that escape
sculpture of the world
it has begun
the world to explore
this could all be true
what if Shakespeare had been a woman
the forgotten legion
address: the great unknown

that escape
someone please show me
the exit
from which i can leave.
if you would lead me
so that i may escape,
to allow myself the freedom
i so need.
i wish not so much
as to leave,
but as to be able
to breath.

Is there some hole
Where I can escape to,
Away from all
That I cannot handle,
And all
That wishes not
To handle me?
I cannot relate,
So let me retreat.
I am confused,
And afraid.

sculpture of the world
Can I create a world
Which interests others,
Where desires are quenched
And fears extinguished?

Can I design a civilization
Which acts on love,
Never rejecting?

Can I build a kingdom
Which runs by cooperation,
Where sharing
Is the best reward?

Can I sculpt
This world:
This clay in my mind
Which bends so easily under my dreams?

it has begun
If journeys can be said
to have a beginning,
then mine has just begun.

the world to explore
on these pages,
is the only way
that i can explore the world:
to transverse continents,
to cross oceans,
to soar across skies.
For on paper,
with its safe, college-ruled lines
anything can happen.

this could all be true
if the sky could decide
to rip apart
and fall down
all at one time,
then the rainstorms
that ravage my dreams
are possible.

if the choicest bits of beauty
from each and every woman
were to be pieced together
into a magnificent quilt
of passionate beauty,
then the woman
to whom i make love
in my fantasies
could be real.

if the most timid of desires
and the most gentle of passions
could be rolled up
and baked into a loaf
of love and caring,
then the feelings
that envelope me
in the midst
of a tranquil affair
in the world of my dreams,
could be true.

what if Shakespeare had been a woman?
Her name was Martha,
And she lived
With her husband Bill.
She was a "woman of the house"
Following her husband's rule,
While harboring inside
A desire to be more.
Or William
As he used for his pen name,
Attempted poetry,
But it never went very well.
Martha often came across
his works in progress
And tried finishing them.
Martha became enthralled
By the notion of writing,
So she began
Taking out more time
To write.
One day,
Bill came home
From the local pub
To find her writing.
He was appalled
To discover her writing.
He yelled
And he screamed,
She couldn't control herself,
And she stabbed him
With her pen.
He died
From the fatal wound.
She buried him in the woods.
For the rest of her life,
She kept herself in isolation,
Writing her sonnets
And her plays
All under her husband's name.
And she kept employed
A crafty old actor
Named Barnabas,
To play William
In public.

That William Shakespeare
was actually
Martha Shakespeare,
Should the names
Of those works be changed?
Should Hamlet
Become Hamletta?
Should Romeo & Juliet
Become Juliet & Romeo?
Should Othello
Become Desdemona?
Should MacBeth
Become Beth?
Why should any of it change,
Except to do away with
The male dominance
Imposed in our culture.
If Shakespeare
Wasn't a woman,
What about all of the writers
That were?

Should we make some retribution
To all of the wonders
We have lost
Due to our discrimination?
Why not just say
That Shakespeare
Was Martha,
So that we can dig up
That corpse
And let everything
Get better.
So that someday
In the future,
Someone may write
"What if Shakespeare,
Had been a man?"

dedicated to William "Shakespeare" Hendel

the forgotten legion
you can enlist in my army
for there surely is no draft.
any age is welcome
and any sex,
or creed.
i do not discriminate
for i can not eliminate.
the ranks of my troops
are empty,
the uniforms of my armies
are gone,
the rag-tag divisions
have deserted,

i do not evaluate,
i accept.
i do not contemplate,
i welcome.

i dream of the day
when the ranks of my platoon
will increase
to two.


and the world

address: the great unknown
forward all queries
to my new residence:
the great unknown.
pass all mail
into the vast emptiness
that lies just past
human perception,
and far past
curiosities' attention.
i have moved
to lands
of no substance,
to places
of no populace.
i have left
to a world
of unfamiliar neighborhoods.
total lifespan 17:01:20
flag burning
wilted rosepetals

American Freak Show. Copyright © 1991 by Matte Elsbernd. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission.