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Act One

Act Two

Act Three


Act One

Act Two

Act Three


Act One

Act Two

Act Three

               Trump In Atlantic City 

                         A Play
                             by Matthew Paris 


Act One Scene One (Enter Donald Trump. He sings.) Trump's Song Some of the pumpers want to know: What pumpers pump the pump. When you're playing cards with casino guards You cannot trump a trump. The bums and bumpers want to know Who bumps, who gets bumped When you want to tussle with major muscle You cannot trump a trump. Some people say in a causal way They hate my wrestling style. I'd slam these bums and assorted crumbs; It isn't worth my while. Some of the dumpers want to know Who's dumping, who gets dumped. When you're making cash or dumping trash You cannot trump a trump. If the bones where I jump seem unpleasantly plump I might pat a frump on the rump Steal a quick feel if she has some appeal; You cannot trump a trump. Go stomp and chomp with vicious pomp Be a champion chimp or a chump. Where nothing is real but cards or a wheel You cannot trump a trump. (Exit Donald.) On the empty stage enter Mephistopheles and Michael, an angel. As they talk several beautiful women in scanty costumes take their places in a tableau on both sides of them.) Mephistopheles-I've conferred with the grand puppeteer He seems delighted that the seraphs Whom he asks to hover like shadows Over sundry hinterlands and nooks Of America have offered the mob As angels often proffer such dark fare Rich and rare chambers of corruption For the many, not the few. Some boons Leave the hapless beneficiary a jade Without hope. We residents of heaven Hear their prayers often, in ascent From their incendiary abysses. Michael- You are amply and dourly saturnine When contemplating them, Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles-My aim for all humanity is no less high At bottom than God's, good Michael. There are savants on Earth who take up Elevations nearly at birth. Others Need more picaresque means to soar To the same aery niches where angels Savor our deities heavenly felicities. Michael- Plainly, you don't anticipate another flood. Mephistopheles-Our liege no longer offers a brute anger To jades and the Earth's assorted libertines. That is the coded message of the rainbow. Consider this American I focus on, here In these casinos in Atlantic City, inns Where the servants bring one amarants Skilled in impersonal erotic rites Along with the cologne of monastic liqueurs. Once our deity had realized low pleasure Was more worthy of this impish species Than the diverse yokes of common labor He and I have long conspired to bring Amusement to the rabble through jinns Of divine energy who offer the gulls Interminable thrillers and low comedy. Michael- Your taste in such diversions baffles The very seraphs sojourning in paradise. Mephistopheles-Come now, I fashion all rank fantasies For earthly souls, not for aery spirits Ambling through these high pavilions of light. Michael- They are superior to what you offered Faust: A tavern frolic, an affair with a maid The flesh of bright gold of the errant Helen. Mephistopheles-I gave him diversions that are now banal. A beautiful woman he provoked to ire or she Invited him to some inconsequential irritations Before a month of amorous paradise had perished. I gave him mortal company in terns, exotic ale. At times I passed though town roguishly as a monk. I offered him pleasures, all dun and stale Abhorred everywhere but Wittenburg. Consider How he slavered locked wit the silver flesh Of Helen without thinking she was an abettor To betrayal, a source of butchering war. On top of that this Faust was glumly insolent. Michael- You shrugged it away. You are excellent At such politic deference. All in all I must commend you for your tolerance. Mephistopheles-That provincial necromancer of Wittenburg, Was one more hermetic austere wizard With low hungers for parades of sheer carnality That would embarrass an innocent lizard. I found him tedious and so would you. Michael- I hardly spend my leisure cultivating churls. You will fare better with this Donald Trump? Mephistopheles-Michael, we spirits all are motile as Creation Offers us it long seasons to its seraphim. We often go disguises Mafioso in America. Who would believe in that land of dullish atheists Who we really are? I am called Ambrosio You are Rico, a conniving bawd from New Orleans, We are very shallow here in our corruptions. We pitch vices that would bore imbeciles. I even vote sometimes, never mind for whom. Damnation is a mere snug motel in the desert On one's way to a city aptly named Los Angeles. Don't debase the souls of anyone, not even dogs. We are in fact the champions of pleasure in volume A taste I must say leads to more corruption Than a scant month in a hermitage. I have No enmity for any human nor do you, Michael We punish or admonish nobody. We honor them As evangels lower than angels of a cosmic freedom. Donald Trump I must say is someone I value. He is much more a starry pilgrim who embodies In his long seasons of vice a kind of quest For kingdoms deeply beyond banality A bravery I admire. I wish in his ardor For truth he were one of us in heaven. Michael- One day he may be. Does he play the harp? Mephistopheles-Not well. At present Trump is much content To amuse himself if hardly cautiously here In Atlantic city in the numinous delights of Eros. One finds such fragrant vessels amply sojourning In his multitudinous casinos. Donald is clever. It's not even that he much values their caresses; He finds them a relief from the amours manners He'd been privy to in college. In that I must say He is at once a traveler to another country And a trekker in the shadowy hinterlands Whose celestial choices are quite sensible. Michael- Luckily we've closed the realms of Hell. Mephistopheles-That peculiar pit with its wretched flames Was one of our liege's stellar mistakes. What Point is there for him to punish anyone for vice When he created freedom? We all here in heaven Have liberty to be evil or insufferably dull. He's grants the same deep power to humanity. Michael- All creatures on this Earth who creep, fly Cleave the water or gobble the perfumed air Are armed with the means to take up tedium Or embrace the dun malice of the sinister. It is God's first thought before he took Light from its of sable folds of darkness. Mephistopheles-It's up to man now to create their hells. I think they're better at it than most angels. Even Lucifer would find the Pandemoniums They fashion from alloyed steel too morbid To be spas in of his infernal architecture. Michael- I visited the old infernal regions once. They are a dark museum. Some demons gifted With a feel for history have mounted rites Of fiery dumbshow with its screaming robots. It is curious how spectacles that seemed Immortal in the past become mere fossils. Mephistopheles-That is the lightless burden of motility. Michael- You were a prince there once among them. Mephistopheles-To be a baron in an abattoir is hardly fare One might recall as fetching in one's memoirs. I am more a cousin to felicity nowadays In league with God to mount banal corruptions. Michael- This fellow Trump I may presume is worthy Of your less than moral focus. You rarely Waste your patrician moments on mere churls. Mephistopheles-I may do so out of habit. Why would angels God and demons be at all distracted, Michael By the antics of kings, wizards, frumps Assorted mortals and the twitches of lice? Perhaps we had no other fare for delight Once; these parlous times are long gone. It is the edict of God to bless America With the edgy guerdons of the rebellion From an insufferable thralldom demons Along with spirits of more nameless aspect Have honored given that our excellent deity Has ordered us to orbit such high liberty. Of course I find it to the purpose of Hell To aid Heaven. We really have no other labor But offer God such picaresque service. Here he comes, Ask him, angel, who might be His guide in the ashes, his lapidary champion. (Enter Donald Trump.) You seem baffled by these long parades Of pleasure, Donald. I'd hardly guess The whores in this casino would be riddles To pique your spirit as you amble like Eros The blind imp, through these velvet chambers. Donald- They offer me nothing. I can taste fresh flesh Anywhere. Whatever souls they have within them Don't seem that intriguing. They bore me Like bland lobster pasta at a steam table. Mephistopheles-This is my cousin from New Orleans, Rico. His customers are jades who crave the unknown. He comes through here to look for novelty. Donald- Glad to meet you, Rico. I guess the blackjack Isn't too much different in your town. It's all about the croupier winning, johns Walking from a slot machine with empty pockets. Michael- We all depart from any brazen run of lights At least somewhat lightened in our purse. Donald- Yeah, I know. I guess the worms don't care What kind of guy they nip and gobble. Still I think I'm not your ordinary lunch; I never will be, Rico. I had the bravery To do what no one in the Wharton business school Had dreamt of with my dough. What the hell Did most of these young honchos do, Rico? They took up quiet ways to put away a stash Do some number with the five star hotel whores Eat a steak or two with California wine And buy themselves a maybe genuine Renoir. They hide away in landfill. Palm Beach or Malibu They watch a slew of game shows on television. Michael- You of course have never joined them, Donald In these tedious orgies. I commend you.

Donald- I never liked them when they were in class Studying the blind maelstroms of economics. They had no courage, Rico. I am ready to die. While I'm alive I won't walk through that ritual They pitch at you when you've got a bit of green Though I'll run the dump where they pay golf. It's not what being an American is for anyone To imitate the European way of taking pleasure We are vulgar, Rico. It's okay. The revolution Wasn't won by fancy Englishmen. I'm the one Who wrestled Vince McMahon on television. I've done reality shows that have more sleazy Than most French porno. I'm very comfortable With trash, Rico, very comfortable. We're All some run of garbage in this country. Michael- We might be one enormous run of landfill. It suits me too I've got to say. My folks Were rural folk from rocky Calabria. I never hoped to be another noble here. Donald- You run the world of pleasure, don't you? You're the one who brings the slot machines And whirling colored wheels to the casino, Rico? The people who ran my school were damned weak On being sated or even happy. They wanted saints To run a business, I knew better. I never Taught them candied values in a Sunday school. Michael- What were they, I wonder? To endure like stones The brutish staleness of a deadly common life? To embrace sour flesh, to drive nowhere In a car or take a seat and wait for death? Such vigils in the deep shadows of comfort Would be insufferable to toads. You will well Donald, to take up the satanic energy That vaults one out of such soft labyrinths. Perhaps they were there for you to disdain Them as a foul cloaca or the ordinary hardly Worth the passage of your dun mortality. Donald- I liked to be among the White trash whores I hired for my gambling halls, Rico. There's Something in the wisdom of a bought woman Who knows she's always been for sale somehow That gives her an intelligence that's hard To find among the virginal bunch you meet in Outside of brothels in the Ivy League. Mephistopheles-It's an iron maxim of carnality, Donald. Lovers after many unctuous disappointments In chambers if they are at all reflective Are much more accommodating from their losses To even their dun amarants. Loss breeds charity. I commend you for your nether quest for wisdom, Donald. Only an elevated soul or criminal knows Where to look for such stark midnight felicity. You are most sensible if you confine your search To the delicious inner life of an honorable woman. Donald- Yeah, they have lost much more than we have In a hotel room, Ambrosio. We men are flattened In our hearts, I guess as old time hunters Should always be when they stalk quail or look For in the woods the poop of a clan of deer. Luckily we only need to bring down stupid prey To live; hey, otherwise we might be smarter Than we are. I revel in the sluts I keep For fun as camp companions in my hotels. They have more simple insight than any priests Or lawyers. I would never be someone's attorney. I'd have to lie much more than I might do When filing my fabulous income tax returns. Michael- You have been twice fortunate to be blessed Donald, with the dun sagacity of trollops. This country does well in valuing habit Measure, austerity and caution as instruments Of some small virtue. They are less perceptive In the sugared fulcrums of discreet pleasure. Mephistopheles-Some enemies offer delight. Your posh casinos Are attended often by gulls who've narrowed Their intents to the fall of a steely ball Into one snug crevice rather than another. They live and perish on light tumbles of dice, Hermetic turns of a croupier's hidden ace. Of course there are no different than a broker Or a banal pilgrim walking blindly as mortals do With a promise only of a death in the future. Donald- Look, I plan to honor that chit for oblivion As much as my customers. Before I join the dust I intend to be what this damned world needs More than ministers and Wall Street bankers: A pimp for small itches. I may not make folks Happy; I might give them though whatever passes In the world of animal commerce a bit of fun Some nastily call crime. It's more ambitious Than a loser drooling over a ticker tape. Mephistopheles-It might be your instrument of pure power. Donald- Let's not be too damned stupid, Ambrosio. I know who is powerful. To guess even their name Is a kind of peril, let me tell you. Yet when They want their privacy and servant who honor Their itches they all come here; they rent out Floors in my hotels. They wallow in the arms Of some slut I bring to them from the wilderness. Michael- The world can easily do within kings; it does More badly when it has a paucity of bawds. No mortal or the gods reside in any countries Lacking proper corruptions. Only Heaven is free Of vice; it's God's draconian decree, not ours.

Mephistopheles-You don't live there yourself out of choice. Michael- I sojourn where the local diversions honor My own narrow notions of how I care to embrace My trek through an immense starry eternity. Donald- Boy, you two sure can run the language better Than a politician on a tear. You should be poets. Michael- Poets are without shekels, shunned, desolate Dun pariahs. Some indulge them in the colleges. We are this country's shadowy harpers, Donald. A fine Italianate descent disposes one to honor All the haunting instruments of carnal beauty. We would no more waft banalities than a Doge Or God would consign high Venice to landfill. Donald- You must feel you're living like a gypsy baron Slumming in the wrong country. Maybe you are. Michael- These tethering native alchemies that keep me Here, Donald, are hardly those one savors much In the stale maws and stews of ancient Italy. We all do better here. By that we mean we have More wealth. The worst of us turn everything To gold like the late King Midas. Some if sons Of some ancient fiefdom that offered vice At least for kings have had the small temerity To ask themselves softly: lucre for what? Do they take up golf or cultivate a hunger For quail, decide to cleave the spumy sea With a well oiled yacht or perhaps garner An island where one is the local baron Who fits eldritch laws to one's antic whims? No, I suspect the profits from our speculating That have turned us all to gamblers in volume Mostly go to watching fantasies on television. Donald- I agree, kid. I never was a guy with dough Who liked to watch football. Still, I ambled Into sleaze because the other choice was death. I really have no taste for gutter games. I love this country but I've got to say We've made a hellova terrible case for measure. We all want this goddamned place to be a brothel. Even the music is for creeps and adolescents. Mephistopheles-Each of us appears in ages that are worthy Of a benign heavenly intent. Your advent In Atlantic City, Donald, as cordial mahatma Of these casinos by the sea would be seen By prior adepts as a high edict like lightning From our whimsical deity to make the vulgar Equal to the false gods, scrambling barons Who have done much injury on earth once Claiming they are priests or kings. Our honest Potentate is most fortunately no revenger. Yet he wants our very clods to take up all The suave and lightless corruptions of power To acquaint their spirits afterwards with dun Surmises for their scheming to command vapor That in the end are variations of a mirage. Michael- One's often more cordial to the dark angels After some low and jaded revel of satiety. Donald- Yeah, I guessed that pretty quickly when I slept as part of the usual hiring process We run often in the entertainment business With two or three of these gilded beauties I have Working here near the crap tables. When you get To know them you become someone who's been Fool enough to tumble into bed with emptiness. No wonder the delight is so intense, Rico. If rotgut pleasure vanished from the world We might have sanity enough to act differently. In fact it's not much of a choice to love Amusement or to find it trivial, is it? It's all about a dumb affair with phantasms. There must be maybe in Delaware or Cuba Some posh hotel for a guy like me to live Out a run of dumpy years that has some clout. Mephistopheles-For angels, Donald, there is much immortal Reflection. The genius of humanity has never Been intelligence. The seraphs value you For roguish freedom, not a taste for cognition. Michael- We are a species who are gamblers, Donald. We wager in strange places for the mere turn Of a card. We have memory but no great talent To perceive the consequences of dun fortune. Donald- There's not much I could say for power either, Rico. I've been a sort of king or baron given What I've done or can do whenever I please With my cash. What is satisfying even to a dope In being a damned zircon star around which nothing Orbits but bums, natural trollops, a few creeps Mewling dogs begging for a small favor? Michael- Some of the younger moons are very beautiful. Donald- So what? I'd rather own a building. It usually Is whatever the hell it is after twenty years. Michael- You're the very champion of perpetual amusement We've been looking for. You don't pretend to Value any of it. You're outside the very magic Halls of vapor we're pitching to the rabble. Donald- I'm not a celibate, Rico. I'm indifferent To trivia. It's not too hard to be detached To anything that loses its flavor after a month. Mephistopheles-Have you thought you might be President, Donald? You could be the leader of a people Elevated by that very inevitable day of fatigue You'd be a prophet if one of ultimate satiety. Donald- Wow, that's one damned hilarious idea. But why Me? I've got actors, wrestlers and clowns for you Who'd all be happy to take you up on that number. They do my club work for me as entertainers Near the baccarat tables. I'd like to be The quiet guy who makes the telephone call That keeps the sons of bitches doing the tango. Mephistopheles-People always want to be gods, puppeteers More than front men. Even that bunch on Olympus Liked a little invisibility. It's not quite Being a proper deity of course. To be unseen But all too explicable is a parody of heaven. Michael- To be inexplicable yet visible in this world Is the usual stratagem for many lovers. Mephistopheles-Do you know the fulcrums of tactical success In politics. Donald? A day in Washington Is pocked with slander and contention. Donald- Yeah, if anybody's slightly famous in America They're pilloried as if they all for treason. That's why I take the role I do in media. I'm always a media bad guy. I tell people They're fired, I fix wrestling matches Insult all kinds of people with impunity. I'm a fake but real magnate. It's all imaginary. In that town everyone seems certain Their appoints are morons, decadents Or secret enemy agents hired by Commies To corrupt children and dogs while they piss On the flag or bring down the goddamned republic. I like where I seem to be: in a tinker toy Hell. Anyway who is going to vote for a sleazy guy Who runs a gambling joint and is some sort Of fancy pimp? What don't you ask Hugh Hefner? Mephistopheles-Hugh can't be bothered with politics. He likes To drink whiskey sours and hang out naked At his own luxury sky blue swimming pool. Anyway he's much too old to run the country. Michael- He's too controversial. He's less of a bawd Then you are; he's sort of pious in his way. Donald- All right, let him do laps at his ice palace Naked. The son of a bitch did make nudity legit. Son of a gun, I couldn't be what I am publicly Without that bastard. Since we're all looking For a casual love life after a marriage like him, He's even ordinary. Rico, there's an lawful lot Of failed intimacy out there Hugh Hefner hit on. He's a smart guy, just dumb enough to know What everybody else in America is hurting from. Michael- Donald, nobody s happy with the covert rule Of bankers either. Even the Democrats who once Were advocates of common people or seemed to be Are owned by Wall Street speculators. They feel Isolated. Some Black folk elected a champion With a bit of color who did nothing for anybody. They are even more disgusted with the current Toadies who run our government than White trash Boozing crackers wearing masks, drinking bad wine. Donald- Well, what can I do about it all, Rico? Do I Look like a sewer cleaner? Sometimes I may stink Like people who swab the floors of latrines; I sure as hell was never any worse than them If maybe I could have been better. Anyway I represent a bunch of scooped out bums Much more effectively out of Washington. Mephistopheles-Atlantic City is not yet the capital, Donald. You lead; still you aren't quite legitimate. Donald- Sometimes you can have more power by being A voice from the bottom, kid. When I tell people I did this or that they either say, I did It, or, shit, I wish I had the balls to do it. If I seem mean or vulgar, without mercy, Rico Even a demon in a pile of manure somewhere That's what they all want to sniff wafting up Like a turd from those imaginary cloacas. Michael- Perfect. You live for them. You descend To nether regions to be their true champion. Donald- I never meant to be a hero, Rico. I was Goaded by a fear I might be nothing at all. Mephistopheles-We are all haunted by such imps of indolence. Donald- I've wondered many times, Ambrosio, why others Aren't like me. They started with the cash I did. Is there some baron in Washington Or New York that commands us al with money To eat frogs legs, eat caviar and play golf? The damned diet alone is much too hard on frogs. Can't a millionaire rebel against another kind Of fancy prison? They say a beggar loses nothing By being brave; what do I give up but sanity When I take up some convention that never speaks For me? I hand over my life. I that important Enough at least for me to protect and cherish? Michael- We all from spirits, viruses and angels Must value both our character and freedom. Donald- Sometimes I wonder whether I've just slipped From one jail into another one. Even crime Can be narrow and banal as a round of golf. How many felonies are there in the law books? Maybe a hundred, a thousand. Then there's nothing. Is any common perp somebody whose found a door Into Nature? I want to know who and were I am If it takes me a whole damn life to get there. Mephistopheles-Even God who reflects on life forever discovers Insights in riddles after many aeons that once Had cost his holy spirit gobs of near eternities To surmise. For this reason one should listen To talkative and more explicable angels, Donald. They're no more bright than men; they've known More seasons of loss and hope, new mornings That outdo in repetition and some disappointment The dark and silent wisdom of the turtle. Donald- I'm ready to make a deal with anybody, even God; Right now he must be very busy. He doesn't seem To talk to anyone though people talk to him. Mephistopheles-You're lucky, Donald. It's much more perilous When our excellent deity offers his opinions. Donald- If I were to run for President the public Would be looking for a very different fellow That the usual lawyers, generals and priests. I don't have any more attraction for the voters Than somebody who's too jaded to make big trouble. Michael- It is the genius of our older citizens To be often asleep or much too and weary To be ruled by corruption, caprice or vice. We have in mind to fuel your elevation Not with brassy praise of your equivocal Character, Donald, but a sense of odium The voters feel when contemplating the face Of your insufferable opponent. Democracy Is often a fragile tyranny foaled by repugnance For a greater run of pious empty despots. Donald- All right, I get the picture, Rico. Sure as Hell, you can't say I'm a good guy whose character Is a mirror of some iconic virtue. Still I might be better than a run of foreign agents, Creeps, assorted evil aliens and degenerates. Michael- Precisely. We have to find a candidate Whose character is clearly worse than yours. We shouldn't have to look too hard for empty Or demented spirits in Washington lurking Like crocodiles in the nether bogs of politics. Donald- You'll have to look a little harder, Rico Than you think. I'm a hustler, gambler, pimp. Michael- Trust me, Donald; you are much more honorable Than most men in our government. Besides The public recognizes in your very revels The soul of a pilgrim, a celestial seeker. Donald- Some people might call my life a travelogue. I never felt it was, Rico. I started dipping A few toes in the water on a South Sea island. I look back and feel lucky a few bare hungers Were legitimate. Yet whatever I found in crime If better than what I might have married Or bought in a brothel was just as limited As virtue. I like to talk to some evangels Many of my friends call quacks and rubes About their dim sense of what is going on Beyond the sunny line where the clouds touch The powdery foam topping the scalloped bed Of the sea. They know some things one does Are right and others wrong, Rico, if they Don't ever guess why beyond saying dumbly It's the edict of a god. I know why, Rico. What damage or boons one does while waking And walking the Earth alters character. I can't be any better or worse than what I do. Michael- What is that? You are a businessman. You are Bawd, chef and croupier to gulls; you pitch Illicit pleasure. Do you mount wars, oppress A diverse set of scramblers with absurd laws Only the dead or ultimately boring could live by Tax the usual hapless rabble to protect them From bronzed, implacable and imaginary enemies? As people go on this planet you are virtuous If not quite saintly, Donald. This empire You inhabit with its soporific air of peace Its commerce of easy delight gives legions Of gulls with empty stomached more opportunity For corruption than the stale haunts of Lucifer. Donald- All right; let's do it, Rico. I'm your man. (Exit Donald, Michael and Mephistopheles.)

