When a Story Bleeds Into Poetry

Can a chapter of a book be summarized by Poetry?

    Poetry can allude to books or movies or wars, but it’s a quandary to consider how much the casual reader can know (it’s a running joke in science and math that when one doesn’t want to have to explain an assumption or premise to say, “… as is obvious to the casual observer.” Oh geez, I see now trying to find that expression that I remember it wrong, and they even have an acronym for it: IOTTMCO [Intuitively Obvious To the Most Casual Observer] ).”
    So, anyway, I’ve been looking through the poetry archives and notice a few poems I wrote alluding to “The Blog That Would Destroy the World.* ” Some seem obscure to me now but one of them I think can stand alone. Spoiler alert: I’m going to give a chapter excerpt to show where it came from, but if you want to have an unbiased opinion about whether the poem can stand alone, you can skip it.
    After I was given the honorary title “Kvizee” (Royal Magic Poet), I rode in a limousine with Her Majesty to visit a wheat farm before heading back to the Palace (Kmpamew)

 CHAPTER NINETEEN: Driving Back to the Kmpamew

    by Douglas Gilbert
A Gavicte is like a “Chief-of-staff” or a senior advisor. Aipnijtku is a military rank like “lieutenant”.
    Entry 215: It should have been a relaxing ride but assassins were waiting to attack.

In the morning at the Cottage, Zawmb’yee was all excited, because at the last moment she had invited Naztko to come to the Kmpamew with her for a visit. She was going to ask Naztko to be her Gavicte to replace Gavicte Yenkoi who she no longer trusts — she was sure she’d get a unanimous vote by the Grand Council to appoint him. This way, the two palaces would work together. We had gone in a convoy destined for the Kmpamew. There’s a new secret tunnel that could get us there. But along the way we were going to visit a wheat farm.

    The Jicnie packed up all our things in the first car that we usually take, and Naztko would be in one of the back-up cars. He said he’d talk to us at the farm. He told us that we should enjoy the ride and he’d talk to us then.
    Zawmb’yee and I got all comfortable in the back of the limousine, and off we went.
We passed through the forest on a road that meandered past stands of London Planetree, Black Locust, Black Cherry, and Pin Oak trees, with gentle brooks and creeks speaking in ripples. But we passed them by gracefully around gentle curves and while in the forest were never up a creek, and we brooked no wild things at all like would be done in a forest of dreams.
    In an hour we came into a clearing of meadows and of farm land on a straight road. The clouds had run away and the sun illuminated clearly every blade of grass, every speck in the road.
    Zawmb’yee said, “What a perfect day,” and she looked out on both sides. She pulled down the divider so she could look out the front. “Good morning,” she called out to the driver, “Aipnijtku Yathyaz, how are you?”
Yathyaz said, “I’m fine Your Majesty. Isn’t it a great day?”

“Yes, Aipnijtku Yathyaz, it’s a very clear day — um excellent visibility for driving…”

“Fevepo, pcapdyntpa!”

“Yes,” said Zawmb’yee.

I turned towards Zawmb’yee and said, “What’s that about?”

“Something needs his urgent attention so he asked permission to abruptly end the conversation,” Zawmb’yee whispered to me.

The driver was looking around in all directions. “Tpa!” he shouted.

“What’s that?” I whispered to Zawmb’yee.

“He’s telling the car’s sensors to send out as much data as it can,” whispered Zawmb’yee.

Zawmb’yee looked out the front windshield, “What’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“Up ahead, it looks like a porcupine crossing the road.. except that… um”

“Except what?”

“It’s moving robotically and oh-geez-hell-Kievifwa. Watch out!”

What looked like sharp quills or spikes shot out of the creature like missiles and punctured the tires. The car spun out of control, and there were big explosions. The doors of the car were blown off and we were thrown out onto the road. I landed on my knee, Zawmb’yee on her side. Twenty men appeared out of a field of Sunflowers and grabbed Zawmb’yee.

“Let go,” she screamed, “you vgnamo. Help Yathyaz! Help let go, let go!”

    Yathyaz tried to help, but they knocked him down. Zawmb’yee continued to scream and kick. They dragged and carried Zawmb’yee one hundred feet down the road, tied her to a fence, gagged her, and pulled out knives. I limped after them as fast as I could go but kept falling and I was still too far away to help her when they started shouting. The back-up cars had been hit with explosions too. “Kill her,” I heard the tall one say. “Righteous tyranny of the Gods can NOT be malice. Let the least of us wound, the greatest stab her through the heart and the fearful give the coup de grâce.”

“Halt!” I screamed.

    They gathered in a circle and continued speaking faster, louder. A frenzied one: “Zawmb’yee would fawn to the Council. She would banish our sister Zusoiti who champions the Gods, this Fevepo impostor usurper; she would kneel before the Council and not before the Gods. She, our inferior, would deny Zusoiti her enfranchisement with the Gods who’d paint her with the light of Love and make her Star brighter than the day of this puny planet’s sun. Hasten us all lest we’d be interfered with in our noble cause to stab out the usurper. Draw now the blood of the false High Priestess, each of you in turn with your knife, stab out this blotch… You, Sazrgk, Begin!”
    I crawled closer, picked up rocks to throw. “Sazrgk no! You of the least do not now promote yourself to fiend. Let them have their honors. Sazrgk, take your mercy and go…”
    Sazrgk stabbed her in the shoulder.
    I screamed the ancient kinesis: “T’ukmpuxogt!”
I became splattered in red screams drowning in oceans of slaughter that pulled me out of my mind with a fury that engulfed the sun and made it set in vomit.
    The sunflowers were decapitated by exploding shards of skull, and the headless bodies were strewn across the highway and onto the hoods of the back-up cars.


Zawmb’yee Saved From Death

Thus was the High Priestess saved from death, but I had been covered in blood and pieces of flesh. I had felt weak and dizzy. As I was crawling towards Zawmb’yee, Aipnijtku Yathyaz finally came running up the road. I couldn’t go any farther.

“Kvizee Doug,” he said, “are you all right?”

