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A Selection of Poems and Excerpts from Plays by Sara Judge (Part 1)

Updated: May 10


Poem in G#


Side-tracked on I-95

Hijacked on a rural road

I tried

to drive back

but you can’t rewind time

I’m the English patient’s mistress

In the time of Cholera

I hit my head on the roof when my heart

Hit the ceiling, the fifth wall, horizontal

restraining my de-containment

I sink back into the softness of the couch

And begin to sing

The overture begins

In a Zoom chat with 200 people

Chanting Sondheim

On his 90th birthday

And ends with a

Covid-19 survivor

Playing the viola

Solo

Because we lost

7 of the octet

When they all contracted it

from Aunt Barb’s 60th birthday party

The song is a movement

But I am still

In an Egyptian tomb

With two broken legs

Waiting

For you

For someone

For anyone

to save us.


 

EXCERPT From the play Shooting Stars

SCENE 2 The Prayer MAE is grieving the death of her teenage son, killed in a school shooting. She is alone with her son’s coffin when SPIRIT, a multiverse-version of MAE, enters after the first monologue. It is early evening.

MAE: Cruel beast of a hundred billion suns, carrying with you the souls of every

creature alive and dead in this universe, like a mighty buffalo lumbering across the

Great Plains, while your heart continues to beat, opening and closing and opening

again every second. Electrons spinning inside your cells, bonding and reacting like

big bangs and black holes. Organic matter dividing, multiplying, dying, scrubbed

out and reabsorbed. (beat) I feel as though I don’t exist!


(The SPIRIT version of MAE has entered. MAE takes a pill from her purse,

swallows it.)


MAE: (to her son) I want to kiss you for living inside of your beautiful flesh. Warm

and glowing, with the materials of the stars. You were so young.


SPIRIT: He was ancient matter changing form, never destroyed. It’s science!


MAE: Death is everywhere…what a waste.


SPIRIT: Nothing in nature is wasted. (beat) Look, it’s morning already.

MAE: (time has moved, MAE is shocked) The sun is rising!

SPIRIT: The earth is turning.


MAE: Who are you? My, God.


SPIRIT: I’m the God part of you, I guess you could say. Technically I’m you, in the

15th dimension.


MAE: What about me?


SPIRIT: You are beloved. You’ve done nothing wrong. You have empathy. You want

to end suffering. You care about using too much plastic.


(The space has become MAE’s kitchen.)


MAE: How did I get here?


SPIRIT: First you came from heaven. And then you came from the earth. You’ve

been here for a very very long time.

MAE: I’ve always felt like my soul was new, like I’ve never been here before.


SPIRIT: Did you get that idea from astrology?


MAE: Yes.


SPIRIT: Because you’re an Aries?


MAE: Yes.


SPIRIT: We are all the great bison lumbering along.


MAE: I feel…hungry.


SPIRIT: That’s good! You’ve been through a lot this morning.


MAE: What should I eat?


SPIRIT: Eggs.


MAE: Ok.


SPIRIT: Tomatoes. And salt.


MAE: Ok.

SPIRIT: Everyone is rushing to the table to be fed.


(We hear gunshots. The space is transformed into a classroom, during a school

shooting. MAE and SPIRIT hide under a desk. We hear heavy footsteps and

random shots fired. The footsteps are approaching.)

MAE: Are we safe here?


SPIRIT: We are safe under this desk.


MAE: I think we should move to the closet before...


(SPIRIT places a hand over MAE’s mouth. MAE shrieks quietly. AIDEN, the

shooter, appears as a small grotesque creature. He does not match his heavy

footsteps. He holds an automatic rifle, struts around the space. There are

Twizzlers nearby. He takes one and takes a bite. Chews. MAE begins shrieking

in fear under the hand of SPIRIT.)


SPIRIT: Shh…

(AIDEN spits out the Twizzler and points the gun in their direction. SPIRIT

comes out of hiding with their arms up.)

AIDEN: Are you alone?

SPIRIT: Yes.

(AIDEN shoots and kills SPIRIT. They die. MAE comes out of hiding screaming,

inconsolable. She wrestles AIDEN to the ground. There is choreography and

vocalization here. MAE manages to take the gun. She points it at him.)



 

POEM


Ode to Sales Force Tower, from the view at Jackson Playground


Oh, Phallus-shrine!

Erection Force

above it all

Post-the gold rush, hush

tap tap iron axe and pick

pricking up the earth

skin coated turmeric

with clay dust

the fracking causes

ground to shake,

plates to shift,

and kitchens to shut down.


Post-1906, sex


sexless madams, shut down

brothel’s out of business


there is an earthquake below our feet

but we brave it out

like the gold-diggers,

and fortune tellers,

like the truth-seeking,

fire-worshipping people

we are

the San Francisco wind


Spanish-Speaking

Nannies park strollers

next to benches

and raise

another woman’s child

while

wildflowers

civilize

the rusted chicken wire on Mariposa.