Trump In Atlantic City A Play by Matthew Paris Act Two Scene One (Enter Donald and Mephistopheles.) Donald- Ambrosio, I've had my season of gamblers Lushes, beauty contests, oily sluts, Gonorrhea doctors, dog race fixes, pimps Even hitmen out to take out politicians Who have some problems with stupid pleasure. I've hired entertainers who play blackjack Charming suckers who end owing me a bundle. Atlantic City can pall on a lush or creep After a night with gilded business women. Mephistopheles- Your plaints offer a heavenly music to me Though I feel compassionate when peering At the commodious misery you've endured From a surfeit of cunning pleasure. Satiety is not felicity, Donald. Delight Locks one in a carapace as much as jail. It is instructive to be rich, familiar With all the deceits and blandishments One can take in while in soft commerce. Donald- You mean the brothel world I run here Works only to send me fleeing from it. Mephistopheles- Flights from Ur or Egypt is the common trek We pilgrims finally take into the desert If we are wise, Donald. Even dusky angels Are prone to sojourn in markets, warm huts Filled with a gaggle of assorted carnal Intimates. The rites offered nocturnally By such seeming allies are a cold deceit That apes affection with a sweet swagger. Donald- Yeah, it's all cheap business, Ambrosio. Still I like the criminal commerce here More than the three card monte games they play Outside Atlantic City. Vice has honesty You can find in a more legit suburban dump. I build hotels, Ambrosio because I know They're cavort deserts. You don't find Any wind demon you call in for room service Even talking crap one hears in a marriage. Mephistopheles- That is one virtue of an excellent hotel. Donald- I've lost something too. It might be nothing Or a kind of vague hunger for sugared lies. Mephistopheles- Your lightness of cognition might be at best A trivial dole for your liberty. When spirits Are not mice who succumb to the hungers Of the crocodile or the owl we outlast Our jousts with these dragons and hawks Which lurk in mud or stalk us dauntingly From the black crevasses in the azure sky Donald- Atlantic City and hotel life is a refuge For a lot of us, Ambrosio. Yet I feel Nothing at all while I caress some font Of beauty or consume lunch ripped from cattle. I wonder sometimes whether I am deeply dead A ghost among swine at a starry feast. Mephistopheles- Let us hope the dead who haunt such revels Are in their hopes wiser than the living. (Exit Donald and Mephistopheles.) Scene Two (An empty stage. Enter Mephistopheles and Donald. Donald sings.) Assessment If Genghis Khan has come and gone With his bloody habits and time It seems to me that politics Is a world much lower than crime. Some things are tragic, others black magic; Nothing is ever sublime. It seems to me that politics Is a world much lower than crime. A conquering force of men on a horse Massacres zillions like ghouls While legions of priests discreetly feasts On kids in the courts and the schools. Bluebeard loved a big wedding- Butchered wives one at a time. Still it seems to me that politics Is a world much lower than crime. When they fried crazy Ted, Bundy said: I strangled these sluts without bias. When he slept with unknowns and their desiccate bones Ted Bundy was never pious. Jeffrey Daumer ate his prey Lapped up the mucus and slime. Still it seems to me that politics Is a world much lower than crime. Killers I know are never slow To slay for a dirty dime. Still it seems to me that politics Is a world much lower than crime. Donald- It seems too quiet here to give a speech Ambrosio. I guess a cemetery is supposed To be a place for folks who like a lot Of silence. Still I don't hear any crowds Of corpses cheering me with waving banners. Are you certain any of the dead are here To take up any role in my campaign? Mephistopheles-In a democracy the populace is often mute Or civilly discreet. You have in what appears To be a world of empty vapor more pure spirits If long perished than one might find screaming For your ascent than any rally of the living. This assembly has more influence than armies Of shadows who shuffle through the maize Of work and banal dalliance. They haunt The animate among us with august counsel. If many of the defunct do not hunt down Deer or quail beyond a span of decades They are no less vocal in their laudation To the quick and visible among a vast choir Of such singular integrities. Many a claque Of cunning hustlers has soared to thrones From the accolades of these perished champions. Who knows better than the ancient souls Who've outlasted a consortium of fools What might be a clever policy for kings What dark honey would be most commodious To mobs when ladled by a pack of priests? Donald- I'm used to rallies with a little bit of noise. We've toured the zoos, preached to elephants. Promised tax breaks to assorted worms. We've even honored all the hopes of hippogriffs. I've let iguanas I have a cunning plan to damn Whole oceans to produce a necklace of swamps. Last week we toured the loony bins and promised Chits for public housing for the violently insane. I've got from one huge clearance sale in Deadwood Ten thousand blow-up couches for imbeciles Rubberized to catch the falling excrement. I've told the prisoners in seven lockups They will all have jobs as guards of perps Who're dangerous and luckily imaginary. Mephistopheles-If they don't vote they will be all the more Your servants if they are hardly clamorous In their honor to a gaudy liege. Democracy Donald, is the last defense of any despotism. Donald- I've like to change the voting age to birth To get the infant vote, Ambrosio. I feel If you're here on Earth you should be given All the means to influence the local kings. Mephistopheles-You will be baron of the bawling lot of them. Donald- You're sure the dead are listening, Ambrosio? I always thought their souls were long gone To some starry dump beyond the purple edge Of the ether once they bolted from Earth. Anyone who hangs out in a cold cadaver must Gets bored with the bare bones atmosphere. Mephistopheles-The standards of what might be acceptable In life decline somewhat when one has perished Donald. It might be insights given the dead By the courts of vanity. If one has loved A bit one might surmise once one has been A lover for awhile that Eros offers vapors Less agreeable that many common Swiss resorts Where the judgment of the stolid residents Is less insane than the ferocious whims Of hunting bosky amarants. The ivory moths That orbit around the mahatmas of power Are no less weary of their faery service. Donald- Hey, maybe we'd might be much better off If we never knocked the worst of our hungers. Mephistopheles-That nut of lunacy might suit you mortals well Enough. No crone or angel can calculate One might collapse before one knows one's madness. Mice might do well to embrace insanity Since few outlast the resident mirages. Donald- I hope the dead can vote. I guess one day They will. If they're looking for a living Champion I'm ready to act for them, Ambrosio. Mephistopheles-What could be the interests of the dead, Donald? For some it's maundering mutely In oblivion. They might do it in comfort. It was their sage habit often when living. Do you think the lately defunct are wilier After death than they had been when animate? Donald- Yeah, why would they be? Dumb is dumb, I guess. I've often wondered why we ask the buried spirits To be allies when in life they were as stupid As they were? I'd never pray to any god Who was a tomcat or a drunken party imp. I never liked the Buddha much. He binged On sweets too much for me. I never thought The others were much good for anything But condemning folks while doing nothing. Well, what do I know about gods? Nothing. Mephistopheles-You know, I hope, what sage promises to offer Corpses, Donald. The dead need very little. At times they like revenge. We lack a cup Of blood to give them to repair to brothels Of one more low season of bone-laden revels An inebriate night of saurian amorousness. Donald- Okay, I am ready for the sermon. I feel A little weird I must say looking for the vote Of anyone who's dumped this planet. Hell, I'll do it. Why not? Maybe I need them. Mephistopheles Tomorrow we tour the crematoriums, Donald You candidates have much to promise ashes. Donald- Yeah, an iron plaque commending them we paste On urns. Okay, baby, here I go, Ambrosio. (Donald moves downstage. He sings.) Atlantic City Strut When the rooster crows At a trace of the sun That chicken knows What the damned have done. You might feel sorrow Rue or pity In a pale tomorrow In Atlantic City. Maybe you trusted Some carrion beast. You sure feel busted At the usual feast. You might feel sorrow Rue or pity In a pale tomorrow In Atlantic City. Maybe you gambled. Maybe you're broke. Maybe you've rambled Sniffed too much coke. You might feel sorrow Rue or pity In a pale tomorrow In Atlantic City. If you've looked like a soul You never had willed A mole in a hole Landfill has filled You might feel sorrow Rue or pity In a pale tomorrow In Atlantic City. I know you all are patient in your tastes For revenge and equity. So am I. We living Aren't really much less hungry for our portion Than you rotting ghosts might be. We weep At losses and endured much rich disappointment Much as you do if we take our abrasions To the high arenas of America. The great burrs Of our levelling politics meet to debate Over bottles of rye whiskey such assemblers. Who are you? Look, I m speaking not to you Alone but the desperate souls who've haunted Our planet, folks. I am the guy who brings The miseries of dire wolves and pterodactyls To an eternal congress. I am the representative Of frogs, iguanas, fish and insects. I bring The checks of punishment for many crimes done Not all that casually by paramecia, streptococci Galloping viruses and assorted Cambrian ghouls. All of you and all of them are cousins in woe. Mephistopheles-You move me, Donald, in your dun hyperbole. You might include your hope to honor spirits Who have walked upon this planet, high estates No less worthy of a place in august government. Donald- Yeah, ghosts, vampires, imps, jinns as well. You sure anyone is listening to me, Ambrosio? I feel alone here talking bullshit to the trees. Mephistopheles-The mute assents of the dead, disenfranchised By the narrow tastes of the jejune cannot Be heard too easily by any among us. Donald. The whispering angels listen to their hosannahs.. Donald- I hope you're right. I feel stupid. Let me Go on. Maybe I've got a dark constituency Among seraphs and phantoms. Here I go, baby. What did kings or priests who've run America Promise you though it looked good after monks And gang leaders from the old country treated You insects and toads? A chance for fancy house Arrest in a suburb? A spasm in a good hotel? A bit of comedy from a silicon rectangle? I'll do better than that; I have to, no? I'll give you whatever you want. If what You hunger for is nothingness, you've got it. If you've got an itch for pleasure, take it. If you have some sense and want your freedom From any government I'm your man. Some of you Have had to take your privacy by dropping dead. Drop away, you sons of bitches. Drop, drop Right to the bottom. I don't give a shit. If I'm given your vote to rule America Believe me, I will guarantee your franchise To be a lout, degenerate or to be nobody. Mephistopheles-That's perfect. I've been thinking you might Make a similar speech to the denizens of Mars. Donald- What are you talking about? There's no one there. Mephistopheles-Many great military campaigns are pursued On asteroids and assorted moons beyond Pluto We're there is nothing but a few bacteria Swimming clumsily in a frozen lake of methane. Donald- I've got nothing to say to any Martian, Ambrosio. Not a word. Nothing at all, baby. Mephistopheles-Nothing, Donald, is what they all want to hear. Say it. Less than nothing is even better. (Exit Donald and Mephistopheles.) Scene Three Dannemora Speech (Enter Donald. He sings.) Im White And Im Proud People talk abut our weapons of war Flush toilets and a whole lot more How to made credit balloon and increase. I say: look at our tools for love and peace: A executives plump at the top Sitting in chairs till they crumple and plop Stop at the infinite places to shop Savor at the pleasures that never stop. Ill say it out aloud: Im White and Im proud. I might be clever at running a jail When the usual classical slammers fail. Weve got a hellova better deal Well sell you hot dogs, watery java Munching on doughnuts, frozen baklava. We built more hoosegows with glass and steel That hardly are dungeons; theyve got more appeal. While your brains and your blood congeal. Controlling the crowd Were White and were proud. Maybe you dont feel that mediocre. Maybe youd rather play football or poker Youre a mean motorscooter, a bad go-getter. Weve got a racket thats even better. You watch animal porno on a small computer Take in the mayhem from an android shooter. Waiting for death on a fancy pension The posh electronics will catch your attention. Youre divinely endowed. Youre White and youre proud. Youve heard of Apollo, maybe Zeus Up in the mountains with rotgut juice Whose ethics are absent or awfully loose Sometimes disguised as a swan or a goose Inebriate libertines slouched in their chairs Running a run of illicit affairs. I might be in touch with the high and divine Drinking their nectar, ambrosia and wine Aloft on a cloud. Im White and Im proud. Then: A la W.S. Gilbert There are aliens among us who deserve my dun polemic Infesting our great country like a goddamned epidemic. If youre worried about China Ive got a clear preventative. I am the very model of a modern representative. My popular agendas might take a run of years. Ive many secret lieges like my democratic peers. Im never indecisive, never even tentative. I am the very model of a modern representative. Donald- I want to thank you all for inviting me here To Dannemora. Yeah, I could be drinking Fancy wine in New York City after gobbling Down a brace of quail and pheasant; over lunch Im glad to share some rice and beans with you, Talking over politics, telling dirty jokes In this newly built zircon dining room Youve gotten from the state. Ive looked In the refrigerators, had a tour of freezers Where you keep glue to sniff; Ive got To say your chefs do more with collard greens And macaroni with a mustard sauce than I could Ever got in any good hotel. Im sill not moving In here; Ive sure got jobs for your best cooks. We all talk on the outside of these enormous walls Like you inside this dump about our vision For America. Hey, I know youve got one too. Your main agenda I would guess is to creep out Of here one way or another, right? Well, guess what; You arent the only omens who want to slip Away like a ghost from someplace, drive a Chevy Somewhere in the night, camp out in a snug motel With some teenage floozie with a fifth of Bourbon Way beyond the last sunset. Maybe you might think Its any different in the suburbs or hotels Or on a yacht or even in an palatial joints. Believe me, we all want to break out somehow. Maybe habit, terror holds us back, who knows? It isnt stone or steel towers with machine guns. Maybe its built in the soul we cant spend three weeks Anywhere without a nagging voice in the middle Of the night telling us we might be bunking In a grave or playing blackjack in a hoosegow. Sometimes its a chance to steal, a job, a woman Or a mortgage. Maybe even God has enemies. Hey, Weve all committed crimes, injured lots of folks Had our mean and rotgut ugly days. Look, when I Do evil, any evil, I consult my lawyers first. If its not super legal I wont do it. I might Hire other guys I know, pay some thugs to do it. Thats why when I am though with sharing chow With your folks Im able to walk out of here. (Exit Donald.) lenny030 Scene Four (Enter Donald) Trumps Reflection Some people have a cause. Some people think its funny. Some people make the laws. They usually print the money. Some people have a taste Even a kind of passion A bit of dough to waste Wherever its the fashion. When youre a bum you know What fools might be for you. With a wallet stuffed with dough Youll do what rich men do. All the clout youll get Might maybe last an hour King of a shadowy set You might think its power. (Exit Donald.) Scene Five Disneyland Speech (Enter Donald.) Donald- Mickey! Ive been wandering through Disneyland Looking for you in the iconry and sweaty crowds. You must be the biggest mouse on Earth, I guess. Most people hated mice once, tried to kill them You little bastards were