Shakespeare could look you in the eye and tell you who you are – so well-versed in the ways of people he was. He would then place you upon the stage, and have an actor have a go at you. With puns and foibles and insights.

Thus do I repeat my Shakespeare (though not exactly Shakespearean) homage.

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The stage

Is as bare as my lady’s ass

In his lordship’s bedchamber.

Rough-hewn

In the most knockabout way,

Leaving splinters

In the palace lawns of the imagination.

There’s many a dip ‘twixt the trap and the lip.

It fares little better

Than hastily strewn boards

Covering parched ground,

With barely enough elevation

To keep the understanding masses at bay.

Were one fool enough

To come from out the wings,

And at centre front

Begin a soliloquy about the beauty

Of the wretched arena on which he stands,

To fight the resulting

And justified

Spontaneous combustion,

There would not be found one drop of piss

From any a Thespian’s hose.

For who,

Could allow

This sacrilege to be spoken?

Even the flag atop the pole knows

The magic is not yet arrived.

A stage without commercial trappings:

without solid doors and thick drapes;

uncluttered by pillars and arches,

tables and chairs,

windows and fireplaces;

sans orchestra,

sans balcony,

sans pit.

A stage revealing all its secrets.

Profound as emptiness.

A stage in wait.

For in this world writ small

– as in the globe around –

the audience has nothing to know,

nothing to learn,

until the actor makes an entrance,

prepares to fight past our eyes

to battle with those thoughts

and fears

which lurk in sheltered halls.

What’s Hecuba to him?

Why – nothing.

Merely a name in a script,

A cue at which to turn his profile thus.

It is what Hecuba becomes to we who wait,

that turns the key upon the heavy gate.

~DE BA. UE