“I could do with a shower…Just a scraped knee, but Zawmb’yee has been stabbed.”

“Argh. Lie here, I’ll get to Her.”


The Knives On the Table

We’d gone in a convoy,
the doors of her car were blown off

An evil twenty swarmed out
from fields of Sunflowers tall
knives redoubtable

They tied Her Sacredness to a fence
gagged her that She’d not reproach them:
their scabbards empty of their treachery

Such evil drawn out
upon the dastardly ceremony
that hides a scoundrel from a conscience

“Kill her,” I heard the tall one bade.
“Righteous tyranny of the Gods
“can not be malice when obeyed

“Let the least of us wound,
“the greatest stab Her in the heart,
“the fearful give the coup de grâce.

Villains, villains, I shouted.

Halt at once this vileness,
these sneezed speeches
a phlegm of your diseased souls

A frenzied one spoke:
Her Sacredness
would fawn to the Council
and not to the Gods

She would banish our Sister
who champions the Gods

This impostor usurper
who takes the crown
would deny our true Priestess
her enfranchisement with the Gods

Let the Gods rightly
paint our true Priestess in
the light of Their Love, and
make her star brighter than
the day of this puny planet’s sun.

Hasten us all
lest we’d be interfered with
in our noble cause to
stab out the usurper

Draw now the blood of Her Falseness,
each of you in turn do act:
stab out this blotch

Sazrgk, begin!

But I crawled closer,
picked up rocks to throw

Thus I:
Sazrgk no! You of the least
do not now promote yourself to fiend

Let them have their honors.
Sazrgk, if you’d save your soul
take your mercy and go

But Sazrgk stabbed her in the shoulder.
’tis true: of weakness cold-hearted, he
did indeed plunge his dagger.

I screamed the ancient kinesis:

I became splattered in red screams
drowning in oceans of slaughter that
pulled me out of my mind with
a fury that engulfed the sun, and
made it set in vomit

By T’ukmpuxogt bold
the sunflowers were decapitated
in exploding shards of skull, and
headless bodies were
strewn across the road.

Thus I protect my Love
the only true Priestess.

*Douglas Gilbert, ebook: The Blog That Would Destroy the World,(Amazon: ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08L1CR3Z4 ), 2016, CHAPTER NINETEEN, Entry 215, ISBN 978-1-329-90425-5

Plays Can Be A Farce with Poetry

How To Be a Charming Hypocrite and Get a Starring Role in a Play with Poetry

Plays Can Be Of, By, and For the Elite

    Politics is often an entertaining farce. During an emergency like a pandemic, there are great opportunities for all actors, but especially for a subclass of actors called politicians. For a lead role, a Governor is most welcome, especially for a renowned Opera. To get a starring role, an actor should become a Governor of a state in the US. It is a good career move in many ways. Here’s an interesting example.

    A special Opera was written for a Governor of California. It was loosely based on the Opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo called “Pagliacci” (clowns). In the spirit of Pagliacci it is a play within a play within a play. In the outer world, the Governor dined at an expensive restaurant called “The French Laundry” without a mask and at close quarters with lobbyists during the beginning of the pandemic.

    The Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill, put up an expensive tent in their parking lot for outdoor dining after all indoor dining was forbidden. Then outdoor dining was forbidden also. But a Movie company put up an identical tent on the other side of the parking lot to feed their crew. This fulfilled the hypocrite requirement. The restaurant owner suffered from the clowning around.

    One might imagine that besides a movie being made, that a play could be performed involving clowns. Therefore, the new Opera, “Pagliaccio In A Parking Lot,” was staged under a tent in the parking lot of the Saloon & Grill, and the Governor got the starring role as Pagliaccio, the main clown in the inner play, played by the actor Gavin Nuisance.

Pagliaccio In a Parking Lot1

  ~ A Play with Poetry~  by Douglas Gilbert

I am a Grand actor of sorts
a poet in the wings who cavorts
in the Muse’s feathers, a chum
on words from outer plays ‘n
three nested plays undone

Restaurant play:
Everyone must play
must act, and an
actress is a star
who sweet chats and
waits to perform

She launched her dream
(a place to dilly-dally)
on Pineapple Hill
(a salad in paradise)
On Pineapple Hill
(a bar and grill)
Burgers and dill

The stars shined bright
(the whole enchelada)
on Pineapple Hill
(a bar and grill)

and dilly dawdled until
(serving pies and thrills)
success could fill the bill

At first:
the wind in the sails and sales
made all the staff sing a light song
but the caveats for loans Gavel tallied
to merchants of Venice beach et. al.
were a deception locked away
in the fines and fine print i.e.
demands for a pound of flesh; indeed
for the lobbyists a pork barrel.

Gavel Nuisance was a noise:
bag pipes in the plague,
who destroyed a dream
on Pineapple Hill.

Three plays of farce were to be done, and
she of Pineapple Hill in fun,
in pun sweet sorrrow said:

“It’s so warm, so cold, and
Gavel, I never thought
you’d be so cruel
screwing indoor dining
in the California lockdown

“You rob me of my dignity
my life’s dream, kill my
employees and their families
who try to take home the bacon
but you dine with lobbyists
to provide the pork barrels

“and we are the vomit chits
when you drown your guilt
in bubbling Champagne gilt
for mobs of plutocrats

“For us
the hope of being open was promised
for taut moments outdoors:
California ‘morn would be
intense with tents to be bought

“forgive me my outdoor tents:
an instant plunk down of cash,
forty-thousand for the tents
because you, Gavel Nuisance
crater science data
hands down”

But Gavel had gone indoors
to the dark side to
discuss the plays
the feigns

The waiting room of the stars is the restaurant;
to close a Burgermeister’s small business
is a tragicomedy deserving enough serving,
fries on a steak stake, o’er the ramparts dinged:
but a play with words begins in a strut.

California Gomorrah and
dirty laundry.


