The bass line has come for him,

throbbing his heart down a beat.

And drums batter away on his backbone.

Is that a guitar string or a nerve?

It’s hard to tell.

Six inches from his sweat,

a plectrum is grinding and searing.

Maybe it’s the room itself.

So dank with indifference.

A clamor yes, but from conversation,

not anticipation.

His skull buzzes.

Maybe from the wires that surround him.

Or could be how he struggles

to take it all in.

One terrified young man

no longer singing to his full-length mirror,

his voice reaches down

but his throat can’t help him.

He grabs his mike

with both hands for support.

His mouth fills with spit.

His jaw won’t unclench.

Then comes the almighty riff.

It pauses for his cue.

“Welllllllllllllll!” he screams.

He does not scare easily.

Just loudly.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *