Island, June 1, 2013

Hill Auditorium

Ann Arbor, MI


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Island

Listen (MP3)

(SURF, SEAGULL)

GK: My story is simple. I came to the University of Michigan as a poet in residence and a week after I arrived I went out sailing on Lake Michigan and a storm came up and I washed ashore on this island. That was two years ago. Nobody came looking for me. I built a bonfire and nobody saw it. I found an abandoned fishing shack with a stove and survived the winter. (SURF, SEAGULLS). I learned the language of seagulls and I started to write poems in gull and about that time----

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACH IN SAND)

FN: Hi. ----- You live here? ------

GK: (GULL CRY) Oh, sorry. Just writing something. You come in a boat?

FN: No, I was on the ferry to Michigan. Got sick and went to throw up and fell overboard. My name's Arthur.

GK: Oh.

FN: You wouldn't have a telephone, would you?

GK: No.

FN: No phone?

GK: Nope.

FN: How about we light a big bonfire?

GK: Did that.

FN: How about we spell out H-E-L-P on the beach and wave our shirts in the air?

GK: Nobody's going to see it.

FN: How big is the island?

GK: About two miles long, about a quarter-mile wide.

FN: And nobody came looking for you?

GK: I'm a poet. They didn't notice I was gone.

FN: Well, I'm a college professor. They'll come looking for me when I don't show up for class Monday morning.

GK: What do you teach?

FN: Celanese.

GK: What's that? A language?

FN: Right. (ALIEN BABBLE)

GK: Okay. Well, welcome.

FN: Thanks, I'm going to go explore. (FOOTSTEPS OFF)

GK: It was a week or two later, I was sitting on the beach working on my Seagull poem----

(EMERGE FROM SURF, FOOTSTEPS APPROACH IN FLIPPERS)

SS (PINCHED NOSE): Hello? Hello? Where am I?

GK: (SEAGULL CRIES) Who are you?

(SUCTION, POP)

SS (SEXY): Feels good to get that mask off. Hi.

GK: Hi.

SS (SEXY): What island is this?

GK: Well, the seagulls call it (SHRIEK). Which means "Homeland".

SS (SEXY): Oh. My name's Lola. I was out scuba diving and I guess I got carried away by a powerful riptide. Could you help me get this wetsuit off?

GK: Sure.

SS (SEXY): It just feels really tight on me.

GK: It appears to be really tight.

SS (SEXY): It unzips in back. (SLOW UNZIP) Wheww. Feels good.

GK: Nice bikini. Green with dolphins. . ....

SS: They're mackerel. Just peel it off me. Nice and slow. (WET SUCTION) Ooo. That feels so weird.

GK: Should I stop?

SS (SEXY): No. (WET SUCTION) No no no, don't stop, don't stop.

GK: Okay.

(SLOW SUCTION OF WETSUIT REMOVAL CONTINUES)

SS (SEXY): Are you in the Coast Guard?

GK: I'm a poet.

SS (SEXY): Oh. I love poetry. Are you alone here?

GK: Yes. (SUCTION) I'm not hurting you am I?

SS (SEXY): Oh no. That feels wonderful. So liberating. Is there a place where I can stay here---- on the island?

GK: Yes, I have a fishing shack.

SS (SEXY): Fantastic.

GK: That way.

SS (SEXY): Thanks. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

GK: Lola and I became close friends. I read her some of my Gull poem. I sent a seagull with a note in his beak to Arthur at the other end of the island ---- that said, "I have contracted a terrible disease, my body covered with bleeding sores. Do not come near. Farewell, Camerado." He sent a note back that said, "okay."

SS: I was thinking I'd like to explore the island and head up this way and see what's there----

GK: No, don't go that way.

SS: No?

GK: No. There is a giant vampire bat who lives up that way.

SS: Okay. I'll go this way then. (FOOTSTEPS, OFF) See you.

GK: Bye.

GK: (SIGH) Suddenly for the first time in two years I am aware of the fact that I have a long beard and I haven't had any soap to wash with and I need a mouthwash. (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

(TR SWEDISH GIBBERISH)

GK: Excuse me?

(TR SWEDISH GIBBERISH)

GK: You were on a boat.....fishing......

