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Drink Your Bloody Coffee: [For the Producers]

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b.mellow
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Posted 05/15/05 - 5:56 PM:
Subject: Drink Your Bloody Coffee: [For the Producers]
Howdy folks, this is something I wrote over a year ago, but I never really liked it. It's only a first draft, but is gonna stay that way cause I don't feel like revising it. But upon re-reading, I decided there are a couple good stanzas at least. It's written in a sloppy iambic pentameter, which is only a hop, skip, and a jump (and a hell of a lot of re-writing) away from Shakespearean Sonnet. Enjoy ..

Drink Your Bloody Coffee: [For the Producers]

Cast of Characters:
Mick - bartender
Randall - some dude
Phil - the guy's friend
Penelope - styling and profiling young lady
Background - anonymous background voices

Scene - open inside a dimly lit cafe/bar. A few scattered customers. Behind the bar is very dark, can only vaguely make out the silhouette of the bartender. Lights on table where Randall and Phil have just sat down to drink their coffees.

Randall: I dare to say this drink is not so much
A man'festation of water and beans
And if I's bent on downing it as such [takes big gulp, places drink down and cringes]
I fear an ache inside my very spleens

Phil:

How can it be as bad as ye would preach?
I hereby promise I can keep my face
I wager fifteen pounds, no promise breached --

Randall:

The walls shan't hear victorious sounds of grace!
But fifteen pounds? I dare say wager more --

Phil:

You're on, Randall. Now watch and speak no more ...
[Takes cups to his lips, takes a sip]

Randall:

Yes ... more ...
[Takes another sip; squints but keeps composure]
It all be downed before collecting debts!
[Drinks the rest and coughs and gags; cheers and laughter erupt from a small audience]

Phil:

I guarantee I've horse's breath for sure! Achh!

Randall:

Ha!
I speak no things such as you 'xpect a lie
A crime even for me t'xaggerate
My money, Phil, if you would be so kind
I'll take my words straight to the Pearly Gates

Phil:

[Slams money on table]
It is no crime; it is no crime, my friend
Believe that I'll regain, though not from you
This bloody bartender is who ought lend
Purse back for liquid drink retrieved from stools.

Randall:

Then challenge rightful man who caused this theft --

Phil:

And causes me to have crap on my breath!
Let us go now and speak with him at once!
[raise and walk to bar, light follows and another spoltights on Mick, wiping the counter]

Mick:

Good afternoon, what can I get for you?
We've beers and shots and Coke and Schnapps and Brews

Phil:

Forgive my subtlety, or lack thereof
But we have had enough coffee and beer
I've crap for breath - what is the cause? - this pub!
Might have to sue unless you've open ears.

Mick:

It can work itself out if only you'll --

Randall:

[slams fist on counter]
Re'mbursent is what we demand right now!

Phil:

Look at my eyes and tell me I'm the fool
Who'll be ripped off and not question as how!

Mick:

A moment's thought will do us good, please keep
Your voices down and lets recall "There's time
And place and just approach to all ye seek"
So please remain relaxed and all'll be fine.

Phil:

And what do you suggest we do, wee-lad?

Mick:

Another cup!

Randall:

Another cup?

Mick:

Another cup, indeed, yet this be brewed
From finest grounds this Earth did ever grew.

Phil:

Off, then, off!
[Waves him to the back]
[EXIT Mick; Phil and Randall turn from the bar and rest against it]

Randall:

He certainly was a wiry chap, who has
Neither backbone nor feet on ground and lacks
Small things such as accomp'nied oft' by class
Could eat alive his kin and that's a fact

Phil:

That as it may, do sheathe your fangs for he's
Producing, free of charge, for your appease.

Randall:

Aye.
What is the story of this man and how'd
He come across as owner of this joint?

Phil:

Well:
His hist'ry is both long as well as proud
Measured the highest peaks and lowest points
He's breathed in waves and surfed the highest clouds
And ... and ...

Randall:

And what?

Phil:

[sluggish]
I cannot find a word that rhymes with point.

Randall:

Ah.
That be the truth, that which you speak?

Phil:

Yes, listen. Moint, foint, koint ... AH! ... Bouyant!
But what the hell context would I --

Randall:

You idiotic fool! I meant his past.
Mysterious and troubled, just at first glance?

