I recall those Tudor trumpeters
fanfaring Henry 5th
at the old Guthrie. Fife &
drum for Toby Falstaff – his theater’s
in the round, all right. The sonic boom
of a real cannon shook
us out of our seats. Look!
that’s Jessica T., with the broom –
playing Cesario! – or is she
Queen of Twelfth Night,
planting a silver bullet
in her wedding cake? Most probably.
I remember reading The King Must Die.
The rites of succession
were crude by comparison
with today. His finger in every pie,
the Prince had a plum job – lasted
one whole year. Then
he fell for the Star-Queen
& they found another sacred bastard.
Today we have the Electoral College.
You must be gerrymandered
in order to graduate her;
everybody obeys the original Pledge
of Allergic, with His 12 Dependments.
& one day Malvolio ate
the bean – it was so great!
Tasted like the Ten Commandments
wrapped in almond nougat, or agate –
Mal became President!
Chef beyond Precedent!
Crowds thundered – Lock up the Maggot!
The Queen fled into hiding, dragging
little Tom Thumb (her twin
brother) into the griffin-
wagon – where they belonged (Sing-Sing)...
Twin Cities was a refuge, then.
Blue heron, bald eagle...
Nothing felt so regal
in that rickety barn, where it all began –
yet somehow, through dread Minnesota
winters, yon honeycomb
tholos kept warm.
In her threadbare Oklahoma coat
bees nested, Woodpecker feasted,
Thunderbird broke the tree;
a little acorn Charlie-
horse became a baby Easter-
chick. Her Royal Henress brooded
over all the shady dealings
stumping the common wailings
of the groundlings – trampled by hooded
Midas moony-men (roundheads
of Malvolio’s pale clan).
It was just a party plan. &
Wise Men had their own (not Herod’s).