Just as comedy outlived the promise
of being an alternative but proved
to become what it foreswore to dismiss,

another club of white men, wearing suits—
I scrutinise my own formative years;
the angry young man, shouting bitter truths,

the toilet venues, the squat party jeers,
how what I said seemed so damn important,
how I felt verse could put an end to wars.

I set my starstruck eyes upon the distant
and blurry goal of taking it full time,
snag that elusive quarry, recognition…

I must have been pissed when the moment came,
for here I stand in my hundred pound whistle,
recalling disparate pairs of slanted rhymes,

the odd anti-establishment epistle
and bawdy anecdotes for cheap guffaws.
One part of me still affirms this is all

I wanted: some door money, brief applause—
and yet, a tiny waft of disappointment
hangs on as I knock back my post show beers.

It isn’t so much underachievement
or having set my standards far too high—
it’s more that I know what the punters want

and what I really want my work to say
and fall short of both benchmarks, but still,
I’ve sailed my smile through far crappier days.

I could still be grafting for the council,
pruning roses down the South Acton Estate.
But instead, I’ve got slim volumes for sale.

Thank you all for listening. Goodnight.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. peter litton
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 01:29:31

    I read this poem and a well used cliché came to mind…
    It ain’t so much the arrival, it’s the travelling that counts.
    When you finely arrive, are the audiences expectations what you really want to deliver.


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