On Receiving Tickets to As You Like It
Airily, a waking dance
to rhyme and rope, to grift and chance.
to all the stars that tread the night and
seize upon the eyes.
Garishly, a speaker dips to
gather breath and tongue and lips,
to stalk upon the stage and whisper
iambs to the flies.
Cautiously we wander in
to swim in love and feast on sin,
to bear the pangs of yestermen and
brave the ribs of fear.
Patiently we climb the rungs of
fossil words and speech half-sung,
waiting for the moment when the
fractured chords ring clear.
Tragically, the sense will hide
unless the actor steps aside and
shakes the author’s meanings from the
servitude of ink.
Finally the only route to
stir the play from tile and grout is
easing back within your seat,
a passive sun, enlivened meat,
cauldron for the spice and heat,
and choosing not to think.
From the collection Fields of Satchmo
Photo by MJV