Audience, I am the first inner Prologue —
please, a laugh for the buffoons.
I have seen the political plague
a Machiavellian farce for the stages
a canvas under pretense, an intense tent

Nedda Liberté is assumed to be heavenly
but she dines and flirts with Gavel Nuisance

they strut across staged plays, its
life a play, the struts the tent poles
and there are nascent plays
to be undone, before done,
players done or burned at a steak lost
with charred lies in a burger inquistion
red spurts from wounds exhausted

Near the doorway of a haute French Restaurant,
a limousine pulls up to flaunt the haunt, enticed
crowds gather, throwing pellets of dry ice —

“Hail! Hail to the Governor!”
The chauffeur, fool Tonio bizarre
in a Harlequin uniform exits the car,
to run and open the passenger door
for poor Nedda Liberté,

A guile Mr. Nuisance in exigent pomp
promptly sprints around the car back,
to smack right into a Tonio dispatched,
Nuisance like a Pagliaccio:

“I’ll get it. My wife is for me. You attend to cars.”

Hail to the Prince of Clowns. Bravo!

Tonio don’t lose it, don’t
let the hail dent the car. Fools…
Let them eat spam. Nedda let’s go in.

Hail to the Prince of Clowns.
We throw our dry ice for dry humor.

Ha yes, I dabble in that, but
you’ll see a fine Pagliaccio later
and I will have my vengeance…
Tonio will shake. Come later.
For now we’re unmasked.

The staff rolled out the kitchen sink,
flexible hoses attached, to wash the driveway,
the car, the crowd using the hoses for the day
for jump roping ‘n throwing soap suds in sync

rosebud Nedda Liberté with Gavel Nuisance
unraveled a way toward an august entrance

Let’s go to the parking lot.
Burgers for all. No end outdoors
to enchaladas and grilled catfish

Scene two needing to be unseen in the Restaurant.
They are seated at a blue table of A-list lobbyists.

Yes, waitress: Sabayon of pearl tapioca, yes
Island Creek ova caviar

Me too. I’ll not make hay; looks good —
thanks Li Chuntao, and gee Miss Li
um, ha!, has your acting career
withstood the “slings and arrows”?

My agent says, any day now,
I’ll do better than playing a corpse…

Good luck with the corpus delicti Miss Li.
(Um, Gavel, you should get me pearls if
ever for deeds an apology gift is needed)

Li Chuntao departs.
Liu Dai-tai enters.

Hmm, it was a fleeting glance, and
oh here’s someone you should meet.
(Hello, Miss Liu Dai-tai, may I present
sweet Nedda Liberté, my wife and treat)

Pleased to meet you at liberty.
Gavel tells me you’re very busy.
(Gavel, I need you for a few minutes.
In good spirit, let’s lie together; it’s
perfectly round and flawless)


Gavel goes off with Dai-tai.

Gavel, the prop lady needs cajoling
to be on the same page
about the bed on stage
in the trampoline scene.
A white lie is needed; so
let us both compliment
her pearl necklace, and she’ll
amend the supports as a favor.
But, um…

Wherefore the problem?

It’s perfectly round and flawless.
no silk threads, no knots
cheap clasp


It’s a fake.
Let’s lie together, and
tell her it’s real.

A photographer appears with hors d’oeuvres.
Gavel sneaks out the back to throw a curve.
Leaves Nedda at the table. Tonio observes,
furtively sits down.

Tonio, is the car cleaned?

Yes, yes Nedda. But you’re a beauty,
a cutie like a goddess adored

Oh, are you the chauffer? Have you come for instructions
or will you be having something or funning us?

I will have the privilege to adore
this goddess who sits with me
like an angel. I will have her see
her husband has disgraced her
and takes leave out the backdoor

Are you sure?

Bring me a sliced chicken
and I will cook the skin on
ferocious fires of my desire.
Give me a breast of the times
and a Pie à la Mode

For eating or throwing?

Ha! Give him his just deserts, and
I will have dessert for throwing.

Funny. I’ll find something
suitable for a comedian.
I’ll take my leave before
a spasm of laughter
makes me drop a dish.
Ha! Ciao Goddess and suitor.

So he’s gone and
what did he say?

Liu Dai-Tai said they should lie together.

A shameless proposal.
So we have a chance at romance.
You glow like the sun, and
I bask in your warmth, honey

Yes, of course, sonny —
I am bright, and
you are dim.
Oh but
the dimwitted one
admires my beauty

Show me your wit
with a kiss of compassion
for a fool you’ll learn to love.

Oh hurrumph ha gaaah

Tonio lunges at her glare, diving.
She blocks with a chair stops him in place.
Stares. For her the ordered pie arrives,
at her hand it flies, and finds his face.
A crowd gathers at a distance safe.

So let’s kiss and make up.

Kiss, kiss, kiss…

Oh what fate will bring me down? These deeds
betray madness hounding; I’m beseiged
by comedians, sad buffoons, and clowns.

You mock me?
For this you will pay. Yes.
I’ll tell you this: indeed
your husband mocks you.

No matter.

She sees Silvio her lover behind a column.

Do I distract you from your shame
little mocking bird, poor dame?

Go now twit or I will hit you with
a wild goose…

Kiss, kiss, kiss the chaste and
chase the goose until he can roost.



Tonio leaves.

Silvio! Come through the crowd!
Darling Silvio, where shall we go
where kisses are blisses and…

Kiss, kiss, kiss…
there’s a residence in the back

The staff laughs

Did you say:
There’s a residence in the back
and we shall have a snack

There’s a
in the,

Well then, over the wall
we’ll run away quick
if you wish to kiss me
you have to sing in praise yes
amazed to raise a love to love
and then

oh staunch wall of love
you’ll be with me, and

the debauched glee,
you bring to me yeah
and shall I say again then

There’s a residence in the back
and we shall leer with snacks
a residence
in the

Nedda and Silvio retreat to a private back room
Welcome. We are proud that you
will be the first to use (for amusement)
our new facility conducive for play
by actors or politicians.

If there’d be anything you need,
let us know. For this inauguration —
a complimentary bar, and for a stunning
pièce de résistance: two masterpieces
developed by our chief pâtissier. Ah indeed
our chef presents for you for a first tease:
Tartes à la crème double pour la comédie!


