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The Chris Chandler Show

  • Matadors / Flyer Girl (10:20)

    from Matadors


    Understand...
    ...that this entire poem...
    ...takes place in a split second...

    ...Which is to some an eternity,
    such as the split second between when a trapeze artist takes flight
    and she grasps the hand of her catcher.

    *************

    "Ladies and Gentlemen,"
    I thought to myself,
    but the words just wouldn't come.

    One-hundred-thousand times before the words have flown freely
    – but not this time…

    ...I fumbled in the front pocket of my red velvet jacket
    and pulled out my notes…
    yep, that's what it says alright –
    "Ladies and Gentle…"
    The words would not come.
    *************
    I peaked through the closed curtains
    and peered into a sea of dull faces waiting to be entertained.
    Their empty eyes glinting like the lights of a ship
    viewed from beneath the water.

    Fish can not see above the water.
    Occasionally they can make out movements, gestures, even danger
    … sometimes… on a clear day…
    They will gather in a school to watch… for they know there is a thin line between their water and our air where another world is possible.

    For as Einstein pointed out: "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Perhaps the thin line between them is a red velvet curtain.

    *************
    A performer on a bright stage can not see into the darkened audience,
    but he knows there is another world out there.
    The audience does too.
    Like a school of fish, it is why they came.

    Performer and audience must work together to lift the veil between the worlds known and unknown to prove to the world that another way is possible.

    Only a red velvet curtain exists between us.
    That curtain must go up.

    *************
    The House lights go to half... and then they go out... and that is the most important moment in the universe... for in that moment - anything can happen... and it usually does...

    But only if someone dives in...
    I do so...
    ... but I realize…
    ...I can not swim.

    But I see a school swims together in perfect unison like aerial fliers knowing no gravity except that of their camaraderie and their desire for spectacle. Flips and turns and loopty-loops and unpredictable pirouettes. But it is my turn to fly freely – to add my component to the presentation – But the words would not come.

    *************

    The stage manager is back stage with a hook.

    In Terror. I break from the school. Swimming. Alone. Hungry. Eyeing a silver spinner – I am thinking, “It's dinner time!”

    but, as soon as I bite -- out of the blue -- a magic string sucks me from the known universe.

    Suddenly, I am lieng on the deck of a boat - floundering. There are aliens wearing bright orange vests and baseball hats that read things like, “Who farted?”

    I am unable to breath in the alien's atmosphere. All seems lost. The lights continue to fade.

    *************

    The red velvet curtain rises...

    ... A polite applause sputters and dies out leaving me with an uncomfortable silence…

    a full five minutes passes – the silence turns to heckles.. Fruit flies freely... I am floundering. I am floundering.

    I remove my jacket to use it as a shield to dodge the fruit
    but somewhere in an alternative universe
    a bull sees it as a signal to charge.
    There is a large swelling of applause

    They are cheering loudly… and then I realize...
    ...they are rooting for the bull.

    *************
    Yet, I don't care that they are rooting for the bull!
    For tonight… I must be Myro the Magnificent:
    the heralded undisputed –
    undefeated
    Greatest Matador of all time…

    Then I have the sinking revelation that the bull really is charging...

    ...and that all LIVING matadors are undefeated.

    *************
    The Stage manager has set down her hook and replaced it with a butterfly net.

    I am floundering on the deck.
    The aliens scoop me into a net and toss me back into the water,
    where I witness the tiniest of tiny minnows
    performing a beatific ballet
    for the audience of much larger fish
    in an effort to convince it that they are indeed enormous
    (which is not unlike the reason that insecure performers immolate themselves for approval.)

    I try to join them –
    but now, I am just that old guy with a hook in my mouth trying to convince the school that there is an alternative universe.

    Naturally, they don't believe me – they put me on a reality TV
    and I find myself trying to convince some blow hard named Bill O’Reilly
    that I was abducted by aliens.

    I am a laughing stock – but at least – they are laughing…

    Because, when they are laughing, I CAN FLY!

    *************

    There are many ways for us to convince the world
    that there is another way.
    There is a world beyond this one of dreary theatre seats
    and boxes of stale greasy pop corn.

    And that world can be found in a split second.

    It is a split second in which we all can fly…


    *************

    One in which fish can walk…

    One in which the bull dons a red cape and trades his horns for a sword.

    One in which the bird is free from the chains of the sky….

    The curtain is up.

    I hear the applause, and I realize that I am right… that THIS is the alternative universe….

    This is the split second between when the trapeze artist flies – and she grasps the hand of her catcher…

    Which is the split second between two hands clapping.

    Matadors by Chris Chandler
    From the album Matadors 2011

    Credits:

    Matadors/ Flyer Girl
    Chris Chandler/Paul Benoit

    “Reality is merely an illusion - albeit a persistent one.” - Albert Einstein

    Paul Benoit: Guitar, Bass and Vocals
    Frankie Hernandez: Trumpet and Vocals
    Dan Weber: Drums and Shaker
    Hugh Sutton: Accordion, Vocals
    Chris Chandler: Spoken Word

    Matadors by Chris Chandler

    Flyer Girl by Paul Benoit

    updated: 6 months ago