Lisa Mednick Powell

NOv 20 Poetry Blast

Willie Shakespeare was The Man, OK? Here is a passage from Romeo and Juliet that I like. Romeo asks the druggist to sell him his worst poison. The druggist tells him that he has some really kick-ass poison, but is forbidden by law to sell it to anyone. Romeo implies that a person as poor as the druggist could starve to death anyway, so he might as well go against the law. Then (this is the best part) Romeo more than implies that money is the true poison in this world. He’s right, of course. And so, this is for the plutocracy who control the outcome of our moment in the voting booth--which is the single moment of equality most of us will experience in our lives--because they choose what the corporate media tell us every day. And when fewer and fewer people have access to affordable quality education, are the people to blame for not having the wherewithal to analyze the news feed they do receive? Just sayin’--if 100% of the 99% were better educated, then maybe we would have a chance. But what good would that do the jolly 1%? A truly informed public must be their biggest fear. Oh, and by the way, get over that "was-Shakespeare-a-fraud" thing. Shakespeare wrote this and thunk it up all by himself. No committee or lawyer could come up with such wisdom and express it with such wit. ROMEO Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor: Hold, there is forty ducats: let me have A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear As will disperse itself through all the veins That the life-weary taker may fall dead And that the trunk may be discharged of breath As violently as hasty powder fired Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb. Apothecary Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law Is death to any he that utters them. ROMEO Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness, And fear'st to die? famine is in thy cheeks, Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes, Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back; The world is not thy friend nor the world's law; The world affords no law to make thee rich; Then be not poor, but break it, and take this. Apothecary My poverty, but not my will, consents. ROMEO I pay thy poverty, and not thy will. Apothecary Put this in any liquid thing you will, And drink it off; and, if you had the strength Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight. ROMEO There is thy gold, worse poison to men's souls, Doing more murders in this loathsome world, Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell. I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none... And...while we are in the theater, let's watch this: P.S. To make up for the lack of poetry last week (I was visiting family old and young in California), I will be sending a Thanksgiving/ Black Friday bonus poem later this week.