The Chant of Medusa (2018)

Text from the Beginning of Medusa by Frankovich, Croft and Madhan with Sonic Elements by Claire Duncan

fThe planets are moving. Earth is moving. Continents move. There is no Earth without a Sun. No Sun without an Orb. No Orb without a Temple. No temple without a mountain. No mountain without an ocean. No ocean without fish. No fish without jellyfish. At the top of the mountain is Medusa. At the bottom of the ocean is a snake. At the end of the horizon is a sword. At the tip of the sword is a head. Inside this head there are eyes. Inside these eyes are three eyes. Inside these eyes is a monster. I am the anticipated image. I am the thing. The thing itself is a thing. Itself is not the thing. It exists. It doesn’t not exist. It is illusion. I am illusion. From my body might come a wave of shit, or vomit, or blood or some dysfunctional mother element or the entire Pacific Ocean. 


A Lecture / A Town Hall / A Conference / An Intervention

A delicate dance of authorship and control. Choreographic expression of the monstrosity of anger. It is never everything you hoped. It’s sometimes worse than you think. It is sometimes a metaphor / It is sometimes not for you.

You don’t want to see it / Run Away / Far Away 

Films / stories / myths have lead me to believe my anger is destructive eg. CARRIE. 

I don’t agree 

The Three act structure Act 1: exposition Act 2: rising action Act 3: climax / resolution

I am “trolling” the hero’s journey, the three act structure and The 7 basic plots by rewriting them / I never got to see what I look like through my own eyes / I never got to build things in my own image/ All I have left is to steal your structures in order to write my own.

Part one

Expectation. Eyes. Tension. Promise. Teasing. Power game. I have it, you don’t. I stare. Is this it?  If I were in Berlin this would have been the whole show. Bums on seats. Anus on threads. The black hole floating in the cosmos. Full of shit.

I talk in unison. Theatre convention. Direct address. Exposition. Concise. Well choreographed. Well distilled.

I am always translating the world. I am outside. There is no space free from ideology. Interpretations and stories and myths and paintings and cum stains are read and discussed. Hesiod, Perseus, Ovid, Homer, Plato, Caravaggio, Rubens, Bocklin, Dante, Shelley, Yeats, Morris, Rosetti, Satre, Nietzche, Deleuze, Guattari, Freud, Zizek, Foucault, Heidigger, Lacan, Jung.

Nisha will cry. Virginia will winge. Julia will throw a hissy fit. 

Noone says a word. This is all in silence. 

I play my own body as if it were a strange instrument. Strange sounds from a stranger body.

I move too quickly for you to decide what this means. 

Intermission; You may leave if you want.

(long pause)

Part two.

The meat. Marinating in a mixture of olive oil, rosemary, thyme, milk, ghee, garlic, ginger, cumin, mirin, chilli flakes, lemon juice, beef stock, soy sauce, crushed sage, gelatin, rice vinegar, cornflour, coriander powder, aesofitida, and caraway seeds by a trio of celebrity chefs. A rising in tension created through sonic elements by Claire Duncan. Nisha has an itch. Julia has a UTI. Virginia has pissed herself already.

Power tools appear. Weapons appear. The universe appears / The universe within an anus / My anus.

We are boiling down violence until there are just bones and rage and grit.

Dominant mode. Dominant mode.

I apologize for every action. I take it back. I make noises you don’t recognise. Someone in the audience giggles because they are uncomfortable. I explain why there are no snakes. Everything is repeated three times. Everything is repeated three times. Everything is repeated three times. I make triangle upon triangle upon triangle upon triangle upon triangle. The string is wound too tight. Rome is burning. Your toes are on fire. You want to fuck me.

Someone has to be the protagonist. Someone has to be the antagonist. There has to be tension. There has to be resolution. We have to solve the world inside this theatre.

Who is playing Medusa? I cannot decide. 

You are a sharp intake of breath. I am an inconvenience. 

Intermission you may leave

(long pause)

Part three

A backwards scream. Death metal. The stage is smashed. I am submerged. Substance is a metaphor. Watch out for the spit or you slip. This is like being in love. This is like sacrificing a small rabbit with your bare hands. This is the largest kitchen knife I won’t put back in the draw but instead hold against your neck. You don’t know whether this is a game anymore. You call that a knife. This is a knife. 

You are never told why I am angry. That’s your job. Figure it out.

“Repetitions not only reproduce traumatic effects; they also produce them” says some dude called Foster. So we won’t mention what Neptune did. If you are confused, google it.

I am medusa. It is me. I am medusa. It is I.

I am hard.

Rock hard. Feel it. Invert it.

I studied voice projection and articulation to deliver you these words. I tried to do it with my body. I failed. This is a disappointment. There is no reference. Or maybe there is. Maybe I am jellyfish. 

