Word Dances | Iri Kopal | Scene4 Magazine - January 2021  www.scene4.com

Iri Kopal

Night Without Light

SHE: Yes, yes, oh yes.

LOVER: Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

SHE: Yes-yes, yes-yes, yes-yes!

LOVER: Mmmm, mmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmmmm.

HUSBAND: I'm back early. I didn't think you'd be…

SHE: Oh my god! You're… back… early.


SHE: This is… my friend. And this… is my…

LOVER: I know.

SHE: …husband!

LOVER & SHE: Oh my god!

HUSBAND: And she… is my…

LOVER: I know.

HUSBAND: …wife!

LOVER & SHE: Oh my god!

HUSBAND: I'm trying, very hard, to be calm, to be reasonable. I'll turn on the light.

LOVER: Please, don't kill me.

SHE: What?!

LOVER: Oh, sorry. Don't kill… us, please.

HUSBAND: Stop! Stop screaming! I can't think.

LOVER: About what?

HUSBAND: I can't get a clear picture in my head.

LOVER: Be calm.

HUSBAND: I am. I just don't know what to say, I don't know what to do.

SHE: Don't say anything. Don't do anything. Just turn around. Everything will be all right.

HUSBAND: There must be…

SHE: Shhhh… just turn around.

LOVER: I don't believe it.

SHE: Don't say anything. Just get dressed… quick! Before he turns back.

LOVER: Why are you speaking with a British accent?

SHE: Piss off, I have nothing more to say.

LOVER: Neither do I.

SHE: Good, let's all say good night.

LOVER: Good night!

HUSBAND: Good night!

SHE: Goodbye!


Whispering In Bed

Darkness. HE or SHE speaks first.

:I waited until it was dark, totally dark, no moon. Then I came home, to you, here.

:This is a surprise, you here, lying next to me.

:The surprise is... I can't see you.

: Shhhh.

:I can only hear you, and feel you.


:And I can smell you.

:It's hot. Your skin is hot. You're wet.

:You're skin's not hot. You're cool.

:How do you know that? You're not pressed against me.

:No I'm not.



:Are you naked?

:Can't you tell? Yes, I am. Are you?

:Yes. For a long time I expected this to happen, I wanted it to happen, like a dream. But it faded, and other dreams came.

:How could that happen?

:You didn't come.

:Now I'm here, like a dream, and it isn't fading.

:What are you talking about? I don't remember you anymore. I don't remember what you look like. I can't see you here, now. I don't want to see you. I don't want you to see me, here, now.The time is gone.

:Let me remind you.

:How will you do that? Will you breathe in my ear, will you bite my lip, will you touch me in all the secret places?

:All of that. We'll remember together and your skin will become hot and wet too.

:You will be touching what you cannot see in the dark.

:I will be touching your memory.

:Shhhh. The time is gone.

:It's almost dawn Are you still here? Good. The time is gone.


Illusions Self-Dispossessed

You come into a theatre and sit down in a comfortable seat. The lighting around you is low, soft, warm and flickers like candlelight. No one talks. It is quiet. You wait. He comes out on to the stage and sits looking down . Behind him is a stack of thin screens.

He says:

Shandira. Shandiraravpo.

Now he looks at you.

Who are you? Why have you come here? Do you think I need you? Oh, for the money, yes. Only the money. Do you think I need you for an audience, to witness my performance? No, I don't need you. Leave now. But if you don't leave now, you will need me.

He steps down off of the stage and walks among you and other people.

Tell me, sir, have you always looked like that? It is a terrible face, full of sadness. And your hair is dyed. And you, Miss, your nose is crooked, your eyes are twisted, unhappy. And you, sir, you are fat. What a shame, shamefully fat.

He steps back on to the stage, pulls a screen alongside him. It hangs suspended in the air. It lights up with a photo of the fat man. He stands again looking at you.

Do you think I need you? I want you to take off your clothes, all of them. If not, then leave. Leave now. If you don't, you will never be able to leave again. Take off your clothes.

You do. The screen changes, picture after picture.

If you are uncomfortable, it is because you look like this and you cannot bear to look at yourself. What you see with your eyes is light, what you see with your memory is illusion. This is not illusion, it is the light, it is you.

He pulls the screen and it disappears. He takes another screen and suspends it in the air. It lights up and shows him walking through a city in the desert. And it shows you walking naked in the distance.

Stand up. Stand up and be seen.

You do. He takes another screen and bends it and floats it horizontally around the other. It shows the sea, moving, exploding.

I know you as no one else knows you. I know all of you. Your secrets are illusions because I know them.

Another screen appears floating around the other two. It shows many images.

Your thoughts are illusions because I know them. Your emotions are illusions because I take them along with your secrets and your thoughts. I take them and breathe them away.

He touches the screens. They disappear. He takes another screen and stretches it until it fills the space behind him. It shows many colored shapes that dissolve into each other. You stand there, naked and quiet and now full of fear.

Your fear is not an illusion because I created it. It is all that you are. All of life, your life, has been and is fear. I take all of your fear and with it your life.

Some people around you disappear.

I take all of your life and with it all of your fear.

The screen behind him disappears. Then you disappear. He folds his arms around himself and then he disappears. You only hear music, everywhere, full, rising,  falling, overwhelming music. It is not an illusion.

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Iri Kopal is a painter, poet and playwright.
He lives and works in Vietnam.

©2021 Iri Kopal
©2021 Publication Scene4 Magazine



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