God is Dead. (again) One Act Plays by Kirby Congdon.
Roseanne Ritzema, writes of poet, playwright, Kirby
Congdon: "Kirby's talent is evident in his skill as a playwright, as
it has been for the past 40 years as an avant-garde poet. These
plays will visually capture audience attention... they provoke us to
examine our existence and question deeper, perhaps even spiritual
issues." And this Congdon does. In his work I see Sartre, Beckett
and Pinter. These plays, in a crisp and straightforward fashion
probe the ontological questions and existential meaning of life.
In "Here I Am," five characters in a surreal library in the sky (I
presume), presided over by an annoyingly obsequious Mrs. Muse, are
brought together. The other characters are a rather loathsome lot,
composed of poets and other humans we all have encountered. Here is
a painful argument between Poets No. 1, a posturing "poet of the
people," vs. Poet No. 3 an effete and preening "establishment" poet:
Poet No. 3: I am spending my own good time with my lawyers in
setting up a foundation for improvident people, artist very much
like yourself even, who need financial assistance.
Poet No. 1: I don't want no assistance. Buy my fucking book. Read my
poems. I know your foundations and your institutions. I am not a
poet to them boys. I'm a statistic. Well, I don't want your
conscience money and your doles and handouts. I'm a man, not a tax
Other poets get in the fray, fighting like rats over a small piece
of cheese. Congdon presents a very humorous play that deals with
some dead serious issues.
In "Dialogue With God," Congdon uses the conceit of an argument with
the great white father himself, with a rather cowed supplicant. The
dialogue brings out the hypocrisy of the man-made notions of "God."
Here is a brutally insistent God badgering his "creation" to declare
"Who is this person you say you love?!"
"Tell me all about it.?"
I love you.
"Who most. Who Most?"
This book is testament to the fact that Congdon should be as well-
known as a playwright as he is as a poet.
Doug Holder/Ibbetson Update