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texts THE HAMLETMACHINE Heiner MUller 1 FAMILY SCRAPBOOK I was Hamlet. I stood at the shore and talked with the serf BLABLA, the ruins of Europe in back of me. The bells tolled the state-funeral, murderer and widow a couple, the councillors goose-stepping behind the highranking carcass' coffin, bawling with badly paid grief WHO IS THE CORPSE IN THE HEARSE/ABOUT WHOM THERE'S SUCH A HUE AND CRY/TIS THE CORPSE OF A GREAT/GIVER OF ALMS. The lane formed by the populace, creation of his statecraft. HE WAS A MAN HE TOOK THEM ALL FOR ALL. I stopped the funeral procession, I pried open the coffin with my sword, the blade broke, yet with the blunt reminder I succeeded, and I dispensed my dead procreator. FLESH LIKES TO KEEP THE COMPANY OF FLESH among the bums around me. The mourning turned into rejoicing, the rejoicing into lipsmacking, on top of the empty coffin the murderer humped the widow LET ME HELP YOU UP, UNCLE, OPEN YOUR LEGS, MAMA. I laid down on the ground and listened to the world doing its turns in step with the putrefaction. I'M GOOD HAMLET GI'ME A CAUSE FOR GRIEF* AH THE WHOLE GLOBE FOR A REAL SORROW* RICHARD THE THIRD I THE PRINCE-KILLING KING* OH MY PEOPLE WHAT HAVE I DONE UNTO THEE* I'M LUGGING MY OVERWEIGHT BRAIN LIKE A HUNCHBACK CLOWN NUMBER TWO IN THE SPRING OF COMMUNISM SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THIS AGE OF HOPE* LET'S DELVE IN EARTH AND BLOW HER AT THE MOON* Here comes the ghost who made me, the ax still in his skull. Keep your hat on, I know you've got one hole too many. I would my mother had one less when you were still of flesh: I would have been spared myself. Women should be sewed up-a world without mothers. We could butcher each other in peace and quiet, and with some confidence, if life gets too long for us or our throats too tight for our screams. What do you want of 141 *The lines with an asterisk are in English in the German text. me? Is one state-funeral not enough for you? You old sponger. Is there no blood on your shoes? What's your corpse to me? Be glad the handle is sticking out, maybe you'll go to heaven. What are you waiting for? All the cocks have been butchered. Tomorrow morning has been can.celled. SHALL I AS IS THE CUSTOM STICK A PIECE OF IRON INTO THE NEAREST FLESH OR THE SECOND BEST TO LATCH UNTO IT SINCE THE WORLD IS SPINNING LORD BREAK MY NECK WHILE I'M FALLING FROM AN ALEHOUSE BENCH Enters Horatio. Confidant of my thoughts so full of blood since the morning is curtained by the empty sky. YOU'LL BE TOO LATE MY FRIEND FOR YOUR PAYCHECK/NO PART FOR YOU IN THIS MY TRAGEDY. Horatio, do you know me? Are you my friend, Horatio? If you know me how can you be my friend? Do you want to play Polonius who wants to sleep with his daughter, the delightful Ophelia, here she enters right on cue, look how she shakes her ass, a tragic character. HoratioPolonius. I knew you're an actor. I am too, I'm playing Hamlet. Denmark is a prison, a wall is growing between the two of us. Look what's growing from that wall. Exit Polonius. My mother the bride. Her breasts a rosebed, her womb the snakepit. Have you forgotten your lines, Mama. I'll prompt you. WASH THE MURDER OFF YOUR FACE MY PRINCE/AND OFFER THE NEW DENMARK YOUR GLAD EYE. I'll change you back into a virgin mother, so your king will have a bloodwedding. A MOTHER'S WOMB IS NOT A ONEWAY STREET. Now, I tie your hands on your back with your bridal veil since I'm sick of your embrace. Now, I tear the wedding dress. Now, I smear the shreds of the wedding dress with the dust my father turned into, and with the soiled shreds your face your belly your breasts. Now, I take you...


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