side men

I could handle being a side man

back then

loving the ladies then sending them home

but it’s a condition all side men eventually

suffer from

wanting to be the man centre stage

fronting the band leading the show

3 married blondes in a row

eventually killed the gig

felt very much like they

were passing this old boy around

no crises

long thoughts on the morality of it all

just a tiredness of juggling other people

their sad lives

providing comfort


to other men’s wives

that night at the crossroads

the man in my ears

is telling me of his hell

travelling blues the women

the drugs the booze

living in hotels

& he wants me to feel

some kind of sad

sorry for the sucker

how hard his life is

those hours on the stage

playing stuff he wrote

only yesterday

when he got the people

putting their money down

they worked night shifts more

telling him he’s great

they’d give their life for

& if I can give it to you

straight on the level

you & the devil

you made your deal

that night at the crossroads

& if it don’t suit no more

just turn out the light

there’s more thousands waiting

will run up the steps

won’t whine on their feels

be pleased to be there

getting their words out

pleasing us the crowd

To keep your head up

walking the lines of people

who for today

have decided to hate you

feeling the heat back of the neck

as you go to your workstation

& do what needs be done today

If you look up there is a coven

convening in the corner

couple of dark witches muttering

& you know what you did

your biggest crime of the century

kept on breathing day after day

not that they wanted you properly dead

just maimed enough to keep coming in

so’s they could see their handiwork

writ large on the world stage

& that’s what this is their theatre

where they create psychodramas

gestalts to complete their incompleteness

set ups replete with trap doors

the smoke & mirrors of artifice

not that they know they do this

& if challenged they will only fight harder

your task as the hatee today

is to wait for their shadow to pass over

& hope you get to refuse to play

fair warning

Oedipus had fair warning

& still he made his choices

much like me & you

if we were to take the time

to think on what we do

& who wants any of that?

time spent in contemplation

of the inevitable

instead of acting no malice intent

so like Sartre

did but did not say

we act

we do

& be

what we are destined to be

not all of us motherfuckers

but proud actors on our own stage

awaiting the curtain