Dante Douglas & Alex Dang – “The Shotgun Cabinet” @WANPOETRY (CUPSI 2016)


The Shotgun Cabinet. A two act play on masculinity. Act 1: Polonius speaks. Don’t cry. Don’t talk too quiet. Speak dignified. Your voice is whiskey neat. Saw dust blown off sharp things. Don’t shuffle your feet. Walk with a purpose like the single stroke of the razor. Stop twitching. Stop nodding your head like that. Be still. Be the counter strike to the first punch. Don’t be the knife at a gun fight. Be the spent casings. Stop humming you sound like a girl. Stop whistling you sound like a bird, kid. Don’t cry. Keep your fists clenched and caught like hammers in your pockets. Men don’t gesture, men pontificate. Boys scribble nursery rhymes, scheme pennies. Men write big words and men make big money. We don’t slouch or sit down wrong. We don’t cross legs. We cross motherfuckers who look at us funny. We don’t bleed. We don’t bleed. Don’t bleed, kid. Don’t cry. Don’t let the world know how much you are made of water, liquid and flimsy thing. Don’t sniffle. It doesn’t do anyone good. You’re messed up. Look, you’re too pudgy. You’re too skinny. You don’t look hard boy you look soft. You look flower, boy. You look honey lump. You look flute trill. You look silk song. Why don’t you go outside more? Why are you crying? Why are you crying? Why are you crying? You’re doing it all wrong see? Don’t get choked up. Choke up on the bat. Choke up on the throttle. Choke her in bed. Don’t cry. Act Two: Laertes replies. I’ll cry if I want to, motherfucker. You talk bar fight and here I am without a drop of drink on me. Go ahead. Stab a river. See what happens. Freeze a lake and I’m still here. Splash a pond and I go in the air I storm on your parade and and then mock you with a rainbow. Stomp out the garden and the flowers blossom in your rifle barrel. Throw your closed fists and I catch them with open ocean palms. You can’t bruise me. Choke a running faucet and you come out with clean hands. What’s a hammer to the built house? What’s a gunfight to the peace treaty? What’s your heartless body to the warm blood? I don’t look honey lump. I am the good in your tea I don’t look flute trill. I am the orchestra. I don’t look flower I am the entire bouquet. I’m so soft I can’t be broken.

7 Replies to “Dante Douglas & Alex Dang – “The Shotgun Cabinet” @WANPOETRY (CUPSI 2016)

  1. So awesome. Saw Dante with the rest of the team at U of O and can't wait to see him and all of them again. So proud that both these poets come from Oregon.

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