My kimono-clad NYC stage debut is ushering in the end times.

So it was bound to happen sooner or later. To be honest, I tried to delay it for an indefinite period of time by simply doing nothing, but, like all stories of greateness, mine too requires a beginning. And this beginning is the Morse code production of Aphra Behn's The Rover, which will be on stage this coming Thursday through Sunday (June 14 - 17) during the Looking Glass Theatre's Spring Writer/Director Forum. ! .

True to my word, my entrance into the world of NYC theatre is an inconspicuous affair of simplicity, grace, and refined taste. How else would you describe my appearance in drag as the handmaiden to a famous courtesan - complete with kimono and song? And to parade my dexterous acting skill before the rest of my castmates, the director also gave me the role of sidekick Frederick, whom I have turned into a fop of a fellow with wandering eyes and posing hips. Come to think of it, he'd probably feel quite at home in a kimono, too. So, for those of my readers in the tri-state vicinity (that's if I still have any readers - Oh Lord!), come on down to the Looking Glass Theatre on 57th St between 9th & 10th and witness history in the making. I can't promise you it's worth $15, but, if you have a student ID, you can sneak in for $12. And it's definitely worth $12. No question.

So instead of taking your hooker out for post-coital McDonald's in Times Square, drop her off early and spend that $15 on me. Follow this link
>>>>>>>Looking Glass Theatre<<<<<<< to their website where you can follow another link to another website from which you can buy tickets - or undiluted joy, as I like to call it.


Tony Hoagland is ushering in the end times.

I've been listening to Garrison Keillor's reading of this poem by Tony Hoagland since January, and I think it's a phenomenal piece of writing. The construction almost tempts skimming, but its roots are entrenched and stubbornly complex. It manages to simultaneously reveal how the everyday is insignificant and undeniably extraordinary. Click on the poem's title to go to the Writer's Almanac website and listen to Keillor's drowsy-voiced infusion.

A Color of the Sky
by Tony Hoagland

Windy today and I feel less than brilliant,
driving over the hills from work.
There are the dark parts on the road
when you pass through clumps of wood
and the bright spots where you have a view of the ocean,
but that doesn’t make the road an allegory.

I should call Marie and apologize
for being so boring at dinner last night,
but can I really promise not to be that way again?
And anyway, I’d rather watch the trees, tossing
in what certainly looks like sexual arousal.

Otherwise it’s spring, and everything looks frail;
the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves
are full of infant chlorophyll,
the very tint of inexperience.

Last summer’s song is making a comeback on the radio,
and on the highway overpass,
the only metaphysical vandal in America has written
in big black spraypaint letters,

which makes us wonder if Time loves Memory back.

Last night I dreamed of X again.
She’s like a stain on my subconscious sheets.
Years ago she penetrated me
but though I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed,
I never got her out,
but now I’m glad.

What I thought was an end turned out to be a middle.
What I thought was a brick wall turned out to be a tunnel.
What I thought was an injustice
turned out to be a color of the sky.

Outside the youth center, between the liquor store
and the police station,
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;

overflowing with blossomfoam,
like a sudsy mug of beer;
like a bride ripping off her clothes,

dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,

so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
making beauty,
and throwing it away,
and making more.