Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Let Dogs Lie, Part 4



I'm tearing off his feet.


His feet?


Not his hands?


Not his throat?


Forget it. The sight of blood makes me ill anyway.

(The dogs go back to the rug and lie down. They stretch, roll around, and rattle their collars. Finally they settle down and go to sleep.)

(Vandergraft returns quietly to the center stage.)


(Sadly, quietly.)

Sleep, sleep, sleep. Let waking dogs sleep before the hot sun warms their fur and makes them dream of immortality. Project that thought into art and make it dismemberment.


That's the sad thing about it all.

(Picks up the box. Looks at it again.)

The artist always gets blamed for instigating the dismantling of a culture, but, in the end, the sociopaths are the ones who take the utopian vision and wreck it just for the thrill of wrecking it.

I suppose that's the true art.

It's not utilitarian. It has no social purpose. There is no "justice" or benign tyranny of moralizing. I suppose I'll spend time in jail again. This time for cruelty to animals. Am I guilty? I'm an artist, but it's been years since I've been honest. Yes, I'm guilty. But it's a guilt that only I have the right to decide upon. The world tears apart its dogs and its undesirables. Who decides? Who gets blamed?


Tomorrow I'm sure I'll return to jail.


In many ways, it will almost be a relief.

(Exits stage right.)


A play in one act

by Susan Smith Nash

copyright 1996 by Susan Smith Nash, all rights reserved

Please register all performances in advance by contacting Susan Smith Nash at Also, please inquire about scholarships, grants, and prizes available for those who perform this play and provide information about the performance (reviews, photographs, copy of the program, etc.) Special incentives / prizes available to repertory groups using high school and undergraduate students. Please note that this play and others are collected in catfishes & jackals, published by potes & poets press, and available through Small Press Distribution.

Performance history: This play was first performed in February 1997 at St. Gregory's College in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The play was directed by Dr. Susan Procter. Many thanks and fond memories to everyone at St. Gregory's College, and to Father Lawrence, Father Victor, Sister Veronica. The wonderful people of St. Gregory's blessed my life in many ways -- ways I'm still discovering. The play was also performed at DC Art Center in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC, in April 1997.

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