Donavon's poems have appeared, or are soon to appear, in: Spork, Barnstorm, The Fiddleback,
Prick of the Spindle, Oak Bend Review, Juked, The Montucky Review, 3:AM, Anti-, Arch,
Anemone Sidecar, Pedestal, WordRiot, MiPOesias, Stirring, Evergreen Review, Barnwood,
and many others. He received his MFA from Goddard and currently lives in Vermont where he
teaches writing at the Community College of Vermont.


Scene I

In which Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
reveal no root of Hamlet's distraction

You cannot measure one breath
the body holds
as a means to curry favors
to steal from the rich and give to the poor
at the dark end of a street
the weight of the world
just between you and me
it's beyond our control
everything in moderation
to imagine a time when things were simple
the story begins and ends
somewhere between a glass of water and sleep
a breath becomes the only act of faith
to know just how far we can go before returning
the appearance of a child's hand
to be smaller than the world
I can tell you only what I know
just between you and me
a slip of the tongue can be see through
before you breathe a word
nothing lasts forgiveness
you carry the rest of your days

Scene II

In which Hamlet discloses
the undiscovered country

These halls are haunted
ladies of the night
dying in child birth
once upon a time
you want to live forever
the sum of its parts cannot be divided
between the devil and the deep blue sea
there, there
you can only save yourself from yourself
caught in a compromising position
the fix is in
the same time and same place
no good deed goes unpunished
before we get our stories straight
we carried our fair share of arrows
telegraphed by a geometry of rain
the Heavens fell on us
the breadth of each touch
rejoicing in each other's sheaves
I felt God on the installment plan
to say I had it coming was an understatement
getting even meant getting the hell out of here
before the landlady knows the rent is due
she was fond of saying
a penny saved is a penny earned
it doesn't matter which eye they're placed over
you have to look both ways to see someone else
ex gratia
ex nihilo
I took back the night
I came, I saw, I concurred

Scene III

In which Hamlet refuses
Ophelia's paintings

before the Devil knows you're dead
to the point of no return
the point is well taken
on a empty stomach or between meals
say my name
like the back of your hand
hard as nails
backwards and forwards
like a thief in the night
leave everything broken but untouched
compliments of the house
I'll call you tomorrow
to be on the safe side
I will act like I don't know you
get that far away look in your eyes
you missed your calling
all cars arrived too late
it takes one to know one
breaking even just to win
I'll call you if I hear anything
cross my heart and hope to die
you haven't already thought of
while you can still walk out of here
expect it when you least expect it

Scene IV

In which Hamlet
sends in the clowns

do as I say, not as I do
to separate the men from the boys
in an accidental overdose
my work fell into public domain
to be continued
without a fucking clue
a theory of violence became popular reference points
a comedian could ply his trade
over the counter with a discount
in case anyone thinks otherwise
he too is interested in something that can make him sleep
to be continued
for Chrissake
one in a million can actually sing in the shower
without the benefit of the doubt
they are dying in some private way
only children can master the universe
without being taken seriously
they can get away with it
in a fun house of mirrors
we call the hospital
several rooms of light
gods in our own image wake
with the power to heal our laughter
we find ourselves struggling to get out
cleaving and bending our bodies
in sickness and in health
till death do us part

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