ISSUE  1   2   3   4   SUBMIT

The Border Between You and Me

Guillermo Gómez-Peña

(Addressing individual audience members directly)
Where is the border between you and me?
(I subvocalize “I don’t know”)
Between my words & your mind?
(I subvocalize)
Entre mis brazos y tu espalda?
(I subvocalize)
Between my mouth & your fears?
(I subvocalize)
Where exactly is this performance taking place?
Are we web casting tonight?
Where are my colleagues and friends?
(Screaming over the audience)
(If no one answers)
Am I alone once again, on stage?
Are you guys out there…my audience tonight?
Yes? What is your role in this madness?
Do you feel lonely when I speak?
What time is it, by the way?
(Someone answers)
It’s so fuckin’ late in the performance
And I am still asking
all these existentialist questions:
Is there still time?
Time for…making love…
For dreaming…
For reinventing ourselves…
For returning to the homeland?
Returning to her arms?
Is there enough time?
To wait?
To stop the war, yet another war?
To cry collectively?
To cry for Bagdad, New Orleans, Beirut?
Or to cry for the world for no apparent reason,
the way Fassbinder used to cry
whenever he took a city bus
& saw other suffering humans?
Their perplexed & lonely faces?
"Ish bin ain Mexicanishes monster in Berlin."
Poor German citizens.
If only they had been born in Mexico
they would be less tortured…perhaps.
Bad phrase. Delete.
(to someone in the audience)
Miss, why were you crying the last time you cried?
You, beautiful you…
Were you truly aching or just performing?
Am I really, sincerely aching tonight, or just performing?
Is this a mere exercise in linguistic manipulation?
Carefully crafted romantic art discouse
Or am I loosing it on stage?
If I fall, would you catch me in the process?
What would you do with my wounded body?
(To someone else)
Sir, are you in touch with your heart?
Can you see mine, hanging out like a wandering viscera?
(To someone else)
Carnal, are you in touch with your genitalia? Show me!
(To other audience members)
Hey, do you know your genetic code?
Do you know your civil liberties?
How many have you lost since 9/11? 8-12-17
Have we lost track of the truly important issues?
Do you remember the terms
of the Guadalupe-Hidalgo treaty?
Shhhh…you are not supposed to answer
"Ish bin ain Mexicanishes monster in Berlin."
(Hindu accent)
No, I’m an American
I have lived here for 25 years.
I don’t ever recall asking you if you were a foreigner.
(French accent) Ne me derange plus u ye vous arráche les yeux.
Bad French accent, coño…terrible!
I told you I was a bad actor!
I was never trained…
to perform…your desires,
much less to entertain…
the possibility of…lying.

A performance artist is someone
who does not know how to lie or act
& this trait is not exactly a virtue.
gets you in trouble
with all forms of authority:
cops, teachers, curators, editors, politicians.
I call it…the burden of involuntary opposition

(Long pause)

Anyone willing to come on stage & take off your clothes
As a homage to early performance art?
(If someone does it, I have to deal with it)
Anyone willing to come out of the academic closet
& show us your battle wounds? Your love wounds?
I will lick them; lo juro