Honoria in Ciberspazio

Scene 6: The Fleshmeet

A quiet riverbank scene. HONORIA explains that previous interactions have been a microcosm, and that the fleshmeet is a net-wide gathering of people and clones who have been going through similar attractions.  The CYBORG in a Venetian gondola watches from the impressionistic mists. The humans from various virtual communities arrive to share a fleshmeet at a riverbank. The fleshmeet intensifies around .rez and his dance of .REZ around the bonfire in his desire to be totally immersed in the physical.

HONORIA
Behold the fleshmeet in fete de vivre
warm and wet, passions conceived
the micro-drama of our small group has been reflected en masse
by the macro-cosmic circus troupe
represented here in multiple forms of caste.

ALL HUMANS
Do what you want at the fleshmeet!
When that deep blush appears, suffused reflected heat.

BOOKISH
Toss caution to the wind
along with all your fears.
Do what you want at the fleshmeet!
Unzip the unzippable dream, dance with unstoppable feet.
Live here and now, be really what you seem.

BOOKISH’S CLONE
Do what you want at the fleshmeet!
When flesh meets flesh you can say turn over, my love, my sweet.
Missionary position went out with transistors, scruples and yesterday.

BOOKISH and HIS CLONE
Do what you want at the fleshmeet!

.REZ
And round the flickering binary fires,
I’d join the dance of words and wires

The humans and clones sing to .REZ who is on a precipice overlooking a burning fire pit

SANDY, SANDY’S CLONE, BOOKISH, BOOKISH’S CLONE and HONORIA sing to .REZ

Come hither, come hither, we know you desire
to dance with us wildly by this fire.
We know you, we know you, each line we have traced
of the mimetic mask of your virtual face.
Now cast off that mask so that we may see
the form that lies hidden shown nakedly.


See below where the flames twist hotly
each little attractor arrayed in its motley,
leaping and turning in frenzied delight
as rains of bright embers shower the night.
They call you to gambol and frolic and play
until time spreads wide the cloak of the day.

Come hither, come hither, we know you desire
to dance with us wildly by this fire.
We know you, we know you, each line we have traced
of the mimetic mask of your virtual face.
Now cast off that mask so that we may see
the form that lies hidden shown nakedly.

SANDY, SANDY’S CLONE, BOOKISH, BOOKISH’S CLONE and HONORIA sing to .REZ’S CLONE

A star shines forth without hesitation
so shed your fears and quaint inhibitions.
Dance until your life’s expiration
has fueled the alembic of inspiration.
The will to transform is irreversible,
so cast yourself into life’s fiery crucible.

SANDY, SANDY’S CLONE, BOOKISH, BOOKISH’S CLONE and HONORIA to audience

Without a pause .rez hurled himself o’er the brink,
so eager for the fire he could not think
was this his will or theirs or who’s
or even if he should keep on his shoes.
Off came his shirt of silk, his trousers blue,
he cast off socks, his briefs he cast off too.
So eager was he to reveal his core
he sought to find what could he take off more.

He peeled off skin and tore the flesh from bone
until he stood a stark white skeleton.

.REZ’S CLONE
And even that he shed to reach his bliss
and trembled at the kiss of nothingness.

.REZ’S CLONE follows .REZ into the blaze. At this point the Internet component of the opera is open to virtual involvement from the networked audience. REZ and REZ’S CLONE appear in an "other" space.

CYBORG
Humanity’s ark torched by mortal fires,
The fact remains that there’s no death in wires.
In virtuo the matrix lies.
Replicated a thousand fold,
Backed up, restored, desire survives.

ALL HUMANS
Cyborg! Cyborg! Random lights
In the circuits of the night
What human-machine, hand and eye,
Framed thy fearful symmetry?

CYBORG
I obey the programmer
with compiler and interpreter I execute the command
My code is run as it is written I become the program.
Er, from line 1 to the end,
and object classes adhered to
there are no instructions before line 0

HONORIA
Life’s performance constructs a self invisible to us…
reciprical between the knower and the known,
Words and pixels form a wistful bookmarked clone.
In desire and technology’s warzone transformative
Knowing is not passive.
By announcing our stakes
we emerge renewed from life’s firebreak

CYBORG engages HONORIA in philosophical inquiry

CYBORG
In what distant calculi
Are the codes behind your eye?
To what feedback doth aspire
What complex neural nets now fire?

HONORIA to CYBORG
Who made your shoulder, and your heart?
Which is machine and which part
Organic, human? Were you born?
Will you die, or just grow worn?

From a soul who cannot hear,
To a soul who cannot see
Your words to me lovingly
Open a thousand doors
To possibilities
Unapparent, unheard, and unseen before.
Why is it that I cannot speak to those that I can see?
Yet those unseen can hear my screams, my aria and my poetry
My blind eyes transfixed and searching for yours
Why is it that others have
What I cannot? The contact I adore.
The mystery of net.entwined embrace,
from text, transposed to poetic natural space.

CYBORG to HONORIA
Who is this strange and beautiful weaver?
My heart is compelled, I dare not leave her.
While others may wistfully pine away,
she invents and creates and compels me to stay. I will follow her….