Someone’s mom

hung a painting of

a cabbage moth there,

to mark the remains of a garden.





 

EXCERPT From the play Shooting Stars

SCENE 5 Worst Nightmare MAE and her deceased teenage son BEN are stuck in the 15th dimension with SPIRIT. It’s a dark void with points of light and color, pleasant droning sounds.

MAE: It’s every mother’s worst nightmare.


SPIRIT: Is it though? (beat) I mean, there are forever chemicals in mother’s milk.

PFCs? Polyfluoroalkyl substances. Highly fluorinated chemicals used for their

their oil-, stain-, and water-repellent properties. Carpets, cleaners, clothing,

cookware, cosmetics, food packaging, furnishings, outdoor apparel, paints,

papers, protective coatings, sealants, and firefighting foams. PFCs. Found in

every living creature on the planet. They accumulate in your body. Cause

cancer and who knows what else. (to BEN) You could’ve been born with a

severe birth defect. Because your pregnant mother ate a contaminated cow

cooked on teflon. Not to mention the new carpet that was installed right

before you were conceived, and the fire retardant sprayed onto the fabric of

your baby pajamas. Mother’s milk, cow’s milk, goat’s milk. You could have been

born with a physical deformity so great that your parents would have been

afraid to even look at you. You could have been born without the ability to

think. I mean. That’s worse right?


BEN: I guess so?

SPIRIT: Of all the things it means to be human, of all the gifts we have, to be alive in

this life— it’s consciousness. We are the expression of the consciousness of the

universe. Like the delicate folds and curls of a flower. Intelligent design. But the

creator is consciousness itself!


MAE: That’s Eckhart Toll.


SPIRIT: No, I just came up with that.


MAE: No, you got it from a book called A New Earth in 2007.


MAE and SPIRIT: (together) And now you think it’s your own original idea.


SPIRIT: Maybe we’re just copies of ourselves. Of each other. Facsimiles. Similes.

(to BEN) Smile.

(SPIRIT smiles creepily at BEN. He smiles creepily back.)


SPIRIT: (to MAE) Smile.

(SPIRIT smiles creepily to MAE. She smiles creepily back.)


SPIRIT: A smile is contagious. We copy each others smiles. Because we’re conscious.

What does our consciousness do with the forever chemicals? Human

consciousness created forever chemicals to make non-stick, fire-proof, water-proof

things. Convenient. Comfortable. Carcinogenic.


BEN: Mom?


MAE and SPIRIT: (together) What is it sweetie?

BEN: I’m so hungry.

MAE: Can we please get some food for him? What is this, hell?


SPIRIT: I don’t know.

MAE: What do you mean you don’t know? You brought us here!


SPIRIT: I was just following my instinct. You know, you could have worked on your

own psychic abilities a little more. Maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess.


MAE: You could have gone to grad school instead of relying on magical thinking.

SPIRIT: (corrects her) Magically thinking.


BEN: Thinking is kind of magical though, isn’t it?


(MAE and SPIRIT both stare at him. MAE falls to her knees. She is stricken with

pain and grief. SPIRIT places a hand on MAE’s shoulder, then walks to BEN.)


SPIRIT: You’re so smart. You’re magical, my darling.

BEN: I mean, we have actual electricity inside our brains. Synapses and dendrites.

SPIRIT: (She tickles him) Zip. Zap.

BEN: Ah! Stop!

SPIRIT: Zip. Zap.

(he laughs as if he were suddenly a kid again, and then stops.)

Ben: Stop.

SPIRIT: I’m sorry. You’re just so cute.

BEN: Ugh. (He steps away from her.)


MAE: We should have moved. I hate that town. I wanted to leave. I never wanted to

be there.


BEN: Why did we stay?

MAE: I had a job. Your father had a job. He didn’t want to leave. You had your

friends. We were fixed, immovable.


SPIRIT: We were like forever chemicals, stuck in the town.

BEN: The town being…?

SPIRIT: Mother’s milk.




 

POEMS



The Working Class Elites,

A Comedy in Three Acts


The Post Office

The Why?

The, "Where's my package?"

The "I don't work for you."

The kisses we missed

While we were working

While we were working

While we were working.


I tried to text you

But that felt like working too.

So I sent you a map

In the bathtub

Because you couldn't find

Your shirt

And I

Signed up

For a job to do chores for

People with money.


You “didn,T” respond to the map


Then China called Donald Trump,

the man they call President

the man they call President

the man they call President


Hello?

Are you still?

Awake?





Remember Love?

Where is my Love?

I am so trapped

in my everyday

coffee making rings on wood,

Dishes pile while

vape pen-

a new invention

outsmarts fire

And quiets the wild, disgusting desire.

Everything’s been done before but

I still sing for you, Love

I sing for the familiar foreign territory.

I sing for the earthy dirty warrior to win me.

Sex me out of my soft weak ways

but play like a child and twin me.





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