August 28, 2008

Review by C. St. Pérez

by Sawako Nakayasu

Verse Press/Wave Books
1938 Fairview Avenue East
Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98102
ISBN: 0-9746353-0-8
2004, 106pp., $13.00

Antonin Artaud, in “The Theater of Cruelty,” urges to “abolish the stage and the auditorium and replace them by a single site, without partition or barrier of any kind, which will become the theater of the action.” Sawako Nakayasu’s So We Have Been Given Time Or constructs this borderless site and blurs the line between theater and poetry to allow “the magical means of art and speech to be exercised organically and altogether, like renewed exorcism” (Artaud).

This book opens by violently subverting the logic of playwriting tags*:


geography enthusiast, twice removed.
brother, as in your.
or as in oh.
young Czech intellectual, female.
estranged or expatriated cousin, male.
young man of marrying age, recent dumpee.
his too-kind mother, a goose.
owner of the voice on the answering machine.
soccer player whiffing a penalty kick.
bartender outside of his natural environment.
innocent spectators […] (1)

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