@ 27.105 MHz: Stellarings; Review Of A Recent Theatrical Performance

I asked the Chief Stage Manager, "How can

"one of the characters depicted know

"the name of this enactment?  Would this call

"into question thus theater's 'fourth wall?'"

He could not answer.  Curtains rose, and time,

that we control, stopped during the whole play---

its first and last performance.  Prose and rhyme

deployed the words that, with us, had their way:

no angels--us, we laughed or turned a squirm

in our disgust at some love scenes we saw:

from our entropic booths, none screamed, "Good show!"

How could a minor character, called Poe,

have claimed this was a tragedy called, "Man?"

bad comic clown slaughtered by just a worm!

" . . .the play is the tragedy, "Man,"

and its hero, the Conqueror Worm."

---E. A. Poe, "The Conqueror Worm"


Author's Notes/Comments: 

Following the example of Roger Corman's film, Masque Of The Red Death (1964), I placed my substantiating epigraph at the end, rather than the beginning, of my poem.

Despite Poe's poem's details, I imagined the play being more like the twelve hours (or so) of Ambassador Paul Claudel's supreme play, The Satin Slipper.


The booths of the eleventh line was inspired, I think, by the columnar containers enclosing the ancient Martians, in the film, The Wizard Of Mars (1965).

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