RDW's poems

6- Awakenings

And so I plant the kiss to wake her up
her eyelids move, just like they’re supposed to do
She opens up her eyes and looks around
and says “O fuck!  O fuck!  I’m forty-nine.

I do not want to live.  I want to sleep,
to dream;  there is no rub.  The dream
is fine – I’m young, I’m beautiful. There is
no end of what I am, what I can be

You do know that I sing?  That I gave up
my university scholarship in maths
because I knew that I could only sing?

Well, you should hear me sing.  The world should hear!
The trouble is, I can’t find my CV
That’s all there is
between me and The Garden, or E N O.

I stopped the piddling jobs ten years ago
Spaghetti opera! The pay is shite
An understudy never gets a chance
The chorus? That’s where singers go to die

or worse: they wait until they die stillborn
And demo tapes are for the underclass
My voice is great.  It cannot stand in line
with other voices to be ‘auditioned’

My voice comes first.  My talent and my gift
– it’s sitting here; it’s sitting here unwrapped

If my career could be what it should be
I would move out of here.  You think that I
like sleeping in the briars, stuck in thorns?

I see the time – these briars tell the time,
they grow so much per hour, per day, per week –
but if I do not move, then they don’t move
Then time is stopped, and I’m not forty-nine

You have to understand

that when you came in prancing on your horse
and slashing with your God-Almighty sword
that all you really did was start the clock
that makes me old, that makes me much too old

If only I could sing, be paid to sing
be recognised for what I know I am
then I could leave.  I could walk out of here.
I wouldn’t need you — or your silly sword

There’s nothing you can do that I can’t do.
I’m just as bright – or brighter; know as much;
read newspapers and books and watch TV
There’s nothing disorientated about my mind.

I am just poor, and have a crappy job,
and gave up everything so I could sing

And couldn’t get a chance.  What do you know
about statistics?  Probability?
If odds are low, it takes a longer time
to get the same result.  And so I sleep

When I awake, and finally get my chance,
I’ll still be twenty, thirty at the most
Not forty.  Never forty-fucking-nine
So go away.  There’s nothing you can do”

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