FRANK SINATRA GOES FLAT (1953)
If asked, Frank and Suzie wouldn’t singe, or aim. It didn’t matter by the sky, Frank and Suzie took the dog by the trampoline, found panties, a green skirt. They wave the flashlight at the howl, show hay. Once today Frank researched a vast Nexus iii, the reflection of microscope landscapes gleams watermelon juice under black graph paper curls – sage leaf dries patent plastic- the desert slides a digital cactus with a tray of salt and wax to Suzie. Auto correct the tobacco smoke if needed. Dear Frank,
There is a horn solo in that distant train whistle, my head is a mushroom
Full of the candy land games, and the wind is attacking, seeds, knocking over that which does not hold weight -- the wind is making a friend -- with the weightless cardboard or the blue hanger --A matrix of sputters, lime machine advances, floating astronauts to a new bird house, to forever.
To a diagram of avenues, hunched across naked alcoholic dessert machines, Suzie is operating the ketchup bottle with flimsy, waves of digits and cold hair strung into an ice line. Above her head Frank sees big, NEON lights read: Caterpillar lounge.
The sky is full of bird nests drooping along the fishnets and light bulbs, taped together from matchsticks. Her eyes keep landing in the gutters, cat CLAWS the size of a house reach out of a mirage, and drape woven hair through the blush tree line.
Bicycle rabbit research, static klezmer drops from the cats CLAWS. Writes nylon birds. A tennis player produces a pair of Armani and tosses it over a NEON tapestry above the nests. The table dipped quart yard, now the fork reflects some of the flashlight, portable luminaire. Suzie sees the barber shop, listed cigarettes for haircuts, shows it to Frank. He takes it and trades her Russian candy for it, and they follow grown over concrete, gather Finch color slow motion.
Black and white T.V. Static covers dawn, the trees a perfumed and painted replica on TV land, (an old episode of Bewitched) swaying. Inside the family home in Auroville, flashes of a television show are left black and blue, an obsessed audience lingers at the table, drools, Bit-by-bit eating TV dinner. The show is put on the air, and Auroville changes -- No one goes to work, cars rust in the drive, covered with dust. The children don’t have to go to school anymore, they can sit and watch the show -- the pets sleep all day, and at night scratch the door – giving up after a time - Auroville rarely sleeps – Never goes outside – its safer in the show --
When he enters town, he at first, believes the night is the keeper of these people’s dreams –
His slack grey suit walks into an alley, adorned with a marionette, red hat, and red shoes, wooden legs painted like pants. He checks the broken pocket watch in dismay, no knowing the late hour, but late -- he replaces it back to his pocket, a purchase from Louisburg thrift.
He enters a deserted end of the candy colored suburbs, grey slacks pulling up barbs and snags of juniper, cedar and twigs -- the moon lowering under TV static, behind the purple clouds. He settles, twitching near the desert cactus, near soft clay --
A small camp behind an abandoned Sears is fashioned, he drifts to sleep --
Days pass, he meets no one and begins the process of door to door sales -- introducing himself as Frank Sinatra --
They snarl, and slam their doors in his face -- and he and his puppet lurk in the small town, shut out to wander the streets-- the marionette a silent comrade at his hand- the abandoned streets all grey. The black and white static all storms above him.
Sinatra greases back his jet black hair and puts on his grey suit jacket in the morning, listening to the birds. He wanders through endless neighborhoods, where he finally comes into a center of town. He finds a fountain pouring murky green water from within. The fountain is built in a circular formation of stones around a rusted brass sculpture of a naked angel spitting out bubbling water into the green pool, quietly bubbling.
A library overtaken in vines nearby, wrapped by the entry way in live oak trees hovers silent under the TV static sky. The place is abandoned; no one would be interested in books any longer. He sets up a cardboard box, and begins dancing his marionette, by pulling and contorting its body, hovering quietly in front of the soft water bubbling fountain -- Frank imagines smooth Caramel dripped slow motion, from the insides of the fountains workings, pulls at the strings of the puppet, placing it down on the box.
Frank wanders after night fall into an old avenue rotting with black water damage, and torn up brick. Vines crawl along steps to an old museum door. He steps up and looks inside the doors, his marionette hangs limp, rocking in black and white TV static at his side -- Frank quietly along the steps, bumps into a sign that reads Museum of Americana, but at the closer he inspects, the letters adjust, setting down onto the board Museum of Television, then the wheels beneath, turning the letters on a motor, roll each word inside somewhere in the box. Museum of Frank Sinatra -- he enters the wide doors having some resistance with the heavy oak.
Inside, the echoing of his entry reverberates somewhere in the distant chambers, and on the tall ceilings with painted televisions, and clocks, and in the center a shocking representation of himself, Frank Sinatra, holding the marionette, inside the center of one television. The artist had rendered him and the marionette in black and white; the smell of musk and cigar smoke.
Lining the walls of this first room -- all lights on, and one at the far back, near an elevator flickering in and out -- The floor reads Museum of Television ~ 1940 ~ set inlaid to a circle beneath Franks feet, and around in a perfect circle. Looking up, Frank sees that there are golden chandeliers hanging along a staircase from the back of the building, and spiraling along to his left to the front door.
Frank stands at a glass case -- a run down black and white Zenith television flickers on when he presses the worn out display button. A plaque covered in grey film reads this television is America's first to pick up frequency, playing the Bernie Sanders Show --
The sound is muffled as the show starts up, reminding him of the slow mechanical workings of a Ferris wheel advance, and spun, a small rodent inside of the device, waking up, rubbing its eyes, and running on the wheel.
A little black and white dog enters a parking lot, behind a freshly painted white fence, the dog barks. The audience is heard laughing, and a little boy walks up Bit-by-bit, kicking pebbles and rocks, his head down. He kneels to the dog, and says Gee, Albert, how’d you get way out here!? Dad’s going to be sure angry with me if he finds out I wasn't watching’ you. The dog barks, and the television show is eaten up by thin black and grey static interference, and then finally after a minute of this it switches off.
Sinatra hears a sound tapping above him, the rain beginning outside, calmed by this he pauses, and closing his eyes, for a few moments he stands in front of the casement holding his eyes closed. Afterimages of the black and white dog play briefly in his mind --
He takes the spiral stairs up to the second floor, where a janitor sits in front of a television set, sleeping--
To the left of the TV on a small stand is a broken pocket watch that looks to have been smashed by a hammer --
Frank Sinatra tries to figure out what is happening by watching the little screen, a jumble of alphabetical letters, spelling words at random, and then switching around crossword puzzle. The janitor snores, rain tapping loudly now outside --
Frank follows the hallway passed the janitor, and finds a room with a bed, and a candle. He lies down and dreams.
Croquet set up from stage left to center stage.
Four characters dressed in two time periods play croquet two in twenties outfits and two dressed in science fiction style costumes (i.e. tight metallic jumpsuits, alien costumes, or some silly space man costume found in the dressing room (Be creative.) Ex, formally a female character is dressed in male costume of late nineteen twenties. Me, formally a male character, dressed in late twenties female costume.
ME: How are the bridges to Castle iceberg Iceland these days?
EX: Are you a red Burmese, perched at the doorstep?
2: I wouldn't mind an alligator!
ME: Set in restaurants is they? Big news Big Cheese.
3: Is it my wings getting in the way or your wings getting in the way Roger?
ME: Here is a wooden spoon for the bird you ordered.
EX: The shallow end is always the best for that, not a strawberry! Strawberry! Strawberry! Not a strawberry. (At this point starts going crazy and slamming the croquet stick down in a violent rage.) Everyone else starts singing:
“Doo Op Dee do de doo doo do doo
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo bop
dee dee dee doo
(Spinning sticks, cuts short)