Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Method Madness

Hamlet is not a very Danish name. Maurits, King or Prince of Denmark, would be more like it.

Anyway with Claudius, Polonius, Ophelia, and Horatio Shakespeare really fucked up his linguistic geography. This is Denmark, old boy! Not Verona!

And a guy named after a tiny village, doesn’t make much sense either.

Might as well have called him Boardwalk. Bo, for short.

Shakespeare borrowed a lot from the Greeks Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and their treatment of the Oresteia, but Hamlet was no Orestes. Just like in a different context the Wizard’s Dorothy is no Alice in Wonderland, any more than Dan Quayle was John F. Kennedy by Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s stern yardstick.

And I know this is blasphemy but as story lines go Hamlet is a terrible play, neither head nor tail, for a normal spectator at least to follow, or else an endlessly convoluted plot with the dark Danish Prince stricken with grief, going mad, suicidal or simply cunningly paranoid. If not clarity, beauty only in its exquisite language. But even something that is said beautifully must make sense to someone like me.

Here’s the thing as Directors go, it’s dramatically very hard to demonstrate someone apparently normal, slowly going potty. It’s easier to show someone normal conniving his revenge, by faking he’s going potty. But what then is totally incongruous is his doubt about what he should do, commit suicide or not, murder or not, how and when, staging one thing, then the other, with whose help etc etc. For if there’s one thing true in this world or any other, highly motivated and morally ‘just’ counter-conspirators by temperament cannot and will never be pussy-footers or procrastinators. And that’s exactly what Hamlet’s made out to be.

And even Laurence Olivier’s steeply abbreviated cinematic version unable to cut all the fat or for that matter pass any muster. A terrible movie that refuses to fascinate and hypnotise, delivered around a dozen classic one-liners everyone knows by now. But no number of grave diggers, hip friends and ghosts, ooh, aah, woe, the fleet, the fleet…ah yes the completely redundant fleet, making this thing work.

A psychological play avant-la-lettre, dealing with moral and mental illness at the same time? Don’t you believe it, this is theatre for theatricality’s sake, sustained by overly reverent Shakespeare worship.

Growing prematurely bald himself, Hamlet could easily have looked up at the sky, sunk on one knee, stroke an even balder skull, and sigh: Toupée or no Toupée, that is the question! And be just as credible.

  1. And what’s this Laurence bit, Larry? It’s Laurent old boy, if you want to go French all the way, and with your Norman Olivier, instead of Oliver. Laurence’s a girl’s name, so be a good sod and from eternity…  change it back to Lawrence, old man. I mean, we did win at Agincourt, didn’t we? And don’t you remember the Hank Cinq you did?  (Henry V)

 

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What If

What if… the brain is like a face, pretty, ugly, elongated or puffed, skin marked or not, loose or tight, of colour indistinct, wrinkles deep, nose pointed, dull, long, short, chin double or tight, lips large, thin, ears flat, wide, eyes oblique, dark, myopic, below brows bushy, frown sudden, smile furtive, muscles of laughter relaxed, uncertain or fake, cheeks hollow, teeth not stained, but uneven,  gums pink, jaw sunk, suddenly jutted in ways undefined, hair patched, black, brown, blond on grey turf, memory inscribed long ago, opinions caked with acts to match, whether it is night or day, dry or wet, hot or cold?

 

Or more like a landscape, a voyage in it, through it, on it, in which case desert, forest, marsh, plain, mountain range, ocean, beach, ice field, a river, a lake?

 

Would it help any navigating our fellow, our selves, circumventing calamity,

 

heartbreak?

 

Only on Earth

 

We shouldn’t cry

when someone dear and near

passes away,

if we believe in heaven

and eternal sanctity

 

 

 

We should cry

when losing the lot,

our crust, our roof, our breath,

in the process

gaining cruel pain and terror,

 ‘heaven’, despite its hopeful beckoning,

deciding to come crashing down on us

 

 

We shouldn’t cry

when a total stranger

extends a  sudden, loving act

of helpfulness

to us

 

 

 

But we do!

Don’t we?

Not only because of its extreme beauty,

but because of its ridiculous,

its utter

 

 

rarity

 

 

 

Two Cats To Go

If a cat has 9 lives

And I had 7 cats,

It may be said that I had 63 lives inside my own

With which to do whatever what.

 

None to impose, but a few to waste perhaps,

The hours of dolce-far-niente, of contemplation,

But also of frustration,

In which pain real and imagined, wouldn’t, couldn’t stop.

 

But here I am, 2 cats to go, and still discovering, hoping.

For more cats and for far fewer of us,

The doors of paradise

Slightly more open.

 

Download Anthony Steyning’s poetic new E-novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

Time Out!

I’m throwing in the towel for a while, I’m much too busy with my other writing.

 

You can check out my www.anthonysteyning.com , it changes constantly!

 

Also see my books on sale at Arts & Letters Daily:  www.aldaily.com , it’s where it’s happening.

 

Et pour mes amis Français: bonne chance avec le père Hollande: désolé, il n’a pas la solution!

La Concha

I live below a cubistic looking mountain, about the size of Mont Sainte-Victoire, Cézanne’s redoubt.

 

It wasn’t painted by Braque or Picasso, but in the ever changing light of day appears that way, delineated against the endless sky, an anchor, seemingly altering its appearance every hour, it’s sharp yet subtle angles stacked upon each other, reaching for its own Matterhorn-shaped top.

 

Flat planets are dead planets. There would be no life on earth without constant volcanic action added to solar heat: humanity following flora and fauna in their footsteps, the last one to join the biological fray, and why I cannot live without my mountain, my life, itself child of tectonic might, tenderly watching over me.

 

Dowload Anthony Steyning’s poetic new E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

Clazy Plicks!

Last year around this time, I posted this:

 

Tell me it isn’t true: A Chinese friend of mine here in southern Spain wants to open a restaurant he threatens to call, The Wok of Gibraltar

 

Now his cheeky nextdoor neighbour Richard is menacing to open a steak house, called Angus Dei…

 

Download Anthony Steyning’s international intrigue E-novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

God Bless Oz?

In that dark and ochre sky

from her enormous buttocks

and dirty little thong,

a brutal wind

rips into

cardboard dwellings

and despairing trees,

leading to expected express death!

And with it the thought

The land is blessed

by a woeful God

using

builders ,

hands folded, pious,

good for hammers,

but not apparently armed concrete!

Download Anthony Steyning’s poetic E-Novel: A Kiss By the Clowns

 

Last Call!

(revised)

 

A lush

and sultry

evening

 

A mist

of shadows,

a veil

of Blues,

a breeze

of fine,

white breasts,

in semi-darkness

 

A

low-cut

down-dress

waitress

loathing rush

and hushing,

making

leaving

slow

and

most

reluctant

 

As

only

that

late

night

beguiling,

she

the stage

 

Others

no

longer

 

Download Anthony Steyning’s remarkable E-Novel: A Kiss by the Clowns

Aliens

America

in psychosis

about Socialism

(governing it)

Latin-America

about Gringos

(exploiting it)

Russia

about the West

(invading it)

Africa

about Europe

(re-colonizing it)

China

about the Occident

(belittling it)

Japan

about the Rest

(not buying it)

Hindus

about Muslims

(not bowing to them)

Jews

about Arabs

(bombing them)

Muslims

about Christians

(out-believing them)

O, where the Extraterrestrials?

(if not humbling, uniting us and why so much in need of them)

 

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