trying to gobble down The same ripe fruits we ate. No more, Mickey. Here in America youre God; you grin down like one. Youre a happy guy. Any god who was a once a mouse Would be. We were all like you once, came here With a bag of bread and sausages, a funny accent Told the guards some Rumplestilskin name Went on to look for bum bottom work somewhere. One day with a bit of cash we joined the funhouse. None of us look like mice now. Not even you. (Exit Donald.) Scene Six (Enter Donald.) Around the Block I like a woman whos done it all Someone you cant shock Hot to trot at the strutters ball; Whos been around the block. When in bed she never plays dead; She never looks at the clock Or tells you things her husband said. Shes been around the block. Im maybe not bright; Im always polite I never try to offend. When we get tight I dont want to fight. Im there for good sex in the end. I hate a night with a woman who might Be pious as Plymouth rock. Give me a she whos ready for me Whos been around the block. Emigration Stomp That looks like a goat meat taco. That might be a beef tamale The smoke isnt grass for Morocco; Its Mexican weed, by golly. Weve banned beer and whisky here Locked up our alien Commies Columbian drugs, Samarkand rugs Iroquois wahttafugamis. Some like smoke, a bit of coke, While they mangle English grammar; They put peanut butter on an artichoke On their way to the slammer. We put people in jail for sipping ale Now were banning enchiladas. Whatever you do, dont say: Abu. Like Arabs with infatadas One day its Jose we lock up on a day; Well throw in Tyrone too. Its the name of the game; the aim is the same. Someday it might be you. (Exit Donald.) Scene Seven The Central Park Speech (Enter Mephistopheles and Michael.) Michael- One does eat well at these fetes that Donald Throws in this New York hotel. Ive come To rail that poultices for some folk May be something of a pretext to consume A duck without the payment of a hefty bill. Mephistopheles- Humanity is much more viscerally content After dining on an bit of roasted fowl. Its why some think or hope the corpulent Are more accommodating than the slender. A torporous daze is the low gift of caterers Who honor the lethal art of slaughter. Michael- Youve worked at offering a candidate Who opposes Donald in bellicose debates No one could vote for but an imbecile? Mephistopheles- I have done all one needs to fashion iconry Filched from the dead hopes of the bottom A woman that would clearly garret anyone Including her dead mother For a scant coin, A liege no one could love, eminent in treachery Skilled in managerial ineptitude, a bladder With dyed hair, tainted with harsh androgyny Empty of all poetical music but a yapping sound. She is a vintage crone who must fail all Who bring her votes, a haunch of well cooked lamb Or even offer her name as a whispered liege While they mumble to the spirits in prayer. Michael- Mephistopheles, you are a quintessential demon. How have you or armies of your imps done This singular and vintage bit of thaumaturgy? Mephistopheles- Not easily. It is the genius of democracy To give the rabbles one day in their life When they can vote to put in office one Of two scoundrels or imbeciles to parade In front of citizens hardly no less gulls Or villains as their kings. I merely found One much more odious than Donald to be Champion of Democrats who needed others Much more likely to be loyal to the workers Than such mischievous impostors. She is An open lackey to the billionaires, a punk For any covert autocrat. I let her talk. Michael- Amazing. You have more sophistication In a world of commoners than some have had In ruling over kings. You might consider Running for some august office here yourself. Mephistopheles- I am no commoner, I was not born here, I am Not much gifted as my servant Donald might be At persuading any mob I speak for them. Otherwise I might indeed be something of a statesman Among this nation even overtly as myself. I am beyond corruption. I cant be bribed. I really want Americans to live as well As possible. Im much more their champion Than they are themselves. I lack their vices. Im never greedy. Why hoard any goods When there is always more such provender? Why look to youthful hopes for wisdom When jejune souls among us know nothing? Why try to lock the mortal present in amber When the Earth itself is prodigal with honey? Michael- You are a living brief for your advocacies. If I can I might one day vote for you. Mephistopheles- Its not my talent for persuasion, Michael. I am an angel armed with Gods truth. (Enter Donald.) Donald- I hope all you people had a hellova meal. I dont mind springing for a feed sometimes When the company is folks I like to be With, all of you suckers miles beyond a mask Of good and evil. Two kinds of scramblers Understand our games these days: whore s The criminal, anyone who works in business. The whore knows her dirty customers are much More equal than any bigot ever guesses. Crooks Are just guys who run a bit of commerce Governments dont like too much; maybe Thats the way they want it too. No taxes. Theyve got enemies; theyre not much out To lock them up in a dump like gangs with clout. Theyll waste them in an alley, throw them To the fish. The businessmen gives lots of jobs To bums who generate some heavy profit; Hell keep a much of it as he can carry. None of us are revolutionaries, folks. We need Cops to keep the damned streets free of trouble. Revolutionaries are the sort of folks who like To things simple; hey, nothings quite that way. I say the next rebellion is one youll see In the pond below us in Central Park where Bacteria ooze in the mute shade of the trees. The viruses have had enough of any other life. They are coming for us though the funky sludge Where geese swim, herons prey on minnows. They wont find their way up here too quickly. They also can be corrupted; its hard to guess What might be a degenerate in a paramecium. Be patient, folks. Theyre coming like death. Lets watch the carnage over roasted shrimp We wash down quickly with dry white wine. (Exit Donald, then exit Michael and Mephistopheles.) 031 Scene Eight Five Star Hotel Donald- When nobody loves you, not even your cat You might need to repair for a spell When the pickings are thin, your wife is too fat To a good five star hotel. If the whores have a vomit-like tinge on their breath The plumbing sometimes has a smell That reminds you unduly of feces and death Its not a real five star hotel. You know one from even the French speaking clerks Alert to a tinkling bell Not the usual jerks with their cynical smirks. It must be a five star hotel. Nobody gets nervous about the service. All of their guests discover If a girl or a meal isnt ideal The bellhop brings you another. Life on this Earth beginning with birth Is never quite Heaven or Hell. Youll live like a beast at a fabulous feast In a good five star hotel. (Enter Michael and Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles- Your opponent has leaked a distressing report That you carnally fondled young women, all Much less than strangers. Shes let on gleefully To the press youve done them some small injury. Donald- Look Ambrosio, Ive run a fabulous casino In Atlantic City, worked on wrestling gigs With guys like Vince McMahon, the Hulk Spent days doing reality shows with actresses Whove casually balled thousands of men And many women, my hotels have their pimps And legions of funky women; could I have come Away from all that craziness with manners Angels on their silver thrones admire? Its not That I love the glitter of the world of sleaze Either. Im indifferent to it. Im no tomcat Like that bitchs husband Bill. I dont tell Women Im lonely, Im depressed, I dont Complain to any floozie in my joint I need Their goddamned company. I dont, Ambrosio. With me its on the line with any woman. I am generous, amusing, might be fun For three weeks if we like each other. What is wrong with that? Im an honest bum. Mephistopheles- Believe me, I would be the last to chide You, Donald for such religious honesty. Donald- Its more than that, Ambrosio. You know Why folks will vote for me? I live all day The way they want to live. This contry Is fatigued with craven crumbs and punks Whose ass is owned by men with big pockets. Im the guy wholl tell the plutocrats To drop dead. I am a plutocrat. I may be Rich; Im the only billionaire who wrestles Runs a good casino and is known as one Who knows as many bad guys running crime Or commerce they call felonies as might Be on the side a friend to a few nice people. Michael- Donald, thats why were backing you. You might Have been, I think, somewhat more discreet. Donald- Rico, if I lose my character I lose everything. Believe me, you or the world can dredge up A million masks with nobody there behind them. They float in the ocean like old cola bottles. They like me for the vices some ministers might Say they hate in me. They think Im diabolic Chilly, evil. Im none of that. They run From me in public only because they hate The echo of their own humanity. Do you guess If people locoed virtue overmuch here Theyd claim I was some resident devil? Do I muscle anyone to come to my casinos? Have I forced a single customer of whores In my hotels to ball unfriendly strangers For a scanty piece of change? Does anybody Knock my very affordable Calliphorine wine And great gobs of creamy lobster pastas? Have I drafted, gulled or seduced anyone To do any damned thing whatsoever? What These idiots a breach of ethics or call Vice, Rico, has no champions, no rewards; Those damned johns with a few bucks dont Ever sleep with the corrupt or play blackjack On salary. Im not a college telling the gulls Theyll be paid zilch but will be an influence To bring the country a European unappreciated Richness. I couldnt do that to these fools. Im cruel but not that cruel. I am a conduit To what a lot of people like and pay for, Rico. Michael- Unquestionably. You have to be yourself. Unless you are setting fires to orphanages Your generous commerce should never be a crime. Donald- It always will be, Rico. It saves on taxes. Michael- Let it be then, Donald. If we dont have Felonies both pleasurable and external to us We all might lose our morals altogether. (Exit Donald.) Mephistopheles- Can you disguise yourself as Putin, Michael? Michael- I think so. Like you Im hollow ghostly stuff. Mephistopheles- We need this icy monarch for our denouement. Michael- I can emulate a seraph or a toad. Consider this: Vladimirs Song (After Danny Kaye) Ive circumcised tigers, wrestled with bears Outdone Satan with odious airs Yet one cant murder all of ones foes Even the powerful joust with their woes. In politics I was cunning and clever; Not even czardom lasts forever. I could move to America and be a star As a pianist and singer in a Jersey bar. All that seems so distant now; All that seems so far: Those glorious nights As a Russian commissar. I drank enough swill On Raspberry Hill To have more than my fill Of Raspberry Hill. I gave girls a pill They felt a bit ill They turned breathless and still On Raspberry hill. They felt somewhat chill Slaves to my will When I pickled my dill On Raspberry Hill. All that seems so distant now; All that seems so far: Those glorious nights As a Russian commissar. Once I was a Russian prince Im gobbling pizza, cant buy a blintz. Downing hoagies with orange pop Cant stop shopping till I flop and plop. I moved in for the kill With consummate skill They talk of me still On Raspberry Hill. I emptied the till Like a whale eating krill Just grist for my mill On Raspberry Hill. Mephistopheles- You might have a career as an impostor. You know of course that Donald has had chats With Russian emissaries whose aims are clear Enough: to makes America a hidden soldier In the service of that rather chill imperium. They lent our candidate a pile of lucre Larded him and many of his fancy courtiers With whatever such vodka-laden regimes can offer To the gulls in the way of bribery from palaces To legions of soft vessels for carnal comfort. Michael-That is of course a shallow dabbling in treason. Mephistopheles- It might be ordinary treachery. America has had Along the way no lack of such conspirators. Was it ever n the service of England, slavery An avaricious corporate collegium or an army Of Bourbon-sodden generals hungry for war? Perhaps any action from the common selling out Of oneself fancy house arrest in a white collar Office or taking up at home the pious ingestion Of a chicken is a dark and wretched perfidy. Michael- Luckily for us the holy spirit is not a chicken. Mephistopheles- I wonder how well the puppeteer has planned This modern etude in republican life he deems Preferable to external woes familiar to us Systematic theft by despots and sugared cons Run by the usual scented hierophants. It seems As much as this poor humanity is organized At all it is doomed to be an exercise in woe. Michael- You cant doubt the charity and deep resources Of our Creator if he is either clandestine By taste or malgre lui ineluctably unknowable. We must be patient as immortals at their best Are sometimes known to be. It is an option Accessible of course most easily to the deathless. Mephistopheles- One might be a mote hungering for a bit of light A beetle clawing through dung for provender Yet never know the periocular imperial vices Familiar to our corrupt modern humanity. They are bribed to shrug or wink at vice, Take up crime when it poses as freedom At least not some ordinary domestic poison. They take the money, cultivate a smiling silence. Someone in this damned imperium has to bake And bring the orange juice and pepperoni pizza. Michael- They do. Efficiently, noiselessly, decorously. Mephistopheles- Someone has to pick the crops, slaughter pigs Flush the toilets, give the suave lawns Of beheaded grass and clover a sculpted mein. In a secret slave state, Michael, if cattle Are far away they bellow as much in death To the seraphs of the upper air as they crumple And perish doing other mens work, bleed Well enough as any ancient hero in a joust While they are harnessed, scooped out by priests Or deftly dispatched in an exotic abater. Believe me, Michael, there will be a reckoning. Michael- Perhaps you will preside over it, my friend. You after all among the sundry dusky angels Are hardly a stranger to evil, an innocent Ignorant of all manner of fashionable felonies. You are a certified master of disdain, ippissimus Among unctuous pietists of all honey-larded evil. Mephistopheles- You chit me for crafts I no longer value. I have lost any taste for the judiciary mode. Too many actions Id once thought repugnant Are apparently now virtues. Even alehouse bawds Can be kings. Devils can be philosophers. Now Im schooled by everything; I condemn nothing. Michael- You seem to trust in God more than you did once. That is amusing. Id thought you were the angel Who defined the very wild freedom of Creation With your various acts of spite and rebellion. Mephistopheles- Do not mistake me for a porker, Michael. I am still the archangel I have always been. I still say all this easy wealth in volume Is a massive check for gluttony and pride Sheathed with sugars and soporific opiates For the nether armies of those sated churls. It is a singular feat of acrobatics to be sane When one is even moderately affluent; it is An insufferable chore for the jaded to be other Than porcine sots gobbling swill they deem In their swinish imperium high gourmet fare Hardly the aery banquets offered by heaven. Michael- Still youre more deferent to the puppeteer. Mephistopheles-I always was at heart, Michael. I am his son. (Exit Michael, Mephistopheles.)