Ah yes, two “Banana Cream Pies.”

Well, ha, this is a different hurrah than
a complimentary mint found or scrounged.
C’est assez grand, et voici un pourboire.


I said, wow — here’s a tip.
(Thank you. You may go.)

Let’s make plans dear:
we’ll run away wild
and I remember how
we played in the snow
wrote a poem together
as if we rhymed well
held love in a meter, and

as you know dear love angel
I am a quintessential plus one

but don’t be afraid if I brag about you
because I love you enough to sing a cappella
with the accompaniment of the lub dub

Let’s make plans:
we’ll run away

escape with me my lover
because we play so well

and remember how well we fell
on a ski slope in an
avalanche of love
and so gentle was
the snow fight, because
you are so cute when
you banter and we laugh
at a quirk of difference
so charming, so sexy, and
we are so right to be wrong

But what about the play?

You are of play, by play,
and for play of the people —

You are to be Ann O’Malley,
wife of Pagliaccio —

Oh my God, I forgot
all about the role and plot.
I’ll get an understudy, and we
can pull out tonight. Go at once.
Oh hell, I hear a commotion, run.

Wait, don’t panic. I’ll peek out the door…
the furor’s just Li Chuntao. Perfect chance.
(Miss Li, could you change coarse for a second?)


Come in please.


Nedda needs an understudy for her part in a play.

Have you read “Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo?

I have. Yes, it’s a lot of clowning around, and what’s your part?

Well, it’s a little complicated you might say.
We’re doing a parody fray under a tent,
intense folly in the parking lot adjacent
the Pineapple Hill place..
Um, anyway, you see
I play Ann O’Malley.

Who? I don’t recognize the guise.

Oh, yeah. We changed the name.
It was Columbina wife of Canio the pain.
Now I’m Ann O’Malley, wife of Pagliaccio.

Um, well… I don’t look Irish or Italian

Ha! It’s comedy, yes:
just sing to make it up
make up on the make

A put on
to be on

Stage it, make it
So make it up
make it up
make it up

with makeup
a little powder puff
with Leprechaun dust,
it’ll make it enough

dissemble please
make away with made up,
assemble the façade, and
save face that way an act

I think I can make it, but…

Noise in the hallway

Thank you. Beppe will give you a script.


Ask Tonio to point you to Beppe, but quick. Thank you.

Oh god, I hear Gavel’s voice in the hallway. I’ll run. Tonight forever…

Go quick.

Silvio runs. Gavel leaps seeing the back
of his head and nape of the neck fleeing;
Silvio jumps over a wall and escapes.
Gavel returns out of breath and in a rage.
Bursts in, not to be assuaged from revenge.

Gavel, what are you doing here?

What am I doing here? What am I? Hell. Who was that?


No one betrays me.

Gavel pulls out a stiletto from his jacket.

Ha! Merely practicing your part now.
Are you? Oh so dramatic, dear clown.

Tell me his name or I
will slit your throat for
the blood of a purge, and
make extant your last moment
deathbed confession;
you will birth his name
his name, his name.

Never. You are a pest at best.
Go to hell pompous pet.
Go scamper away. Insect!
Buzz off. Ha, minor actor be gone.
I never loved you at all.

Gavel lunges at her with the stilletto. She dodges. She screams. Beppe runs in

What are you doing?

He’s practicing his meager
talents as an assassin manqué
and the buffoon is in a clown rage.

Laugh if you will, but for the victim
the blade of fate is sharp and deadly;
Honor is no laughing matter, and
I will spare her from bleeding out
only that I may hear the spoken name
of her crime and that of the villain

Please, please, calm down, be cool.
Vengence later. We have a play to do.
Hold the pompous drama for the police
if you’d lose your mind in a mad laughter.

She’ll be dead before any police arrive
and they’d be busy with shutdowns.
You’d stop me for play?
Gavel lunges at Beppe.
Beppe trips him and he
falls face first into a pie.

Nedda go!

Nedda leaves

Someone will pay for this outrage!
There’s too much vanilla in the cream.
And you, Beppe, are not
the crème de la crème either.
Disgrazia italiana.
Un vile buffone.
Un malvagio arlecchino!

Focus on the stage you love:
you will grip the audience
with your greatness. For now
the play. Any blood lust can wait.

This bed is the scene of the defilement.
Treachery! Like this bed is the stage,
I will jump onto it and
seize the lightning of Zeus.
I rise up for my vengeance!

Gavel jumps up onto the bed, and
on second bounce hits the chandelier,
his head breaking some glass and
the sprinkler and fire alarm go off.

Don’t you think the shower would have been simpler?


The audience is gathering
under a tent in the extra parking lot
next to the Pineapple Bar & Grill spot
a slot adjacent to a second circus-grand
two-tiered one for actors outstanding

Silvio has arranged for a private dinner
indoors at the Pineapple Hill Restaurant.
Nedda is to meet him there for a whir.

BEPPE in hushed tones under the circus tent:
Please extras and villagers, prepare to watch the inner play.

GAVEL NUISANCE at the edge of the stage, shouting, staring:
Audience please, masks up, then find a distanced chair.
uncertain, goes back behind a curtain

Prologue 2
BEPPE shouting
Here you see in front of me the villagers who
in pews have gathered to watch a play taboo
behind the curtain where, elated, Ann O’Malley
(Nedda) awaits with lust aforethought
her lover Arlecchino (by me) to be caught.
I must thus retreat to join with other actors.

A curtain opens to a room with a kitchen table, and
a bed by a window, a tableau for Ann O’Malley,
just arrived from a masquerade ball, and
she still wearing a mask,
paces up and back,
Then a noise.

Arlecchino? Is that you?

No it’s your humble servant and admirer,
and I love you like a choir of doves…

Fool, you think you have the guts
to slay me, but offer me nothing but lust?
Bring the slain chicken, and pray tell
how much did you pay for a slaughter?

Taddeo stumbles inside with a package that he puts on the table.

Yes here and it was on sale
and there I’ve unwrapped it
and the tail tells tales…

Idiot! That’s a catfish.

