Sonnets for an Old Century

imgresJose Rivera’s play, Sonnets for an Old Century, is a collection of monologues spoken by strangers gathered in one place at the end of the twentieth century. The audience knows nothing about why they are gathered. Each character is given one chance for voice. I particularly like one attributed to Anne O’Sullivan, though she doesn’t sound the least bit Irish to me.



Let’s see.

I learned a few things while I was there

Over there…

Wherever there is.


Is that what I should talk about?

I don’t know if I can talk about no sex.



What I learned.

Um. Children?

Children contain all the necessary wisdom

to create a civilization.



Evil is unexplainable.

So don’t even try.

If you suddenly don’t understand the words

And actions of your family members or best

Friends, think drugs.

Money fouls relationships.

That one’s obvious.


All straight men are attracted to all straight

women all the time.

Rice and beans are better than potatoes.


You will never be able to fully forgive your


Dreams are the earth’s telepathy.

Eat as much as you can, a famine is coming.

Baby boomers have completely run out of

Great Ideas.

Strong moonlight is healing.

Let people know when you’re in love with

Them. Lies make your lips smaller.

Pay bills a day late.

Strangers are opportunities for mischief –


Take advantage.

Paint a classroom.

Wash all your dishes by hand and

Contemplate the value of water.

Sins are man-made.

Never trivialize the Supreme Being.

Good prayer is biofeedback.

You can’t love a child too much.

Don’t mess with people who believe in you.

Anger is contagious,

So be careful who you sleep with.

Rice and beans are better than pasta.

Grow one edible fruit or vegetable to

Supplement your income.

Baseball is a game not a metaphor.

Life is neither a dream nor a cabaret.

You don’t have to choose between passion

And security.

There are many parallel Americas and the

rich have the better one.

Listen to your jealousy.


I was shot in the head and I think, to satisfy

The Second Amendment, all Americans should

own one eighteenth-century musket and

that’s it.

Religion and spirituality are two completely

different things in America.


About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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1 Response to Sonnets for an Old Century

  1. Paul Beaulieu says:

    Sweet. Very engaging.

    Sent from my iPhone


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