Montgomery Park, or Opulence

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Montgomery Park is a series of story cycles and texts from the archive of a fictional asylum. An oblique adaptation of William James's study, The Varieties of Religious Experience, the text circles around different species of combination.

Katy Pyle and Karinne Keithley in Montgomery Park
Katy Pyle and Karinne Keithley in Montgomery Park

Read Sample

GOLDFINCH WALL
Your stomach will improve. You will feel more real. You deserve it. Your mind can relax. You can turn off the computers.

This doesn't answer anything. In fact I'm trying to give you some trouble. To make it worth the taking.

The finch provides answers to a whole set of problems. The finch can't do anything about your stomach, though. There are a set of problems beyond the finch. But it's hard to quantify the finch. Measuring use is difficult measuring uselessness is even more difficult especially working across species.

I for example have always been useless. I was born boring. I was studying evolution in real time. Which meant I missed a lot of parties.

I want you to ask, is a wall something that can withstand scrutiny and what kind of wall would it be that couldn't and would you feel bad for the wall would it make you feel sympathetic?

If I was the wall -- and I am -- If I was the wall, I'd say, uncover me. And you would, if you were compliant, uncover me, which would mean that eventually you would remove my function. We call it a kind of nature. Under snow I saw a deer this morning coming at me under canopy. I saw a deer coming at me I thought it was a dog.

I invoke digestion, whenever I meet someone new, it makes them feel less different from me. My self-conception isn't grandeur. When I was younger I used to try to impress people with my opulence but now I try to hide it. You, I am fairly certain, have seen none of it. I will yet shine privately, I will shine privately at something illimitable something nothing that demands my own enclosure.

Where will th– when of th– which ct–what?

Possibly I was diagnosed with a kind of sickness called a sick soul. It is a form of pessimism. Or life without sleeping. Or life wary of sleeping. But I ask you is that a fair and accurate possibility for a wall? My doctor said I have an uncommonly efficient heart but what about my lungs I said and he said you have bronchitis. He said, stop suffering. I said, okay. He said good. He said that's real good.
I am waiting for a new golden koala bear to inhabit it. I am waiting for the new golden mountain lion to inhabit it. I am waiting for the new golden snow to fall off the boughs of the fir tree.

Opulence means a vital and decorated stillness. I beheld my lungs bedecked with gold paisley, and finches. I startled myself. This is not an ethic of self-congratulation it is an exercise in humility. The possibility that I am or am not a living thing. It is each one a possibility. Maybe we could clarify the environment with a theme song.

You. Take a walk. Take care of yourself. I said, Please take care of yourself in this building.

I said to you then, I am a wall with a problem, a wall of contempt. And. A wall of silence. A wall covered in gold paisley and finches which makes the silence all the more unexpected, doesn't it.

Please don't go so far as to split yourself off. I understand that there is less energy for it. Your energy will come back. And when it comes back it will say, I come from farre. I have come to you from farre.

Cast Requirements

Two or more performers

Publisher

53rd State Press

Press

"The real architecture is Ms. Keithley’s childlike but sophisticated language, which guides us into meditations on the nature of being alive and present, of emotional exhaustion and replenishment, of those experiences that can’t be verified but are deeply felt." -- Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times

Press