Phil:

Now how should I know that? Just made it up
To pass the time before he 'rives with cups
[ENTER Mick, with a bandage on his arm that goes unnoticed by both Phil and Randall]

Mick:

These two should make for better tasting times
I see you two returning back in line
Not for recompense of your claims of crimes
But for seconds, then thirds and fourths, then fives!

Randall:

We'll come back and see you about something!

[Head back to table, light follows them and dims from Mick; they sit]

Randall:

Care to wager one more time or shall
We not be bothered and make this lad whail

Phil:

Let's have a sip and judge it then from there
Can hurt the kid rightfully, fair and square
[clink glasses together]

[fade from Phil and Randall, lights on Mick]

Mick:

When they return I might not stand a chance
The coffee is the same as they had last
Except for three squirts each, which now it pains
For in their cups contain blood from my veins.
Was in a rush and try'n to stall their flame
When pricked by damn splinters and out blood came!
It dropped inside thier drinks, no fault indeed,
In fact they should be pleased it wasn't pee.

[Lights on Randall, Phil, who rise with a start towards the bar]

Here now they come, no doubt their tongues a'spewing
What shall I say to grace them in ... uh ...
How ya doing?

Phil:

Bartender!

Randall:

Aye!

Phil:

Bartender!

Randall:

Aye! Tell 'im!

Mick:

What sayest though about my concoction?

Phil:

Sir!
This drink! It be the best I've had in years!
The splendid mix of beans and ... something else ...
Dances upon my tongue ... attacked by tears ...
I know not what you add, it sure is blessed!

Randall:

Indeed, I downed it all in one fell swoop.
Delicious, and a caffiene buzz to boot.

Mick:

I -- I --

Randall:

Say no more!
You wait right here, I'm off to tell this group
This ranks above grilled cheese with chicken soup!

Phil:

Me too! Splendid!
I'll be right back for another!

[Phil and Randall leave towards other customers, light dims from them and remains on Mick]

Mick:

What can I say to this unheard of news?
I was recently singing bout the blues.
Ingredient added is what they want?
Ingredient added s'what they will get.
What use i'this discov'ry, if for naught?
I'll serve them, each one, till their hearts content.
My spirit raises high, shot from the ground,
Now add a little red unto this brown ...
Remove the bandage and let the vein flow
Into each cup and ... 'tis painfully slow.
Must watch with care I lose not consciousness
Lightheaded but anticipating bliss.
Those gentlemen have gathered up a crowd
Licking their chops, they do come near me now.

[RETURN Randall and Phil with extras to the bar]

Phil:

We've told them all and they're excited too
So brew some of your drink .. and, I see
Contains a reddish, cherry, syrup you've
Ground beside the beans to make such glee!

Randall:

Here, friends, each have a cup!
b.mellow
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Posted 05/15/05 - 5:56 PM:

Mick:

[Scratchy voice] Yes, take them
[Group takes and drinks; murmurs turn to gasps then excited talk]

Phil:

See? See?
The drink you've made will soon sweep through the town.
Agents and lawyers will produce their cards
Children will come from miles and miles around
In fact your name, never again, be marred.

Randall:

And don't forget the money!

Background:

Another drink, for this is quite tasty!

Phil:

Money, of course!

Mick:

[serving a drink] I'm not sure I --

Randall:

Phil, what can't you buy with money?

Background:

Another drink for me as well, kind sir!

Mick:

One moment ...

Phil:

Nada!

Mick:

Nada?

Randall:

Notta damn thing!
That is the beauty of the Paper God.

Mick:

[to Phil and Randall] I don't know.
[to customer] Here you are.

Phil:

I'll have another, too, can't get enough.
And phoning to my work, to show this off.

Mick:

Don't they already have places they get
Their caffeine buzz which holds significance?

Phil:

[Holding a cell phone between ear and shoulder]
Of course they do but, man, just stop and think!
Starbucks is out, you've got the newest drink!

Background:

A round of drinks for table seven please!

Phil:

So long as you can keep the pace with these ...