(TR SWEDISH GIBBERISH)

GK: Big storm.......

(TR SWEDISH GIBBERISH, INSISTENT)

GK: You're hungry. (TR SWEDISH). Okay. Fine. Just help yourself. Roots. And berries. (TR SWEDISH) No, don't go that way. Go down that way. A man named Arthur will help you. (TR SWEDISH) Yes, Arthur. He'll help.

(FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

GK: So here I am, with a beautiful woman and two men. With any luck they would fall in love with each other and leave me alone but the odds are against that.

SS: Hi.

GK: Hi. Everything okay?

SS: Do you have any toilet paper?

GK: No. Use leaves. Leaves from trees. Okay? I can help you.

SS: That's okay. I can do it. ----- Are you busy for dinner tonight?

GK: No. I'm pretty free tonight.

SS: I was thinking I'd like to whip up some wild salmon ragout and serve it up on a bed of root vegetables.

GK: Sounds good.

SS: You're not vegan, are you?

GK: I have been but I'm not dogmatic about it.

SS: Okay. See you later.

GK: Later.

(FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

GK: I'm in love. I need to bathe. Get a haircut.

(FOOTSTEPS)

FN: Hey----- looks like those bleeding sores have healed up.

GK: Actually, I've internalized them. (TR SWEDISH)

FN: This man is a doctor. Maybe he can help you.

GK: I don't think so. I'm going a homeopathic route. Eating seaweed and so forth.

FN: Just trying to be helpful.

GK: Well, go be helpful somewhere else.

SS: HELLO------- who's this? I heard voices.

FN: Wow. Who's she?

GK: Friend of mine. Visiting.

FN: Hi, gorgeous. My name's Arthur.

SS: Nice to meet you. Who's he? (TR SWEDISH) I love Scandinavian men.

GK: Don't let them touch you, Lola. They're lepers. That's why they're out here.

FN: Liar.

GK: Beat it.

FN: Who died and made you king???

SS: What's this all about?

FN: Come with us, Lola. It's a whole lot nicer down at our end.

SS: Oh?

FN: Ingvar here built a house. You can have your own room. And a shower. Not live in a shack like this guy.

GK: You leave her alone. Beat it.

FN: Make us.

SS: I just want to go visit them.

GK: Don't.

FN: Come, Lola. Never mind him.

GK: You take your hands off her.

SS: Why can't we all just get along???

FN: Back off, dog breath.

GK: You're not taking her away.

FN: If she wants to come-----

GK: Go away. I was here first. (TR SWEDISH) Take him with you.

FN: Two of us, one of you, Mister.

(GULL)

GK: And then I remembered the seagulls. I thought I remembered the words for "Attack. Dive at their heads. Drive them into the sea." (GK GULL SCREECHES)

(GULLS ATTACK, FN AND TR CRY OUT, RUNNING, SPLASH) And my enemies ran back to their camp. (DISTANT CRIES) (BRIDGE)
(NIGHT SOUNDS)

SS: How'd you like supper?

GK: It was good.

SS: Not too salty?

GK: I liked it.

SS: I garnished it with seaweed.

GK: I liked that.

SS: Berries for dessert.

GK: Perfect.

SS: What's that light out there?

GK: Where?

SS: Out there, on the water?

(TR RUSSIAN CALLING, OFF)

GK: It's a submarine.

(TR RUSSIAN CALLING)

SS: He's waving at us. They're sending a dinghy ashore.

GK: Looks like our ship has come in, sweetheart.

SS: Should we tell the others?

GK: We can send help for them later.

SS: I don't think we should just leave them.

GK: They'll be fine.

SS: I'd feel bad abandoning them.

GK: This is their home.

SS: It is?

GK: I was a castaway, like you. But they're here because they're lepers.

SS: They don't look like lepers.

GK: They are. Lepers prefer to be with their own kind.

SS: Well, I don't know. (TR RUSSIAN APPROACHING)

GK: I think you should put on some clothes before he gets here though.

SS: Of course. Be right back. (FOOTSTEPS)

(GULL SPEAKS)

GK: Where'd she go?

GK: LOLA!!!! LOLA!!!!!!!!!!! (ECHO)

(MUSIC BUTTON)

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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