. Once the blades were sharp and clear and shining silver. Once you could see your reflection on the tip of the blade. Now they use their dull wooden clubs. Now they shoot from a distance. Now you can’t even see your pig. There are no more silver songs or whistling blades. Once it was better.

“T” GIRL) There’s no reason why I should feel all of this. I’ve had no experience. There’s no reason why I should feel all of this. There’s no reason —

TRIBE Kingdom Come! Mutate Now! There is no reason why! (Repeated over and over, building to a peak … Then it breaks. Cymbal crash)

HISTORIAN) The Chant of the War Babies!

(The Historian says the first two verses, accompanied by cymbal accents and crashes … The tribe says lines in parentheses … The whole chant is accompanied by bass and percussion effects)

Bring the War Back Home!
(Won’t you) Bring the War Back Home!
(Can’t you) Bring the War Back Home! — Where the War belongs!

(Now!) Bring the War Back Home!
(Won’t you) Bring the War Back Home!
(Can’t you) Bring the War Back Home — don’t leave us alone — without a War of our own …

And my blood has come to flow with the sound of a war
And my muscles can explode with the sound of a war
And I can feel my body grow with every sound of a war
I can feel my body grow with every sound of a war

And what can you give us to hear above the sound of a war
And what do you think can survive over there beyond the sound of a war
And what do you think can be born anywhere within the sounds of a war
After all the wombs have been torn everywhere within the sounds of a war

Just what kind of thing will be born over here within the sounds of a war
What do you think will be born anywhere within the sounds of a war

And I’ve spent so many years breathing in all the sounds of a war
And all of these golden years we’ve been fucking to the sounds of a war
All these shiny metal years we’ve been fucking to the heartbeat of the sounds of a war

And I’ll give you some more of these very pretty tears
If you’ll give me some more of the sounds of a war …

I’ll give you some more of these very lovely tears
If you’ll give me some more of the sounds of a war …

And we’ll give you all we have of all these lovely tears of rage
If you’ll give us all you have every night and every day …
Every sound of every war …
Every night and every day …
Every sound of every war …
Every time and every place and every chance and everywhere …

Now you just can’t leave us alone over here without the sound of a war!
You just can’t leave us alone over here without the sound of a war!

And you can tell me all you want that the War will soon be done
But my body is the trigger and my body is the gun
You can tell me all you want that the War is almost done
But my body is the weapon and my body is the drum
And you can cream and scream cry and Hail the Chief: The War is Done!
But my body is still the trigger and my body is still the gun!
And my fantasies are the trigger … And my body is the gun!

So I’ll tell you very sweetly that the war will not be done
Cause the War’s inside my body, and my body is the gun
I’ll tell you very slowly that the War will never be done
Cause the War is in my body, and my body is still the gun

YOUNGEST GIRL) They started injecting the sounds of the war into my veins ten years ago, and every year they injected some more. Every year my blood became thicker, and now it’s at its best. It can’t get any richer. It’s the envy of the entire world … By now, my blood is sweeter than butter …

And so they injected the sounds of the war into my swollen veins for over half my life. I did not choose to be an addict — but the war is mine now, the War belongs to me. And they have the balls to get up and say that the war is almost over, that the war is coming to an end. They think they can tell me that the war is almost done … They think they can give me peace like giving candy to an infant … NO! I don’t want their peace … I wouldn’t know what to do with it. NO! The war will not end. The sounds of a war will not stop. It is no longer their war to end anymore. It’s gone too far for that. The sounds of the war in my veins, in my lungs, in my throat, in my eyes, in my brain, in my dreams, THE WAR IS IN MY TIME! THE WAR IS MINE! And when a child forms inside me, he will feed on it just as I have … So — it doesn’t make any difference anymore whether they say it’s over or not.

As long as I stay alive, I take the war with me … The only way the sounds of the war will ever stop — (She smiles) — is over my dead body …

(Very softly, sad, simple) You see, the beginning of the war was yours. But the ending of the war has got to be ours. You owe us that much — inheritance … Thank you …

(CRASH) Bring the war back home! (Crash)

Bring the war back home! (Crash)

Bring the war back home. Don’t leave us alone. Without a war of our own.

TRIBE (softly) Kingdom Come … Kingdom Come … Kingdom Come …

HISTORIAN) (stage is dark … Spotlight on Historian) Who among you will run with the Hunt, run through the streets of your city, run through the pale forests that never die? Who among you will run with the hunt, battered by clubs, sprayed by gas, rammed by tanks, smashed by fists, and slaughtered by pigs in the stockyards of your own back yards!?

Who among you will run with the hunt? Shivering with ecstasy, breaking through limits, breathing the breathless, breathing the breathtaking, beaten cold with beauty, beaten cold with a very final beauty, beaten cold with a beauty that comes right before the end!

And this, and nothing less, this is how you bury the skull of your country! The Revolution in Music!

