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Truth Is Far Behind: A Poetic Expression To Man of The People

Pictured above: (L to R) Andrew Price Carlile and Javier Carmona in Man of the People/Photo: Man of the People

Editor’s Note: This is an expression by Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel in response to Man of the People in a poetic form; it is followed by information about the work and process.

Man of the People by Dolores Diaz is a play that follows the true story of John Brinkley, a “doctor” that grew infamous/famous via his supposed cure of erectile dysfunction. His solution? Swapping a man’s testicles with a goat’s.

・・・

Something

Something

Something to be said

When everyone is convinced they’re right

but everyone is so very wrong

1920’s never looked so bad

prohibition in the background

but the laws should have been against him

Brinkley

supposed doctor

husband, not father

long con for the coin

a man

but not of the people

a home of science

tables, tools and bottles;

of talk

radio, records and lies

Male desperation breeds nonsense

not children

goat glands galore

across the land

damn radio show

cure or con

placebo to some

death to others

Who to the rescue but more men?

reason comes but truth is far behind

Dr. Fishbein

American Medical Association

with a mother

fan of the radio and her own ails

Cat and mouse

or goat and man

the game is clear

and stakes high

Of its time and ours

what you hear is not the truth

subjective combats objective

law and land

one underdeveloped the other over

Dangerous

unnecessary

a trap

don’t get caught

・・・

In a 1920’s setting, Brinkley’s rise and fall are due to his infectious personality, which he broadcasts across America through his personal radio show. As absurd as it sounds, it’s a situation that’s not too far from home. Brinkley’s not technically breaking any laws. He argues that medicine must start as inventive before innovative. Yet, it’s these ideas, unchecked and unregulated, that lead to death and demise—not justice.

 

Man of the People performances occur Thursdays through Saturdays at Berger Park Coach House Theatre, 6205 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois, 60660. October 18th through November 17, 2018. More information can be found through threecatproductions.com, via email at jsmith@threecatproductions.com and by phone at 312-970-9840.

Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel (she/her/hers) is a dramaturg and oral historian based in Chicago. She is a mixed-Persian girl, lover of writing, reading and listening. She consults for many arts and humanities organizations on the art of oral history interviews and prioritizing narrator agency in community-based projects. Yasmin also writes for other arts/culture publications, crafting reviews and pushing for POC representation and equity in theatre. Learn more about her and her work at her portfolio, or follow her on Instagram.

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