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The Last Day of the Neanderthals

Copyright 2003 by Tal Liron

This work was created as a final project for a college class, called “Materials of Theater.” Each of the seven segments was originally accompanied by a flat panel of images and text, though these are now lost. The recordings (and panels) were meant to be drafts, and are definitely unpolished, but I ended up keeping them as is. In particular I was hoping to replace the voice.

One

All our men are dead now.
All our men were killed in the forest.
All our men were killed by the Skinny People in the forest.
This world is bad for us. This world eats our men.
This is the Second World.
The First World was also bad for us.
It ate our mother, and so she came up here to lay her eggs.
We will now go up to the Third World.
But first we will return our children’s teeth to the First World.
We will go down into the pits.

Two

Take the children to the moors and kill them.
Kind acts, my maids, must be unkind, unwanted.
Burn the children in the fire, and eat their meat and crack their bones.
The teeth will remain,
For they were forged in the fires of the Pit of Death.
They are in the likeness of the First World.
Gather the teeth.
Then, there will be only us women.
We will take the teeth down into the Pit of Emergence.
We came from the pit into this, the Second World.

Three

We will follow the sunbeams.
We will climb down the sunbeams into the water.
This is the Pit of Life.
Here, our spirits began to breathe.
Here, our memories of the First World were drowned.
And then, we emerged.
We will climb down the dark tunnels,
Carrying the teeth of our children.

Four

We will follow the dark tunnels.
We will climb down the dark tunnels into the darkest darkness.
This is the Pit of Memory.
Here, our spirits remembered the First World.
They had not yet seen the Second World.
They remembered and they cried, because they did not want to leave,
And they did not know what would happen to them.
We cry now, too.
We do not want to leave the Second World.
We will climb down.
Then, it will get very hot.

Five

We will follow the heat.
We will climb down into the fire.
This is the Pit of Death.
Our mother, Cassandra, died here.
Our mother, Cassandra, came from the First World.
Our mother, Cassandra, laid her eggs here.
Our spirits hatched from the eggs and went up,
To emerge in the Second World.
Our mother, Cassandra, illuminated the darkness of this song,
And then she died.

Six

We will hear voices singing.
We will follow the voices.
We will climb down into the song.
This is the Pit of Sorrow.
This is where our mother, Cassandra, fell from the First World.
This is where we will throw our children’s teeth,
Back down into the First World.
Do not, in sorrow, throw yourselves down!
The First World is lost,
But there still may be another Troy.

Seven

We will climb up from the Pit of Sorrow!
We will climb up from the Pit of Death!
We will climb up from the Pit of Memory!
We will climb up from the Pit of Life!
We will climb up from the Pit of Emergence!
Oh, poor women! Oh, poor childless women!
We will climb up into the hills
And make new children out of moonbeams.
We will fall into the starry sky, into the Third World.
Oh, mother, Cassandra,
Star my hairs with flowers of victory!