See our Photo of the Week (and archive of more)

Art Changes
Opinion Advertize Permission
To be notified of new articles Survey Store About Us
We Are Partiots With Dark Faces
(Copyright © 1996 - All Rights Reserved)

Written and Performed by
Jose Torres Tama
New Orleans, Louisiana

(House lights down. Stage is in complete darkness. Off stage a voice is heard.)

Alfilen los oidos. Despierten la subconsciencia y ajusten sus sinturones filosoficos. Do not be afraid, amigos. Se habla espanol aqui. Do not be afraid of the Spanish language because tostitos are here to stay and if you are bilingually challenged just sharpen your ears, awake your subconscious and adjust your philosofical seatbelts. Here we go on a magical mystery tour. If you do drugs do them now.

They came forward, floating on airwaves with toys that plugged into the walls. Everything their hands touched turned on and off. Electricity in their veins, the glow of neon in their eyes. The speed of light in their feet. They said the future was bright like the welder's torch. When they sang, it sounded like airplanes taking off in the purple night. They prepared us for the journey by putting us to sleep. They are the new Magi of the technological democracy. We became so engrossed in the game, we forgot about the time. It was dark and we were lost.

Preparence ciudadanos, artistasos, bohemios del bien aca, poetas del mas alla, publico San Diegonistas en general. Prepare yourself San Diego citizenry to be served up like an exotic post-colonial flan for the Republican revolution is coming your way. Ayyy San Diego so far from God and yet so close to Tijuana. Mande, mande, mande, it's not Monday. It's Tuesday, cabron, and the work week has begun. You've been left behind my patriots with dark faces. You've been left behind with all your false pride and self hatred wrapped up in an arroz con pollo chicken cheese burrito taco light to go si vous plait. Despierta la novia despierta. Aqui vienen los nuevos reyes magos de la democracia tecnologica. Vienen con sus huevos electronicos, jugetes digital, y mil promesas de un futuro donde todos ganan. They are here the new magi with double breasted corporate mafia smiles and a future of a thousand promises where everyone is a winner. Atrape el remolino de la suerte. Con nosotros alcanzara las estrellas.

(Wolf howl)

(Torres Tama enters and lights a match. Music begins to play. The music sets a surreal tone with a collage of sounds that is both Gothic and contemporary. He begins to light the dozen Santeria candles placed down stage in a semi-circle.)

(The candles are worship candles of various Catholic saints. They outline the sacred ground from which the shaman/rapper enacts his ritual. The entire performance takes place within this perimeter.)

(He wears a mask, half white and half black, which becomes slightly visible as he lights each candle with reverence. The music plays for two minutes. He lights the last candle and moves slowly upstage towards the prop table/altar as the music begins to fade. The twelve lit candles create a haunting set.)

(The prop table, set at stage center about seven feet from the middle candles, doubles as an altar. It is decorated with gold and purple silk cloths that resemble the decorations of a Catholic altar. On the table are: two seventeen-inch rhythm sticks made of wood; two wine glasses slightly filled with red wine; one pair of dark sunglasses (the kind associated with a spy or villain); one bottle of a ZIMA beverage; two plastic guns spray painted to look real; a microphone; and two torches.)

(He takes off the mask, and takes a few deep breaths. With his back to the audience and in total darkness, he begins. He feigns a German Gestapo accent.)

Alle kunst is verboten hier. Nein. Ya. (American English accent) What does that mean? It's a red alert. (Mr. Spock accent) Warp factor five, Mr. Speedy Gonzalez (exaggerated Chicano accent) Andale, here I come Mr. Gato.

Testing one, two. Testing one, two. Testing one, two, three.

(He walks towards centerstage into light. He is dressed in black, simple but sleek, and could pass for a secret agent. He wears white cotton magician gloves and addresses audience in the monotone voice of a public service announcer.)

The following bilingual Big Mac attack dramatization contains explicit corporate sound bite language, with graphic descriptions of life in urban America today. Please be warned. Exercise your freedom of choice and vacate the theater now if you think this content might offend you, your children, or any future offspring you may decide to have. Because one can never be too sure of the damage caused by subversive performance art residue left in the psyche.

Because choice is the issue here. Freedom of choice--that most precious inalienable right secured for us like a divine gift by our founding forefathers. Choice, absolutely synonymous with being (his head shifts from right to left after each letter is repeated)

A A, M M, E E, R R, I I, C C, A A, N N.

American woman you're gonna mess up my mind. Choice! Get the picture? This has been a test, this has been a test, this has been a test of the emergency broadcast system. This was only a test. Had a real emergency occurred we would have told you to (he points to the exit doors) get the fuck out! American woman you're gonna mess up my mind.

(He motions with opened arms and speaks with the voice of a rocker/rapper.)

Are you ready? Is everybody ready? Are you ready for this? Are you ready? Is everybody ready? Are you ready for this? Because we will, we will rock you! I said we will, we will rock you! (He raises his arms with clenched fists like a man flexing his muscles.) Because we are the champions, my friends. We are the victors in the end. We are number one (raising right arm and making the sign of the number one with his index finger), and in order to stay number one we have to make sure that there are a lot of number twos (making the sign of the number two with fingers).

(Soulful yell.) I love this place. Your way. Right away. (Making the sign of a cross through the air) Yahweh. (Points to the sky) First World. (Stretching his arms in the sign of a cross) Second World. Third World. (Touches his fingertips together, making a triangle with his arms) A divine trinity of patriarchies, polarities, and penises. (Grabs crotch and sighs)

I feel like Michael Jackson or Madonna. (He lets go of crotch and slaps hand.) I'm just a boy toy getting in touch with myself and feeling out my inner child. Scary isn't. You know, sometimes I feel like a nut and sometimes I don't.

(Wolf howl)

(In a respectful English accent) Ladies and Gentlemen, (home boy accent with bad boy movements) my homies and bravo boys. (Aristocratic Spanish accent) Damas y Caballeros, (Chicano accent) enchiladas and burritos. (Proper English accent) Lesbians and gay piers, straight arrow Republicans and drinking Democrats. (French accent) Dames et Messieurs, baguettes et croissants, (German accent) Meine Damen und Heren, Achtung, Alles kunst is verboten hier. (English with heavy Japanese accent) Kawasaki's and Susukis. Ooohhh, you get ready for photo now grasshopper--Hundai! Ooohhhh! What cha mean extra duck sauce! (Makes Karate moves) Bruce Lee, ya back now!

(In a deep voice and ala Joel Grey from Cabaret) Wilkomen, Bienvenue, Welcome, Bievenidos y Menudos tambien! El espectaculo a comensado. The spectacle has begun. AAAYYY!

(He does a caricature of a Latin dance while he hums a salsa tune.) Como mi ritmo no hay dos. (With a punk rock voice) Oye como va mulata bueno pa gosar. (Ala Carmen Miranda while snapping his fingers) Curucucucucu, Curucucucucu, Curucucucucu (The rhythm breaks down and he turns the Carmen Miranda imitation into the scowl of a cat or panther ready to attack. Pause. He continues with an absurd cheesy version of an Egyptian dance and hums the tune of "I dream of Jeannie." Pause.)

Y Somos Patriotas (placing hand over his heart) con caras oscuras atraversando el terreno Americano, buscando America, buscando un sabado gigante de Chevrolet noches (motions hands as if steering a car) con Cadillac suenos porque yo como con el rrrrrey de la hamburgesa. Y yo tomo con el rrrrrey de la cervesa. Y yo soy un hombre bajo la piel de otra tierra. I am a man under the skin of another earth. And I eat with the Burger King. And I drink with the King of Beers. And together, we are patriots (placing hand over his heart) with dark faces, moving through the heartbeat of American Chevrolet (motions hands as if steering a car) days where the nights belong to Michelob, and all you get is what you want. Here we go. Let the games begin. Let's make a deal. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing contestant number one. (Latino DJ voice) Mi estimado publico El jugador numero uno. Gggooollll!

(He pirouettes with arms extended in the form of a cross and fist clenched. He continues with a home boy gansta rapper attitude.)

I'm fed up, Maahfk. I'm fed up. (Points at audience) Let me tell ya, now. (Extends arms again) I'm fed up, Maahfk. I'm fed up. (Points at audience) Sing it to ya now. (Extends arms again) I'm fed up Maahfk. I'm fed up. And I'm coming soon to a theatre (pointing at specific audience members) near you, and you, and you. To reach out and touch someone (soulful yell), to inform you on what it is, what it ain't, and what it ought to be, my brothers and sisters.

(Gestures with wild hand movements and strikes gansta rapper poses)

Because Yo, Yo, Yo, ya see, I'm the man from the underground. Because yo, yo, yo ya see, I'm a snoopeddy dog dog, I'm a nasty hound. (Howls like a lost puppy dog.) I said Yo, Yo, Yo. Ya see, I've come up to look around (looks around as if sightseeing) and survey the remains. (Makes motion of binoculars with hands around eyes) Mmmhhh! Yes, indeed! I've climbed up to these academic heights that make me tingley all over to tell it like it is. Tell it girl. I will. I will. Because if this is all that there is, folks, it don't look good. It don't look like no Disneyland ta me.

(Sexy voice) Oohh! Mickey, Oohh! (Blesses himself and makes the sign of the cross) Mickey, I love what you do for me. And Oohh! Minnie. Oohh, Minnie, (with hand in front of pelvis to suggest fellatio) you ask for it. You got it. And for that extra long lasting flavor, arm yourself. Oohh, Minnie, you make me feel brand new. You make me forget all about Snow White.

(Puts head back as if having an orgasm) Aaahhh! Aaahhh! Aaahhhhhh! Que rico. (Pause) What's up doc? Be very, very quiet. (Pretending to hold a rifle) I'm hunting for that wabbit--that energizer wabbit -- that keeps on going and going and going. (He gazes at audience somewhat perplexed, moving his head from left to right.) Haven't you ever wondered where he's going? And shouldn't he have gotten there by now?

Maybe he's going nowhere like a nowhere wabbit trapped in an existentialist quagmire of despair, forced to continue because he's wired to a source of energy that propels him without understanding into the nothingness of everyday. Could be. It's possible that he is a slave of the commercial world (Extends right arm with clenched fist and walk around in circles) ...forced to continue because he's wired to a source of energy that propels him without understanding into the nothingness of every day. Forced to continue because he's wired to a source of energy that propels him without understanding into the nothingness. Forced to continue... (Interrupts himself) ALTO! Adelante, por favor. Me estas aburriendo con este pinche performance arte pendejadas medio weird !

(Shaking his hands as if trembling) Whew! That gives me the chills, man! (Pointing to his crotch) My lower chakra is on fire. In fact, that took a lot out of me. (Reaches into his right pocket with right hand and pulls out a small nine volt battery.) But then again, I use DURACELL. For the man who lasts longer. (Places battery back in pocket. Reaches with left hand into left pocket and pulls out a condom.) I use LIFESTYLES for the man who is up and coming. (Throws condom into the audience.)

(Addressing the person closest to the condom) I want that back. I'm very ecologically conscious so I recycle. (With hand over crotch) Ohhh! Minnie, it's Miller Time. You've come along way baby--all the way from the smoke to the vote and on your way to cancer alley. Yes indeed, you've come along way baby because I use to think that nobody does it better than Sarah Lee. I'm alive with pleasure and this is good to the last drop. I love this place. Feel the excitement!

You know, it sounds to me like the symptoms of a nowhere wabbit, of a nowhere man, a lost child screaming wild, without mother, without father child. Are you with me? Have I lost you? Did anybody bring the Tostitos? Prepare to party. It's show time, ladies and gentlemen, so let me show you a thing or two. (Unzips pants, pauses, then zips them) It's not what you think. It's better.

(He pirouettes and walks back to the altar, removes his white gloves, and picks up a set of wooden sticks. He faces the audience with sticks.)

(Twirling sticks around fingers) These are my rhythm sticks. They make the sounds of sticks and stones that break my bones but bullets kill me dead.

(He performs a ritual dance with the sticks, rhythmically hitting them together. He moves torwards centerstage. Finally, he stops and assumes a Gospel preacher's voice)

We are without fathers. We are without elders. We are without fathers. We are without elders. We are without fathers or elders to guide our crossing into sound masculinity. We are orphans at the bridge of manhood. We are junkyard dogs in a car crash night.

(Stick ritual)

We are volatile in the face of compassion. We are hard metal weapons that shroud our fear. We are semiautomatic extensions standing bear for castration from a cradle in the wilderness.

(Stick ritual)

These bullets are my friends. They ricochet through me, piercing holes wide and open that spill out a man full of shrapnel in his heart. These bullets are my friends. For lack of more profound rituals, I am dying before you.
(Stick ritual)

These bullets are my friends. They are all I have against flashlights seeking me out. I can count on them through the Hades of another night. These bullets are my friends. They are my Lord, my savior. Chew on this silver bullet. It's strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.