Yeah but it was cheap and gutted.

Arlecchino arrives. As soon as
he opens the door, an eagle flies in,
grabs the catfish in its talons, and
takes flight through a skylight.

I’ll get it.
Taddeo jumps onto the bed,
headed up in high bounces until crashing
like a big bird through the ceiling, but
foot squeaks in the hall are heard.

Ann, what’s going on? Who is there?

Is that you, Pagliaccio? You’re early!

Pagliaccio bursts in

What was that crash? Who’s here?

That was Taddeo. He jumped on the bed and crashed through the ceiling.

What? Impossible! Who’s here. What’s the scoundrel’s name?

There’s no one here.

Pagliaccio jumps on the bed

Ouch, uh.

What’s that? Is he here? What’s his name?

No one has a name. It’s the sound of a wilted rose. Its name is Rose.

What name does an ouch have. Speak the devil’s name.

‘A rose by any other name’ would smell as sweet and innocent as a summer’s day.

You mock me?
(Pagliaccio violently jumps on the bed)
Come out from under the bed or I will crush you.

There’s no one there.

Pagliaccio jumps onto the floor,
knocking over the table. Arlecchino comes out
from under the bed and hops
onto the top.

There’s no one there.
Arlecchino jumps on the bed
and reaches the ceiling. Before
flying out he shouts:

She never loved you;
I will love her forever, for
Love flies!

Pagliacccio pulls out a stiletto.

Vendetta! You will tell me his name and I will find him.


The man who was just here.

Oh Taddeo is just a fool,
doesn’t mean a thing, ’cause
infatuation is a minor hazard

Not him. Not Arlecchino, not… confess Nedda!

Ann runs over to him and whispers:
What are you doing?
Have you forgotten fame,
your lines, the play? I’m Ann.
You’re ruining the play. You
don’t know the true name or names.

Pagliaccio strikes Ann and she flies across the room, stumbling to her feet.

I held court for you, honored you
with crumpets and croissant
but you were a mere courtesan.
I arranged a ball with a trumpet fanfare
but you are a mere strumpet who played a part.

Read your line Nedda,
say you love me, and
forgo all others

That’s not my line. Have you gone mad. I’m Ann.
Um, uh, well… forget this Nedda. I’m not Nedda.
You are Pagliaccio.

Who? What’s your devil’s name?

Who? I am a Rose, and you are Pagliaccio.

No! Pagliaccio non son!
No! I’m not a clown!
You Nedda are a tollop who leaves out a table setting but no dinner.
picks up knife, stabs the table, leaving it embedded
Where, pray tell, is my Coq Au Vin…?
pulls out stilleto
This is not a prop either. Hell!
You used to be my innocent filly.

No idiot, I’m not Nedda! I’m not that trollop.
Non sono un fannullone né un piacere sfrenato
You’re a solo Svengali blotto, pee on chair cocksure

Puttana! Name! Name!

I am no Nedda nor trollop. And you are a scalloped potato.

Treachery has no disguise, Nedda. Come close; I have a whisper…
She thinks he will give her
stage directions or explanation.
Comes closer glumly

He plunges the knife in her chest. She screams:
Help! I’m an understudy, understudy… Help… I’m Li Chuntao
Doctor in the wings rushes out on stage

Who? Who? What?

PAGLIACCIO moving to the edge:
Pandemics love me,
not Nedda; you whisper
a name like vespers,
share in his delicacies —
Name! Name! I’ll have the name!

Violation! Someone’s dining outdoors at the Pineapple Saloon!

He jumps off the stage, shouting:
Sic semper restauranteur mors, as the assassin says

Name? Name?


Gavel limps towards the Pineapple Hill Saloon. Li Dai-Tai, the Director and Stage Manager, runs up to him.

Gavel! Wait! Stop a second. Let your foot rest.

What? Sorry about your play… you’re a good director…

No, it’s not that. Um, well, I’ll
tell you to what benevolence you can succumb;
for you know my group. Yes just ask for
DYDC LLC contracts for masquerade-ball masks,
lend an ear for solar panels, buses and forklifts tasks
and we will make re-call petitions against you disappear…
a Dissemble Your Dream Coup corp

I would not be unhappy if
such a comeuppance were
to happen unbeknowst to me. The
probability of such a thing happening
seems low to spring up (not that
I’m endorsing it, of course). Well…

I got you the trampoline bed, didn’t I? —
small lies are grand; right? I’ll give you
one last gift: His name is Silvio. Jot:
he’ll be with Nedda due at outdoor tables
in the Pineapple Hill restaurant parking lot.

Gavel runs towards the Pineapple Hill Saloon.
Beppe, like a lunatic, runs shouting through the crowd:

Turn around. The play continues! Watch Pagliaccio get his revenge!

Catch him. Learn his name! Vendetta! Run Pagliaccio!

Gavel reaches the Pineapple Hill Saloon parking lot.

Gavel, wait for the cart.

Liam, a stagehand driving an electric cart
brings the props and accesories missing to
catch up with Gavel who has just arrived
where Silvio and Nedda are kissing.

Nedda! How could you betray me like this…
(Liam! Place a sword on the table, and give me my King Arthur sword.)

You’re insane!
Silvio is my cousin.

GAVEL and SILVIO together
Liar! I love her.
a figure runs out from the restaurant like a blur

Me too with the passion of the Sun for the moon…

GAVEL and SILVIO together

We love you!


What’s in a name… a rose…
Tonio, Gavel, Silvio, and Members of the Crowd pick her up and throw her into a rose bush.
Hey! Ow. Is romance dead and ow-ow…

Silvio retreats to the table. Gavel runs to the cart where Liam gives him a sword

En-garde, En-garde!


Allez, allez, allez. Go, go, go dance…

Gavel lunges. Silvio parries to the right,
smacks with his left hand, throws in spite
his free leg under Gavel’s knee. Gavel
falls to the ground, losing his sword.

Coup de grâce! Finish him.

Stop! Lunch break — union rules.

