To Be Hamlet’s Father


A simpleton’s view of the whole human race:
Too many people and not enough space.
Look down. Look away. Turn your gaze from my face.
You, silently judging my writing and taste
in literature. Do you know what’s a waste?

Iambic pentameter. Shakespeare can suck it.
I’m told what I write doesn’t quite make the cut
by individuals whom I’ve never met.
Oh well, I suppose. There stands a silhouette
in my doorway. Osiris? Anubis? Set?

These lines are for Virgil and males and females
whose love of writing neuters dragon-breathed whales.
But what do they weigh, eh? Find your finest scales.
Traverse the path past shrubberies and big bales
of hay and manure and liquid in pails.

Not a sip should you quaff. Stay fast on the road.
Be careful of witches. They’ll make you a toad
or a newt or a gecko or Tom Joad
or a mad, wandering ghost, covered in mold
and chains, complaining about being too old…


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