[EXIT Phil, Randall to their table, a few customers still being served]

Mick:

Must I continue with this damn parade?
They speak to me as if this were charades.
My arm is numb and dots appear before
My eyes whether I blink or squint or stare.
Look at them all, tasting my blood inside;
My soul is wearing thin, might now reside
In beastly fanged creatures such as these men
Devour'n my flesh, then come to feast again.
And how they hold their lips against their tongues
As if appraising ev'ry lasting drop.
Not knowing it be flesh, like theirs, from mums,
But thinking it be harvested like crop.
Don't humans have much better things to do?
Priorities, can we remember better times?
Resort to muderous ways, in fact we do,
Cause profit goes to those who enforce crime.
I am no good for sake of being me,
It is the "I" consumed with production
They do pretend to praise admiringly
With calculations of my induction.
What can I do but serve these bastard folk?
Who taste my soul and toss a tip for jokes?
And now I'm growing pale and sickly white
My blood is growing thin, must try to fight
The masses come, they demand more and more
To halt output would be to risk my store.
One moment please, I've run out of syrup
Must stumble back and ... What am I looking for? O yes!
Looking for syrup found in my veins,
Successful life, I 'ssume, requires pain.
I puncture my blue tubes with the syringe
And, yes!
This loss of blood certainly makes me cringe!

[fade from Mick; lights on doorway where Penelope enters; walks to bar and waits for service; where Randall quickly joins her]

Randall:

Hello, my dear, who are you do'n today?

Penelope:

Excuse me, sir, but what the hell'd you say?

Randall:

Now beautiful, you know I meant say "how."

Penelope:

That's good to hear, and "fine," now go away.

Randall:

Now please, lil' girl, do not try put me on
With ghastly strokes of "unattainable."
At least until you've heard my dance and song
'Nif still displeased then preach to one and all.

Penelope:

I care not for your meandering ways
But go ahead and laugh and sing and dance
Amuse me, for I'm here t'be entertained,
Would time spent otherwise make any sense?

Randall:

The answer to your query's surely "no."
And I enjoy girls that display tempers
So sit back, have a drink, and n'joy the show
I'll demonstrate how you should be pampered.
[Penelope sighs, checks her watch]
You cannot be too good to hear me out,
Eyelashes do flutter and now I st -- st -- st --

Penelope:

[bored, impatient] Stutter?

Randall:

Yes!
And with perfectly shaped lips on your mouth,
I'd bet my life I'd never kiss another.

Penelope:

Gee, that's swell.

Phil:

[calling from table]
Randall, how goes it?

Randall:

Not good, this beaut, she keeps a real straight face.
I must attest she'd be a thespian
To have int'rest and yet allow no pace
Either that or she's a --
[gets an idea, turns back to Penelope]
You care to try a sip of this bev'rage?

Penelope:

Sure, why not? [takes a sip and eyes widen]
That is tasty! Who makes a cup like this?

Randall:

The bartender, who's in the back ... but now!
Look here he comes, but walking rather slow.

[Lights on Mick, who's staggering from the back, speaking aloud to himself]

Mick:

I went to make more drinks for fellow man
Would do my best to make good of this place
But everywhere I look are yellow strands
I fear I may fall flat upon my face!
It was my duty to produce my best
And in the process become like a prostitute
Except no need for lips pressed 'pon my breast
But teeth sunk in my veins and so much more.
And really now, how long before they'd say,
"One flavor's not enough for our needs, sir.
Produce new drinks or else we'll relocate."
Their admiration, then, it'd be a blur.
Oh, scoundrels, I say!
And speak of blurs, I cannot hold my feet,
Teeth are turning loose ... gums ... sickly sweet ...
Tongue is grown ...
My tongue has grown and multiplied by fours
My muscles, they are draining 'neath my pores.
Failed to produce, for one more drop would kill;
Lose any more, and surely, God, it will.
I have no more inside to make such fire,
Fifteen minutes went by, now I retire.
Sweep customers away and go to bed,
Lie down while I've still choice to rest my head.

Randall:

[to crowd, who've gathered around the bar]
I guaranteed he would show up so soon.
And bring with him syrup just for our booze.

Mick:

I -- I --

Phil:

Why have you come without the drinks promised?

Mick:

I ... I can't ...

Randall:

Look how he jokes! Come now, can you not see?
We've filled the bar with folks who are thirsty!
A femme fatale to boot, she's heavenly!

Penelope:

Hello, fine sir, my name's Penelope.

Mick:

Hello.

Randall:

Look how he turns to white, nearer he gets,
Surely he's embarrassed, but go'on n' get!

Mick:

Penelope, your name was?

Penelope:

Yes, Penelope, and yours?

Mick:

Michael ... but ... but my friends call me Mick.

