The King Is Dead—Long Live the King: A Poem by David Rogers

When he fights the dragon
Beowulf assumes he can still win
even after the blood begins to boil from his veins
and steam rises from the dragonfire
You don’t get into fights like this
by thinking too much
or he’d have brought better weapons
and more warriors to help
even a magician to confuse the dragon
let the beast consume its own ouroboric tail
and where are the fool the jester
the enchanted artisans dusted with fairy mist
and engaged to make simple remarks filled
with profound meaning

There are yet no universities no Latin scholars
no libraries just the poet
who memorizes as she watches and plucks
a string or two on the harp no parchment needed
the words and notes live in the air
not on dead animal skin
The poet exaggerates the lizard or two
and the poisonous serpent
that finally give the senile king the gift of mortality
These will do as well as a dragon
because this poet knows her craft
how to tell the people what they want to hear
even when they do not know they want it
The only magic is the spell
she casts on listening ears
but magic works best when amplified
by harp music, charred meat, firelight, and mead
The serpent rattles and is gone
the lizard scuttles away
the dragon settles into its place in history and legend
and curls up for a nap

Michael Parks

I never noticed that Tarantino’s Esteban and Twin Peaks’ Jean Renault are played by the same actor, Michael Parks, until I looked Parks up after reading his and others’ comments in Brad Dukes’ Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks. Interesting actor, and an interesting character in his own right.

. . . And another reason to love Stephen King–

Regarding the Trump candidacy, Stephen King said “Yeah, I understand it, but I don’t go along with it,” states this committed Democrat. “There are a lot of people that are p***ed off with the system here. It’s kinda like everything’s come to a stop. And the American people feel that the body politic needs a strong laxative, and they see Donald Trump as that laxative – something to get things moving again.

“Unfortunately,” he adds, a grim note in his voice, “the sort of things that he says he’s going to do appeal to the worst in the American psyche. The idea that we’re not going to allow any of those nasty immigrants into the country, and we’re going to build a wall between the United States and Mexico – which is ridiculous!” he exclaims. “I mean, how well did that work for the Communists in Berlin? Not so good, right?”

Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks

Brad Dukes’ Reflections, based on what must be hundreds of hours of interviews Dukes conducted, is such a good book. Recommended for any Peaks fan–I’d say even the most knowledgeable fan is likely to learn something from it. Richard Beymer wrote a book. Queen Elizabeth is a fan of the show. The funeral scene is the one and only scene that features the entire “regular cast.” And so on. Check it out!