(Set to hard rock, this is a wild, brutal confrontation between 10 killer nuns and the tribe … It is filled with spectacle and outrageous violence … nuns swooping through the aisles, hurling people into the air like trampolines, forming a kick line and simultaneously smashing the faces of the tribe, like berserk Rockettes etc … It is all set to bizarre joyous music … It ends with the nuns and tribe wrapped about each other, “eating” each other in death as the lights go down … )


(Baal stands before the bodies) (The Historian says the first speech with him sharply)

BAAL) American Revolution, 1971. The beast lives forever. The creatures are behind you. The universe is in a state of triumph.

BAAL) (without the HISTORIAN) I am the chemical blood of the future, and the Revolution will be real because I am real … I am real … There are no lies on my body … Swell to my size … I am real … There are no lies on my body … Swell to my size … I am real … I am real … I am real … I am real … (He continues softly)

HISTORIAN) There is more to a revolution than what is real … There is more to a street fight than what you see in a photograph. The battlefield of eternal undeclared wars is unbounded and endless. There are no limits there; there never will be. Mescaline cowboys and satanic orphans indeed.

(Baal begins to crawl over the bodies)

HISTORIAN) (smiling sickly) There will be an orgy tonight in the White House. Mrs. Nixon will supply the guns and butter … God isn’t dead. He’s just gone flaccid … Ah, how I love the old jokes. He can barely crawl between the bodies. The fight is over. Everyone is satisfied … or, at least, satiated.

(Baal is now kneeling before the bodies)

HISTORIAN) And this is, by no means, where it all ends. There’s always enough left to start again, and again, and again. The parade goes on and on. And who cares, and why not? (Leering) There’s always more …

(A new girl, in a white robe, comes to Baal. He touches her, takes off the robe … )

GIRL) Let me in.

BAAL) Why?

GIRL) It’s getting hungry.

BAAL) Yes. I know.

GIRL) Let me in.

BAAL) Even now?

GIRL) Let me in!

BAAL) Let me out.

GIRL) I’m sorry.

BAAL) I’m sorry.

GIRL) I forgive you.

BAAL) I forgive you.

(They hold each other gently … He stands with her … She slides down his body. Lights go down except on them. The Historian stands in front of them in the audience, looking around slowly. She performs tender gestures (fellatio) on him while the the excerpt from the record “Sounds of Dissent” is played.)

(The excerpt finishes … Baal kneels down to the girl, caresses her)

HISTORIAN) STOP! … There is a major lesson to be learned here! What is it? … Oh, yes … Don’t yell for help too loud in the middle of the night. You might wake up your neighbors …

(Baal speaks as if hypnotized, still holding the Girl)

BAAL) America, how can it be that already you’re reduced to ashes and yet you’ve never burned? America. How do you bury the skull of your country, when the skull is all you have left? America. Last chance to glow in the dark, America. Last chance to glow in the dark. America. You came with your outlaw son. Your eyes full of lightning, your hair all undone, and your screams melting into the sun. America.

HISTORIAN) But there are no more screams. All the screams have burned themselves out. There are no more screams. And now what?

BAAL and HISTORIAN) And now what?


BAAL) (still softly) America. You came with your outlaw son and you bathed in a sheath of silk. With the sweet smell of sperm and the warm smell of milk. And blood, young blood, all over your streets, America. You came with your outlaw son and you gave birth till the night decayed away. To a hint of gun dust tinged with hair spray. American Revolution, 1971. Aren’t we beautiful? Aren’t we filthy? Aren’t we real?

HISTORIAN) (With an agonized cry) NO! Take your confessions somewhere else! Give my veins some peace! Exterminate all of these dreams! Give history the rest it has earned! Give us all some mercy! Take your confessions somewhere else!!! … I’m sorry … There is nowhere else …

BAAL) There is nowhere else …

HISTORIAN) I’m really very sorry … but I can’t forgive you … I can’t forgive anyone … That’s why I’ve lived so long … I think —

BAAL) Aren’t we more than beautiful? Aren’t we more than filthy? Aren’t we more than real? And isn’t our blood sweet?

HISTORIAN) Ketchup or blood? Ketchup or blood? What’s the difference? It’s all theatre now. Metaphor is dead … And in the theatre, as well as in madness, it’s not how far out you go, or what you see out there; it’s what you bring back … Give them time …

BAAL) It’s almost morning. It’s getting light outside. We’ll be able to see the corpses more clearly …

HISTORIAN) And reality is still in agony … And we should have put reality out of its misery a long time ago … but there was nobody left with the grace to try euthanasia …

BAAL) Yeah … It’s getting lighter. If it gets any lighter, we won’t see a thing …

HISTORIAN) Ladies and gentlemen, while we still have time, if we still have time, please — let’s make our cemeteries safe for our children …

Good night.