Penelope:

Hmmm ... I think I like Michael better. It's sweeter.

Mick:

Michael it is.

Randall:

[to crowd]
This bartender does not see how we wait
Nor thankful for our dough, lousy ingrate!

Penelope:

Thanks ...
And I tried your drink. Tis quite tasty.

Mick:

You think so?

Phil:

Come now son, deliver what we want!

Penelope:

Definitely, I'd go so far as to call it "good."

Randall:

Bartender!

Mick:

Good?

Phil:

Bartender!

Penelope:

Good.

Background:

Bartender!

Mick:

A simple, straighforward, grounding "good."
I like it! Thank you.

Randall:

Come on now!

Penelope:

Do you have any more?

Phil:

Why do we --

Mick:

Any more?

Randall:

Indeed, Phil, let us leave.
Penelope, come with us.

Penelope:

Yes, I would love to have a cup.

Mick:

Yes ... yes, of course.
Tis in the back.
One moment please.

Randall:

Thank God!

Mick:

Yes, indeed, thank God. One last round, for one and all.
And this one's on the house.
[cheers from the crowd; Mick exits out of sight but continues to speak]
I will return within ten minutes;
I will return indeed. Just a few minutes
I shall return. In just a few moments, with cups,
I shall produce. I shall produce.
Unto my death.

[something clumps to the floor; Randall jumps the bar and checks on Mick, waves his arms for help; customers run around frantically, apparently yelling, but all it silent as the lights dim and curtains close.]

THE END
libertygrl
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Posted 05/16/05 - 9:10 PM:

wow. nicely done. yes, the rhyme and rhythm are a little sloppy, but still impressive, still extremely effective. the pentameter is an interesting but (as i see it) necessary choice, a task which in and of itself seemed to have required a fair amount of tapping the vein. reminds me of 'little shop of horrors' in some (perhaps obvious) ways i can't very well explain at the moment.

i'll be back with more comments.

gonna ponder
over yonder,
lib
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 05/17/05 - 2:17 AM:

AWESOME !!

i love it.. not the rhyme as style per se, but the enchantment and the absurdity
a very strong image, basta

well done

"gonna ponder
over yonder"

lol laughing
libertygrl
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Posted 05/17/05 - 9:06 PM:

my first, most immediate thought as i finished reading the play was that this mick fellow was addicted to his own bloodletting. on the flipside, of course, his patrons are also addicted to his new coffee formula, but this is merely an incidental facet or side effect of the same root addiction, which stems from mick's basic need for validation.

we all have our own various manifestations of this basic need, but unfortunate mick has stumbled upon an accidental drug which leads him into a rapid downward spiral toward his ultimate demise. his plain and simple plight is that he appears to be unable to use truth to solve his initial problem (as evidenced by his stalling) - for this reason, i call his bloodletting a drug, because it represents the activation of his denial mechanism. it has other parallels to drug addiction in the sense that the first hit and every one thereafter increasingly impairs his judgement, thereby reinforcing his inability to confront the truth.

on the other hand, his bloodletting also represents a different kind of need, the need to 'produce', to use mick's own choice of words. it's a perfectly fitting metaphor for the way we produce as human beings, especially the way artists produce: incessantly pouring out one's own "blood" - the very essence of our vitality - only to have it constantly and oftentimes thoughtlessly consumed by those around us, especially by those whose acceptance we seek, either consciously or subconsciously.

once again, nicely done!

smiling facelib

Edited by libertygrl on 05/18/05 - 8:56 AM. Reason: clarification
b.mellow
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Posted 05/18/05 - 10:15 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
wow. nicely done. yes, the rhyme and rhythm are a little sloppy, but still impressive, still extremely effective. the pentameter is an interesting but (as i see it) necessary choice, a task which in and of itself seemed to have required a fair amount of tapping the vein. reminds me of 'little shop of horrors' in some (perhaps obvious) ways i can't very well explain at the moment.

i'll be back with more comments.

gonna ponder
over yonder,
lib


Thank you lib. Yes, the pentameter was one of the more grueling parts of writing this, which is why I paid very little attention to structuring the rhymes. I actually wrote this for a class (which I failed) - but I really enjoyed the pairing of this over-the-top story with the melodramatic style of a versed play. I remember for some days I went to bed with pentameter in my head and awoke in the middle of the night writing down lines. Gonna ponder over yonder? I didn't think there was much to ponder about but ...
b.mellow
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Posted 05/18/05 - 10:20 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:
AWESOME !!

