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A Stage Fright

1993/11/17 automatic writing by Chris Wayan voicing a dream character

Digital sketch of ballerina in pique

At a dance concert starring some of my ballet classmates, I got so excited I wanted to leap on stage myself. Afterward they urged me "Quit hiding in classes, you're good! Go on, volunteer for a show!" So at last, I tried.

The stress left me sick for days. Stage fright!

But I noticed something odd. Singing or acting or dancing my OWN work on stage seemed to leave me well--only dancing OTHER PEOPLE'S scripts sickened me!

Stage fright, or... something else?

Am I incompatible with scripted flash and fire,
With the careful ballet bodygrace I so admire?
I lay abed, a toadish lump. Relit that stage
in memory, pen ready to explore.
Suddenly on the page,
mad dancing lines began to pour!
And in the dark beyond my words'
ballet of scripted light,
Hovered something scaled and eyed:
My true stage fright.

In this fey mood, what do I write?

"Fear is a stereo: it talks in both ears.
Different lies for different lobes."
Aw, do I mean that? Or do I just
Love the sound of such pronouncements?
Rhythmic lines resound with vowels,
Bouncing off the consonantal walls.
Transcendental malls! Where we
Go shopping for a girlfriend--
Or a fish. Mouth ogles, oogles and gulps.
Gulping with stagefright,
Poor girlfish in the petshop window.
No, there's meaning here.
Behind the leggy chorus-line of absurds
Slogs that fat old jogger, logic.
I don't WANT to dance to order,
Well-trained doggie in the window!
Obey, stand, roll over, beg applause
From courteous relatives with sore
Asses. Oh! those cheap school chairs.

9 ballerinas on a blue stage.
I shriek naked on stage. Forget ballet! I long to tell secrets,
Show you my privates:
The hot wet folds of my
The steamy convolutions of my
Slippery with excitement,
I wriggle from the team,
A sperm after a slut aesthetic.
But this ain't no nudie bar.
They'll revoke my artistic license: way
Too much licentiousness
in my consciousness--
at least for ballet.

But what if I dared?
What if I dared?
To stand and deliver
My un-moving truth.

The scales of night are falling.
What hovered in the dark
Like bats avoiding light,
Now drops to the stage like a cat.
Dragon lands, and takes no bow.
Won't dance, just holds to the center.
Wings nick the curtains, steam-veils drift.
Huge, deadly, spiked: a stage fright.
Green-golden-eyed it stares and stares,
Till telepathically it shares:
"Once I dreamed I was a mammal born..."
Offstage someone whispers: "Where's
That vaudeville hook?"
But no one human dares.

Backstage, the manager hisses
"Send on a dancer, the mad one."
She whirls like an iris,
Her backbone screams
As she unravels emotional seams.
Passionflower's crisis
Peels eyes off the saur.
Has action won?
The mammals score.

But that cold mind proceeds in calm
Uncoiling truths of worlds beyond.
"Get off! We wanna see some action!"
Yells a slightly suicidal faction.

But waiting a thoughtful
Reptilier age,
Still the still dragon
Holds to the stage.

A dragon lands on the ballet stage.
If it sounds like I'm claiming I went on strike,
Summoned illness to block an un-Tao path,
Or that stagefright can make a soul progress...
Well, (uncomfortable squirm) ...yes.

LISTS AND LINKS: dragons - more dreams of this particular, difficult dragon: Puff - dance - stage dreams - Taoism - free speech versus censorship - essays and rants - tales of the waking world - Wayan first tries automatic writing: D, D, D - Edwin Muir's hypnogogic vision of his Long Road to Heaven - Maude Meagher's automatic writing in a Word Dream - Edith Willis's short but lucrative writing-trance: Trigo -

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