151.1: Bill Rector:: Macbeth & Lady Macbeth & Desdemona & Richard III
9 September 2013
While a quartet of sonnets in the dramatic monologues of various Shakespearean characters might seem like a very traditional feature to come across in contemporary poetry, Bill Rector’s poems this week are fragmentary, strange, and wildly inventive. “Lady Macbeth” comes to us in a short, piecemeal declaration that its speaker constructs to convince the weird ladies to give her an old, sad banana. We don’t see the grand enabler of Macbeth step into her sinister and memorable role of the play. Instead, Rector’s speaker shows us how her necessities of motherhood depend upon the ability to bargain for and ingest rot. Similarly, the beautiful Desdemona from Othello is not the blameless victim (you’ll notice I depart here from Auden’s interpretation of her) of the Venetian tragedy; rather, here she becomes a co-conspirator and gives her husband instruction of his own undoing: