Thursday, October 8, 2020

Gilles, or Pierrot (Jean-Antoine Watteau), Sonnet #533

Some of us never get past our stage fright.

I forget my lines, stand stiff and dumb,

Unable even to exit, stage right.

My ears roar with white noise, my tongue goes numb.

The sight of clustered eyes — the audience

With its expectations, its curt demands,

Its taut, arms-crossed, unforgiving silence —

Fills my head with endless ampersands.

Each remembered line is followed by “&.”

& then? & then? & like an hourglass,

I become empty of yet-to-fall sand —

& then come the billows of laughing gas,

Off stage, the director’s disgusted look,

A finger across his throat, then the hook.

No comments: