For Laura’s dVerse Meeting the Bar prompt “of poetry craft and critique, ‘to turn again, about turn again‘ we are employing the device of ‘epiphora/epistrophe’ which makes use of consecutive end line repeats of words or phrases. The optional extra is ‘Symploce’ – a consecutive repeat of first and final words.”
Laura points out that ‘epiphora’ is also “a medical term for excess tear production,” which can result from both comedy and tragedy. And so I have incorporated quotes from the classic Frank Capra film, “Arsenic and Old Lace,” to write a farce and an omen, reflecting perhaps something of the state of the world today.
In Melbourne one night I dreamed of you
Cold-eyed in June with summer roses hanging tough
Knew I’d meet you when the four horsemen rode
With plague and famine and war on their hooves
With plague-driven carts bouncing off their hooves.
The Brewster sisters? They’re like, they’re like pressed rose leaves
If you only knew the insanity beneath the lace
You’d crumble like a cinnamon coffee-cake
Only don’t tell them you’re unhappy
Not a whisper about being unhappy
My dear, there’ll be poison in the elderberry wine.
I’m not a cab driver I’m a coffee pot, who are you?
I’m not a Brewster, I’m adopted, pull up a tombstone
All I did was cross the bridge and I was in Brooklyn
Is it too much to ask you to stay with me, just follow along
You’ll get it and CHAAARGE!!! there won’t be any doubt
Operator, get me Happy Dale, and Niagara Falls? Well, let it!
The more you struggle, Mortimer, the more you strangle yourself
Sure, Dr. Einstein, just don’t watch any more Boris Karloff movies
Sure, sure, but Jonny, not the Melbourne Method, two hours!
And there are bodies in the cellar, hundreds, just one in the window seat
Can you see them yet as they linger in their rose-leaved unhappy rest?
Can you see the four horsemen riding over the crest?
All italicized content in the text are quotations from the black comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” (1944) directed by Frank Capra, screenplay by Julius and Phillip Epstein.
The four horsemen of the apocalypse are a reference to Revelation, chapter 6.