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The Goth Chapters (a mono-drama)


Jerre Dye

Originally composed in 2007 as Ars Poetica; revised in 2019 as The Goth Chapters

Ars Poetica, was originally commissioned by Peter Austin and Dorie Schwertz for the (now defunct) Music in the Loft concert series.

Inkjar Publishing Company
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Our hero, Penelope, works in a comic book store. She’s in her 20s/early 30s. She was a total outcast in high school and found her escape inside Goth culture. She was a wild child. She loves all things Victoriana (with a decidedly dark twist). The comic book store is her sanctuary, now. Though she’s a little more set in her ways now, she still has trouble divorcing herself from her more wild and carefree youthful days. 

Chapter 1: Heedless/Headless, Penelope has stepped outside the comic book store on an emergency coffee break. She has just met a dashing stranger while checking them out at her register. She paces excitedly while drinking a Kombucha and eating Red Vines. It’s late summer. It’s hot. She is invigorated by this chance encounter.

One week passes.

Chapter 2: Bitten, Penelope has just walked into her house after another clandestine date with the stranger from the comic book store. She might be a little tipsy. She carries a bundle of black roses. As she sings, she removes her coat and puts on her robe and fuzzy house slippers.

One week passes.

Chapter 3: Our Insides takes place in the morning. Penelope’s lover is asleep beneath the blanket next to her. She realizes for the first time that she is in way too deep. She knows that it must end. At the end she gets dressed and leaves for work.
One week passes.

Chapter 4: Keepsake, Penelope walks home from work. The scars of the break-up still linger. It’s getting dark. She wears an overcoat and a scarf. It’s cold, now.

Please note that the audio below is of the music in its Ars Poetica version. While the text is incorrect, the audio will give you a good idea of the sound world for the chapters. Please note that the movements in The Goth Chapters have been re-ordered; the ordering below reflects this change.

Buffy Baggott, mezzo-soprano, and the Lincoln Trio
From The Billy Collins Suite, Cedille Records CDR 90000 115
Available from
Cedille Records

Chapter 1: Heedless/Headless
Chapter 3: Our Insides
Chapter 2: Bitten

Chapter 4: Keepsake