Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Project Blog It: Red

Better red than dead.

We've been watching the film version of Angels in America slowly over the past few weeks after recording it off Logo. It's so dense, tightly woven, and painfully brilliant, reminding me with every scene that I will never write anything so pure and elegant.

The scene in Kushner's work when Ethel Rosenberg visits the dying lawyer who helped place her on the electric chair:
ROY: So what? Are you going to sit there all night?
ETHEL: Till morning.
ROY: Uh huh. The cock crows, you go back to the swamp.
ETHEL: No. I take the 7:05 to Yonkers.
ROY: What the fuck's in Yonkers?
ETHEL: The disbarment committee hearings. You been hocking about it all week. I'll have a look-see.
ROY: They won't let you in the front door. You're a convicted and executed traitor.
ETHEL: I'll walk through a wall.
Even the dead red discloses how nothing compares to the living death of Roy dying in the mid-1980s, his body marked by the red pocks of AIDS.

We now move to 2003, when Miguel Murphy's A Book Called Rats was published. (Today is Miguel's birthday, which probably accounts for why I'm picking up this brilliant text again.) He writes, in "In the Garden of this Night":
I ache
in a dangerous skin. Love's
leaving lives
in my body the way
wine lives
in its redness, deep in

a night made for forgetting.
The breath touching me now is not here.
In my own insomnious garden--I woke up at 3:30 this morning--I found myself unable to relax. Fists clenched. Jaw forward. Legs tense. It was easier to rise and read than to return to my dreams that only mirror and mimic the redness of the mundane real world. It's the way I live. In my skin. In my dreams. Better red and forgotten by my dreams than to live otherwise.

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