Portrait of the Artist in Nine Beats



What do they see when they look at me?
I’m not sure that’s who I really am.
And if it’s not, who then could it be?
I’d like to settle this today, ma’am.

I think the structure of this guy, Me,
and I’ll betcha likely even you,
was built of stuff folks wanted to see
and I guess we wanted for them, too.

So what we have are these fine facades,
callouses made by heat and friction.
We hardly said No, mostly Yes and nods,
to feel loved, but that kind’s pure fiction.

Whenever we stepped outside our shields
and tried thinking of ourselves a little,
chaos or blame would become our yields,
so we’d jump from fire back to griddle.

I’ve grown tired of toting their good boy,
hands too full of an image to play.
The love we sought might have brought us joy,
though probably not enough, I say.

I’m calling out, so come see the real.
Just for a mo, world, but I’m trying.
I’m warm just like you, come on, just feel.
What? Must be dust. Why’d I be crying?

(Count the beats per line. ~ JH)


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