Creative Writing: No History for the Kings of Britain

Geoffrey of Monmouth tells a story half-true
when he says, or he said, “Cordelia—
she will rule if I can make it so; so
deserving of it, as she is, and Leir burial
(spelling the name wrongly) in a Janus tomb
blessing the river above it etc.
A happy end: then the girl will kill herself
because her sisters’ offspring want her throne.
I have read this in the Historia Brittonum.”

His may be British history, but it is not so
events pass in discordance with the floor
of world we live on. Death arrives at the right one.
Cordelia and Lear cradle each other in my head
as a matter of habit. Birds scream.
Goneril and Regan are without heirs, both dying.
Edmund too, good at last. Kent must say no,
whoever these guys are. And that’s proper.

Thus the history of an island disappears —uninhabited
before it was even written. The ancestral line cut
off because the tone is correct. For beneath true war
the bunker of utter loss, of light and darkness,
shadows a small mouth. Always, always
seeking, it says, to sing and end the world,
if not then, now. (This I don’t tell my producer.)

Featured Image Credit: Csongor Kemény