Sunday, April 23, 2006

It’s a Tough Life

It’s tough being a poet
Up at the crack of midday
Thinking of rhyme schemes and rhythms
Trying to think what to say

It’s tough being a poet
Strolling along the beach
Searching for inspiration
When inspiration’s a wave out of reach

I sometimes think that a poet
Is the toughest thing you can be
As I walk in the shade of the forest
Trying to think of a rhyme for tree

Friday, April 14, 2006

2 AM at Crazy Pete’s

The end of a long night
We’re playing on the cramped stage
At Crazy Pete’s
Following the familiar bluesy path
Exploring beats and rhythms
Cadences and silences
Harmonies and melodies
And the punters and the staff
Have long gone
But we’ve still got the beat
2 AM at Crazy Pete’s

A drunk sleeps in the corner
Pete hadn’t the heart to turf him out
His body draped across the table
Sticky with spilled beer
And here's the man himself
Tall, awkward - with a squint -
A trophy from his days as a getaway driver
And he listens for a while
Sheds an unlikely tear
And he sings, I’m for an early night
And he sings, I’m dead on my feet
And he sings, When you leave, turn out the light
2 AM at Crazy Pete’s

We play on, almost scared to stop
What do we have to go home for anyway?
Only the day job -
Another stint in the Tunbridge Wells office
Examining paperclips
As a means to a slow, slow suicide.
Then - the exit door bangs open
A chill breeze scatters cigarette ends and beer mats
Rattles glasses and optics
And she walks in
As though she owned the place
Her face pale and indistinct
She drifts between the tables
Like a draught
Easing aside
The heavy fog of stale cigarette smoke.
She sits beside the drunk
Like the dull whisper of defeat
Like a mother’s shadow
2 AM at Crazy Pete’s

Well, we can’t play forever
And Mick the drummer gives us the cue
We pick our way through the sharps and flats
Find the familiar bluesy path
And head for home
The bass brings the twelve bars
To a familiar end
And we hit that last note
Which hangs like a corpse in the air
The visitor has gone
And the drunk
Slides from his chair
Slumps to the floor, dead
And as the drummer makes
The final beat count
It's 2 AM at Crazy Pete’s