Neglected Poems – Number Three – Performance

Friday 23rd January

This is another old one.  Feeling sorry for myself (as usual) this tumbled out of me one day.

As Frank Zappa might have said “De Poor Boy Got Problems”


The house-lights fade as the overture begins

The curtains sweep back and I step from the wings

           The theatre’s in darkness but I know that you’re there

            I can almost smell the sweat in your hair

                        This performance so public is strictly for you

                        You’re in total command of all that I do          


The man you see is the one you created

With your hopes and desires and your heart so elated

            I’m not even sure I really exist

          I hardly know how to function at all

                        Except as the image – the frog you once kissed

                        The beam bouncing bright off your mirror-ball


But I wasn’t always this way it would seem

I once had my own thoughts, dreamed my own dreams

            Was a man in my own right – a creature apart

            That was before you ensnared this feint-heart

                        And I sing and I dance and I pirouette

                        A puppet in your fingers, and yet, and yet

             You’re not really certain – how can I convince         

              My acting, near perfect, still makes you wince


While out in the spotlight I pull out the stops

Backstage I’m desperately searching for props

            So many people still have their claws in me

            That’s why you find so many locked doors in me     

The Act’s end approaches; the audience sits hushed     

You rip up the script, at your feet I fall…crushed 

                The actor is an actor, the man just a man

              Buckets marked FIRE are filled with damp sand