Poets are Present is a poetry residency in conjunction with David Ives’s adaptation of The Metromaniacs. As part of this unique theatre/poetry exchange, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is proud to host more than 30 D.C.-area poets in the theatre’s lobby. Throughout the run, we will share with you the poems that this residency inspired our guests to write. Visit our Poets are Present page to see a list of upcoming poets.
Bob Blair is a former English Lit major who, after five years with the Peace Corps in Thailand, transformed himself via academic chrysalis into an economist. Since 2008, however, he has returned to his caterpillar heritage by facilitating weekly poetry workshops at Miriam’s Kitchen. His work has appeared in Sojourners, Poet Lore and Split This Blog.
By Bob Blair
Place-bound and time-bound, the play begins
its cycle of glittering transformations.
Scene repeats script, and the theater changes.
The actors, alchemists of the dark,
speak words at the sound of which
in the seats out front enter the play
themselves – finding a sudden rightness,
a satisfaction that suffices.
Metromaniacs: A Review
By Bob Blair
Mon Dieu, the pace is blistering,
At every turn a twistering,
Mademoiselle needs mistering —
A Po-Mo comedy!
Part Cyrano meets Juliet
Part Groucho Marx, and so we get
A literary mash-up set
In upper-crust Pah-ree.
A plot that’s vintage Looney-Tunes,
With elegantly-clad buffoons,
Dim dilettantes with silver spoons,
All spouting poetry.
Guys and dolls gone incognito,
Nom de plume, inflamed libido,
In allegro con spirito!
And Eros on a spree.
In crazy couplet-driven speech,
Anachronistic puns that breech
Good taste, contending rivals preach
In ribald repartee.
Poetic pere prepares a play
To speed his daughter’s wedding day,
Hoping the bookish babe will say:
This beau’s the man for me.
Updating Will’s midsummer’s dream,
A puckish pastoral, a stream
Of bachelors who plot and scheme,
– high-test absurdity.
Confusions, contretemps and cheers,
Pointed pokes at Brittany’s spears,
Guffaws galore and laughter’s tears.
Fantabulous? Mais, oui!
[Author’s note: Invisible Accomplices draws on language from two Wallace Stevens poems: “Human Arrangement” and “Of Modern Poetry.” Metromaniacs: A Review was inspired by David Ives brilliantly paced zany couplets and Adam “Mad Elf” LeFevre’s poetry workshop. Like Francalou, I wrote it for a laugh. Also,“Po-Mo” is lit slang for postmodern.]