Encore

 

Oh, the greatest play is on;
The audience has filled the hall.
After the whole cast have sung their all,
All Epicurus’s hairs stand in awe.
Then comes the main actor’s solo,
The backdrop the whispers billow:
That main actor can hit the high notes,
But so badly he mangles the lows.
Then he sees one by one the seats go,
And, yes, so do the highbrow’s shadows.
But he still sings the part with his heart,
Knowing fully well it is his last.
Though there’s but one audience left,
(She is his best friend since birth)
The actor sings with candor,
His efforts taking their toll
On his voice and throat and soul,
His friend’s eyes glued on the show.
Right after the actor’s singing has stopped,
His best friend, teary-eyed, quickly stands up,
Does her applause, and proudly bows,
Shouting “Encore! Encore! Encore!”
But the actor can’t give no more;
Pleased, he falls lifeless on the floor.

 

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Surrender

 

I pace up and down, and the room moves with me. The
Peeling pink shatters with undifferentiated
Nervousness. The granite floor, with mouth wide open,
Pukes at the thought. The door retches uncontrollably
As the drapes billow, the fetid smell bringing in
Images of grime and murk. Then the ceiling lets go
Of the rivets, says goodbye to the furring, and
The roof with its rafters plummets. Any minute
From now the entire walls will come down, I’m sure of it,
Its foundation proving no match to our sturdy promise,
Our stubborn destiny, our scrumptious eternity—
Now all flying out of those scarred windows as fast as
My hopes and unreasonableness turning into
Debris. With a champion’s resolve, I quit. I surrender.