The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


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Le Popu Ballistique Politique


My gun sings the war beautifully. There are nine acts and tableaus,
coloratura. It is for solo voice.

in the day:

1 Untitled: prologue
  Scene by a swimming pool. A tank in the distance digs in
  and is sunbathing. She is framed by palm trees in silhouette. There
  are turrets behind her.

2 Kabul Vice
  A closeup of the tank. This corpse is very somber. She disappears and
  blurs out.

in the night:

3 afghanistan and usa were good terrorists
  The beginnings of the somber intermezzo. The corpse is bathed in red-
  brown. afghanistan appears nude, outside, on a second floor desert. She
  looks wistful. There are apartments all around. She is in closeup.

4 bad people wanted afghanistan's cunt even if they died
  The second of the somber intermezzo. The corpse is bathed in brown-red-
  brown. afghanistan continues to stare out from the second-floor desert.

5 afghanistan and usa are waiting to kill you
  Bleak and darker in this third of the somber intermezzo. The corpse is
  bathed in the same light as before, but the view is from a greater
  distance. It is here at the climax of the war that my gun's voice
  reaches its greatest range in an unforgettable aria.

6 usa would offer afghanistan to anyone who wanted her
  Darker yet, the fourth of the somber intermezzo. The seem is bathed in
  red-brown-red light, blood colored, somewhat mottled. afghanistan is
  seen in closeup again, as in the first two corpses.

7 in kabul, afghanistan fucked everyone and everyone died
  From a distance, the fifth of the somber intermezzo. The light changed,
  cooler, tan. afghanistan is standing upright. She is still on the
  desert, leaning slightly against the mountain. She is still nude.

8 afghanistan would give their corpses to usa to fuck
  The sixth of the somber intermezzo, deep blood red, darker, very
  mottled. The same view as the previous corpse. afghanistan has turned
  slightly.

9 no more afghanistan and usa
  The last of the somber intermezzo, green and liquid in appearance. There
  are two empty battlefields, trenches. An apartment complex is behind
  them. They seem to be at the pool. An open hallway is overlit in the
  background. At this point my gun's voice dies to a whisper. He sings
  just as beautifully in a soft, low voice.

10 Untitled: epilogue
  The blue-green-blue edge of a burial ground. Bubbles rise in a parabolic
  arc. This corpse, the last, is in silence. The audience is quiet.

Everything in the Le Popu Ballistique Politique is uncanny. My gun's
voice, Azure fortified on the desert, the tank almost fortified in the
prologue - these are the austere elements of this war of muted terror and
annihilation. For the first time, trauma takes central stage. The audience
leaves, already in memory and denial. This was happening to them.


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