The Laughing Monkeys of Gravity
The Settlement
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Oliver's Pratfall

All bricks must fall on Oliver Hardy's head,
and the imperishable storm do harm to Lear;
Isaac must live to know his place in his father's heart;
let him see how it stood when the knife was out.

Let it all now come to a settlement
after so long, things should be final and true,
like the hard pavement of Cordelia's lips
or the infallible timing of God's angels.

Just look, for example, at Oliver Hardy
he's still sitting there on the shattered hearth
while the laughing monkeys of gravity
drop brick after brick on his too-soft head.

Where's his good friend Stanley, his pal?
Right now he's elsewhere, anywhere but where
bricks are falling and the world puts dents
in the skull of someone he loves more than himself.

The monkeys and the angels keep playing,
but Hardy doesn't movehe stares into himself,
waiting for the laughter to stop, furious
at Stanley, unable to think of anyone else.