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[On Taking up a Seat at] Will’s Old Desk


I was his ‘ere you presumed upon us

Another’s ‘fore he used me for his rime

My surface a mere prop for men’s imagining

Like their fine words, I’m borrowed out of time.


But oh! The burden of the words I bore from him!

The scratching of that pen, pounding of his fist

In quest of some fresh taste, some simple sound, less fury

To do full justice to the expropriated silence.


What was the question, though?

Reams of parchment he rubbished

sorting out what is to be, or not––

To what great matter?


All the world’s a stage 

And you gentles are but players on it

Wherefore think you he was Romeo,

Different from his band of brothers? Or you?


Kings are a farce, 

Justice an illusion,

Loyalty a fool’s solace,

Belief is what you wish.


Lend me your ears––

     Men are nasty, brutish, oafish, asinine

     Women frivolous, fickle, froward, shrewish

Hah! What brave new world, indeed, that has such creatures in it!


Are you not all men, do you not bleed?

Take care then what liberties you claim 

Sitting here, pen and words in hand

In the winter of your discontent.

 © Philip Knight 2018