Hamlet Machine is a loose re-telling of Hamlet, through postmodern eyes. In the play the character of Hamlet sometimes steps out of role and reflects on what it means to be the actor playing that role. In this final speech of the play, the Hamlet-actor reflects on the utter meaninglessness of  his character, of any character, of theatre itself, in an age in which fake news, digitization of the human spirit, political corruption and even internalised self-regulation have made meaning impossible…

HAMLET-ACTOR
I am not Hamlet. I play no role anymore. My words have nothing more to say to me. My thoughts suck the blood of images. My  drama is cancelled. Behind me the scenery is being taken down. By people who are not interested in my drama, for people, to whom it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to me either. I’m not playing along anymore. (Stagehands install, unknown to Hamlet-actor, a refrigerator and three TV sets. Humming of the refrigerator. Three programs without sound.) The scenery is a monument. It portrays a man who made history, a hundred times life-size. The petrification of a hope. His name is interchangeable. The hope has not been fulfilled. The monument lies on the ground, razed three years after the state funeral of the Hated and Honored One by those who now rule us. And the stone is inhabited. In the spacious nose and earholes, in the folds of skin and uniform of the shattered icon dwell the poorer population of the metropolis. At the fall of the monument followed, after an appropriate time, the Rebellion. My drama, if it could yet take place, would happen in the Time of the Rebellion. The Rebellion begins as an urban promenade. Against the traffic regulations during working hours. The streets belong to the pedestrians. Here and there an auto is overturned. Evil dream of a knifethrower: the slow journey down a one-way street to an irrevocable parking-spot, which is surrounded by armed pedestrians. Police who get in the way are simply pushed aside.When the procession approaches the district of the rulers, it is brought to a halt by a police cordon. Groups form, out of which speakers arise. On the balcony of a Government building appears a man with a badly fitting suit and starts to speak. When the first stone hits him, he draws back behind the double-doors fitted with bulletproof glass. From the call for more freedom comes the cry for the overthrow of the Government. People begin to disarm the police, storming two three buildings, a jail a police station an office of the secret police, hanging a dozen quislings of the authorities by the feet, the Government deploys troops, tanks. My place, if my drama ever took place, would be at both sides of the front, between the fronts, over them. I stand in the sweating masses and throw stones at the police soldiers tanks bulletproof glass. I glance
through the double-door outfitted with bulletproof glass at the oncoming crowd and smell the perspiration of my fear. I shake, choked with nausea, my fist against myself, standing behind the bulletproof glass. I see, choked by fear and loathing, myself in the oncoming crowd, foam licking at my lips, shaking my fist against myself. I hang my uniformed flesh by the feet. I am the soldier in the tank-turret, my head is empty under the helmet, the strangled cry under the chains. I am the typewriter. I tie the noose, when the leaders are hanged, kick the stool away, break my neck I am my own prisoner. I feed my data into the computer. My roles are spit and spittoon knife and wound teeth and gum neck
and gallows. I am the data-bank. Bleeding in the crowd. Exhaling behind the double
doors. Wordslime bubbling in soundproof speech-balloons over the battle. My drama has not taken place. The script was lost. The actors hung their faces on the nails of the garderobe. The stage-prompter rots in his box. The overstuffed plague-corpses in the audience don’t move a finger. I go home and kill time, at one / with my undivided self. Television The daily revulsion Disgust
at prefabricated babble At manufactured merriment
How do you spell FRIENDLINESS
Give us our daily murder
For Thine is Nothingness Revulsion
At the lies which are believed
By the liars and noone else Revulsion
At the lies which are believed Revulsion
at the faces of the power-brokers lined and seamed
from the struggle for posts votes bank-accounts
Revulsion A cart of scythes crackling with one-liners
I go through the streets malls faces
with the scars of the shopping blitz
Poverty without dignity Poverty without the dignity
of the knife of the boxing ring of the fist
The brutalized bodies of the women
Hope of the generations
Strangled in blood cowardice stupidity
Laughter of dead bellies
Heil COCA COLA
A kingdom
for a murderer
I WAS MACBETH THE KING HAD OFFERED ME HIS THIRD CONCUBINE I
KNEW EVERY BIRTHMARK ON HER HIPS RASKOLNIKOV AT HEART UNDER
THE ONLY OVERCOAT THE AXE FOR THE / ONLY / SKULL OF THE
PAWNBROKERESS
In the loneliness of the airports
I exhale I am
Privileged My revulsion
is a privilege
Screened by a wall
Barbed wire prison
Photograph of the author.
I don’t want to eat drink breathe love a woman a man a child an animal anymore. I don’t want to die anymore. I don’t want to kill anymore.
(Tearing up of the photograph of the author.)