Play On Words

You said you were making a play
for me; a twist of script, ink
on the typewriter’s ribbon, some dramatis
personae, and some cue cards.

We held auditions. We staged
some pages of rehearsal,
and after mixing our scripts
we had something like a scene.

Parallel lines: I was reading
in a different room, in a different
theatre, in another province.
The managers couldn’t cope.

The revival is better: surfacing,
the critics said, after long years
of neglect. We appeared
in a car park, improvising

like troupers. It wasn’t like
acting at all. There were no hard
lines. Not since the seventies
have we seen anything like it.

Great notices. The houses
full of applause. The dialogue
in particular was terrific.
The show must go on.

From the book Looks Familiar