Nedda, Silvio, and Gavel sat down
at the table to have burgers, and as a treat
they decided where to meet for a confounding
ménage à trois. Another person approaches

Ah, so its settled then.

Certainly not! Outdoor dining is forbidden.
This restaurant must receive a fine when
we are the best witnesses to the crime.

1Douglas Gilbert, Faustti Poems and Jousts (New York: ISBN 978-1-387-90990-2 ), 2022, [Amazon: Faustti-Poems-Jousts-Douglas-Gilbert/dp/1387909908], pp. 33-66.

“Faustti Poems and Jousts”









How Poetry Overcomes the Sino-hegemony of Middle-Kingdom English

Poetry for the Sino-hegemony of Upper-Crust Middle-Kingdom English

The language of tyrants, of elites, and of arrogant leaders distorts a language. Ambiguity and obfuscation can lead to the subjugation of the people now unable to express themselves.

To Countervail the Language of Pompous Propaganda in Pseudo-English with Verse

A short discussion and example

There is an odd sound to the neo-colonial language spoken by The Great Power of the Modern Middle-Kingdom circa 2000 – 2022. There is a supercilious version of English spoken by the upper-crust leaders of the Super-Power bordered by the People’s Republic of Mongolia, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Tibet, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kirghizstan, and Kazakstan. It’s in the Middle.

The dialect is characterized by its arrogant intonation and the misuse of English’s Latin heritage when a simple Anglo-Saxon derived word would do. They never “have” but they “possess.” Although, they do have their favorite Greek etymologies. They have perfected the process of transmogrifying their ironic projection of colonialism’s hog into the gentrifying hegemony-tiger.

Yes, hegemony is one of their favorite words. Another is “bellicose.” Everyone who disagrees with them is a bellicose hooligan. Furthermore, of course, they “walk on water,” because the “road” of the “Belt and Road Initiative” is actually routes in the ocean derived from 21st Century Maritime Silk Road“. The ocean doesn’t actually have “roads”.

Like in the taming of the “Wild West,” the taming of the “Wild East” led to a few un-acknowledged complicities in tragedy. In circa 2007-2008 they manufactured poison dog food1 , and poison toothpaste2 . It was withdrawn and having only a few victims, it was ignored by the world.

The years 2007-2008 were good for China: Oil from Sudan to help against the Darfur rebellion, poison toothpaste to Panama, the atrocities in Tibet3-4 , and the Summer Olympics.

Thus the years were kind to poetry. An opportunity for a poetic adventure was provided:

Olympic Torch5  

The tale of tails wagging:
my three cousins, fallen

cousins driven on edges
of cynicism, bravely
continuing to pass
the torch of

One’s traveling by Sudan,
a UN worker who

just wanted
to survive her gambit
into humanitarianism,
come home intact
to her husband, see
the Olympics as
honored guest, perhaps

Janjaweed’s fleeing victims
stopped in a camp
for a chat

She, a peacekeeper
listened for awhile
to tales of genocide
from refugees of Darfur

Slaughters on memory pause
too starved to indulge grief for
the dignitary just yet,
a Darfur drudgery one
asked why the worker cried

Bad news through Khartoum —
my child watching cartoons
sends e-mail that
the dog died

Melamine* from China
supporter of Sudan
did the canine in

Don’t they eat dogs in China
the Darfur woman of dead child says

She is insulted,
has lost her appetite for politics

Oil for China
and a veto of sanctions.
Khartoum is happy, and
flies in weapons
for the final solution,
but politely, because diplomacy

is of utmost importance
to China, market dream
for every company
drooling over
billions of customers

She tells her husband
who has a distant cousin
with Chinese roots
to, for God’s sake,
be discreet

Her Mother is from Panama,
hates her husband’s
(as she imagines it)
asian eyes, though
he speaks fluent Spanish
(Chinese, English, Tagalog),
quite a bungee linguist is he

Darfur intrudes:
“Will UN troops
protect us”,
a woman wants to know.
Srbrenica she thinks
to herself, but won’t
dare say

Maybe, safety in Chad,
she demurs, but
even here
another message for her

Leave me alone, she screams,
I’m doing good work

Your Mother had
cough medicine,
diethylene glycol
from China
it says,
a minor counterfeit
resulting in death

Not now,
I’m doing good work

Cousin Jinyan
is under house arrest
for protest

Not now. Get us
tickets for
2008 Summer Games

Her Hubby told me
she’s not to worry —
sending flowers,
has tickets, but

hearing the torch would
travel through Tibet,
I called cousin Molly
the Tibetan trapped in China.

She’s worried
called home to Aba
Sichuan Province, China
to hear the brooding

from monks in the teahouse —
many dead in Tibet, from Lhasa
protests spreading

mad Han hegemony awry
with soldiers and
agent provocateurs
uniforms and robes

Molly doubts the torch is coming.
Thinks runners in Peru.

Odd call
home. She sells
Buddhist statues still,
swears she doesn’t know
the Dalai Lama

I’m confused, heard
she wants to
go to Peru

Odd call home. She
speaks in riddles.

She seems to know Tibet
is not Peru

Not a Westerner
she’s a Tibetan, yet
with biblical aspirations

Speaks of forty days and forty nights
140 dead, and
it seems she seeks
to go to Peru

Odd call home. She

will not peruse the news
from Lhasa,
or even Aba
or Luhuo.
Sichuan food for thought.

She’s singing sweetly
on the phone in English
an old Irish song,
“cockles and mussels
are dead in Peru.”
An odd call is this. Arresting…

Seems she
might be going to
a re-education camp for torture
to learn spelling and about
Szechuan Restaurants in Peru

News of spring colors and flights.
Aba green with
a flood of soldiers.
Whirlybirds hover.

In China
she sells
Buddhist statues still
with cockles and mussels
alive in Peru

No calls,
merry or odd. I
how is Peru?

Tell me if

a llama died
on the high road
sweet and narrow

greeting Molly of Lhasa
in spirit alive
with a torch
and a ticket to heaven

1Melamine, a chemical derived from coal was found in pet food that killed dogs and cats. It is used in China as a make-believe protein that has no nutritional value. See: “In China, Additive To Animals’ Food Is An Open Secret,” New York Times, April 30, 2007, pp. A1, A8, by David Barboza and Alexei Barrionuevo.

