I bit my lip on March 15th. That’s the ides of March. That’s when Julius Caesar was stabbed and stained the floor with blood and stained history with blood and colored our ears forever with the famous words “Et tu, Brute?”. It’s a romantic way to die. At a certain point on the human timeline all death becomes romantic because – at a certain point – all history was actually written by Shakespeare. All of it.
Shakespeare was not a journalist. He was free to stuff whatever words he wanted into Julius Caesar’s body and have them sputtered over and over again by different men for 500 years. Shakespeare: Here, now, is Julius Caesar. Here is the True Story.
So now I can bite my lip on a day in almost-spring and think about a man dying and call it History. No one would accuse Shakespeare of lying to the world about this. Because he was The Bard. Because fiction is the same thing as real life because it was made by real people.
Because you live forever when someone tells beautiful lies about your death.
April is National Poetry Month, and, thus, we may tell all the lies we desire until the cows come home. Let’s start tonight: join acclaimed poets Mitchell L.H. Douglas and Marcus Wicker tonight, Friday, April 12th, at The Bard’s Town for this month’s InKY Reading Series at 7pm.
A Louisville native, Mitch L.H. Douglas is a co-founder of Affrilachian Poets and the author of two collections of poetry. With a 2011 Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award under his belt and high praise from Publisher’s Weekly for his second volume, /blak/ /al-fa-bet/, Douglas has created his own unique style of poetry he calls Fret. He is currently serving as an associate professor of creative writing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Also reading tonight is fellow poet Marcus Wicker, an assistant professor of English at Southern Indiana University. The author of Maybe the Saddest Thing, Wicker’s collection was both acclaimed by Third Coast Magazine for its originality as well as selected by DA Powell for the National Poetry Series. Wicker has also published work in the likes of Poetry, American Poetry Review and Ninth Letter.
More? Sure: visual poetry gets larger than life as the Squallis Puppeteers take the stage for another delightful performance in addition to the literary jam. And, as always, an open mic for aspiring talents will take place to showcase the emerging bards around town. Those interested in the spotlight should arrive at 6:30pm to secure a slot. We are up to our elbows tonight, folks.
Shakespeare put a collar around the English language and told it to Sit-Pretty. Shakespeare built a house for History and told it to Stay. Shakespeare taught us all to lie as loudly as we can with our lungs – to lie in verse.
Beware the Ides of March, he says to us. I bit my lip on the Ides of March and, thus, was History repeated in the world. Happy National Poetry Month.
The Bard’s Town is located at 1801 Bardstown Road. For more information about the InKY Reading Series, visit Louisville Literary Arts.
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