(The dance becomes more aggressive as he hits the sticks together. They seem like weapons. He is overcome with emotion. The hitting of the sticks slows down, as he looks challengingly at the audience. Finally he drops the sticks, and they go clattering to the floor. He continues to look at the audience, then slowly looks at the sticks. He gently picks them up and carries them back to the altar.)

(He walks into the spot light, now wearing his gloves. He begins with the menacing voice of a man about to commit a crime. His movements are dramatic and frantic.)

I have the animal in my pocket

fire when I spread my wings

if not for the crime and incarceration

I would have murder on my hands

blood between my nails

with lady Macbeth in my whisper

but it's safe with Hamlet in my head.

I have electric in my touch

Diamonds in my eyes

Gold in my breath

Shark in my teeth

Wolf in my walk

I am hunting this city tonight.

(Chants as if in some kind of trance) Blood in the alley saw a father's hand (uses hands to imitate guns and presses fingers against his temples) reach for a gun and four bullets opened the boyfriend's head. I heard ten different tales of how it happened. Love in the arms of strangers walking away. Fear in the cup of a man begging without legs. A store window selling milk and beer. Blood in the alley saw a father's hand reach for a gun and four bullets opened the boyfriend's head. The sun out of the tropics, iguana's eating off a moon full of car thieves breaking in till dawn. Blood in the alley saw a father's hand reach for a gun and four bullets opened the boyfriend's head. I heard ten different tales of how it happened. (He lowers his hands as if to reveal a wound.)

The girl was from Honduras. The boyfriend Puerto Rican. (Makes a heart with his hands and places it over his heart) The father did not want her to love a Puerto Rican boy. He wanted her to love a young American. He wanted her to speak without an accent. He wanted a new world for her.

(Uses hands to imitate guns and presses fingers against his temples) Blood in the alley saw a father's hand reach for a gun and four bullets opened the boyfriend's head. I heard ten different tales of how it happened. (He maintains pose with hands to temples for a few seconds.)

(He walks out of the light upstage to altar and picks up two wine glasses, which have just a spot of wine in them. He approaches center stage, gently hitting the glasses together five times. His hand motions as he hits the glasses together resemble Tai-chi movements.)

We need a choir of great golden voiced shamans offering benedictions, not salt across the wound.

(Three tolls)

We need an army of magicians with a thousand barrels of glue to piece back these broken men buried in a soil of dry hope.

(Three tolls)

There are bodies sleeping like flat tires on every street corner, we act the blind man.

(Three tolls)

The universal pain rattles against windows set up to protect your naked hour of retreat and apathy.

(Three tolls)

The young Negro widow clutches a violet handkerchief from Woolworth's in January when all linens are cheap.

(Three tolls)

Newsmen with an appetite for blood. Vultures are out for a chase and a victim.

(Three tolls)

Quicksand reverie and the anesthetic flow of political speeches, ink is invisible when the mallet strikes.

(Three tolls)

Sangre, sangria, agria y rebentada por 500 anos de colonizacion y otros 200 de esclavitud.

(Three tolls.)

El Mestizo y el mulato son hermanos bajo el latigo de patrones en toldos blancos.

(Twelve final tolls, walking backwards to the altar table and out of the light.)

(After a pause, he moves slowly upstage and addresses the audience in a relaxed conversational manner.)

In ancient cultures that we categorize as "primitive," the traditional ritual for a young boy to become a man required that he spill blood. It could be the blood (mimics shooting an arrow) of a slain animal in a hunt. In some pre-tech tribes, a young man could not take on a wife unless he had showcased his prowess to take another life (makes a Karate punch with gutteral sound) in the heat of battle. Almost always, the leader of a tribal people was a fierce warrior who had proven his manhood to his followers and to the Gods by the killing of worthy adversaries.

Today, hoy en dia, atencion por favor, urban young men in gangs continue this tradition as the willingness to draw liquid red (makes sounds of gun shots and muses hands as guns) from an enemy's abdomen enshrines them in regal chieftain stature before their homies and bravo boys. (With raised right fist) Gatos Bravos forever! They give themselves a place otherwise denied in the "Americana" mainstream spectrum of social status.

How do you handle a hungry man? (With the walk of a panther stalking its victim) Shhaaaqqq! Shhaaaqqq! Shhaaaqqq! Shhaaaqqq! Shhaaaqqq! Shhaaqqq! It's a Shaq attack, boys. You better get yours before Shaq gets it. Just do it. (He makes the sound of blowing smoke at the finger tips of his hands as if blowing the smoke of guns that were fired.)

Ivy league fraternities have secret rituals to initiate their new gang members, or rather incoming freshmen, into their occult of oligarchic brotherhood. (Laughs) Yes, these are big multi-syllable words, but then again these are big boys with big money in big academic institutions of higher understanding. Some of their rituals for initiation include the eating of a live animal's head, a chicken perhaps, in the middle of the school cafeteria during lunch time. Round these parts, we do chicken right! (Licks his gloved fingers) It's finger licking good!

Others are initiated by being (with hands covering eyes as if to see no evil) blindfolded, dressed in drag, abandoned in the woods miles away from campus, and sodomized by their senior frat brothers, as they attempt to find their way back to the university grounds.

(Lifting hands from eyes) Beef, its what's for dinner. The few, the proud, just a few good men. (Pointing to himself) I'm a pepper. (Pointing to the audience) You're a Pepper. (Pointing to a specific person) Don't you want to be a Pepper, too. Fuckin' A, B, C. It's a party, Dude. Cool man, so just take it like one. (Heavy metal rocker voice) Welcome to the jungle. We are the champions my friend. We will surely get you in the end. And I mean that in a nice way.

(With a menacing voice tone) In other tribal clubs, the males in power wear Brooks Brothers suits. They wear Gucci shoes, and exhibit their measure for blood games through bank frauds, (mimics slipping money into back pockets) embezzlement, insider trader deals, and other unorthodox strategies in which the hands are never sullied, fingernails are well manicured, and smiles are as wide (with opened arms) as real estate development contracts on renovated river fronts.

For the life of your businesss we are doing what we do best to get a piece of the rock! You're in good hands and ohh, what a relief it is. Plop. Plop. Fizz. Fizz. (Pointing to a member in the audience) You deserve a break today. (Blessing himself and making the sign of the cross) M-I-C-K-E-Y. Why? Because we like you. Because we think of you as the boss. Because the customer is always right and I like the Sprite in you. Because something special is in the air. It's the real thing baby so sit back, have a coke and a smile.

(He returns to the altar and puts on dark sunglasses. He continues with a sinister whisper, almost like that of a Satanic punk-rocker. He moves slowly towards center stage spot light.)

Wild child, screaming wild! You're not your mother or your father's child! Yeahh! You're our child! Wild child, screaming wild! You're not your mother or your father's child! Yeahh! You're our child!

(In a a deep voice) The doors of perception, the wild beasts, the Fauvists have been replaced by Technicolor totalitarians. We are Faustian tragedies (spreading his arms as if crucified and shaking his hands as if trembling) unempowered by electricity in the twenty-four hour convenience store that has sucked up our souls. We need a visit to the soul doctooorrr. You need a visit to the soul doctooorrr to be all you can be. It's not just a job. It's a haircut.

We make history in the future and review it as it happens. (Raising his right fist) We have the power, ohh yeahh! We have the power. We are the new witch doctors. It doesn't get any better than this, and the company that will bring it to you is AT&T because we love to fly (spreading his arms out like winds) and it shows. So get out of the old and into the cold.

(Wolf howl)

(Adjusting his glasses)
I can't see a thing with these glasses on. But I look good. And it is better to look good than to feel good because you ain't got a thing, baby, if you ain't got that swing. Doowop! Doowop! Doowop! (Gyrating with funky dance moves) I said you ain't got a thing if you ain't got that swing. Doowop! Doowop! Doowop! Doowop! Hhuuhh! Ooohhhssay can you see? (Takes glasses off) I can see clearly now these lenses are gone. I can see all the obstacles in my way. I can speak all the languages of today. I am your true voice. Aaahh, oui. Non! C'est pas possible! C'est pas vrais! Oui, vraimont. I speak the language of the future.

(He creates megaphone with hands around mouth to distort voice.)

In the future when someone speaks a foreign language the subtitled translation will float across their forehead. In the future the televangelist will merge with the shopping channel to create a mega-industry for the marketing of religious paraphernalia and continue the Christian Crusade.

In the future artsy fartsy boho hemian trendy coffee houses will be transformed into banks, and coffee beans will be the new currency. This will produce institutions with names like PJ's Savings and Loans, Cafe Roma Expresso Checking Union Bank, and First National Bank of Panikan Coffees and Teas. If you think cappuccino is expensive now, just you wait till the future.

In the future everyone will be born with a barcode tattooed to their buttocks and will be bending over constantly when having to show identification.

This ID process will trigger a demand for a new series of work out videos designed by Richard Simmons and the Federal Beureau of Investigation.

In the future everyone will practice their respective religions through CD ROMs spawning a new breed of extremist cyberspace denominations like the Christian Coalition of Born Again and Again Romulans, the FARRAKHAN Nation of ISROM Windows for ALLAH 2001, and the HARE KRSNA HARE ROM ROM KRSNA Consciousness Movement, which will also offer rental car services called MOBILE ONENESS available at all major airports.

In the future performance artists will be punished by the government and forced to work only in art centers entertaining the converted subculture. In the future there will be plenty of government funds for the arts, and artists will be paid well for their work. Many artists will suffer and commit suicide, having nothing to struggle against

This portion of our program has been brought to you by ZIMA, a clear malt beverage of the future. El futuro esta en ZIMA. Delisioso, sabros, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriquisimo. ZIMA Con mas sabor! (Opens Zima and drinks it) The beer drinker's beer for when he's not drinking beer. What the fuck does that mean! And you people wonder why us Latinos get so easily confused in El Norte. All this doublespeak. Que pendejada.

I'd like to approach that round table of corporate geniuses that came up with this slogan and piss all over them. "It's the beer drinker's piss for when he's not pissing beer." It's the kind of beer Hamlet would drink. To beer or not to beer? What was the question? Alas poor, Yorick. Who's on first? What's on second? Does it really matter? It's the existentialist comedy hour brought to you by ZIMA, a clearmalt beverage of the future. (Hums the theme from the Twilight Zone)

In the future there will be a proliferation of Casinos across the American continent. It will be considered a necessary evil for the raising of much needed tax revenue. And how insidious is evil when it is necessary. (laughs wildly) Starburst. Hurray! hurrah, hurray, hurrah! hurrah!

In the future this continent will be renamed CASINOAMERICA. There will be no more discrimination based on one's skin color. Because the only color that will matter is the color of your money. (laughs wildly) Starburst. Feel the excitement!. Hurray! hurrah, hurray, hurrah! hurrah!

In the future Casinos will distribute Marijuana to gamblers willing to ante up $500 at a time. It will add a new meaning to the term "high rollers." This portion of our program has been brought to you by Isle of Cannabis Casino, where we get you high and roll you! (Pretends to smoke a joint, then offers it to an audience member.) You want a hit? Just say no. Leave more for me. Not to worry ladies and gentlemen because I'm smoking Marijuana light. Yes, Marijuana Light, less filling, less munchies, less forgetting. (He throws fake joint onto the ground and steps on it with his right foot while moving his left foot as if to turn it out.) In the future scientist will discover that smoking marijuana enables you to speak other languages.

(Waves at audience) Ooollaa! Ooollaa! Ooollaa!

Mi casa es su casa. Que hay de comer? Donde esta el bano? Donde esta American Express? Donde esta el nuevo bugalloo? El nuevo bugalloo for me and you. Donde esta el new world taco order. Donde esta el arroz con pollo chicken cheese burrito taco light. Donde esta la proposicion UNO-OCHO-SIETE? Proposition ONE-EIGHT-SEVEN with no prepositional phrases, clauses, ifs, ands, or buts. ONE-EIGHT-SEVEN, it's my new lucky quick pick combination. ONE-EIGHT-SEVEN, it's a brand new plan to send me back to my Spanish heaven. (In an amusing way mimicking the Beatles tune) So get back, get back to where you once belong. (As if looking towards a distant land) But Lucy, I'm home. Lucy, I'm home. Lucy, I'm home.

Donde esta my green card? Do not be alarmed concerned citizens because (reaching for his back pocket) I carry the gold card. (He produces a gold credit card and proudly shows it off to the audience.) It's everywhere I want to be. It facilitates quick passage into expensive situations. (He bends the plastic card back as if to flex it.) It's alive. But the question is: Is it live or is it MEMOREX? Inquiring minds want to know. (He puts tha card away. Pause.)

(In a sexy voice)
Me gusta Pepsi. Y me gusta Coca. Pero mas me gusta el sabor de tu boca. Loosely translated into neo-hoodoo hip hop sound bite slang, this means: I like Pepsi and I like Coke but the taste of your mouth (licking his lips with his tongue) is really dope!

Damas y caballeros. Que es mas macho? CIA or AT&T? Que es mas macho? FBI or IBM? Que es mas macho? MTV or NEA? Que es mas nachos? TACO BELL or N-A-F-T-A?

