The delicate treble falters uneasily Above the empty acres of an endless chasm Where we know some low end should be. It finally falls flat on the ears Of sharp listeners Who see the damp back of the bass player As he frantically fiddles with knobs and switches. We see a void beside flimsy cymbals In the absence of a tom tom, Hear a whole mess of hi-hats; kept open By a broken pedal, And watch the guitar player Lay down his craft and make for stage Left to help out with that finicky amp. In such circumstances, Some of us forgive the singer With the sickly figure For wrenching his head back and away From his microphone and spotlight. A switch of filter spreads the walls with red. Two shadow arms behind the amps Hammer hard against the earth. One stage right limb gets sucked Into a torso at stage left. At a rest, Three shadows Look like ageless stags caught in the gaze Of some ancient archers we are becoming. And to s how them that we love this We slap our meaty parts against each other.
A Portrait of a Lady
I've been sitting on this leather bench in this cold, sterile room for a half-hour or so, just looking at you. You're leaning forward in your chair, wearing a single pearl that hangs straight down on a thin, silver necklace in front of your chest, clad in some funny colour scheme. And you're looking at me: your forearms stacked, and hands delicately cupping your elbows, finger nails left bare, showing nail beds that share a hue with your skin, thinking of some article in the Daily Mail on the socio-economic ramifications of our culture's quinoa craze, lamenting the state of the Bolivian farmer (who can't afford to keep a grain to feed his kids), and probably the state of your love life. And it's true, the softness of your expression does well to keep such thoughts on this and that between the two of us. Most others get red in the face, arguing about what it is you're "doing" or "saying," with your hands positioned as they are, or with that pearl around your neck falling as it does. Who cares about all that? You're thinking of a woman in the next room, herself a subject of this sort of gaze that commonly falls on your well-groomed, well-lit members of our history's upper crust. Quickly, my thoughts of you move to thoughts of your owner's: a well-groomed, well-dress, well-bred parliament of collectors of the fine stock. You and I both question their taste as we ponder that gaudy frame they've got you in. I think I'd change that.