Haven Can't Wait

(Benefit for Abbie Hoffman)

 

Performed at the Felt Forum in NYC
written by Terry Southern & Ciprian LoGiudice


Abbie Hoffman, one the most enlightened, effective, and entertaining political activists ever to emerge in this country, was for years targeted, along with the Yippies, as part of the FBI's COINTEL program, designed to derail the Peace Movement in the United States. Abbie, famous for throwing money into the stock-exchange pit (a Guy Grand move), as well as staging agit-prop theater-'happenings' such as 'die-ins' at IBM, protesting their involvement with B52 bombers, and using slaughter-house waste, or jello, to fill a lobby and create panic. Abbie was a peaceful, community organizer, whose community was the 60s disaffected, outraged youth. After working with Amy Carter, he was set-up by the FBI to deliver cocaine to a supposed friend. Abbie did not use drugs--he was high on life. The following excerpt is from the play Terry wrote with director LoGiudice, was written while Abbie was a fugitive. The play was staged for one night only as a benefit for Abbie's life on the run--or for his court-case--whichever seemed more promising. Like MUMIA ABU JAMAL, the system was rigged against him, for he, like Mumia, was a member of an OUTLAW group--in Mumia's case it was/is The Black Panthers (he is on death-row for a crime he did not commit) and for Abbie--well, he was a leader of the 60s.

The play is the ultimate 'Kangaroo Court' satire, and provided a nightmarishly hilarious (the kind of nightmare of hilarity that Mumia, and Leonard Peltier know very well) running-commentary on how our justice system can create political prisoners.

Haven Can't Wait was written to introduce the music, poetry, and spoken-words of encouragement and activism of a veritable who's-who of 'Pinko-Commie-Spade-Faggot' heroes of the day--all of whom were friends of Abbie's and believed in his cause. The Cast included Kinky Friedman, Jon Voight, Allen Ginsberg, Dave Dellinger, Ron Kovic, Ossie Davis, Odetta, Rip Torn, Rennie Davis, Jerry Rubin, Michael O'Donoghue, William S. Burroughs, Anne Waldman, Ramsey Clark, The Stillettos, Paul Krassner, Bobby Seale, and Abbie Hoffman (on tape and film).

Willaim Kunstler, hero-attorney for civil-rights causes, took up Abbie's case, and plays himself in the performance.

Terry testified during the CHICAGO 8 Trial in Chicago in 1968, in which the United States Government tried Dave Dellinger, Bobby Seale (who appeared on stage here) as 'conspirators' trying to overthrow the government (through their peaceful demonstrations outside the National Democratic Convention). For many, this play was a kind of reenactment of those courtroom proceedings.

Posted in honor of WORLD DAY OF ART FOR MUMIA ABU JAMAL (9/11/99).

For more information, call 1-888-456-5056.


SCENE: THE HAVENLY COURTROOM OF JUSTICE JULIAN 'J.O.' JULIAN.

 

The Judge fixes the Prosecutor with a forulative gaze.

 

JUDGE:

Has the sexual-witness arrived?

 

PROSECUTOR:

No, I regret to say the immanent Dr. Benway has not yet arrived. The Prosecutor, however, is prepared to offer at this time a series of anecdotes which may well--

 

JUDGE (impatiently interrupting):

Anecdotes?

 

PROSECUTOR:

Yes, your honor, anecdotes which may prove to be germane or analogous, to the issues at hand--These anecdotes being rendered in the format of the so-called 'Polish Joke'. With the Court's permission?

 

JUDGE (nodding sagely):

Proceed.

 

The Prosecutor assumes the easy and expansive manner of the professional raconteur.

 

PROSECUTOR:

Well, there were these two Polock fag hair-dressers, and---.

 

COUNSEL (rising):

Objection...Your honor, I submit that 'Polish Jokes' are not an acceptable substitute for testimony and evidence in a court of law. If the Prosecution has no witness to call at this time, the Defense will do so.

 

JUDGE (after peering eccentrically at the Counsel, looks to the Prosecutor):

Any objection, John?.

 

PROSECUTOR (shrugs, chuckles):

Beats fucking mud..

COURT REPORTER (being one of the boys):

Yer fucking A!.

 

JUDGE:

Give 'em enough rope, eh Jack!

(wags a finger mischievously)

Yer a shrewd one, ye are, Jack Mitchell!

 

PROSECUTOR:

Ay, and that's what they be payin' me for now, isn't it?

 

They exchange BROAD CONSPIRATORIAL WINKS, and the Judge faces the Counsel.

 

JUDGE:

All right, Mr. Constable, bring on your next weirdie.

 

COUNSEL:

Your honor, the Defense wishes to call to the stand at this time our distinguished poet laureate, Mr. Allen Ginsberg.

 

APPLAUSE. The Judge raps vigorously for silence, eyes Counsel narrowly.

 

JUDGE (his expression changing to one of sly shrewdness):

'Poet-deviate'? Did you say 'poet-deviate', Mr. Kunstler?

 

COUNSEL (with emphasis):

I said, 'poet laureate', your honor, and I must take the most serious exception to your uncalled for---

 

JUDGE (interrupting furiously):

Just one minute, Mr. William Counselor! Are you trying to tell the court that this witness--this Jehovah's witness is not, in actual fact, a self-avowed PREVERT?!?

 

COUNSEL (cooly):

Your honor, I would suggest to you that the sex-life of the witness is not relevant to the substance of his testimony.

 

JUDGE (menacingly):

And I would suggest to you, Mr. William A. Kunstler, that you are on the verge of being in contempt.

 

COUNSEL (bewildered):

In contempt, your honor?

 

PROSECUTOR (chuckling with good-natured drunken joviality):

That's a little town just outside of Scranton, P.A.

(continues chuckling, starts coughing, has a nip)

 

His laughter is joined by that of the Judge, and the weird chortle of the Reporter.

 

COUNSEL (impatiently):

Your honor, may we please call the witness?!?

 

JUDGE (exasperated sigh):

All right...call the witness.

 

REPORTER:

Yes, your honor.

(sternly to the Guards)

All right, men, if he tries any perversion there on the stand--you know what to do.

GUARDS (with grim relish):

(1) Yer fuckin' A!

(2) Yer fuckin' A-rab!

(3) We'll waste the mother!

(4) Smoke that turkey!

(5) Light him up!

(6) Blow 'im away!

(1) Hot damn, Viet-Nam!

(2) San Ann-tone!

 

REPORTER (calling)

Mr. Allen Ginsberg!

 

Ginsberg steps to the stage amidst sustained applause. While the Judge RAPS for silence, and the Reporter avidly switches the direction of the mike from Judge to Spectators--back and forth, grimacing madly the while.


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