Always Scream at the Sun

June 14, 2010

Night

Look at that monster’s eye, Horatio; it’s like
reflections of sunlight from moon to sea
to clouds; it’s like reflections turned into
existence, a contingency—our thoughts
made real! Yet night is full of words, not spirits,
not selves. Today, I think you can safely tell Hamlet
he will not have vengeance on his stale breath
ever again. Write this with your eyes.
‘Ghosts need too much of the night sky;
dawn dissipates their power; light thus lances through
their skin—their skin becomes self defeating.
There could be no visitation on these
battlements last night, sir, for
old Hamlet’s ghost is nothing but a chill of air,
a big eye left to stare, to model empty space.
You can neither be a wife nor mistress here.’

Night

That’s why I always scream at the sun, Horatio.
It lets the poetry come out. From night to day,
you know—the day, spreading o’er the dew…
a russet mantel…clad in light…

A pretty sentence for a pretty day—
prettily parsed—yon high eastward hill.
Just look around. That poetry lies in
the telling, lies in the play of the words…
There’s nothing portentous here.
Horatio? You’re pale as day.
Your eyes are nothing like the sun.

Night

The speculation laughs. It is unearthly. He
might be a ghost himself, so pale,
so elusive—I’ll say it—so diaphanous.
He will walk with the phantoms many years,
unhousel’d, disappointed, unaneled.
As if we all were.

Dawn

Can this be why we stand so close to ghosts?
They do reach out at me, Horatio!
They can be both Hamlet and not Hamlet!
Such vandalism! I too had a father who
must have had a father who had fathers…
And all in chains, Horatio, all dead fathers
and all in chains—and so on—back—back to
the egg. I too had a son.

Rise

But soft. The sunrise is upon us now.
Our watch is abrogated with the dawn.
It will be cloudy. It will rain. That eye,
ever so monstrous…
…well, Horatio, to sleep—
I know—perchance to dream—but those dreams must
be Hamlet’s dreams. Say goodnight to the cast,
to Bernardo, Ophelia—I won’t go through
the list. They will all die by the end of the play,
you know. They will rest in silence. All dead
except for you and me. And we remain—
remain to scream, I guess, for screaming is
like poetry…
We make it and remake it from the sun.

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