The Plastic Woman by Charles Leggett

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

—Fifty-minute Thai solo performance piece adapted from Rong Wongsawan’s novel, Leaving, 1974, Perth Arts Festival, Western Australia, February 2002

The Plastic Woman by Charles Leggett

“An artificial product of great beauty”
originating in the factory
of scientists the program blurb calls naughty,

the Plastic Woman instigates desire
—obsessive, sexual—in the entire
male populace. But one day, she inquires

of her “playmates”: What is love? They have no answer;
a mob of them determines to “destroy her.”

The work wove forward in a cyclical,
circuitous slow dance: so like the progress

in ephemerides of outer planets,
the story would advance a bit, recede,

sum up, and then advance a little further,
selected lines repeated all throughout

as recapitulation, like the chorus
of some depressing folk song. The performer

in fact was male; was touted in the program
as one of Thailand’s movie idols; was

limber, lithe, androgynous, like plastic.


BIO: Charles Leggett is a professional actor based in Seattle, WA. His poetry has been published in over four dozen journals in the US (including LIQUID IMAGINATION Issues 10, 21 and 28), the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His long poem “Premature Tombeau for John Ashbery” was an e-chapbook in the Barnwood Press “Great Find” series.