i love it.. not the rhyme as style per se, but the enchantment and the absurdity
a very strong image, basta

well done

"gonna ponder
over yonder"

lol laughing


Thanks buddy! The piece certainly is absurd, which is why it fits to have these out-loud proclamations. If it was written in prose, I'd have had to take a much different approach, with a much darker, more grim and subtle, interrogative piece. Instead, in this atmosphere, I think I got away with an absurd song and dance.
b.mellow
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Posted 05/18/05 - 11:11 AM:

Lib, some very interesting stuff concerning his being addicted. I suppose many things stem from that basic instinctual need for validation, especially in this case when Mick never tastes his own mixture, but gains bliss from its reaction in others. I had never seen a correlation between his producing and an "addiction", though, being the author, I can understand how it'd come across, as I have a very addictive personality. (Moderation? What does that mean?) I wonder what the ol' psychoanalysts think about this behavioral pattern, whether it be a restless need for something (validation? meaning? fulfillment?) sorely lacking in the individual, and with no immediate directions, so the individual goes from object to object, frantically immersing themselves in these passions, looking for that one thing that 'sticks'; much in the way Jung describes the Roman character before Christianity took over. He tells of Christianities purpose of giving the people something internal to focus on instead of these outward, addictive passions, and that it worked these last two thousand years to slowly drive into the unconscious these blood-thirsty drives so that the modern man hardly recognizes the 'evil' they are capable of. But what happens, I ask, when a person becomes addicted to these drives in this introverted atmosphere, which are no longer contained by the archaic notions Christianity preaches us to believe whole-heartedly.

on the other hand, his bloodletting also represents a different kind of need, the need to 'produce', to use mick's own choice of words. it's a perfectly fitting metaphor for the way we produce as human beings, especially the way artists produce: incessantly pouring out one's own "blood" - the very essence of our vitality - only to have it constantly and oftentimes thoughtlessly consumed by those around us, especially by those whose acceptance we seek, either consciously or subconsciously.

once again, nicely done!

smiling facelib


This is basically the driving idea I was getting at. The immediate context this was written in was for a class, which I'd been busting butt to produce really good stuff, but as I took much longer than most, the assignments kept racking in, and I was forced into a corner to 'produce' excellent material at a much faster pace (and this was the last assignment of the semester, from whence I was well and burnt out.) The end, however, which I didn't do a very good job on, was supposed to show Penelope's honest attraction towards the drink and the drink-maker as all the validation he needed. When she innocently asks for another cup he doens't know how to react, for this is the first time he really wants to reap the benefits of his own mixture.


Edited by basta on 05/18/05 - 11:16 AM. Reason: dislexic, I wrote it backwards
libertygrl
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Posted 05/19/05 - 8:50 AM:

basta wrote:
But what happens, I ask, when a person becomes addicted to these drives in this introverted atmosphere, which are no longer contained by the archaic notions Christianity preaches us to believe whole-heartedly.

then i imagine that the person becomes at the same time driven to find an outlet(/satisfaction/release) for this energy, either by acting out the passions covertly (let's say through fetishes, for example, or through criminal activity, or self-mutilation), or perhaps by seeking more socially acceptable outlets such as through artistic expression.

lib
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Posted 05/19/05 - 10:08 AM:

I just got the biggest kick out of reading that. Thank you, Lib.

It also occured to me we might get a more intelligent criminal, one more adept at hiding pers passions from the masses, at manipulating things behind the scenes. Perhaps fear of God would have stopped the Enron fellas awhile back. And on a massive scale, we also have the masses not really caring, for lurking in the back of their head is not only the realization, but the acceptance (no longer repressed or damned) that they're capable and may well have done the same exact thing.

ps - thanks very much for your input in this thread; it's been much appreciated.
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Posted 05/24/05 - 2:30 AM:

Hi folks,

Creepy! Lib mentions 'Little Shop of Horrors', I thought of 'Sweeney Todd: Demon barber of Fleet Street' who opens a highly successful pie shop, based on the special taste which comes from victims of Sweeney's cutthroat razor.

Re the style, Basta, I'm thinking that it might fall into place when performed. I've always had trouble reading plays straight off the page.

The sacrificial theme has been so prevalent through history; I wonder what drives it?

Cheers, e
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