It Takes a Village

to implicate itself into a dramatist’s
artistic enterprise. He needs a practiced cast
of actors mimicking the villain who persists
in compromising him; a B-Girl from the past,
and lacerating catcalls from his former plays
on women who were too untutored to applaud
his early drafts. They’re texts that might see better days.
and dividends from more empathic souls he’s awed.
Till then, there’s less a chance that he will break a leg
before an ill-considered coterie of snobs,
than that the audience might take him down a peg
or 2, cause writer’s block and make him forgo jobs
to mainstream members of his literary art,
accommodated for the chestnuts they impart.

The real producers of the drama we call life
are not its actors, or the writers who were moved
to put it on the page. Deft critics note the strife
bards suffer at the hands of those who disapproved
of their propensities–behind harsh scenes we’ve not
been privy to. They know the insults they’ve endured
to bring to term the twists and turnings of a plot.
with so much mayhem. Craft dramatically assured
protagonists of agency these playwrights were
denied. And so we have assassins, shrews and thief,
the womanizing cad and ruthless saboteur.
Such varied characters they’ve brought into relief
through influences that will never make their stage
appearance, nor receive their reasonable wage.

Frank De Canio was born and bred in New Jersey, and worked in New York for many years. He's been published in Danger, Pleiades, Genie, Write On!, Red Owl, Blue Unicorn, Ship of Fools, and Dissident Voice among others, He loves music from Bach to Amy Winehouse. Shakespeare is his consolation, writing his hobby. As poets, he likes Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, and Sylvia Plath. He also attends a Café Philo every other week in Lower Manhattan. Read other articles by Frank.