Progress: A Play in _ Acts
Sean Kilpatrick

Two people in a canoe clack the stage with oars.

CHARACTER A: No progress, thank God.

CHARACTER B: Keep rowing till the molestation wears off.

CHARACTER A: Why all these diapers passing in the creek like a poorly mothered day.

CHARACTER B: Should I behold?

CHARACTER A: Yes in this light.

CHARACTER B (worships): I don't mind, hence I don't accomplish.

CHARACTER A: Speaking of worship, I heard you piss like a third degree.

CHARACTER B: I don't feel unzipped enough.

CHARACTER A: Then I'll whisper.

CHARACTER B: You'll cry.

CHARACTER A: I'll baby you. My mouth is open.

CHARACTER A: Twenty-five percent.

They rise and face the canoe another way. Continue.


CHARACTER B: All dry downstairs.

CHARACTER A: We took turns.

CHARACTER B: No day was capped in wrinkles long enough.

CHARACTER A: Thrust or arm, we found no stop within.

CHARACTER B: Now the Sistine Chapel peels when I walk.

CHARACTER A: My mouth is bleeding other mouths.

CHARACTER B: They fall turnstile into that famous lap.

CHARACTER A: Ah, put your freckles back on.

CHARACTER B: I'd rather fuck you across this body of idiots.

CHARACTER A: Shh, you're my little kangaroo.

CHARACTER B: I'm your little blood pressure.

CHARACTER A: You're my little tie off. Go home.

They lie down and disappear in the canoe.

CHARACTER A: Suck harder!

CHARACTER B: There's nothing left!

CHARACTER A: Imagine a work in progress.

CHARACTER B: All I see — wait, you're shedding.

CHARACTER A: Yes! I malt.

CHARACTER B: Shocking how you sound clothed.

CHARACTER A: When the coarse beginnings of how they leave remain…

CHARACTER B: …roll your gumption on a dirty cloud.

CHARACTER A: You know, I hear your interiors rumbling, and in doing so, allow them to continue.

CHARACTER B: I'm tired of being in love.

An arm sticks out, aiming a pistol straight up.

CHARACTER A: I'm pregnant.

CHARACTER B: Congratulations. Who's the father?

CHARACTER A: I'll never tell.

CHARACTER B: When you straddle a cannon the whole ghetto perks up.

The gun recedes. Several shots sound.

CHARACTER A: We're sinking.

CHARACTER B: We're learning.

They stand and face each other, clapping harder and harder.



CHARACTER A: These nuts!

CHARACTER B: This planet!

CHARACTER A: That girl!

CHARACTER B: Her tit's out!


CHARACTER B: How else shall we acquire medicine?

CHARACTER A: Pardon, I left all my holes in your holes. Can I get them back?

CHARACTER B: We were shot?

CHARACTER A: We were assembled that way.

They cough and throw bullets and metal on the stage.

CHARACTER B: Come shit a honeycomb miracle.

CHARACTER A: Now that we finally know each other, we can leave each other alone.

CHARACTER A: Thank you.

CHARACTER B: And thank you, sir.


The play seems to finish and the actors bow awkwardly and take seats facing the audience for a question and answer session. Whoever is called upon, whatever is asked, or if no one raises their hand, the following dialogue remains relatively unchanged.

CHARACTER A (to audience): Thank you. The Q and A session has begun. I know you're all anxious and reasonably well dressed. I know you came here today on purpose. In answer to your question, no. In answer to your question, what you call a refund isn't why I'm here. In answer to your question, this play was written because we love audiences. Our love is almost Swedish. We heard you the whole time. Next. This play took many generations of actors to perform. The writer masturbated for research. I wrote this play once. The avant garde is a candle of ruin. I am occasionally fascist. I go to school against my better judgment. And yours. I live at home. Or not at all. Also, masturbate. To a picture of this audience. Boo a little bit or I'll know you want me. Now stop. I'm also, I assume, out of baby wipes. Any more questions? Okay, too many questions. While this play makes light of incidents such as Columbine which hadn't occurred at the time of its writing, the play is guilty of shock value because it betters the world by explaining the world to you because you need that kind of explanation to continue being part of the world. Goodnight.

CHARACTER B: I am also in this play! I am also in this play! I am also in this play! I am also in this play! I am also in this play! I am also in this play! I am also in this play! (They fight, are dragged off.)

Sean Kilpatrick's work is published or forthcoming in Fence, No Colony, La Petite Zine, Jacket, Pindeldyboz, Action Yes, LIT and others.

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Photo detail on main page courtesy of Bracchetto.

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