Dialogue With The Hanged Man

At rise, THE HANGED MAN dangles from a noose secured above the proscenium arch. A chair lies on it’s side below his feet. A beat. THE FURIOUS BUDDHA enters in his usual garb, picks up the chair and sets it on it’s feet.

FURIOUS BUDDHA

If this is too meta for you,
I’ll skip the footnotes
and jump to the conclusion
but that would miss the point
and increase your confusion.

THE HANGED MAN

THE FURIOUS BUDDHA

Your internal narrator must have
sung you the devil’s own soliloquy
to have roped you into that necktie.

THE HANGED MAN

THE FURIOUS BUDDHA

Alas, poor guy, once so full of jests
now the jokes just pass you by.

THE HANGED MAN

THE FURIOUS BUDDHA

I hate to say this, cos, ‘cuz it seems so blunt and rude,
but it strikes me by the way you’ve ended
that standing here I’m deeper than you.

THE HANGED MAN

THE FURIOUS BUDDHA

Will nothing provoke you to answer?

THE HANGED MAN

THE FURIOUS BUDDHA

Is this some new heartbreaking literary technique of staggering genius
that is more subtle than I can comprehend?
Or am I so dense and crude that my questions
will only serve to heartlessly offend?
Is this dialogue just tacky and stupid,
or completely pointless? Heaven forfend!

Hey, man, it’s cool.
I can just hang here
while you do the dangle.
I’ll just have a smoke
and try to work the joke
from a different angle.

THE HANGED MAN

THE FURIOUS BUDDHA

I know they’re bad for me.
But I’m not about to listen
to you bitch about secondhand smoke. (exit)

CURTAIN

4 Responses to “Dialogue With The Hanged Man”

  1. I find that rather funny. Is it supposed to be?

  2. God help me, I’ll actually stand up for that strange, strange man.

    Actually, according to the NY Times obit, DFW was on antidepressants for 20 years and had, in the last 6-8 months, been forced to stop taking them because of some nasty side-effects. The resulting withdrawal left him severely depressed and unable to cope. You know the rest.

    I’m not mourning the loss of a great artist here–he certainly had flashes of brilliance, but also great swaths of self-indulgent tripe. He was, from all accounts, a very difficult man to know, very tormented and uncomfortable with himself. He was misanthropic. But he was a fellow human being, and he had family, and a wife. No children–though I imagine if he had it might have altered his perspective on things. He saw no hope for himself in this world and died in despondency, and that makes me very, very sad.

  3. Prof-
    Mental illness is a terrible burden, and I certainly wouldn’t want to seem like I’m picking on a depressive. I actually think he might have found this funny. He liked his jokes dark. If anything, this is a tweak at his fans who think I don’t understand his work.

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