(The street. ANGEL and JACK enter.)JACK: I dreamt about you last night, Angel.
ANGEL: That's because you won't touch me, Jack.
JACK: You know it's the dirt, Angel.
ANGEL: In your dream I became something else?
JACK: Yes, something else.
JACK: I don't know really.
ANGEL: That's your guilt
(ANGEL exits.)JACK: What is it with these birds?
I dreamt of parrots on a farm:
a Nissen hut of netting
(PROSTITUTES enter and form line. JACK 'works' his way among them.)a French colony, historic,
like the closing of brothels in Roe Street
or the surveillance
and vigilantes here in Smith Street
the new phoneboxes without
glass walls, citizens
with notepads hoping
for kerbcrawlers, spitting
at your sort refined varieties
of salinity, or in lingo,
bred from a new mathematics.
panopticon of colours
NARRATOR (emerging from her shop):
JACK: Always got a trick
NARRATOR: Ah Jack, your deals are always
JACK: And don't you love it
(PROSTITUTES exit hurriedly.)Looks like a pig wagon.
Angel's out on a date...
Hope she doesn't roll up
while they're sniffing about.
NARRATOR: Yeah, it'd only be the hundredth time
JACK: Genetically modified organisms.
NARRATOR: Don't go that often myself. Some of us
JACK: Ah, the dialogics of fucking.
NARRATOR: I'm an atheist myself. No desire
(NARRATOR exits.)JACK: Shit! and there's a client
about to make a swoop,
I'd better catch her eye
before she hooks him
there's no way
she'll see the cops
(ANGEL and CLIENT enter.)CLIENT: Let's take a walk.
(They fall into step.)ANGEL: Where are you parked?
CLIENT: At the end of the street.
(COPS enter.)COP 1: Soliciting.
(CLIENT panics. Starts denying it.)ANGEL: He's a friend.
CLIENT (confused): I'm not. I mean, yes...
COP 2: Cut the crap.
JACK: What's the problem, officer?
COP 2: Piss off, or you'll go too.
(COPS walk ANGEL upstage. ALL freeze.)NARRATOR (voice only, heard in darkness):
Watch this space.
Each patch and fetish a
pitch to stopper it, each
posture to quiet it,
this flag this red rag as it
like Ruth singing
"cover me, cover me
extend the border of your mantle over me"
freedom would be
possession of it.
(ALL exit.)Watch this space.
Smith Street | Mudlark No. 19
Contents | Act 2, Scene One