It didn’t start out that way
I don’t know what to say
sitting in a stone-walled study hall
in Edinburgh one day
I said to myself
that Shakespeare makes a lot of sense
But here’s this other guy
sarcastic and intense
Why aren’t we just as crazy about him?
Hilarious plays, masques even more fun
delightful with a pun
And so I fell headlong for Ben Jonson’s carnal charms
returned to study at Bucknell
and fell into his arms
(figuratively speaking, that is)
But the green volumes of
Hereford and Simpson, unfortunately
were all of him that was left to me
And so I wrote my treatise on his war
I focused on his outrage
instead of the death of Kennedy–
it was a safer place, and something I could also see
at the heart of my own fractured family
But today I awake to see
so much that was inside of me
out there on every human face
a mask covering their identity
And one who has already gone before
with Masked and Anonymous, and more…
By some weird alchemy has my dream
and with such a man
as jubilantly sarcastic as he?
Trickster, Joker, Thief and Clown
Everywhere I turn around
our world is turned into a fantasy
of Jonson’s art for all of us to see…
Masked and Anonymous daily lives
Capitol riots, zipties and knives
What’s next — our Super Bowl celebration!
A dream or a nightmare, does it matter?
Will we ever wake up from this dreadful chatter?
Does he have the answer too?
Does he even care about me and you?
A pandemic Frankenstein have I created
just because I matriculated?
I know that’s not exactly true
But it’s starting to feel like I’ve conjured up
My Own Version of You!
P.S. My thesis on Ben Jonson’s Anti-Puritanism…