I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?
—— From Henry IV, Part One, Act iii, Scene 1
From Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant
…the two of them made some mutual arrangement. Then they smiled at each other, again without any sense of surprise or excitement, as if long on famiiar terms, and the waitress retired from the table. Barnby handed the stump of pencil back to Maclintick. We vacated the restaurant.
‘Like Glendower, Barnby,’ said Maclintick, ‘you can call spirits from the vasty deep. With Hotspur, I ask you, will they come?’
‘That’s to be seen,’ said Barnby. ‘By the way, what is her name? I forgot to ask.’
— Anthony Powell
Glendower Calls the Spirits
The world we touch and smell and taste,
The world we hear and see
Pays homage to the vasty deep
In which it soon will be,
But giving memory its due
(Which is to say: a lot),
The things we touch, smell, taste and hear
And see are all it’s not.
There once was a man called Assange
Whose name did not rhyme with mélange.
“You must say it,” he said,
“Not like ‘mange’ but instead
“Like the Congolese river, Ubangi.”
From William Shakespeare’s Life of King Barry I, Act 4, Scene iii
O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men (or women)
That are out of work back in the U.S.!
KING OBAMA the FIRST:
What’s he that wishes so?
My servant McChrystal? Er, no, I mean Petraeus:
If they are mark’d to die, they’re enow
To do your country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men (or women), the easier to sideline and dismiss
As victims of post-traumatic stress disorder.
No, faith, lackey, wish not a man (or woman) or woman (or man) more:
Rather proclaim it, Petraeus, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him be interviewed by the Times.
He that outlives Afghanistan, and comes safe home,
He that ignores the recommendations of our VA deathbook and sees old age,
Will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had in Mazar-i Sharif.’
And the VA Admin will blink and wonder “Who? What? Where’s that?”
Old men (or women) forget: Kabul shall be forgot,
But some Oath Keepers will remember
What feats they did there: then shall our names,
Familiar in his (or her) mouth as barnyard words are in ours:
Barry the king, Gibbs the Jester and Axelrod,
Pelosi and Reid, Barney and Durbin,
Be in their flowing curses freshly remember’d.
Those few, those unlucky few, that band of outsiders;
For he (or she) to-day that sheds his (or her) blood in this
Illegal conflict I inherited from Bad King George
Shall be an outsider — Be he (not she) ne’er so vile,
One of my Czars shall manage to vilify him further:
And Democrat men now a-bed with each other
Shall think them accursed who were there,
And hold each other’s manhoods whiles any speaks
That languished in Afghan upon Saint Crispin’s Day.
For the original version of Henry V’s Saint Crispin’s Day (October 25) speech to the troops before the Battle of Agincourt, go HERE.
Said the Burghers who lived in Calais
“We’ll surrender the city todais.
Out we’ll come with the keys
In our French BVDs.
Tell King Edward: Don’t kill us! Okais?”
(You can read the story of the Burghers of Calais by clicking HERE.)
The cobalt Crips and crimson Bloods
Were long ago the best of buds,
But one day wounding words were said
About the colors blue and red
Distinguishing each other’s duds.
Posted in L.A., Poems
Tagged Bloods, Crips, duds