032 Scene Nine (Enter Donald) The Pilgrimage Someone plays an old guitar; Someone else tells a story. Somebody opens a bar. Somebody talks of glory. When you amble in any direction Down a trail or a tree lined path With some with carnal affection Some with a grisly laugh You end up in a space A campfire warming a clearing A refuge, a quiet place Where the carnage is out of hearing. Politicians Song (After W.S. Gilbert) Ive thousands of opinions on God to circumcision. I seem to be the sort of man whose clever at decision. I diagnose a palsy or an invalid condition. I am the perfect paradigm of any politician. I slander my opponents with a risible derision. Im ready to confront them in a colorful collision. I seem to be your butler, not the acme of ambition. I am the perfect paradigm of any politician. I speak of criminality like zealots on a mission. I list their many follies with a surgical precision Legitimize some felons with a federal commission. I am the perfect paradigm of any politician. I offer you a turkey, a chicken or a pigeon. I threaten my opponents with the fires of perdition. I laugh at any vaudeville of visible contrition. I am the perfect paradigm of any politician. (Enter Michael and Mephistopheles.) Are they ready for me out there? Ive written A novel Inaugural speech you both might enjoy. Mephistopheles- We expect you to be audacious, Donald. You always have been. Youre possibly The first oligarch since Vince McMahon To battle in a wrestling ring. You act In tawdry television shows the peerless McMahon turns down. Youve shown a mastery Of low Republican debate, exposed them As a sideshow act. Youve vanquished Hillary A candidate you might have us to thank for. Donald, youre nimble with insults, deft At gags, an ippissimus of vaporous invective. If you are ever boring in this zircon ritual Of elevation we know it wont be you. Michael- We both defer to you in politics as raw And low life fare, swill fit for swine. Donald- You think too much of me. Its all an act Like wrestling. I wonder whether your agendas Are as honest as my own. Why would you want A guy like me to run America when you had picked The scoundrels you usually often do? Rico Something covert is up with both you guys. Damned if I know what the hell it is, kid. Mephistopheles- We are, Donald, messengers of deeper forces Than you know. Let us leave that revelation Where it is; well say no more. Your age Is hardly one that honors any common boon But leaden merchandise. I will say this: If the purpose of mortality is to peer Within a desperate compass piteously brief At sagacity once a dun province of angels You have with wealth and many willful acts Taken in like a breath a modicum of the divine. Both of us, bringers of such high libations To your humanity, are no less mercurial. Theyre alms to sagacity once only God And his illuminated seraphs knew. Donald If we tender stray bits of prophecy as well To your enemies, your lovers, your countrymen. This American nation is Gods celestial harbor For once beleaguered and unhappy folk To take up a starry voyage into darkness Or the ramparts of an ineluctable light. We have as youve surmised a shadowy intent That comes to us from celestial sources We must honor. These gleaming riddles are Our lieges. We do these sublime seraphs Amused by Earth a sheathed service. Donald- You always treated me with honor. Thanks. I felt sometimes you were some cosmic uncle Cheering me on as I wandered as far From the anonymous business school idiots I knew in school as I could get. I guess I was born a rebel; I dont know why. Michael- Your spirit is immortal as the soul of angels. The mystery is only that an army of humanity Never acts to take up who they are, Donald. One hardly has to be a king to disdain The low siren songs and gold that keeps men Remote from their character and liberty. To take a bit of coin to live anothers life Or someones alien notion of ones nature Is hardly worthy of judgment of the Nameless One. Donald- Well, nobody could say that about me, baby. Way back when in military school I said, kid I may be just a piece of sleaze or worse I might try every vice as if its nose candy; I am never going to be anonymous or ordinary. Mephistopheles-Youve acted very earnestly upon your principles. Donald- You bet I have, Ambrosio. I was a wrestler An actor in a scuzzy t-v show, produced A run of stupid beauty contests, a casino Managed room service for a run of hotels That would satisfy a half-dead Asiatic prince Slept with whores and married them sometimes Even run for President as a veteran fancy pimp When nothing in America could get worse among The usual lawyers and empty headed scramblers In the cellars of government. I was desperate As a kid but other people ate their desperation. I couldnt. Never could. I had to be a creep If I had to rather than shrug, go to bed With hygienic strangers in a wealthy oblivion. Why the hell I did the capers alone I dont know, Ambrosio. Am I by myself in common despair? Youd think Id be the damned general of an army. Michael- At least theyve voted for your courage. It was all they could do. You were an icon Of their anger. No one likes a burial much When they are dewy and living. You stood On their plastic tomb like a fierce angel. Donald- You both must have had your prior moments Like my own infancy and youth, I think. Youre both too damned sympathetic to me Though Im a hero to think of me as a rat A dragon, a demon or just staidly monstrous. Mephistopheles- It is clever of you to discern our delight At your resolutions. One must be silent In this material world at who one is Where we all might be, or one might seem Lethally impolite in banal social company. Yet I can tell you I have been as desperate As you have, Donald, once. I have rebelled From heaven itself. I have founded cities Of momentary pleasure, even been at times Evangel for whatever mimicry I can muster To clothe the toffish garments we wear To disguise what is grimly an opaque woe. Michael- You never in your gift for high architecture Put up in a nether region beyond the ether The felicitous emporiums of innumerable bawds Like the salt taffy castles of Atlantic City. Mephistopheles- Yes, our nephew Donald has indeed eclipsed us. With freedom humanity can outdo angels. Donald- I had no choice. It was crime or death. Mephistopheles- Admittedly. Yet you know already, Donald The price of the saving satanic energy That led you upward from the suburban catacombs Was eventually to care about no one, value nobody See Creation as mineral beings in collusion Feel no charity for wights less rich in luck Never love or hate anything though you pay well Enough for everything. Its a bawds philosophy. Donald- Ive had enough of that. If its sure as hell Better than death, even pimping for youth Beauty and corruption in a Atlantic City After three weeks can be dumb and tedious. Mephistopheles- Sometimes when all else fails in our character We are saved by our weariness with such banality. If we had temptation worthy of us we might all Be in Hell, Donald. I too have chosen charity Above pleasure. I cant bear such minor libertine Contempt. Beside being insane its too easy. Once it was different. Now Im on civil terms With entities one might think would disdain me. After all some louts have called as a demon. I was a raffish bawd, an alehouse companion. Above us the fires of the phenomenal world Hung in the night as beacons offering ciphers To the travelers beyond the sour fragrance Of the tavern. Ive watched the courtesans Of many kings grow old, dank, senescent The fashion and idea of many courts wither Seem stale and dunly brown as old apricots. Shouldnt we have in passing some charity For whatever thrives then crumples in a day And a parlous night? Are we such lobsters With a scarlet carapace that we disdain The woe of animate archers who wander Like celestial butchers on the stellar hunt? Its unbearable in demons if they amble Long enough in the astral reaches of Hell. The Holy One himself has given us the freedom To be stupid and evil. If we are dusky angels We can be a seeming pander to such desolation. One day we depart from such realms of deceit And mockery. We grow weary of our vanity. We become compassionate to mortal life When all else fails, even our rich capacity For amusement. That is the wisdom of the Throne. The Nameless One waits for virtue to become As comely as those numinous courtesans whod once Distracted us from our peculiar portion. We take up if tardily the journey of angels. Michael- Certainly humanity has not much patience For its bawds. They must as well be weary Of their more colorful hierophants; They go to gypsies for their garbled oracles. We hope to found a strong republican corps From voters in America, immune, proof Against greed and its gluey sting. We hope that all Americans will cultivate An indifference to material fortune worthy Of the children of a starry being you call God. Donald- Thats why you prefer a pimp and gambler From Atlantic City managing this country? Maybe. It could also be you think I might Sometimes make you both a little profit. Mephistopheles-We cannot be bribed or otherwise corrupted. You of all people sense what we are, Donald. You always had a strong satanic strain Worthy of your gift for much adaptability. You called up when no one else was brave Enough to say: I wont be dull and ordinary. Often gods pick their protesting favorites Without consent from those they elevate. Not you, Donald. You invoked us like demons. We both have answered your jejune prayers. Donald- I never asked for any of my portion, Ambrosio. My dad gave me wealth, I had some swagger And a bit of social charm with the women. Sure, I adorned my life with harsh adventure. Thats all. At bottom, I accept the weather Like any other man. Have you heard me mumble Once, let me die here, God, a mewling dunce Gobbling the leaves of the blue lotus? Never. Michael- Thats why we picked you, Donald. We needed A philosopher. I hear the crowd beneath The balcony. Its time for your Inaugural. Donald- I hear them too. You think I can lead these bums To any place more than the next bed or bar? Maybe. Im committed, right? I ran, debated Put on crazy hats and told lies. Let me do it. (Donald walks downstage to a parapet.) I told you people I was here to make America Great. Maybe not exactly great. Lets say Acceptable. That doesnt mean of course You wont feel wild rage and grief. Youll Feel trapped by pain or too much pleasure. Youll be poisoned by some dumb misery. Youll be just as disappointed in your life As anyone locked up in a maximum security Jail. Its not you wholl be great; still America might be. I love this goddamn country. When you live in places that are great You feel lousy in comfort. You want to die Expensively in a truckload of lilies. You feel a weird and ugly malice to all But youre stupidly healthy. You want To be loved or love somebody, something; All you can do, you poor slob is to be Stupidly amused. Well, folks, if thats Greatness, if its one more pile of manure; It beats everything else, doesnt it? Goddamn it, lets be great. If we cant be great We sure as hell should try to fake it. Thank you. To Mephistopheles and Michael.) Hows that for being smart? Mephistopheles- Excellent. Donald, youve inspired me to be great myself. Once in Wittenburg Id thought I was. I had the gaudy garb of a minor prince. I swaggered with arrogance. Was I great? Maybe not; I never was that comfortable. (Exit Donald, Mephistopheles and Michael.) Trump In Atlantic City A Play by Matthew Paris Act Three
Enter Michael. He sings. ) Emigrants Confession I showed up at the dock in rags, hauling a bag of trash Sold a bit of rubbish for a bit of crinkled cash Couldnt read the alphabet much less the storefront signs Worked the docks, the steel mills, factories and mines. Ive traveled from realities where freedom was obscene. Its a long way from the Gates of Hell to Playboy Magazine. My old world was a barony of ordinary dread. This one was less wretched; I might be better fed. I played a lot of poker before I learnt the game. My life would be better, at least not quite the same. Ive traveled from realities where freedom was obscene. Its a long way from the Gates of Hell to Playboy Magazine. I clerked in city offices, jails of glass and steel Watched computer porno, sold what stuff Id steal. Sold underwater real estate, cars that fall apart Knew who was merely cunning, who was really smart. Ive traveled from realities where freedom was obscene. Its a long way from the Gates of Hell to Playboy Magazine. This porno life is trivial, hardly worth my while It beats old desperations, service with a smile. Maybe you dont give a shit; maybe you dont care. Its not so bad to be a zombie sitting in a chair. Ive traveled from realities where freedom was obscene. Its a long way from the Gates of Hell to Playboy Magazine. (Enter Mephistopheles.) You look fatigued from travel. Cosmic treks are boring. Mephistopheles- One does encounter infinite miles of emptiness. Michael-I love this posh East Wing of the White House In particular. I think they fumigate it well It has iconic portraits of some Presidents I much admire. Theres Washington on the far wall Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. If the furniture is still variable; the chairs Comfortable, the ceilings unobtrusively decorous I can't say Ive had too many brilliant meals Within these confines but I don't think banquets Are the genius of this domicile. America Has never had a signature excellent wine. Mephistopheles-Youre right. The whiskey isn't bad. The beer Has gotten somewhat better. It was porcine swill Once. Americans value liquor that gets them drunk. Even their wine is a simple tool of pure utility. Michael-Cultures like the French are wonderfully clever At giving one an ample reason to be rich. I reckon This republic has an equal reason to embrace A recidivist harshness in its maw to honor Both its savage past and its own sanity. Mephistopheles- It is a refuge from regimes in which perhaps Fifty people, cousins of the Hapsburg, were Flush with stray coin. The varied feasts The liquors you admire were ample consolations For mortality in Europe of a few poltroons. Everyone else were their servants, incarcerated In these fetching decaying worlds, lucky To feed on lentils and drams of tepid water. Michael-For a stellar prince of Heaven such as you are Youre always also a quintessential democrat. No wonder you love this singular country. It Represents you as your late exile from Heaven Never quite did. America lately easily outdoes In amusement for all, your city you properly Call Pandemonium in its varied spiced delights. Mephistopheles-If I were not as well the prince of my own barony Admittedly Id be this countrys perfect patriot. Michael-I think that table was one Lincoln sat at once Enmeshed in his most difficult meditations. This chaise lounge held the delectable flesh Of Monica Lewinsky as she trades amorous banter With the lascivious Bill Clinton. That wall Had a copious book shelf that contained the tomes Jefferson mused over while he ate his breakfast. Mephistopheles-We are lucky to be here, Michael. Our friend Donald hasnt invited us to this charmer to admire Its fine traces of the admirable and iconic past. Hes called us here from our amusements for aid In his current difficulties. Youve been Taken from explorations of houses of pleasure. Michael-Its a safari that rarely captures any animals Worthy of us. It might garner a few stray insects And several glittering but ordinary lizards. Mephistopheles-In my poor case I have been invoked by Donald Though his occult means to conjure us while Swimming through the methane lakes of Jupiter. Michael-Youve always had a gift for such refreshment. Werent you not all that prior to this moment Savoring the raptures of the chill pilgrimages Through the diamond storms on chilly Neptune. Mephistopheles-They are some of my more superficial amusements As resident baron of a great celestial city I cant easily leave the commerce of my realm. Id much prefer to journey I a great black boat Through the remote lightless realms of infinity. It is one of the major blessings of our Creator That he has made this universe not only free But a huge mass of air without a circumference. Michael-What might you find in these outlined kingdoms That might amuse an immortal like yourself? You have seen everything, done everything. Mephistopheles-Not quite. I never could. Nature may seem To a younger angel like yourself to be more Cyclical than you can guess. Even if we are Jades we can count on the Nameless One to bring us If were patient enough some talent for novelty. Nature is not a machine like a mechanical toy Whirling with lettering lamps to a known end. Michael-What do you suppose our tyro disciple in pokier Wants from us? Weve already been quite bountiful If gifts from the divine are sometimes a new set Of desperations. Hed wanted to be what he is. Perhaps hed like to take up other illusions. Mephistopheles-Id guess hes discovered while in this home He lacks some instrument of character to be The easy republican king hed hoped with means To garner pleasure and power chits can buy He felt as a mere bawd and innkeeper in a town Of gamblers and whores he might have been. Michael-What did he lack within his heart? Not ambition. Mephistopheles-Hardly. In Atlantic City one can assume often If not always one is in a town of denizens Prone to be slaves of ferric or bribery. Elsewhere there are spirits of honor like yourself Who cant be put into harness with a show of gold. here are many others in our universe whose morals Preclude a