Shakespeare’s Trump, Act I, Scene III

Enter STEVE BANNON.

BANNON.

I will destroy the state, as Lenin would.

They hurt us most who try to keep us safe,

Who smother rude man’s nature in ideals.

Such ivy-thoughts, invasive species, grow

Uncheck’d, trans-potted from their native soil,

From university to universe.

Trust fear. God comforts, Satan gets things done.

The Babel-speak of bureaucrats and banks,

Bores, humble-braggarts, bubbled bottomless,

So feign no shock the market elsewhere look’d.

I nail’d my theses to their church’s door.

Dimensionless they plodded right and left,

While I emblazon’d trails alternative

To low directions. My geometry,

Call’d heresy by orthodoxy pale,

Attracted followers like curvèd space

Einsteinian. Hot commentators’ air

Doth fuel our suns; we own those we oppose.

I shall not judge the company I keep,

For such adjudication would begin

With him who hath not read the book he wrote.

’Twas such advice as left my father ruin’d,

His thirty years of savings turn’d to smoke,

But Don is tool to me, as I to him,

His mind a shelf to store my old hardbacks

’Til full, it hardens, infrastructure firm.

But whisht, he comes.

Enter TRUMP with STEPHEN MILLER, JARED KUSHNER, and IVANKA TRUMP.

TRUMP.

Was ever any man

Abus’d, entrap’d so cruelly as I?

Of all the slights I have so meekly borne,

This is the greatest!

BANNON.

What’s the matter here?

MILLER.

We’re on all sides beset, as usual!

BANNON.

Then tell me, what is here unusual?

TRUMP.

The Presidential burgers undercook’d!

MILLER.

’Tis immigrants to blame. That chef’s skin wafts

Mephitis foreign into native nose.

BANNON (to MILLER).

Let us retire for now, my protégé.

’Tis not yet time to bury lasting roots.

For certain buzzing minds, the last thought voic’d

Seems truest. Let Javanka us precede.

MILLER (to BANNON).

I thank thee for thy counsel, as I have

Since early days at Breitbart. Let’s away.

(aside)

But “protégé?” Such Spanish-sounding sop

Is hissing in my ears. He reads too much.

Exeunt BANNON and MILLER.

IVANKA.

I thought mine medium; my palate must

Be less refin’d than his whom we all trust.

TRUMP.

Make haste! My dearest friend is soon t’arrive!

Text, Jared! Have McDonnell fry a feast

We can rechristen “Trump Steaks” in their buns.

JARED (taking out phone).

I obey, but I must clarify, is’t McDonnell to text,

Or McDonald’s? ’Tis easy to err in this; I may mishear.

At the end of the day, our own Don overpowers all Dons

In our hearts and our minds: the Don One, or perhaps the Don Juan?

TRUMP.

Ha! Sooth. I am the burgers’ king enthron’d,

And freckl’d Wendy kneels, devours my chuck!

JARED begins to tap on phone.

IVANKA.

Oh, Father! Thou art jester more than king!

I would the world could see thee through my eyes,

My memories of China dolls thou’dst bring

From trips in search of Asian merchandise.

Though ne’er a man was e’er more man than thou,

Arts womanly they taught me in my crib,

While namesake Mother’s model was enow

To silver-spoon my nurture in my bib.

In time, thou’dst bring yet other models home

To play or keep, and through them all, I learn’d

How easily displeasur’d hands may roam,

How woman’s place in this world must be earn’d.

And yet, thou makest me a girl once more,

Immortaliz’d am I as heretofore.

TRUMP.

Thou art the best of me, my vulture-dove,

For in thy face I see my former love

In days she rous’d more than my shock’d disgust.

Thou rose upon her wither’d flesh robust,

Capitalistic’ly drank dry the wine

Of all she was, with greed that prov’d thou mine.

This old man’s loins hath unexpected woke

T’recapture what they hath produc’d. I joke.

IVANKA.

Thou doddypoll clodpate! Thou’lt make me shriek

With laughter unbecoming our mystique!

JARED puts phone away.

JARED (aside).

Understanding this Smyrnan tomfoolery, t’was my first test

As prospective inheritor-son, so be silent, my breast.

At the end of the day, it is power decides what is jest.

Bullion number’d in billions will numb thinking hearts to the rest.

IVANKA.

As payment for thy prank, I ask a boon:

Wilt thou look over my proposal soon?

For fam’ly leave and justice for the gaol’d

Are causes we anon would see re-rail’d.

I know to some thou must be cruel yet,

But show thy kind to those who think thou threat.

TRUMP.

I shan’t resist! Let thy demands be met.

IVANKA.

How sweet and meet! Come, Jared, let’s meat get.

Exeunt IVANKA and JARED. Enter BANNON and MILLER, at a distance from TRUMP.

BANNON.

Now, fellow-Steve, observe uncommon sight.

Ivanka is a mellower of mood

Upon the Don. He almost gentle looks.

But soon the orange fire shall ochre-flare.

And thou, my pupil, shall direct that flame

Through engines of construction. Build more walls

Within his heart.

MILLER.

Wilt thou not join me, then?

BANNON.

I must have care now not to o’er-appear.

The hated press hath taken note of me

And fram’d me as the hand behind the throne.

Of all the sins the Donald shan’t forgive,

Foremost is to outshine him. Many have

Made daggers for me, but, saith common sense,

Because our common name marks common cause —

The rescue of our nation from the hordes

Invading day by day — thou’lt do my will;

Thou couldst not not and be thyself.

Exit BANNON.

MILLER (aside).

Why choose?

Betrayal and alliance coexist

In circumstances far less dire than these.

(to TRUMP) You seem becalm’d, sire. Hath the coup been quell’d?

TRUMP.

Oh, aye, ’tis all resolv’d. McDonaldLand,

My very peer in 1980s gold,

Shall our repast provide. I must recall

My class, and better temper hot caprice.

MILLER.

And yet,

The times oft call for rage’s spitting grease,

Lest our own guts be pink as girlish dress.

As men, we act that gentlemen may be.

That foreign chef has serv’d for thirty years,

Far long enough to grow self-satisfied.

Let leaner, hungry cooks supplant his place.

I trust no hires but ours, nay, not yet those.

TRUMP.

I tutor’d all my spawn to trust no one,

And some hath learnt that lesson, some hath not.

Dismiss him, then; hire in his place a pure

American; thou know’st the sort I mean.

MILLER.

Shall I expand this wise decision wide

To wiser policy? More foreigners

And deadwood we could clear.

TRUMP.

Thou sayest sooth.

I marvel how so few care as thou dost.

American-Americans, it seems,

Are known to only thy and Bannon’s eyes.

MILLER.

I mull his dedication to that cause.

He broach’d it first, but power’s corpulence

Doth occupy his frame with growing weight.

The hand that rocks the throne, he claims he’s call’d;

Our banner’s cannon, yet thought-surfeit damps

His gunpowder to mush. His name’s half n,

A no for ev’ry yes lies in his words.

TRUMP.

His brains indeed may overcrowded be

If misremembers he such basic facts

As who is President. I do not care

If one thinks “yes,” thinks not, thinks paradox,

So long as he doth serve. All serve me now,

From dung-stain’d janitor to Michael Pence —

Enter CHRISTOPHER of the President’s secret service.

CHRISTOPHER.

Your guest arrives.

TRUMP.

Ah! Tell him I’ll hie thence!

Exeunt omnes.

Writer of comics, crosswords and all manner of things.

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