Voila mon Lysosome?
Play, in one act, for an eighth grade biology/life-science class.
Scene: abandoned church, protestant (i.e. icon-free but with plenty of market quality upholstery. The kneeling bars, if they exist, have been converted into a monorail communion delivery system, allowing the clergy to devote more of their free time devising more dynamic and show-stopping forgiveness ceremonies.) A group of four kids1 sit on the altar, preparing for a haiku competition.
The sounds of a crowd interrupt their game of “Name That Saint Via Fox’s Book of Martyrs.”
Regina: Why is that crowd gathering outside?
Charles: They’ve changed the rules of the competition.
BJ: Yeah, not just haiku anymore. Anything goes.
Caroline: What?! I’ve spent an entire year focusing on haiku specifically. It took me almost 3 months to decipher the manner in which the classic 5-7-5 structure might be maintained in translation. My team and I wasted six weeks on experiments with the tonic, chant-like, nature of the 575, in both Japanese and English. Seasonal (kigo) themes and the techniques of cutting (both of which were bolstered by the arrival of Bashō and his subsequent attack on the Hakku)—studied, understood, and now abandoned. How can my skill at capturing, through the medium’s meter and thematic framework, a moment, an instant that is beyond fleeting from a scene as simple as a hummingbird deciding to pass one flower by, choosing instead to design, construct, and finally wear a tiny saddle of dandelion wire and offer high speed flights to smaller, flightless species, charging admission, hoping, by investing this supplemental income wisely, to insure himself enough nectar to feed 10 hummingbirds of reasonable size for as many years as they, the 10, might choose to visit him, be seen in another poetic form?
Charles: You could write a sonnet about it.
Caroline summons, via transmitter in her lapel, a group of acrobats on loan from the Borzoi Cirquist who, through violent contortion and gymnastic assault, manage to kill Charles so thoroughly that Regina and BJ are covered in gore. Regina and BJ, temporarily blinded, run into traffic and are conscripted, forcibly, by the North Korean military.
The dark stage is emptied and used as an echo chamber for the following voice over:
A tiny saddle
Scarring a hummingbird
Out of love and hate
Curtain closes to thunderous applause and greater respect for the components of cellular structure, specifically the lysosome. Vacuoles are not mentioned, for obvious reasons.
1 Regina Watts, Charles “Cigar Man” LaFargue, BJ Dodd, and Caroline Lowry.