It may come as no surprise that I was a complete theatre geek in college. Three dozen shows in four years, in various capacities: but I daresay my favorite task was always acting. I actually have quite a lot of nervousness when it comes to presentations or talks in front of a group, but something about obscuring the audience with darkness, and having a character to slip into, makes it completely fine. DVerse wanted a poem about first times, so this is a shrug of a poem about my first role, in The Taming of the Shrew. (It was a shrug of a role, anyway; but one must start somewhere!) I haven’t acted since college; I miss it sometimes, and think about coming back to it from time to time. Meanwhile, my fondness for masks has transformed into pseudonyms and persona poetry and spinning yarns, so I guess that nerve is still active, at least…
Vincentio Enters, Stage Right
He has the rickety shape of someone sewn
together rehearsal by rehearsal, with things found
in black velvet,
in the linings of a secondhand cloak,
or under the audience’s chairs.
Father of one,
Italian landowner, time-displaced
into a new century. Worn loosely
over a body that rounds the corners of its
phenotype: a hollow deepening in the throat,
ramrod posture, pursed lips.
He flows into the feet and the hands
with methodical energy.
There is a thrill running up the spine
as one mouth or the other opens to begin,