I am ripping you off. This has been done in New York. And London. And Salford. And Delhi. And Shanghai. And Hong Kong. And West Yorkshire. And Avignon. And here. And there. And Paris. And Perth.

This is a mass castration party in your pants.

Can you see the snakes? Do you love them? I stayed up all night paper macheing them just for you so that you could look at them on my head and say ‘wow the snakes look so realistic, how did you manage to detail the snake skin so intricately and wow you are so clever – how on earth did you get the snakes to writhe around as if they were real on top of your head. You are a great artist and this is an outstanding show’ and i would smile at you and shyly tuck a ring of hair behind my ear and softly whisper ‘it was actually super easy’ and then you would throw roses at me and give me a cake that was made just for me with my face on it and little jelly snakes all over my head with the words ‘CONGRATS ON BEING AMAZING!’

I am finally tackling the classic texts. You don’t know this but I had a bloody neat process making this. There was a moment in the middle that was tricky but I held it together with care and love and empathy and forgiveness and self care and long walks and good food and the odd glass of fine wine.

This is my great work. This is my rite of spring. This is my thousand faces, my power of myth, my mask of god.

Shut up Joseph fucking Campbell.  If I hear your name one more time I will scream.  Go on. Try me. I have sharpened and tuned my voice so that you can hear the words. Stop listening. Go. Home. Tension is rising because i say it is. I am melting like cheese. 

There is a Jellyfish called Medusa and Sylvia Plath wrote poems about her before Ted Hughes or her mother or the patriarchy or the weight of genius made her put her head in an oven on a Sunday afternoon. And gas makes one hallucinate after a time so there she lay, awkwardly bent, floating through an ocean of jellyfish that are beautiful and fucking scary at the same time. Because you can die from jellyfish. You can get blisters from jellyfish. You might have to piss on your own leg because of jellyfish. Or on someone else’s. That bit comes later. Excited yet? Scared yet? There are scarier things than jellyfish. 

I am trying to use my flesh / bones to talk but i have stiff hips from rehearsing the clay bit that you will see later. I said there would be no mess. I lied.  Just kidding. I didn’t lie. Just kidding I did. Just kidding I didn’t. Just kidding I did. Just kidding I didn’t. Just kidding I did. Just kidding I didn’t. Just kidding I did.  Just kidding.

When will this end? Let’s get to bitching in the foyer. Let’s get to drinking a sav.  Let’s get to making some regrets. Let’s get to snorting some mdma off a toilet. This is career suicide.  Let’s get to sabotaging our closest friendships. Let’s get to wanking on a school night. Let’s get to missing my appointment with my therapist because I’m too busy coming down off acid and I am sure that my skin is crawling and that somehow it is your fault. 

We all read the second wave and we know that we can have multiple orgasms. This is orgasm upon orgasm upon orgasm and the deeper you go the more surprises there are. The biggest one of which is that it feels like home. Or your mother’s breast. Or your deepest darkest kinkiest fantasy. Or all of the above. Forgive me I am tired of wading through your shit so sometimes I lose my train of thought.  But in no other universe that splits off every second from this one does it matter that much. Or at all. Or maybe a tiny little bit. 

Maybe this is just Freud giving himself a hard on over his mother’s cunt. Here is a cloud of nothing that exists just under the surface of a sophisticated cocktail party celebrating the retirement of a dear friend and colleague. Or a christmas lunch with all the red face children popping christmas crackers. 

I keep circulating a strange growl in my throat and meaning starts to break down when you hold onto the narrative. It’s slippery like that. Maybe when you realise you are on solid ground that might crack at any second because of tectonic plates / seismic shift /cracks that reveal an abyss. Are you scared yet? Don’t be scared. The universe is still expanding. That should make you scared. There are 11 dimensions. That should make you scared. This is just a metaphor. The snakes are a goddamn, mother fucking, cock sucking metaphor. And we are waiting for the metaphor to appear. Which is like waiting for god to appear. It already happened in the 14th century and won’t be happening again anytime soon. 

We are coming to save you. Coming to save you or you money back. Guaranteed. Enshrined in the bill of rights / the consumer guarantees act / a private members bill. I won’t disappoint you. I love you. Never forget that.We could get really close you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you / you and I / I and you.  

The word becomes another word becomes another word becomes flesh becomes bones becomes marrow becomes grit becomes teeth becomes blood becomes plasma becomes DNA becomes ooze becomes time becomes space becomes stars becomes the milky way becomes planets becomes silence becomes deep space becomes soundwaves becomes sound becomes a mouth becomes a tongue becomes words becomes sounds becomes soundwaves becomes a vibration becomes a body becomes a mouth becomes a throat becomes a black hole becomes time becomes space becomes the universe. 

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