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…”
“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?”
“Up ahead, it looks like a porcupine crossing the road.. except that… um”
“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 POEM DERIVED
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
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:
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
But 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, 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
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.
OH YE PREFACE OF LITTLE FAITH
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
ACT ONE 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.”
CROWDS UNDOUBTING Hail to the Prince of Clowns. Bravo!
GAVEL NUISANCE Tonio don’t lose it, don’t let the hail dent the car. Fools… Let them eat spam. Nedda let’s go in.
CROWDS UNDOUBTING Hail to the Prince of Clowns. We throw our dry ice for dry humor.
GAVEL 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
though rosebud Nedda Liberté with Gavel Nuisance unraveled a way toward an august entrance
CROWD UNDOUBTING 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.
GAVEL NUISANCE Yes, waitress: Sabayon of pearl tapioca, yes Island Creek ova caviar
NEDDA LIBERTÉ 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”?
LI CHUNTAO My agent says, any day now, I’ll do better than playing a corpse…
NEDDA LIBERTÉ 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.
GAVEL NUISANCE 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)
LI DAI-TAI 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)
NEDDA LIBERTÉ What?!
Gavel goes off with Dai-tai.
LIU 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…
GAVEL Wherefore the problem?
LIU DAI-TAI It’s perfectly round and flawless. no silk threads, no knots cheap clasp
LIU DAI-TAI 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.
NEDDA Tonio, is the car cleaned?
TONIO Yes, yes Nedda. But you’re a beauty, a cutie like a goddess adored
MISS LI CHUNTAO Oh, are you the chauffer? Have you come for instructions or will you be having something or funning us?
TONIO 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
MISS LI Are you sure?
TONIO 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
MISS LI For eating or throwing?
NEDDA Ha! Give him his just deserts, and I will have dessert for throwing.
MISS LI 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.
TONIO So he’s gone and what did he say?
NEDDA Liu Dai-Tai said they should lie together.
TONIO A shameless proposal. So we have a chance at romance. You glow like the sun, and I bask in your warmth, honey
NEDDA Yes, of course, sonny — I am bright, and you are dim. Oh but the dimwitted one admires my beauty
TONIO Show me your wit with a kiss of compassion for a fool you’ll learn to love.
NEDDA 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.
TONIO So let’s kiss and make up.
CROWD Kiss, kiss, kiss…
NEDDA Oh what fate will bring me down? These deeds betray madness hounding; I’m beseiged by comedians, sad buffoons, and clowns.
TONIO You mock me? For this you will pay. Yes. I’ll tell you this: indeed your husband mocks you.
NEDDA No matter.
She sees Silvio her lover behind a column.
TONIO Do I distract you from your shame little mocking bird, poor dame?
NEDDA Go now twit or I will hit you with a wild goose…
CROWD Kiss, kiss, kiss the chaste and chase the goose until he can roost.
NEDDA Silvio! Come through the crowd! Darling Silvio, where shall we go where kisses are blisses and…
CROWD Kiss, kiss, kiss… there’s a residence in the back
The staff laughs
NEDDA AND SILVIO Did you say: There’s a residence in the back and we shall have a snack
There’s a Residence, in the, back
SILVIO Well then, over the wall we’ll run away quick Yes, if you wish to kiss me you have to sing in praise yes amazed to raise a love to love and then
NEDDA 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
NEDDA and SILVIO There’s a residence in the back and we shall leer with snacks a residence in the rear
Nedda and Silvio retreat to a private back room CONCIERGE 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!
CONCIERGE Ah yes, two “Banana Cream Pies.”
SILVIO Well, ha, this is a different hurrah than a complimentary mint found or scrounged. C’est assez grand, et voici un pourboire.
SILVIO I said, wow — here’s a tip. (Thank you. You may go.)
NEDDA TO SILVIO 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
SILVIO But what about the play?
NEDDA You are of play, by play, and for play of the people — Yes?
SILVIO You are to be Ann O’Malley, wife of Pagliaccio — touché?
NEDDA 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.
SILVIO 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?)
LI CHUNTAO Yes?
SILVIO Come in please.
LI CHUNTAO Yes?
SILVIO Nedda needs an understudy for her part in a play.
NEDDA Have you read “Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo?
LI CHUNTAO I have. Yes, it’s a lot of clowning around, and what’s your part?
NEDDA 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.
LI CHUNTAO Who? I don’t recognize the guise.
NEDDA Oh, yeah. We changed the name. It was Columbina wife of Canio the pain. Now I’m Ann O’Malley, wife of Pagliaccio.
LI CHUNTAO Um, well… I don’t look Irish or Italian
NEDDA 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
make-believe dissemble please make away with made up, assemble the façade, and save face that way an act
LI CHUNTAO I think I can make it, but…
Noise in the hallway
NEDDA Thank you. Beppe will give you a script.
LI CHUNTAO Who?
NEDDA Ask Tonio to point you to Beppe, but quick. Thank you.
SILVIO Oh god, I hear Gavel’s voice in the hallway. I’ll run. Tonight forever…
NEDDA 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.
NEDDA Gavel, what are you doing here?
GAVEL NUISANCE What am I doing here? What am I? Hell. Who was that?
GAVEL NUISANCE No one betrays me.
