The Spoils of Verse
A publisher picked up my poems
And gathered them into a book.
I thought I was made, my future was paid,
My fortune assured in Mercedes and jade –
Alas, so I greatly mistook.
The public all favoured my poems,
And earned me the best-selling book.
But sad to behold, just two hundred sold –
My train hadn’t gravy, my bank hadn’t rolled,
My economics unshook.
My publisher lauded my poems,
Promotions were planned for my book –
His numbers were great, and he just couldn’t wait
For the readings to start which would quickly inflate
The revenue earnings I took.
“The public will listen to poems,
But won’t read them out of a book.
You wanna earn cash ? You gotta be flash –
Verses on tour is a lib·rar·y smash,
Using your voice as your hook.”
“But I am a writer of poems,
No actor that agents can book.
My thing isn’t talking, my vocals are squawking –
You wouldn’t demand this of Professor Hawking.
This stagefright I just cannot brook.”
A publisher picked up my poems,
But had to remainder my book.
I cannot recite with the passion I write,
So here I am working at Tesco by night –
My words still in search of a look.