Imagine them told not to play
the only roles they understand.
Imagine them not having a script.
Nakedly standing there
without uniform or costume; understand
that they’ve been told to improvise,
that the play they’ve always played
is being shuttered.
They are just going to stand there
or grab a chair and sit down,
bury their heads in their hands or
pretend there is sand
and put their heads there.
More than a few
will grab props and lash out
with knives, guns, clubs: whatever
they can remember has worked
in the past to advance the action.
Poor things. Can’t say
that I blame them entirely,
or do not understand. Not every actor
develops a pure agency after having lived
as another’s dirty agent for a lifetime.
It doesn’t mean
we don’t still need them
to be swept from the stage
as soon as possible so we can
bring that curtain down
now. Not in due time,
not in a generation.
Now. Not eventually. Now.