“Fox Wants Death, Rabbit Wants Flames of Thread” is a script for an apocalypse.
“Flames of Thread” (what a phrase) brought my mind to that line from (of all things) a Delmore Schwartz poem: “What is the self amid this blaze?” … and then on from there: What will be uncovered if we follow the rabbit, whose mouth is full of iron rings and budget reports? The stage directions only awesomely complicate the question: “(poor rabbit is garbled, which means filled / with remorse).” Where will we be taken if we follow the fox, who can speak and even sing, but whose tongue “is old shadow / a valley darker than a valley”? (And does that line remind you of the Wallace Stevens poem “Rabbit As King of the Ghosts”: “the shapeless shadow covers the sun”?) There’s so much lightness here in the writing– Andrea Read’s hand is light, is a living one, warm, but so capable of suggesting icy silence. The lightness is eerie– like Kenneth Anger’s “Rabbit’s Moon”!– the longing and the unknown balance the comedic. I got the feeling that we, the chorus, were the everyday person, utterly beleaguered, flawed, ineffectual, but– honest? The poem-play tells us to “bury your dead up close in your own / ear nest.” Should we hear “earnest”– is it our own conviction that is the problem? Or should we go back inside our own ears and find refuge there? … I ❤ this poem.