2“Poisoned Toothpaste in Panama Is Believed to Be From China,” New York Times, May 19, 2007, p.A3

3“2 Activists Are Under House Arrest and Barred From Leaving China,” New York Times, May 19, 2007, p. A3.

4“At Shuttered Gateway to Tibet, Unrest Simmers Against Chinese Rule,” New York Times, March 26,2008. p. A7

5Douglas Gilbert, ebook: Back Door Poetry,(Amazon: ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08LQX3ZF7 ), 2019, “Olympic Torch”.

6Douglas Gilbert, Faustti Poems and Jousts (New York: ISBN 978-1-387-90990-2 ), 2022, [Amazon: Faustti-Poems-Jousts-Douglas-Gilbert/dp/1387909908], “Olympic Torch”, pp. 115-121.

OMG Physical Paper Book. I didn’t realize I should have bought a book for all my programs because they take away online help after awhile when you become obsolete

OMG Physical Paper Book. I didn’t realize I should have bought a book for all my programs because they take away online help after awhile when you become obsolete

The customer is the enemy now seems to be the current business mileau. How can we con them and make them dependent on us. When I grew up, the slogan used to be “the customer is always right.” I should have stuck with the old ways which is that I always relied on a good instruction book for every device. Oh hell, I suppose now I’ll have to go on-line to find out how to use my toaster and if I have an old model, they will have withdrawn my on-line instruction book. Soon you’ll buy a toaster and it will say, “I can’t make toast because I’m waiting for the update; please don’t turn me off. If there’s a fire, go to the on-line help section or search on Doodle for “burnt toast.” Geez, I have a few paper-back instruction books, but nowadays books are too expensive. Yikes, I have an old psychology text book where the price is handwritten on the inner cover: $7.25, 411 pages, copyright 1954(but I bought it in the 1970’s?). Now they want about $200 for the book.

Yeah sure, I struggled with hard copy instruction books BUT on-line instruction, as hard as it is to believe, is ten times worse than instruction from a barking dog even if it’s “Lassie” and at least it could summon help for poor Timmy. (Oh geez, I just realized that the old TV show and Charles Dickens used the name Timmy for a poor little boy in danger.)

A Spoof Introducing An Epic Poem

Investing In the Extraterrestrial Paintcoin

By Douglas Gilbert

Copyright © 2018 Douglas Gilbert

All rights reserved.

ISBN  978-1-387-52268-2


It used to be said that gambling was a sin. However, many things nowadays have been legalized. So as they say, let he who is stoned throw the first sin chip card upon the table. Go and be fruitful in the orchard of life.  Have a sip of wine, but don’t invest while driving someone crazy. Find a strategy that’s best for your temperament and skill, but be open-minded.

The best investing strategy to use for mindless speculation is the Frog Coddling Coda Avoidance Tuning (Froccat) method. There’s an old saw that “If you put a frog in boiling water, it’ll jump out, but if you put a frog in cold water and heat it gradually on a low flame, it won’t realize it’s too hot until it’s too late.” So it’s best to throw cold water on everything and not be the frog. But do jump on the Bandwagon before it starts moving.

When you’re first tuning up the instruments on the Bandwagon you always have to look to the sidelines to spot strategic locations where you can jump off into the road or bushes.  Once the campaign starts don’t wait until there’s water under the bridge because that would not be a good jumping off point even with a bungee cord Condordat (BCC) with the authorities. Always remember that apocryphal stories always have a concordance with a frog entry. So when in cold water always take a leap-of-faith (LOF).

Thus, strategic investing requires a LOL LOF Froccat on a hot tin roof, and a happy tune sung like Polonius without a tin ear. So “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” (Hamlet Act II Scene II).

The Extraterrestrial Paintcoin is a more artful form of currency than is its digital cousins. Although, it’s oft been said that first cousins jumping on a bandwagon for a hay ride should never marry on a bridge, or never marry while playing bridge whilst singing a happy tune about Hamlet eating cuisses de grenouilles.

What Is the Extraterrestrial Paintcoin?

The Paintcoin is a square book of coded pictures and poems.  It is designed to look like an ordinary Earth-art coffee-table book of no consequence.  However the Extraterrestrials have assigned a monetary value to it that is honored among their compatriots on Earth.

The Origin of the Paintcoin

The Paintcoin emerged in stages in the community of  alien anthropology students living on Earth.  Starting as a joke, it eventually was seen to actually be a practical expedient for commerce among the isolated students who had been given the hardship assignment of studying Earth culture. It was intended to be exchanged among Extraterrestrials only.  It has since become an opportunity for humans.

However, investing in Extraterrestrial Paintcoins is a difficult and dangerous enterprise, but some people thrive on the thrill of the hunt.  If you’re willing to take on enormous risk you can find one of your own to keep or trade.  But what is the source of Paintcoins you might ask. Perhaps a little background is necessary.

There are Extraterrestrial beings with extraordinary powers living on Earth now, but many are hiding in caves in temperate zones, or hiding at camouflaged bases under the South and North Poles. Being away from a distant planet can be lonely, but sometimes they come to the surface to play with soap bubbles.

It’s fun to blow bubbles, and if you blow them at the North Pole, the soap film will freeze into the shape of a permanent globe before it reaches the ground.  Drawing a map on a soap bubble is a little bit more difficult.  With the right kind of paint and quantum-atomic laser tools, a world map can be drawn on the surface of a bubble.  It can identify the location of gold deposits and other precious metals and medals — even a lost Olympic medal or religious icon…

However, the E.T.’s do not consider metals, such as gold, rare or important.  They have perfected the use of other exotic metals in alloys impossible to produce on Earth. These they consider precious.

It’s only recently that I’ve learned that these visitors from Outer Space are finding it difficult to engage in commerce especially among their own compatriots living on Earth, because they are not comfortable using Earth currencies such as the Dollar, or the Euro and have a bias against Gold because it’s not precious on their home planet. As far as the Bit Coin, their fellow travelers could easily hack into the underlying computer system if they wanted to.  It’s been awhile but I think my sources were trustworthy.

A prescient source had revealed to me that they would choose a rare Earth object as a medium of exchange.  I was told that a small number of these objects would be released soon and the value would be determined based on the level of speculation as regulated by the League. It would be legal tender on the home planet for the settlement of all debts accumulated while visiting Earth. In the rare event that Earthlings might acquire one of these objects they would be allowed to redeem them on any Extraterrestrial planet belonging to the League at a rate to be determined by the local jurisdiction. An Earth artisan would be chosen to create such object. It would be a combination of primitive Earth graphics and poetry to avoid suspicion when traded.

Little did I know that I would be appointed their Deputy Varishynahuki.  Well, there is good news and bad news I think. The good news is that I’ve gotten the commission to design the E.T.’s currency on Earth. The Deputy position is sort of like their version of the Treasurer of the United States.

The bad news is that I don’t get paid except in the new currency which I can only use on their home planet or to buy one of their space craft. I think they are a million or so light years away and I suppose I could go there except that I get carsick and seasick.

I suppose it’s an honor except that no human is supposed to take possession of this proposed object except for me. It had been thought that maybe one or two might “accidentally” fall into the hands of an Earthling besides me and be secretly traded. At some point I had thought maybe I could sell mine for some Earthly goods or services.

Now the problem is that I have to find someone who can trade it under my supervision like in the Dutch Tulip mania of 1637, but I’d have to be sure to sell before the crash. Well, I guess then I’d have to get over seasickness. However, it’s already too late to keep control of the situation.

“Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…” — Shakespeare

Although it is forbidden for Earthlings other than me to have Paintcoins, it appears that an underground trade has begun.  Based on limited data, a Friends-of-Paintcoin (FoP) network would seem to be metastisizing into a pseudo-Tulip-blossoming (ptb).  But based on inside sources the right to validate is assigned according to an intricate system of both Proof-of-Genealogy (PoG) and of Proof-of- encryption-paradigm-competence (PoEPC) tests.

To simplify: The renegades are distributing Paintcoins based on kinship with Extraterrestrials generations ago. Let the alert investor find one of these, and I will try to assist them.  I don’t know how long the elite Extraterrestrials will tolerate this uncouth behavior.  Perhaps they are tacitly accepting the trade to maintain a convenient currency for their expatriate community. But the Extraterrestrials often research Earth literature for clues to human behavior and economics.

Before investing it is best to study economics as seen in fiction.  Once a modicum of understanding is achieved, the hunt to find a copy of the Extraterrestrial Paintcoin can begin if one is brave.  This is not an offer to sell or buy such an illusory object.  Due diligence should be undertaken by prospective hunters, and no action should be taken without consulting with their financial advisors.

For the study of economics, here are some epic poems to ponder:

Epic Poems

The Un-naming of the “You-know-what”

The Un-naming of Faust”

As was said in Shakespeare’s works:
“It’s Greek to me,” like Ξ
but nomenclature is
a Blessing Strange ( 福奇 )

For Sino-name-dropping it is a
Blessing – Strange virus
funded by 福奇

Indeed for Sino-hegemony
it’s been a strange blessing for
the weakening of the West

The overlords of Wuhan
were a nest of vipers élan
happy for a blessing strange.

And like improvised explosive rhetorical devices
hidden on the road and belt commerce sites
they were happy to bite

*Ace-book Doesn’t Allow حقیقت


The poly-unnamed are stranded
in Stanislovskyville, because
You-know-who is senile, and
the Steak Department
won’t let butterflies
leave the grill-way in order
to fly away,
to come home to
you-know-where, until
for a surreptitious tally ban
all the sunflowers are beheaded
and a gardening plan is executed
with all the laurels for Stan like a
hardy comedy of unseen horrors
with surviving young flowers incognito

You Can’t Hurry Joe (draft 1)

I seek leave, leave to calm my mind
I seek to catch, catch the airline

But Joe said you can’t just regress;
no … um,
you’ll just have to regret,

he said, rescue isn’t easy:
it’s a game of spin and fake

You can’t hurry Joe
no you live with mistakes,
you gotta mistrust, and fall away
no spinning lies too much to take

Yet how can I
discount the shootings
until I find
an egress, to find my love again
and now the only hope
that pines you into mind
when I see you alive, yes, is
hope resigned away, yet

I remember Simon said
You can’t hurry Joe
no you live with mistakes,
you gotta mistrust, and fall away
no spinning lies too much to take

Knock, knock, at the door; who’s there about
no you live with mistakes
a Joe joke as he
watches his watch, watches coffins shout.

No, I can’t wait for a love
to find my love again

A folk singer’s dead,
a lewd lute his crime, and
I lose the music of you
in my frightened mind, and

I remember they said
You can’t hurry Joe
no you live with mistakes,
you gotta mistrust, and fall away
no spinning lies too much to take

Oh dread.

You Can’t Hurry Joe (Draft 0)

I seek leave, leave to calm my mind
I seek to catch, catch the airline

But Joe said you can’t just regress;
no … um,
you’ll just have to regret,

he said, rescue isn’t easy:
it’s a game of spin and fake

You can’t hurry Joe
no you live with mistakes,
you gotta mistrust, and fall away
no spinning lies too much to take

Yet how can I discount the shootings and shouts
until I find the egress from stress, find my love again
and now the only hope that leaps to mind is you
when I picture you alive, yes, but hope’s nearly screwed

Yet I remember Simon said
You can’t hurry Joe
no you live with mistakes,
you gotta mistrust, and fall away
no spinning lies too much to take

Oh knock, knock, at the door; who’s there about
a Joe joke as he watches his watch, watches coffins shout.
No, I can’t wait for a love to remember me because
I’ve heard about the hangings, the rapes, the many executions they celebrate
and those ugly few words infuriate ’cause

Yes I remember they said
You can’t hurry Joe
no you live with mistakes,
you gotta mistrust, and fall away
no spinning lies too much to take