A Sonnet in Memory of Shakespeare's Stolen Skull

By Michael Dorr

Once your skull held a cosmos in the guise
of gray meat teeming with bastards and kings,
Jews and Moors, servants and lords, and the wise
so often the crippled jester juggling
or lovers doomed in the depths of a tomb.
Whether for whore or killer, you, Shakespeare,
had a bold brain blessed with Infinite Room,
airing their mad ambitions, bright despair.
And now we learn that chalice wrought from bone
was surely stolen by anti-Magi;
its fate shall remain forever unknown,
though your plays and sonnets will never die.
And what of my skull's Future History?
Phrenology's out.  An ashtray's likely.

Published March 31st, 2016


Poet, writer, editor, former publisher, educator, cultural critic, and (briefly) a gravedigger, Michael K. Dorr is a Phi Beta Kapa cum laude graduate of Hofstra University, where he studied film, theater, history, anthropology, and astrophysics.  He is co-editor of MILES ON MILES: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis.  He lives in Brooklyn, New York with a Rhodesian Ridgeback runt named Trixie Maybeline.