Shakespeare’s Trump, Act I, Scene IV

Enter VLADIMIR PUTIN and GREGOR, his attendant and minister of lies.

PUTIN.

Intelligence of foreigners

Was sixteen years my trade, but ne’er

Did I such unintelligence

Expect as twenty-sixteen show’d.

But now our word-war turns. For years,

Our comrade-wolf hath flaunted wealth

And claim’d t’enrich its populace

In rushing race to gold and God,

While starving Russians stood in line.

“Sam’s” superheroes straddled screens

And own’d imaginations young.

They were the envy of the world.

E’en Gorbachev glar’d mesmeriz’d

By Ronalds, Reagan and McD,

Whose smiles child-friendly hungers hid.

GREGOR.

Хуй Gorbachev, that garbage-chief!

PUTIN.

Nyet, Gregor, disregard not him

Who disregarded fail’d ideals

To carve survival for the state.

Had we been he, his errors ours,

We’d know no better. History,

Of those who think themselves above

Its ebb and flow, makes flotsam-draff.

GREGOR.

View mercifully me as well.

I fear my prowess is not praise.

I know my role as arsonist,

My sharp-tongu’d fingers cracking whips

On flesh of foes of Motherland

Invisibly, so welts are blam’d

Upon one’s fellows. As you say,

His errors errors were.

PUTIN.

Indeed.

Unrussianing ourselves, we fell,

Relinquish’d might for openness,

Abandon’d “S.R.” t’imitate

A “U.S.” we could never be.

Though time hath proven state-laid chains

’Pon markets futile, uncontrol

Can be a tyrant crueler.

Corp’rations larger, fewer grow

If sour czar-stare checks them not.

Fear oligarchs, and learn their fears.

Exploit the strongest’s weakest points.

Such lessons I have e’er applied,

And no more useful they have been

Than now, when love of capital

Hath caus’d mercurial uplift

Of plutocrat of lower case.

GREGOR.

Some few would hold my hot-stir’d hates,

Bespatter’d through the poison’d web,

Responsible as much as love,

But not we two. We know’t untrue.

So nyet, I’ll not knot Net to-night.

Electing naught, I idly lie.

Enter CHRISTOPHER.

CHRISTOPHER.

Sir President, our President will be

With pleasant presents present presently.

Exit.

GREGOR.

A velvet composition, that.

Its authorship doth not seem Trump’s.

PUTIN.

The individual roams free

Throughout this land, interpreting

E’en its most powerful’s commands,

A rank disease that some, not we,

May label deep conspiracy.

Enter TRUMP and CHRISTOPHER, the latter setting up a tray of cheeseburgers.

TRUMP.

Apologies, apologies, my liege!

My peer, I pray you! Most prestigious peer!

I hope you have not long thumb-twiddled here,

For well I know velocity’s the star

You chase in motorcycle or racecar.

Sit! Eat! Relax! Relax! We’ll have a feast

And soothe the growling of your bear-breast’s beast!

All but CHRISTOPHER begin to eat.

PUTIN (aside).

I know wherefore these blandishments,

And yet he so o’er-plays the toad

I cannot but suspect some ruse.

Perhaps this cow-flesh, Gorbi’s bane,

Is meant t’recall past victories

In economic sphere? Unknown.

Men oft let sides remain unshown.

CHRISTOPHER (aside).

’Tis novelty to see a president

In thought once more, a sight I once beheld

As often as the rustling of the leaves.

But Putin, put no calculation in

When plumbing whom I serve for crevasse-mud.

Here, Occam’s razor outcome’s master is:

The simplest explanation’s ever his.

TRUMP.

I beg you, catechize me politics,

For your approval rating doubles mine

Though we are changelings both: once-Democrat

And ne’er an office-holder I arriv’d,

While you defied your namesake-Vladimir,

Eschew’d the communistic Lenin-oath

So many others took and are yourself.

PUTIN.

I serve the state. But my advice

Is t’grind all opposition flat.

Beg none. Show weakness not. Clench firm.

Authoritarian instinct

Hath guided thee to where thou art.

Let it remain thy compass-point.

Let no tradition stay thy hand:

Traditions are of human thoughts,

And better thinkers can be found.

GREGOR (aside). Who doth not wish for critic’s praise

For trotting ere-trod bridlepaths?

Such puffery a narcissist

Could make of e’en a plebian.

PUTIN.

Opprobrium thus perishes.

To make approval fill its void,

Humanity display’d with care

Can magnetize. Golf less. Jog more.

Climb mountains. Lift barbells. Flex hard.

Take in a dog to show thy love.

I gainèd four, and questions of

My ended marriage disappear’d

Like newsmen Novichok-besmear’d.

TRUMP.

I will adopt an athlete’s manner true

And eighty German shepherds for the yard!

CHRISTOPHER.

Some miniscule complexity

May now illuminate such simple speech.

For I believe Trump doth himself believe

This moment, yet his mind will shortly change.

GREGOR (aside).

Now we establish dominance,

For no more could cheeseburger-man

Scale peaks than I could drink the seas.

Uncertain who will triumph, we

Lose naught by pitting Trump ’gainst ace.

If he should fall, still shall he lead

Our foe t’internal squabbling.

If not, we Russify this land,

Exporting cynic-thoughts like shale

As USA once sought t’export

Democracy to all the world.

Belief in better chokes to death

With aid of one who can’t abide

Belief in better than himself.

PUTIN.

To aid thee brings me happiness,

But thou art businessman; thou know’st

My acts I must cost-justify.

What canst thou offer in return?

TRUMP.

O, much! Trump’s friends reap benefits untold!

Ask Betsy DeVos! Ask Rex Tillerson!

And for such quo, I’ll offer no mere quid.

Here, Christopher! Pull up the list of names

Of U.S. agents who now operate

In Russian lands. They’re lice he’d wish to scratch.

CHRISTOPHER (aside).

What, what is this? High treason from on high?

I summon quickest wit, to save our friends!

(to TRUMP) I fear uncommon difficult that is.

In ouroboros cryptological,

Security hath chang’d the password key

And classified the person who would know

That password with another password phrase.

TRUMP.

Black bureaudemocrats! They tape my hands

In blood-incarnadine adhesive bands!

PUTIN.

Then snap thy bonds to show thy strength.

Our recompense for secrets kept

Hath waited long. It rests for now.

But mark: no blood, no tape, hath red

Of purer shade than Russian flag

Or hatted, rude Republican.

That hottest hue unites us proud,

Of highest wavelength, rainbow-crest.

Be red, then, passion’s heady wine.

If matchest thou its bold brick-flame

By action, I shall call thee friend.

TRUMP.

I shall!

GREGOR.

Another red is ink of debt,

And TRUMP and PRESIDENT’s graphemes

Remix t’RED MR. PUTIN’S PET.

Was’t four fur-babes? ’Tis five, it seems.

Exeunt PUTIN and GREGOR.

TRUMP (to CHRISTOPHER).

Thou vomit-hearted loon! Hast thou no shame?

Thou hast embarrass’d thy whole nation-state!

How darest thou inform me not of this?

CHRISTOPHER (aside).

Mellifluity, smooth my trembling lips.

Though flattery I do not often speak,

My station now depends on honey’d words,

And through it, lives of others I’ve preserv’d.

(to TRUMP). Who could anticipate your stratagem?

’Tis President-unprecedented. O,

The Oval Officer who came before,

Would ne’er conceive such moves, nor W,

Whom he succeeded. Both would likewise gape,

Numbjawèd W-O-W

Their only verdict. Had we ere discuss’d

This plan, I could have been more help to you.

TRUMP

Thy brains of dung I shan’t forgive, thou slave!

My lawyers I would set upon thy house,

But I am sure thy laughable career

Hath made thou pauper. Find that password phrase!

CHRISTOPHER (aside).

How can one so experienc’d in lies

Not yet have pierc’d such quick-weave, threadbare veil?

So long as he doubts not my scribbled art,

I have a chance. (to TRUMP) My President, all shall

Be as you will, if will should fixt remain.

Unstable times require non-stable mind,

Wild as a Twitter feed or twister freed,

Yet stable too, quite stable, geniusly.

If contradictory this doth appear,

That showeth virgin thought hath not approach’d

Trump’s stable-mind to feel his horses’ breath.

TRUMP.

Belated wisdom from a humble serf.

I am so oft misunderstood, it seems

Savants alone do brilliance recognize.

I have forgot, dost thou recall my wish?

CHRISTOPHER.

Return th’uneaten burgers to the staff,

To sate their pangs?

TRUMP.

That doth not sound like me.

Perhaps ’twas unimportant. Thou’rt dismiss’d.

CHRISTOPHER.

I thank you, sir, for making me your tool.

For though this be the land of politics,

House staff are as mute rods commanders rule

In measurement or use as walking sticks

When, in the heart o’the storm, great men grow tir’d.

TRUMP.

Impliest thou I need such crutch? Thou’rt fir’d!

Exeunt omnes.

Writer of comics, crosswords and all manner of things.

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