Gavel pulls out a stiletto from his jacket.
NEDDA Ha! Merely practicing your part now. Are you? Oh so dramatic, dear clown.
GAVEL NUISANCE 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.
NEDDA 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
BEPPE What are you doing?
NEDDA He’s practicing his meager talents as an assassin manqué and the buffoon is in a clown rage.
GAVEL NUISANCE Beppe, 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
BEPPE 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.
GAVEL NUISANCE 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.
BEPPE Nedda go!
GAVEL 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!
BEPPE Focus on the stage you love: you will grip the audience with your greatness. For now the play. Any blood lust can wait.
GAVEL 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.
BEPPE 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, awaiting. Then a noise.
ANN O’MALLEY Arlecchino? Is that you?
TADDEO (Tonio) No it’s your humble servant and admirer, and I love you like a choir of doves…
ANN O’MALLEY 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.
TADDEO Yes here and it was on sale and there I’ve unwrapped it and the tail tells tales…
ANN O’MALLEY Idiot! That’s a catfish.
TADDEO 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.
TADDEO 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.
VOICE IN THE HALLWAY Ann, what’s going on? Who is there?
ANN O’MALLEY Is that you, Pagliaccio? You’re early!
Pagliaccio bursts in
PAGLIACCIO What was that crash? Who’s here?
ANN O’MALLEY That was Taddeo. He jumped on the bed and crashed through the ceiling.
PAGLIACCIO What? Impossible! Who’s here. What’s the scoundrel’s name?
ANN O’MALLEY There’s no one here.
Pagliaccio jumps on the bed
SOUND Ouch, uh.
PAGLIACCIO What’s that? Is he here? What’s his name?
ANN O’MALLEY No one has a name. It’s the sound of a wilted rose. Its name is Rose.
PAGLIACCIO What name does an ouch have. Speak the devil’s name.
ANN O’MALLEY ‘A rose by any other name’ would smell as sweet and innocent as a summer’s day.
PAGLIACCIO You mock me? (Pagliaccio violently jumps on the bed) Come out from under the bed or I will crush you.
ANN O’MALLEY 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.
ARLECCHINO 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.
PAGLIACCIO Vendetta! You will tell me his name and I will find him.
ANN O’MALLEY Who?
PAGLIACCIO The man who was just here.
ANN O’MALLEY Oh Taddeo is just a fool, doesn’t mean a thing, ’cause infatuation is a minor hazard
PAGLIACCIO Not him. Not Arlecchino, not… confess Nedda!
Ann runs over to him and whispers: ANN O’MALLEY 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.
PAGLIACCIO 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
ANN O’MALLEY 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.
PAGLIACCIO Who? What’s your devil’s name?
ANN O’MALLEY Who? I am a Rose, and you are Pagliaccio.
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…? Hell! pulls out stilleto This is not a prop either. Hell! You used to be my innocent filly.
ANN O’MALLEY 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
PAGLIACCIO Puttana! Name! Name!
ANN O’MALLEY I am no Nedda nor trollop. And you are a scalloped potato.
PAGLIACCIO Treachery has no disguise, Nedda. Come close; I have a whisper… She thinks he will give her stage directions or explanation. Comes closer glumly
ANN O’MALLEY What? 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
MANY VOICES IN THE AUDIENCE Who? Who? What?
PAGLIACCIO moving to the edge: Delirium! Pandemic! Pandemics love me, not Nedda; you whisper a name like vespers, share in his delicacies — Name! Name! I’ll have the name!
VOICE FROM THE AUDIENCE Violation! Someone’s dining outdoors at the Pineapple Saloon!
PAGLIACCIO He jumps off the stage, shouting: Sic semper restauranteur mors, as the assassin says
AUDIENCE Name? Name?
I AM GAVEL NUISANCE, Pagliaccio.
Gavel limps towards the Pineapple Hill Saloon. Li Dai-Tai, the Director and Stage Manager, runs up to him.
LI DAI-TAI Gavel! Wait! Stop a second. Let your foot rest.
GAVEL NUISANCE What? Sorry about your play… you’re a good director…
LI DAI-TAI 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
GAVEL NUISANCE 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…
LI DAI-TAI 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:
BEPPE Turn around. The play continues! Watch Pagliaccio get his revenge!
VOICES IN THE CROWD Catch him. Learn his name! Vendetta! Run Pagliaccio!
Gavel reaches the Pineapple Hill Saloon parking lot.
BEPPE 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.
GAVEL NUISANCE Nedda! How could you betray me like this… (Liam! Place a sword on the table, and give me my King Arthur sword.)
NEDDA 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
TONIO Me too with the passion of the Sun for the moon…
GAVEL and SILVIO together Shut-up!
CROWD We love you!
TONIO, GAVEL, and SILVIO Who?
NEDDA 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
VOICES in the CROWD En-garde, En-garde!
VOICES in the CROWD 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.
VOICES in the CROWD Coup de grâce! Finish him.
LIAM 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
LI DAI-TAI Ah, so its settled then.
GAVEL NUISANCE 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.
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:
The tale of tails wagging: my three cousins, fallen
cousins driven on edges of cynicism, bravely continuing to pass the torch of symbolism
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 but
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 plainclothes
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 wonder 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
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.)
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:
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
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