Darkened eyes, little lies.

i have seen it
in the dead eyes of the doped singer
goaded onto the stage
to do on cue
what once was natural.
the circle of viciousness.
needs the dope
needs the big money
for more dope.
the crowds melt away,
except those who cling to a lost legend
who has long been gone.
a shell remaining,
sunglasses covering fish eyes.

i have seen it
in the starving artist
appreciated by the discerning
at his first flush of beauty.
his canvas children snatched up for a pittance.
rumors fly
the hungry close in
paint me this, just so,
to go with my decor.
and he needs, he needs to live
and paints with panache
produces on schedule
affects an artist’s persona
becomes a parody of himself
and the first flush of beauty
is cheapened.

i have seen it
in the writer who gives his work to the publisher
he needs to live, too.
and so, he has to eat his words
when they say
cut this or that out
and, by the way, we want to change the title.
so, what was once pleasure and pride for him
is now just an ignominious job.

One response to “Darkened eyes, little lies.”

  1. Real life doesn’t leave a lot of room for lofty notions about ourselves and our work whether we’re writers for hire, struggling artists, musicians, or shipping clerks and lawyers. Except for the occasional exception to prove the rule, we’re all about squeezing a living, the best living we can, out of a stingy system of rewards. Best learn to love it.


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