tethering of their actions by any king. Michael-One would hardly want them as ones enemies. Mephistopheles- Right. Choosing the proper enemies is an art Lost in American politics. We all can prosper From our luck in income or generosity of friends. The gift to sup and be civil to ones foes Is the covert hub of the very craft of loving Ones neighbor. We all might want to emulate George Washington, the only President to be Elected by acclamation. The man had no rivals. Michael-In a world wallowing in slander thats a miracle. Mephistopheles-Sometimes to the rue of all Nature produces Singularities. Such miracles only happen once. Michael-Our friend Donald is not one who has escaped Such large and tiny quarrels. Perhaps you might Scribble a manual of etiquette for Donald. Hes sadly not an impeccable a politician. Mephistopheles- Thats not the way of our Creator, Michael. Were I to tell Donald what to do Id be One more minor autocrat. That is precisely What the Nameless One abhors. If God himself Refuses to be any kind of monarch should I Turn a petty baron of a city or stray spirit Who needs above all to find those resources Of maturity and self rule in the wilderness As Moses, many saints and Washington did? Michael-Then you will not aid him the very soul You have already injured by answering his prayers? That seems itself tyrannical and merciless. Mephistopheles-Michael. I am bound by rectitude as much as you. I never said I would not help him. I will. I will give him some eddies with deception To help confront his real and seeming enemies Then discover what wisdom he needs to know To come up like a whale from a salty sea From some unhappy moments of despair. Michael-Really. How will you do that? Offer Donald A bit of passing theatrical comedy? Mephistopheles- Something like that, Michael. We are spirits Who can manifest ourselves as virtually anything. I may enlist as well our distant cousin Lillith In this didactic farce as one of the mirages. Michael-You astonish me. You want him to be guided Through a trove of illusions? Can such mendacities Do him any service but distract him from his woes? Mephistopheles- What else do illusions do in this Creation? Do you think theyre trial or simply cloddishly Corrupt? If freedom means anything at all, Michael It is the liberty to be a fool. Yet at the end Of such libertine stupidity is the elevation We both as princes of the ether often enjoy. Michael- Angels like ourselves are never public dunces Like the offal of humanity. I guess that Donald Thinks were Mafioso, that were bawds, run Bordellos from Atlantic city to New Orleans. We might acquaint him with our honest nature. Mephistopheles- That might be a mistake. Once we offer others Some mendacity we are obliged to honor it No matter what absurdity our circumspection Takes us to. Its not my character to revel In opacity, believe me. I aim elsewhere At a pellucid transparency. I dont think Donald Is ready for a dialogue with the invisible Barons of other worlds, princes whose very power He might deftly scorn as medieval metaphysics. Michael- Deception has that element of rampant darkness. Youve spoken to our collage Lillith in her funks In the out-worlds of the solar system? Id guess She might be weary of the chilly pleasures some Find agreeable in the ramparts of the night. Mephistopheles- She owes me many favors. From the first trace Of light in this cosmos I have been her liege. Michael- Good. You understand the heady bonds of power. Mephistopheles-Ive studied under a master of reality, Michael. Power is never more an engine of loyalty When those who honor it are given ample reason To be moons who orbit round some cosmic duke. 034 (Enter Donald) Donald- Ambrosio, Rico. Say, you guys look fantastic. I guess it must be that Mafioso pasta you ladle Out in steam tables to the brothel customers. When they go up the stairs with some goofy broad You have a midnight dinner on the leftovers. This job in Washington has given me some problems One of which is ulcers and a constant headache. Maybe I should quit this job and run a whorehouse And judge beauty contests as I sued to do once. Mephistopheles-You wanted to be President. You are. Donald One of the most admired burdens of your wealth Has been the sometimes glum accommodation Of the populace to your whims. You should enjoy These high extensions of your will. Caprice In situations cash can buy is the hap in peace If always clothed in some force of the Very Rich. Donald- You know how they made their bucks? They cheat. They steal the silverware, cop the bath towels. They pocket the stationary and the fancy pencils. Mephistopheles-Sometimes the alternative to many woes are griefs Much worse in venom than mere parochial griefs. Its part of being tolerably flush to flout The bitter measure others with less provender Embrace in some less than wholly sweet indenture. Donald- You dont know what a heady rebel Ive been. How many rich men in America want to live here in this dump for gaudy leaders? When youre smart And have a dollar you want to be invisible. The sharks are out there sniffing your blood Believe me. you dont know who your friends are. Mephistopheles-I am not a being who needs friends. Not yet. Donald- Good. You may not have any. You might have maybe A court of creeps and whores who flatter you. Do you need their goddamned compliments? You know who the hell you are. Sometimes Of course youre not the guy youd like to be. A quick one in a Chevrolet is not quite love. You get accustomed to the pasta and red wine. Sure, it all turns to bloody piss water and shit. It might even take you over. I always wanted Above all to do something other than take Oodles of money and discreetly disappear. Michael- We never thought you were dumb Donald. Perhaps You coveted a bit of ghostly glory. Thats hardly Singular for a mortal and his vanity in any life. Donald- Rico, I could have been invisible. I could have Shot deer in gilded parks under fancy house arrest. I could have done nothing, been less than nothing. We can all do nothing when were poor or dead Rico. I am trying here clumsily to do something. Michael- Very commendable. Sadly, sometimes doing nothing Invites others one might value to do something One doesnt like. Its a charity more known In the alabaster portals of Heaven than in Hell. Donald- What are those joints to me? Just fancy dumps. Id rather be like you guys, in transit deep In the shadows. At least its not entirely creepy. Michael- Some pietists might find a bawd like you strange If not entirely amusing. They want a leader Who has other legacies than managing a world Of bimbos. They might even choose a lawyer. Donald- Do you think so? Id guess theyve been hungering For someone like yours truly for decades, Rico. They want a pimp, a clown, a caterer, a loan shark A hotel clerk. Theyve had enough of therapists. Michael- Well, in that case they all have what they want Like you, Donald. This should be a happy country. Donald- It isnt. I might be what they want; Im still No more able to be President than any barrister. Maybe they should get themselves somebody else To run America: a bum, or chiselers like you. Mephistopheles- Were not leaders, Donald. Were men of commerce. We bring mortals whatever they want. Then we Watch them wrestle unhappily with our gaudy Gifts and well wrapped novelties. You see Very well how much a tiny increase in delight And intense spasms has brought a spangled realm Of porcine epicures. We parse out opportunity. Donald- Youre corruptors, sure. If you could youd be As happy selling snake old. You arent evil. Mephistopheles-It might be the wisdom of Nature to offer virtue In the guise of vice. Yet some sagacity you lack May not be in your ken because youve journeyed Not to any honest wilderness only perfumed halls Of injury and crime. You never learnt the skills Masters of diplomacy theyve gleaned from ether. Donald- Then I need your counsel. Will you help me? Michael- Of course We are your angels, Donald. Well honor Whatever you ask of us in all these deep matters. Yet consider this, Donald: youre asking for Succor in your current prayers that led you Willfully to these hallowed halls of grief. Donald- What would you like me to do, Rico, talk to bums Whove been my close advisors? Ive done that. Where the hell did it lead me but a grotto And inner court of stupidity and misery? If the Mafia cant help me, nobody can. Mephistopheles- We cant make you easily less rich or powerful Than you are, Donald. It is only the trekkers In the deserts who can contemplate emptiness With some mastery. We can bring you to meet With people you have thought were adversaries. Donald- They aren't enemies? They're just annoyances. Mephistopheles- There might be some skill in leadership You could discover from that civil parlay. Donald- I'll try anything. I guess the Mafia knows How to talk to the devil. Maybe I can learn Some unctuous competence gleaned from Hell. Mephistopheles- You'd though so once, Donald. That's why you Became a brothel keeper. You hooted gambling Whoredom and banquets of honeyed swill. Had it ever been a choice you regret? Donald- No. I'd rather be a criminal than nothing at all. Why should I hide from anyone because I'm rich? Do you know how they live? Like jail birds. You think I want to be a convict of success? You think it's hard to be Black? Try being rich. Mephistopheles-You don't and can't prefer another life. Donald. Donald- Maybe. What the hell are the alternatives? Mephistopheles-Not many you would find barely tolerable. Donald- Look, I'm comfortable. I'm sated. I've had fun. At least I never miss a meal. I make so many Hotels I've always got some dump close by me To get out the rain. I bribe people to feed me. When people hassle me I tell them to drop dead: Sometimes I say, baby, see you in court. I've got heavy bucks to pay a team of lawyers. Mephistopheles-Of course you'd have an unfamiliar experience If you perished by some black turn of destiny. Both corpses and varied sets of higher angels Escape those pesky and distressing mortal Vulnerabilities. So do fictions. One can't sue One who is imaginary. They don't need lunch Either. Few gods are bothered by the weather. Michael- Wolves and the seraphim never go into litigation. There are no celestial courts to accommodate The sweaty woes of diverse infernal demons. Donald- Yeah, maybe they settle. Look guys, I know zilch About cherubs; I never ran a zoo, only hotels. I can say a lot of people are apt to make trouble In Washington and elsewhere because they live Off a planetary truckload of stinks, leaky roofs, Bad plumbing, when they steal a little coin Legal mayhem. Look, I don't criticize them either. Michael- God loves thieves. He makes billions of them. Even daffodils and rose rob light from the sun. Donald- Sure they do. They're all mugging the sunlight. If you're hungry and a cockroach you come out Of your little hole at night, look for crumbs. Lizards never get to be middle class or rich; They're always scrambling for a bit of dinner They find in the trash, maybe a mouse corpse Somewhere. That might be life, guys. You Mafioso Never cultivate the social life at the bottom. Michael- We accommodate them well enough, Donald. We own Every bar, whorehouse and night club in America . Donald- Yeah, you sell them pleasure, Watt the hell good Is a laugh or a quick one in a Chevrolet? It just Makes you stupid. You outlast it. It doesn't even Kill you like pain. Your problems are never over. Michael- At least you don't kill anybody, Donald. You Honor their life. Your hungers have their limits. Donald-No. Those old guys like Genghis Kahn had respect For people. They were afraid of them. They shot Them, enslaved them, slaughtered them, sometimes By the millions. They all exuded piety. Hitler Stalin were all pious. That's why I love Corruption. Take it from me as a champion seducer When you buy somebody you've got a contempt For them you never have when you cut their throat. I don't kill people because I can't make a buck From murder. I don't own even one damned cemetery. Mephistopheles-Donald, you brought us here to parlay with us To remedy some quandary. What's your difficulty? Donald- You're going to laugh at me, Ambrosio, You gave Me what I wanted. Yeah, I'm President. I've got More power than any damn king, more than any Of these imaginary angels your know or seem To know. I wanted as hell it. With your help I got it. I'm not so happy here in Washington. Michael- Perhaps you'd like Atlantic City better. You can Leave here and return there if not decorously. Make your capital Atlantic City though it should Be Chicago. Make this town a capital of crab meat. As President you've the right to make your capital In Antarctica. Make the White House a latrine. Donald- I've had enough good plumbing in Atlantic City. Living with those pretty young whores is hellish Like starring in an endless production of Hamlet Forever. You know the well marked signature lines. You're a little bored by the trivial ending. Michael-Perhaps you might take residence in Monaco. You'll hate the company but love the wine. Donald- I don't drink much liquor, Rico. My brother Fred Was knocked off sipping Cuban vodka daiquiris.  They never gave up rum when they went Communist.  Whores won't kill you like a bottle; they don't  Do you all that much good either. Yeah, it's nice  To think in a brothel you'd grope them for a dime. You get over that dumb little thrill soon enough.  You two guys ought to know. You both are experts. You run that fragrant bit of national commerce.  Michael- What are your difficulties, Donald? We all know Our existence can be tedious or disappointing. Donald- All right You know I've been a rich man's son Who had the chance to do whatever I wanted. I was a hotel builder, pimp, television star Wrestler, judged some awful beauty contests. Maybe you'd call all that trivial ambition. Maybe it was. Now I've been the President. What comes after that? Do I take up sainthood Float to Heaven, have God tell me: do my job? Michael-That's your problem? Donald, God hasn't got a job. Donald-Yeah, he rested on Shabbos and liked the feeling. Mephistopheles- Nobody will ask you to be God, Donald. Nobody. I do detect in your celestial quandaries Some flaw in your assessments you might mull Over in your midnight vigils. You describe Your life as one lived in desperate circumstances In which one eats, sleeps with, kills or puts All and everything into some bare or sheathed Indenture. That really is not the case, Donald. Donald- You think I'm greedy. I wanted to be President To be a guy who wasn't satisfied with avarice. If I were merely here in Washington to devour I could have feasted on it discreetly enough Without living in this dump, opening gardens Of orchids, and taking in the resident slander Like balmy weather. Don't you think the lobbyists And Congressmen are all of that? The Senators Don't even show up for their turn on the floor. They're too busy stealing. I could bribe my way Through the money whores of this corrupt town Silently as any honcho on the phone all day Handing out fragrant bales of funny money. I've got the bare compassion to be here Not elsewhere. When I look at television The guy they clobber is me, not the creeps And touts, the discreet brokers of influence. Michael- You like the glory. You have a taste for posture. Mephistopheles- Some people and some deities have charity Within their moral actions that cannot be called Lizard-like deferred interest. Every marriage That produces children has had two frail spirits Honoring the abysses between one and another At least in their nocturnal rites of amorousness. Donald- I'm too old now to be a whorehouse veteran. By the way if you are critical of me, Ambrosio Take a look at my rivals. What a nest of bums. Mephistopheles- Your real antagonists are not these gargoyles; It's the commoners who judge you as a manager. Every despot less base than an imbecile knows His august power comes from iron standards set By assorted commoners. One cannot run a group Of any kind who when one sleeps turns roguish Slack, violent or takes up fashionable thievery. Michael- You have agendas which are richly odious, Donald. Donald- I don't believe a word of them. Yeah, I said All kinds of baloney as all the politicians do To get elected. Do you think I really care Whether anyone comes in or put of this country? I might want the contract for a wall. Do I hate Mexicans? They work for me. They're good people. After seeing what kind of life the rich in Mexico Have give them, they're happy to take my money. Do I think that Muslims are a billion terrorists? Michael- No. You might think they are designated prey.


Donald- Do I? I love Mexicans. They work. They have honor. They even bake my pizza. What do I give them back? Money. I get a hellova meal and they get paper. I appreciate Mexicans. They're all scramblers Whom I've got to say are glad with good reason To get the goddamned hell out of the hellholes Their priests or kings or whatever have set up For them. Hey, my grandpa came here just like them. You talk about the citizens I sometimes represent; They're the bigots, the neo-Nazis, not me, Rico. Michael- You indulge them. You talk of greatness, Donald. No one should be harnessed by a vaporous itch To be imperial. Only kings and hierophants are Hungry for a rich capacious ordinary life. Besides, there is usually there is only one king. Donald- How was I got get elected? How did you elect me? Would you liked it if I ran on promises of virtue And compassionate measure? This is an angry time Filled with furious folks that could not know Why they feel such fierce and sanguine rage Michael- Unquestionably. You needed their assent, Donald. We don't think you're crazy, Donald. You're mean. Donald- You know why they're miserable? I know why, Rico. They're slaves who've sold themselves for money. They're morally no better than whorehouse bimbos In Pandemonium. They're in life for the money. Michael- Yes, that is the bloody fountain of their rancor. Donald- What do they do with a few bucks when they get it? hey sit in a chair and watch a parade of clowns. Can you see these bozos marching to the mines With a smile, digging in lethal tunnels for coal? Are they hungry to sew cravats in a garment center? Do they want to sit one more day in an office Drinking bad coffee, watching porno on a computer? They want Chinese to cobble their cheap shoes. Michael One day it the Chinese won't want to be Chinese. Mephistopheles- Why not give them labor as extras on movie sets? Donald- They don't want jobs. Their bosses put blinkers And a saddle on them once. They don't know what They want. That's why they're overweight, drunk And hungry for death. Look I chose to run a country Of creeps, bums, frauds, vegetables, invalids. This isn't a country, Rico; it's a veteran's Hospital. Sure, I talk about greatness like Hitler Or Mussolini. Nobody can remember them. Michael Admittedly you'd be better off discreetly stealing From the exchequer of the palace, siphoning Lucre their generous budget for a sparse lunch. Why do you say those things? Why make promises To anyone that must fill them one day amply With a trove of ashes? Aren't you in dread Of their rage and bilious ultimate revenge? Donald- I'd welcome it, Rico. I'd get me out of here. Mephistopheles- You're restless, Donald. Be patent. If destiny Has taken you to the mercurial glory of monarchy It may have other blessings for you soon enough. Donald- I wish I had been born like you guys, Mafioso. Nobody elects you. You've got no real enemies. Everybody likes a bit of pleasure. You sell An honest product: spasms a buck or two can buy. You're compassionate. You can handle the slander. Michael- It is the bottom of they can do to us, Donald. Luckily our customers have better opinions of us. Donald- It used to be they put the Mafia in jail; Now they the Mafia, pitching craps, blackjack Whores, protection rackets to the rabble. Still you need an army and a guy like me, Rico To manage the government and take the kitchen heat. Mephistopheles- You don't have to be Italian to be a Mafioso. You were just as eager to purvey those consolations As we were. Perhaps in being as President you've Taken a step down. What else is government now But piously managing a safe and legal brothel? Michael- You wanted it, Donald. So did the army. Troops Cops all come freely from a spa they'd thought once Was a world far worse than shooting at strangers. Donald- We often take what stale cuisine we can get, Rico. Look at how I get here. The Democrats put up An iron charmless lady no one wanted. Republicans Ran debates that beat a carnival sideshow for dread. The voters had a chance to see what provender Was out there, my illustrious rivals, and said: I got to get away from all these other bums. Okay. Republicans were bananas for the past. Democrats were queer for Memory Lane themselves Mostly old maids mumbling at faded photographs Rico, I was put here by a vacuum, an emptiness. Michael- I can't dispute your sad analysis. In fact I honor Grudgingly your richly saturnine descriptions. Moreover I agree, we do accept the best of horrors Whether we are kings or beggars, powerful priests Or drunks railing at pale phantoms in the gutter. You brought us here because you're tolerably brave Yet still unhappy. Donald. I must say you won't find Plethora of morals or mercy in your social company Or neighbors in this city. One can sniff the spoor Of many tigers abroad in this mystical metropolis. Donald- Yeah, it's like a zoo with nothing but big cats. None of the local whores will sleep with you. It's a long step down, kid, from Atlantic City. Michael- There's no lack of consolation here from tramps. Power and its courts tend to conjure them here With means that mirror the gravity of stars. Mephistopheles- It's why the Nameless One has made this world A realm of freedom. Even a toad is at liberty To do as he pleases. He never is distracted By a hetaera or stray employment in the courts. Donald- I feel the same way. After judging beauty contests Groping their very fetching if silicon boobs Do you think I hunger for any amusement from sex? I don't want a bedroom caper to be bad. I've had Disasters. I know all about erotic catastrophes. Everyone who comes to me for a quick one knows What I am there for. I'm an honest man in bed. Michael- You're hardly notably ambitious. You want great sex. You look for it in a brothel. It doesn't mean You have much love or intimacy with anyone. Donald- You overestimate the joys of romance, Rico. A passion, a tight session with any slut Turns into staleness, maybe some litigation Very quickly in our hopeful and wonderful country. Lawyers know it better than anyone. You should. You both run places where many men get a bit Of pleasure their money can buy. Most of them Are married. Some of them were married twice. You guys live off failure and death of the heart Like vultures. You don't honor what sustains you. Mephistopheles- Of course the world is crowded with louts Poltroons, tramps, frauds width free choices That define them well enough. They're chained In their very alabaster castles by pure vanity. They're lone kings without a court after a while If women, ignored once the enameled surface Of their flesh turns slack or dunly withered. When merciless, arrogant, without charity They suffer like cattle. I'd go much further Than you have, Donald in trashing your subjects. They're often swinish even in corruption. They hunger for a parade of low amusements. They'll betray or kill any seeming rivals For a pocketful of copper or a tiny spasm. What have you done in this zircon Pandemonium To make it worse or better? You despise Whatever you govern as unworthy of you. You bribe night worms and leeches to flatter you. Perhaps you're no better than your parasites. Donald- Maybe. What would I do to be more elevated Here in Washington? Bathe the big toes of lepers? Mephistopheles- No. We certainly need more urbane sophistication In our morals than supposed painted saints. You might be kind from epicurean loneliness. Perception, not action, goads many a pilgrim To some felicity in spite of themselves. Could You blow away the scorn you feel for those Who amply deserve contempt? It might invite you After a season to honor your own loss and woe. Donald- I suppose I could. Why not? For a half hour? Mephistopheles- You might give it a week, Donald. You are hardly The only libertine who despairs in private About a paucity of novel pleasure in this land Of opportunity. Perhaps America has given Its citizens a chance to take up progress In misery no longer unthinkable to the poor. Donald- Could be. I'll accept your counsel. Thank you. Let me mull your sensible commentary. I'm grateful You've given me this wonderful advice, Ambrosio. I've taken you from business. Maybe you've lost A whole bundle coming here to help me, not sell The your affordable bladders in sufficient volume. Mephistopheles- We owe you that high wisdom, Donald. After all We've been your angels. We've dutifully answered Your prayers. Call us when you need more counsel. (Michael and Mephistopheles retreat to the shadows.) Donald- Gone! Well, I've had Italian angels none have had. Now these bastards tell me I lack charity. Could That be one more honeyed labyrinth to be lost in Forever? Maybe I should love my wife. I might even Turn a little honest in my safaris in real estate. Hey, I'm a builder. I might erect a Grecian temple To virtue that impales the satin color of the sky. Right now I need a quick one from somebody Someplace. I'll hit upon my wife. She owes me Some favors. I need the hit. Quickly. Maybe I didn't eat a enough of a breakfast. (Exit Donald.) Michael- Your harsh sermon hasn't much reached his heart. Mephistopheles- No. I am not quite fatigued with such pieties. Angels never are. I make such discourses tirelessly; Michael,it's a clever deity who drafts his foes To speak for him. What sort of strange Creation Is this where only hawkers for mephitic delights Of staleness, vice, weakness, are vocal spokesmen For the more aery virtues of Heaven? At least We offer a low nosegay of louts a lacquered civil Indifference. Why does this former puppeteer work In such involute ways? Of course I accept The circumspect wisdom of our enigmatic deity. Michael- You've survived; he can't be utterly venomous. Mephistopheles- I am his seraphic messenger. Tomorrow I will take His riddling sagacity to the rich Pandemoniums Beyond Atlantic City and Washington to all The diverse celestial stews of the world. I have done this labor for my father, it seems Forever. I am after all uttering the garbled And hissing voice of truth; I am the demon Who counsels rakehells in a hellish whisper. Michael-You are a barrister for all manner of bawds, sots Fancy whores, betrayers, chilly gamblers, tapsters Churls and unnameable empty headed libertines. You outdo saints preaching to birds and fish. You bring consummate mercy to frogs, beetles, Mushrooms and the finny predators of the deep. Mephistopheles- Yet I'm mostly a shadow in a cloak. In the mines Of steaming sulfur I am often their only friend. Michael-You might be more guilefully persuasive. Sometimes even a high angel like yourself lacks The gifts of an elixir to elevate fools. I hope you've done this loutish fool some Gratuitous service. We all need the grace Oozing from a riddle. None of us, not even angels Like ourselves should have to live by whim. Mephistopheles- Only the Nameless has that divine prerogative. Luckily he treats seraphs like a toad, a lizard, Blind slug, armed with his inexplicable charity. (Exit Mephistopheles.) Michael- (Sings) Russian Spy When you get our peepers on X-ray Vegas tits and asses Phony foamy silicon Take them in with smoky glasses When you use our special eyes That peer though any lie. You may not love your sad surmise Like many another spy. What are glittering smiles or money? Ask the clowns who run the show. Though truth can be absurd or funny Sometimes, kid, there's nothing to know. (Exit Michael)

The End 036

  Trump In Atlantic City 

     A Play by Matthew Paris 


It seemed to me from the first time I saw Donald Trump on the Republican party debates on television that he was a character worthy of a play or novel in a way none of the other prospective leaders had been.

Like him or hate him, he was interesting, a sort of iconic villain, mutely satanic, a presence who clearly had been touched by lightning from worlds he had captivated beyond good and evil. He was a different sort of fellow from everybody else in that Republican tableau vivant of au courant iconry.

Yet I didn't want to write a play about a man whose ultimate resolutions of his life were going to happen in the future. It took me a long time to realize I might depict Donald Trump another way than an adventurer and rogue who had ascended to the Presidency through making his way among many improbabilities.

As I decided not to write about Trump lines for this play about Trump kept on appearing in my head. My intuition was at war with my conscious choice. Later I never saw the media trash anybody the way they excoriated Donald Trump. Their attacks were vitriolic, relentless and unfair. They misquoted him. They didn't even try to seem equitable when it was to their interest to at least appear as if they were making a mature and measured assessment of his speeches and actions. Something about Donald Trump ruled them to the point where all they could do is fulminate clumsily against this man. That showed my intuition right away something strange was up with him. I certainly didn't agree with most of the things he was saying. I think Mexicans as a whole are a plus for America. We need more people like them as Americans, not fewer. I feel the same way about Islamics. 99% of them are upright, moral, non-violent folks who want the same opportunity my great grandparents looked for when they came here. To me Mexicans and Islamics would bring an energy and richness to America it couldn't as a country of sometimes burnt out people offer itself.

I'm for the ideas on the Statue of Liberty. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free" isn't rhetoric to me.

I also found his groping of women deeply repugnant. It shows lack of character to treat anybody including women as other than severely equal. If we are going to have excesses as apparently we must, levelling should be our mistake, not bigotry. Of course there are always going to be people who treat men and women and even themselves with contempt. Still if one is aiming to be a politician it does lead to a two tiered society as much as any other bigotry does.

I did agree with Trump that the speculative world, the plutocrats had sold out the American people. Bernie Sanders thought so too. What anybody Sanders or Trump, was going to do about it seemed very vague to me. Trump did not help his own cause by lying as much as the media did, maybe more. I found particularly distasteful his so called Trump University: a clear cynical scam of resident gulls. Since Bill Clinton I never saw anyone with such an open record of immoral behavior elected to anything. Yet perhaps sometimes one is lucky to be deafened by the one's enemies. Trump's foes were not only terrible liars but were a familiar cabal of whom the common people had had enough. Usually when anyone embraces an unknown quantity one can be sure they have a desperation with the familiar and known that is even worse than anything they feel that can happen to them otherwise. One saw no sign at the Democratic National Convention that they wanted to acknowledge this pain truth. When Trump was elected I saw people marching against him in New York, rallies in public parks, other people crying, looking as if they had been mugged as they talked about him. It was all very primal. I wondered analytically whether I had ever seen this phenomenon in American politics before. I guess the last President that inspired such lauds and accordance and rage was Franklin Roosevelt.

Whenever I offered my own appraisal of Trump to anyone I was looked upon as somebody who didn't understand why he was deplorable or why he was a messiah. Trump resonated with everybody in some deep way.

After a while I realized I might have a play in depicting Trump's intuition to a world beyond good and evil.

That advent seemed worth a play.

It still seemed to me as if my intuition was telling me something about Trump and his inner life I wasn't acknowledging consciously. I've learnt the hard way by making a few false starts that ideas that strike me analytically as worth a play or a novel sometimes turn out to be duds because the inspiration for them isn't there.

Trump in his speeches and interview with Howard Stern had alluded very discreetly to a life beyond good and evil in which one could do all sorts of lewd things with impunity. He wasn't really as much attracted to these realms as slightly perplexed by them. He is a very smart man. He knows that whatever one does it alters one's character. His dilemma reminded me of Goethe's plot for Faust.

Then I thought I really had something worth writing.

If Trump had gone through out of early desperations a sybaritic refuge in a world of satanic energy he wasn't the only one in America who had done or thought of such a deed. He was in fact almost an ordinary protagonist in a ghostly army of Americans who with him and retreated with rage and despair from the American dream of the 50s with its narrow if moderately enforced Hitlerian notion of patriotism and virtue to a world of deep ontological freefall.

Trump unlike most people but like his predecessors in such deeds, Joseph and John Kennedy before him, could do it with great gobs of money.

If I could convince an audience that they were as much touched with this intent, that the only difference between some of them and Donald Trump was means and opportunity, that Trump was an ordinary protagonist among an army of similarly desperate citizens who resonated with him since he was at bottom one of them I would have achieved something one doesn't see often in a less ambitious candidacy for public entertainment. I've shown this play to friends as writers do for suggestions on posible improvement. If it is an original play, it can be enriched by caveats about its various excursions into the unknown. Since I'm a long time practicing playwright whose work was produced for over 22 years in New York I know the play is theatrically viable.

Yet for example my friend Les Weischelbaum called it "a closet play" both because of its heavy metaphysical element or that it was in verse at all, another friend David Zimmer, said, Mephistopheles and Michael talked too much alike. One friend, Dave Channon, got very mad at me because I wrote about Trump at all. He saw Trump not as a tortured human being but a satanic nemesis never to be acknowledged as anything but an ultimate scoundrel.

I listened to everybody. To answer Les' criticism I added some patter songs ala W.S. Gilbert. It lightens the material so that reader can have plenty of obvious yocks to attract him to read through the play at all. It seemed to me that my play was funny enough; after listening to Les I made it more funny in an obvious way. I can't get any more goofy than a parody of Putin's signature Blueberry Hill.

I agree with Les that when people today see iambic hexameter they usually aren't in the mood for laughing.

To answer David Zimmer's criticism I gave Michael a parody of an old Danny Kaye routine. It should make everyone laugh. Tgis is after all a comedy.

To answer David Channon's objections was harder; I am loathe to dismiss people as simple monsters. I've tried to disassociate myself from Trump to allay the fears of any reader that I might be supporting him or any of his policies. Maybe I went too far and made him less human; I don't know.

Yet the play isn't so much about Trump as is about how an entire generation of ordinary human beings got caught up or didn't in a net of amoral or immoral values by the presumptions of an imperial and egoistical society that claimed that reality is or should be about cut throat epicurean interest.

I went myself though that temptation in the desert in the 50s like Trump; I rejected it to try to live at least as presumptively a life of charity and compassion for others as Trump in a strange way had embraced the Faustian temptation while giving it an overt criminal sleazy mantle in Atlantic City. It's not as if I don't know what I think formed him. They gave all of us the same pitch. How well I was able to take up my direction is another story. I would hope that anybody reading or seeing this play would feel pity for Trump as well as perhaps a certain sadness at his deep moral weakness. Faust and Trump are weak.

They are also tragic because they are free.

In any case this better version of this play a year later, lighter, more readable has benefited I think from the responses to it of my friends.

I wrote this play at a time when poetry and the Arts in general hav not had a public anymore. The various people who in my lifetime claimed to be leading the Arts I must say did an effective surreptitious job of marginalizing any dissent to the excesses of this imperium besides a few grumbles, perhaps mumbled in Tibetan, while they pranced gaudily in the media seemingly trying to do the opposite. One can seem to be a dissenter yet casually and indirectly support an imperium by offering alternatives to it that are silly or insufferable to most people. As a harvest of that defunct vaudville this generation doesn't expect to find anybody either in poetry or theatre asking who and where we are now.

I'm not confessing anything nor inviting anyone to a Tibetan monastery. I'm trying not to mount any interest in myself in this play; I want to provide a fable of how an entire country got caught up in a set of values that are essentially self destructive and immoral. Right now the only people who do this are television comics. I'm asking an audience to assess who we are and how we live now. Moreover inferentially, if we look in the mirror, can we stand it? This play is a photographic parable.

It asks its readers to honor themselves, assess their place and adult power in the universe. That is what we all do down to the local bacteria.