If you’re in Boston this February 27th, make your way to Harvard Square. There, tucked away down a set of brick stairs, you’ll find Grendel’s Den, a legendary watering hole. You’ll see a small stage beneath lights that sports a lectern and a microphone. Be sure you’re vaccinated (they won’t let you in otherwise) and find your table. You might even be given a free test kit, new from MIT.
Music will be playing over the sound system, but it won’t be long before I’ll appear onstage and the music will fade. I won’t have my usual 12-string guitars or harp; instead, I’ll open a simple manuscript.
“Voyage of the Waistgold: An Untrue Tale in Doggerel Rhyme by Odds Bodkin,” I’ll begin in my ordinary American English, the one I use to talk to people in the real world. “Chapter One: The Builderguilder’s Boat.”
Ah, but then, Captain Phineas Krull will begin to speak. He’s a terrible, murderous pirate on a fantastical sea, my narrator and the one who lives my 90-minute adventure. His voice is rough and gritty. He even sounds dangerous.
“So I hires me a crew o’ drug suckin’ thieves/To help me to steal ‘er, that fine filly ship./With one goodly mast, like Priapus himself,/Buried deep in ‘er hold ‘neath a parquetry deck/And a gem-crusted wheel fer the high dudgeon winds/ The Waistgold, we seen ‘er, my silver sea slipper/Tied placid ‘twixt other and far lesser boats.”
So begins the saga of how Krull murders the local Builderguilder and escapes with the salvaged Waistgold, only to discover that the gem-laden ship has a mind of its own. A dark magician himself, he’s baffled by his new boat’s powers. And he’s worried, because he doesn’t know how to control them. It makes more sense when he finds a dead scribe’s book, written in blood. In it, Krull reads about Queen Ood, the enchantress who built the boat, who or may not be alive.
According to Wikipedia, Swift claimed that he wrote Gulliver’s Travels “to vex the world rather than divert it”. Voyage of the Waistgold is much the same.
For Adults Only.
A World Premier Event
Februry 27, 2022 at 5 pm EST
Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA