To The Poet On The Stage by John Grey

Sorry but there’s only
so much bitterness and heartbreak
a man can take.
Especially when it’s not mine.

There’s nothing wrong with wailing and moaning.
It’s this tagging it as “art” that I have a problem with.
I get it. You’re in pain.
But so are half the people on the planet.
And so very few of them
ever get to bare their scars in public.

But here you are again,
up there on the podium,
in no doubt that others are keen to hear
from your pathetic life,
tearful inner child,
abomination of a family,
excruciating love affairs.

Whatever happened to
laugh and the worlds laughs with you?
To you, it’s now
cry and you attract a crowd.
Yes, your misery gets attention.
For the rest of us poor souls,
there’s nothing for it
but to weep into our own beer.
And they only serve coffee and soda here.

And then you have the nerve to say
that reading your poetry to others is therapy.
That would make your audience
the only psychoanalysts in town who pay their clients.

I admit that I’ve written to clear my head from time to time.
And I’ve felt the need to get the last hurt down on paper.
In times of old, they called that “hate mail.”
Unlike you, I don’t foist my miserable rage on anyone.
Not unless the trash barrel is a someone.

My problem is I came here for a good time.
Not that I’m complaining mind.
If I did, I’d be you.

John Gray Copy
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Silkworm work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.



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