Shakespeare’s Trump, Act III, Scenes I-II

Scene I

Enter JASON in alley.


I cannot breathe for bile in bubbling lungs,

And I, physician, have no remedy.

Again, again, the President doth claim

Our sole healthcare achievement of this age

Is but a tenpin to be overturn’d.

And finally he seems to bowl a strike,

With Senate votes sufficient for his aim

Save only one, Republican McCain’s,

Who hems and haws with th’ill and injur’d’s lives

Whilst basking in the limelight he had lost.

My furnace hath no vent. Patients I need,

So patience I must in hospital show

Lest inhospitability ruin me.

I have a son each second Saturday,

And should I wish to check that privilege,

I’d merely need to slacken once my reins

Upon the snarling lycanthrope within

That stirs each time my child saith “Mommy saith,”

And then intones some Fox-fed falsity.



Black rage brings retribution dark and swift,

While white ire, scarcely seen, gets longer shrift.


What dost you here, sir? Have you friend to meet?

This wynd can be unsafe when walk’d alone.

JASON (aside).

Self-disembowel’d soul! I suicide!

Vexation plain upon my brow hath plac’d

Me ’midst the bull’s-eye rings. Sing high, my throat,

And let me not dyspepsic odor belch.

(to OFFICER). I beg your pardon, sir. My thoughts did rove.

As did my ankles. Exeunt us all!



I see his fear, and though it doth mistake

My purpose, I cannot yet say it errs.

For others similarly uniform’d

Would make his form no form for no offense

Save mere unfenc’d existence. Sense demands

He run, yet running isolates us both,

Himself to others likewise unpolic’d

And me to those who honor not our vows

To serve and to protect. I am disarm’d;

Unpunish’d crimes hath many victims harm’d.


Scene II

JOHN MCCAIN, enfeebled, sits in his backyard. Enter MITCH MCCONNELL.


Who’s there?


’Tis Mitch McConnell.




’Tis Mitch.


I think I know a colleague by that name,

But e’en before this brain grew tumorous,

I found DCists unremarkable,

Their ev’ry statement echo of their king’s.

Do jog my memory with speech that’s thine,

Not merely party’s, if thou have thine own.


McCain, thou relishest a feinting jest,

And though the Democrats hath label’d me

As Muscovite, Cocaine-Head, Reaper Grim,

I’ll not spoil a condemn’d man’s final meal.

But I know thou retainest dagger-wit

And knowest who I am and why I come.


To plead with me to cast my vote t’repeal,

And what repeal, I need not specify.

To claim the very healthcare I enjoy

And owe my moments of lucidity

Must now be ended.


If we must be fools,

Then let our japes be scrapes revealing truth.

We only chop this tree to seed new growth

Inform’d by proper capitalist thought.

No senator shall e’er have common needs;

We judge the working classes from afar.

But socialism poisons all our dreams,

Re-leashing worst to best, and most to least.


Our ideologies do out-age us,

Acquiring wrinkles deeper than our brows’.

I have held dear those Reagan-verses too,

And thought Obamacare hubristic smoke,

But Arizonan carcinologists

Have their own views. One’s ne’er too old to learn,

And ’tis the small we large should represent.


If principle shan’t move thee, think on this:

Trumpcare will null Obama, who did snatch

Thy Presidential chances in oh-eight.

Thy alphabetic neighbor, in thy name,

Wilt send his legislation whence it came.


“Trumpcare”? This oxymoron portmanteau

Would rouse such laughter as t’my lungs collapse,

Unless thou meanest “care” as “worries borne”!

Thou’rt not my neighbor, Mitch. Thou dost forget

McCaskill, the Missouri Democrat,

Whom e’en this leaky vessel still recalls.

But thou hast long been blind t’the other side,

Uncrossing chicken in a half-told joke.

Such clarity I find it brings to me,

Our legislators should try death themselves.

Not all at once, sir-rev’rence: five or six

Whom their constituents, I have no doubt,

Would nominate for such an honor if

They had the chance.


Thy hour grows late, McCain.

Wilt thou not write the climax to thy life?


The Lord hath written that, and long ago,

I fear, those like thee hath mistook its theme.

I wander’d bomber-clad in Vietnam

And fell to prison, where I tortures bore,

I found continued army service balm,

Bur I made peace that we’d not win the war.

I wander’d to the Senate, my mind freed,

And oft from party ranks I wander’d out:

I like those never captur’d by a creed

Or by a demagogue’s demanding shout.

I wander’d twice to Presidential run,

And though my losses froze my face as scowl,

My foes, more than our “friend,” full fairly won.

I shan’t refight wars lost for causes foul.

To live, Mitch, is to lose. One must accept

Such loss and wander on or be o’erswept.


Writer of comics, crosswords and all manner of things.

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