Braving the Wilds

Field Notes from the Suburban Jungle

Tag: 12th Night

Ode to Sir Andrew Aguecheek

Would you rather hear a love song or a song about the good life?

A love song, a love song.

Ay, ay. I care not for good life.

Feeling sated by a shared meal and a rare
fellowship for a family far-flung with
grown-up lives hindering us, we fall back
into an unspoken line, re-creating

a long-lost dynamic in the name of
nostalgia, of yearning, behaving more
like school children than those burdened
with keeping the lights on, the beds made.

We share stories of the day, now with
the high-tech aide of pocket computers
we all have to chain us to our responsibilities,
Show-And-Tell with digital photography,

the short leash held in our trembling hands. My daughter
shares a video of a raccoon, given pieces of cotton candy
which disappear in a puddle where he washes
his full paws, waving his tiny human-like

digits through the artificially sweetened water,
gazing at the camera through a forlorn mask.
My youngest daughter – virginal – weeps at the cruelty.
Silence greets her, interrupted by laughter as the wise

amongst us recall the lost moments of our own
desires, love scorned, gripping onto beautiful
illusions, tantalizing images as ephemeral as
puffs of smoke, vapor trails, or digital messages.

A grievous moment, when one realizes they are
holding nothing, counterintuitively making the release
more vigorous, a lamenting handicraft echoing that of
Sir Andrew, our recognized Shakespearean fool:

the comic sadness of spun sugar, which dissolves
so quickly on the tongue, albeit adored once too,
as some ancient ancestor summons a brogue in my throat,
not my own, to sing with a sobering hilarity:
“A stick in me hand and a drop in me eye,
A doleful damsel I heard cry,
Johnny Blue, we hardly knew ye…”

Une Copie de Lui: Placebo

With a Nod to Sandrine Kimberlain

Betwixt the boar bristles

lay a complex tangle of

Red strands under

Stray black and steel

Grey ones.

DNA codes lay buried

within the tiny thin


Building blocks

Of his nature.

Mitochondrial and nuclear chemicals

Could eventually reproduce

Him in an exact physical replica,

A concoction of loveliness

“Most wonderful!”

Olivia’s Shakespearean delight in

Genetic copy reveals

The fickle nature of love:

A manufacture of the brain’s desire,

A focal point,

An image.

To inject decades of sculpture

To clone artful loveliness

Is the necessary advancement.

Find a scientist who has discovered

The process by which one can

Download every second of experience

That concocted unmatched delightfulness.

Cecil Vyse’s Lucy Honeychurch

Offers a recipe for his offspring

Nurturing the same charming history

Of his beloved: A touch of country

For freshness, delayed introduction

To London for refinement.

Cesario’s female self is

Impotent to Olivia.

Every neurosynaptic pathway

Etched in memory’s personality

Made her a complex

Object subjugated to that

Unique connection,

A mere two dimensional

Suggestion of another.

The physical copy deceives

Until the clone’s Truthful kiss

Reveals he is unknown to her world.

His love will have to satisfy

Someone altogether new.

Cesario’s nurtured self thrives in

True Love’s longing heart.  His own strands

Cast off like the eunuch’s disguise,

Will remain tangled in another’s

Memory, a stray hair

Lost in his lover’s brush.