Herr Kasperle (from Wilkommen Zum Rattenfanger Theater 2019)

Herr Kasperle

Every man is a Faust (Dr Zhivago)

Near the gushing Jordansprudel
and the high green hair of the ginko
is an antique shop
set in palatial grounds

Herr Kasperle sits next to the Polyphony turntable
on a black wooden box
Watches tourists pass by the score of Schubert
as cut glass tulips sparkle in the window

Layered Deutsche Mark faces, cheek to cheek
shiver with dust rain as the door creaks
Kaleidoscope hides the meaning of life in peephole spiral jewels
Encyclopedic postcards of People-Proving-Their-Joy with a rushed hand

Woman coughs as she descends the spiral staircase
Russian sickle jacket hides behind the door
The owner adjusts his pince-nez

Ghosts hear echoes of red hammer taps
Carved head tilts, stares
Herr Kasperle blinks
dreams of his string ancestors
Shadow, Tabletop, Glove
Finger, Stick, Ventriloquist
The entertaining races
Curriculum Vitae displays appearances in Faust
Street theatre in a frayed patchwork waistcoat
Glued beard en pointe
Makeshift stages conjure children’s gazes

Herr Kasperle repeats his line:
A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart

Desperate clutch of memento to prolong pilgrimage
I hold your wooden hand
I have to take you home

Copyright © Deborah Edgeley

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