Summer 1963 • Vol. XXV No. 3 Poetry |

The Prologue in the Dressing Room

Arthur M. Sampley THE PROLOGUE IN THE DRESSING ROOM There are so many brilliant ways to die: Prometheus with God's scalpels in his guts, Or Galileo quartered on the sky, Or Darwin dangling from his occiputs, Or Freud impaled upon his incubi. What am I offered by Quizmaster Sphinx: Will you have a going kingdom, sight unseen, Love what the world has loved upon the screen, Prince of Monaco, will you meet the press For boxtops or for votes . . . for saying yes And tap your way out of the gate of Thebes? Our fates are written in invisible inks. There are indeed so many ways, so many. A cross perhaps would do as well as any, Only that style is somewhat out of fashion, Bloody and inefficient, rousing pity . . . I might walk down the wrong side of the city In the wrong skin . . . For Easter I could wear A crown of thorns upon my marcelled hair Bashed, like a statesman's, by a boomerang. I lack the words, perhaps I lack the passion In all my deaths, for none of them is tragic. Against whate

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