Quien va ganar la guerra de los nachos? Now, who will win the nachos machos war? Because we will guacamole our way into your hearts forever, as you become salsa sauce junkies with tongues that catch on fire, and you become dirty dancing lambada lunatics. (He dances wildly.) Aahhyyayyaii! Que Rico. Ponte me aqui, guerita. Guapa!

You know what happens. You get those Latino boy mambo (moving his hips slowly) hips with energizer batteries, slowly engaging a white girl goddess who is looking for dark moments and red hours in merengue rhythm dance halls. Looking to go South of the border (slipping his hand across his crotch) and feel a little Mexican. (He lifts his right hand as if to measure a small penis.)

You know what happens. You dance the move (as if dancing with a partner) and slip a knee between her Coca-Cola goddess liquid legs, while you penetrate her imperial Pepsi-Cola eyes and shower her with your cheezy Quesadilla kisses as you look forward to your Latino light skin baby booby prize. (In the voice of a Latino rocker) Para bailar La Bamba se necesita un poquito de gracia, un poquito de gracia y una cosita y arriba y arriba.

Get a little closer to the Pyramids, the ruins, and the burning bush. By the morning after breakfast, five-hundred years of conquest and repression are wiped out. (laughs) I wish it could be that simple. You get the picture? You see the future? Like those psychics on network TV. Que es mas macho? You or me?

(He returns to upstage prop table, taking the Zima bottle with him into the darkness. After a pause, he approaches center stage.)

Now speaking of psychics and the supernatural. When I was back there in Catholic grammar school in Jersey City New Jersey across from Big Apple Gotham, one of my favorite rituals during mass was something called general absolution. General absolution was when the priest forgave everyone's sins all at the same time. It was a contemporary revision to give the clergy power to speed up the process in the otherwise time consuming act of hearing individual confessions.

At present, with the advancement of technology, you simply fax your sins directly to god, and your penance is faxed back to you. Rumor has it that the Almighty opened a new express courier service with the catchy acronyms capitals G.O.D. It stands for Guaranteed Overnight Delivery. His motto is, "If GOD can't get it there no one can!"

General absolution took place right before we were to accept the body of Christ through the symbolic placement of the Host in our mouths. The priest gestured and everyone dropped to their knees and remained in the kneeling position. (Drops to knees) Solemnly with bowed heads, we fessed up our sins to God. God had super powers like a super hero. He read minds, and remorse was a key factor for every sinner. This we learned from sister Mary Agnes Magdalene Celeste of the Holy Cross near the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Joseph, Amen. She had a long name that kept her close to God.

I was always careful not to keep my head down longer than the other children, fearing it might imply that I had sinned a lot. I kept a vigilant watch from the corners of my eyes, waiting for that exact moment to raise my head in unison with the others. My eyes would meet the eyes of the boys next to me also anticipating that "Holy cue, Batman!" And it caused giggles we tried hard to contain.

Finally, all our heads were raised (stands up) and the priest, high in his pulpit, looking like a beacon of absolute grace, an instrument of divinity, representing all that is good, waved his hand, waved his right hand like a magic wand and all our sins were forgiven. All our sins floated up to the heavens and evaporated in the celestial clouds. (Pause) This, my friends, I found highly entertaining--like magic. White magic. It was my first introduction to performance art.

(He waves hands through the air three times like a magician.)

Bless me father for I have sinned. (Slowly pulls microphone prop out his pocket) I grew up rock-n-roll Latino child, tracing my steps in a family barrio with Negro-based rhythms transformed by a British invasion of Kinks' approval. (Sings like a rock-n-roller) You really got me going, you got me going so I don't know what I'm doing. (stops singing) Bless me father for I have sinned. I grew up rock-n-roll Latino child with mescaline transitory nights in a graveyard opposite my best friend's house -- edging it on. (Sings like a rock-n-roller) You really got me going, you got me going so I don't know what I'm doing.

Sixteen dollars and four rented hours. A young blood with tits in his eyes plays part of a man at the New York Motel, perched like a neon vulture atop Jersey Palisades, advertising vacancy to souls in traffic below, mostly for truckers and youth with a license. Catholic school safety under the habits of nuns for a few dollars more of immigrant overtime, but the indigent boy staggered with residue totaled in the fragile American buoyancy of reefer. (Sings like a rock-n-roller) You really got me going. You got me going so I don't know what I'm doing. You really got me.

A slow motion experimental film of fragmented and awkward repetitions with chico in the process of becoming the man. Virgin scent lingering on happy hands that refused to touch water for days. It inspired radical equations in geometry before lunch. I'd rub my face and grin like a found dog well-fed and warm by the fire of a new master. (Sings like a rock-n-roller) You really got me going. You got me going so I don't know what I'm doing. You really got me.

Friday nights mother stayed up to smell my breath. A third world step-father threatened to send me back, discipline in the tongue of his father with the rage of all the people left behind, putting his fist through sheet rock walls that knew his temper at three in the morning. Other dents marked similar volcanic Hispanic drama reminding the children of natural disasters in family life. He complained that northern plaster was weak, burdened by the homogenous dream of foreign labor. When no one was watching, mother wept continuous tears of another country.

Madre, madrecita madre no llores por tu morenito perdiondoce y buscandose en una rock-n-rollada de gringolandia. You really got me going. You got me going so I don't know what I'm doing. You really got me. Bless me father for I have sinned. I grew up rock-n-roll Latino child.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Now let me hear an Amen for he who is standing on a paper constitution that has no truth for the dark one. (He makes a karate sound and blesses himself with the sign of the cross) Now let me hear an Amen for my brothers who sway from the hip down. (Repeats karate sound and blessing himself) Now, let me hear an Amen for the drunk Indian native walking in circles looking for his teepee. (Repeats karate sound and blessing himself) Now, let me hear an Amen for the American Dream.

(He picks up the center candle of the Christ figure and holds it near his face.) Symbolically speaking the candle represents the body and the flame is the soul bouncing in the capricious winds of fate, fortune, and chance. Playing a game of chance is intrinsic to the mythos of the American dream. The American dream is a game of chance.

(Placing his right hand over his heart) I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the products for which it stands, one TV station under God indivisible, with cable and justice for all. Till death do us part. I do. Amen.

(Sets candle down)

I like to live in America. Everything free in America. I like to love in America. Sex is more good in America. I like to buy in America. Things are more cheap in America.

I think I go buy a hand gun. I know a place you can get one. (He pirouettes and produces two handguns.) Or two. I never leave home without them.

Hey boy, crazy boy. Play it cool, boy. Got a rocket in my pocket,. Play it cool, boy. (Singing and brandishing guns) Aaayyyaaayyyaaayyyaaaii, I am the frito bandito. I'm getting together with Speedy Gonzalez and we're going to have a party. (Pauses and looks menacingly at the audience) Go ahead make my day. Guns, we need more guns. (Point guns to audience)

We are without fathers or elders to guide our crossing into sound masculinity. We are orphans at the bridge of manhood. We are junkyard dogs in a car crash night. We are hard metal weapons that shroud our fear. We are semiautomatic extensions standing bare for castration from a cradle in the wilderness. We are everywhere you want to be. We are doing what we do best to get a piece of the rock. Just wait till we get our Hanes on you!

(Extends arms and points gun at audience. He holds the pose for a few seconds and moves down stage.)


(He lights two torches. The theme music from "A Clockwork Orange" from Henry Purcells "Music For the Funeral of Queen Mary" plays. He approaches center stage, wearing a black and white mask. He performs a fire dance twirling the torches around his body, creating geometric patterns that leave trails of fire. At first, the movements are slow and then build to a frenzy following the crescendo of the music. He ends by dramatically holding the torches up in the darkness as if making an offering to the gods.)

We are nightmare fires underneath your Volvo dreams. We are stories without a screenplay. We are patriots with dark faces. (He twirls torches slowly in a menacing way.) Our leading men with broad noses each left an arm in a war and each lost a leg in a march towards an edifice the color of teeth. We are fires burning in the groin the like a secret that needs to be told. We carry our color like a dead albatross necklace. (He forms a burning cross with the two torches.) We are patriots with dark faces.

We light our path with hidden fury and play invisible through the day, practicing our dance in secret rejoice like spies in your dream. We have been silent for half a millennium, learning the tongue while repressing the scream. Tomorrow, we will wake you, and you will discover us in your blood. We will have it our way. We will get a little closer with that long lasting freshness in our breath when we greet you in the dark. So make your mark, my amigo friends. Hype is expensive. And you gotta own the light (holds both torches in one hand mimicking the Statue of Liberty) if you want to own the night!

(He howls one last time, then takes off the mask. He blows out one torch and puts the lit torch in his mouth briefly. He blows it out.)

(almost a whisper)
Yo soy hombre de fuego!

(Exits stage left.) The end.

Also see: