“Come live with me,” you said, “and I will make
Your dreams come true so fast you’ll be amazed.”
So I moved down here thinking, “Piece of cake!”
And here I am, unnoticed and unpraised.
I feel like I’ve been doing this forever:
Wearily knocking on the same old door
Behind which those less gifted and less clever
Are cheek to cheek with you on Fame’s dance floor.
And when I say, “That’s it, you punisher.
I will not chase my dreams here one more day.
I don’t even remember what they were.”
That’s when you pout and stroke my cheek and say:
“Didn’t I tell you? It’s not talent, dear—
Luck and connections make you famous here.”
“Come live with me,” you said, “and you will be
Finally recognized for who you are.”
And so I did, and now you think of me
As That Old Guy Who Scribbles In Some Bar.
The path you said was open is a wall.
The field I thought I owned is occupied.
The courage that I felt was alcohol.
And every seed I planted here has died.
My life has been a mirror-world King Lear:
Nothing has come of everything. The gods?
They haven’t even sported with me here.
They simply laughed—like children laugh at frauds—
Pointed to my unfortunate condition,
And smiled at me with total recognition.
“Come live with me,” you said, “and I’ll devise
An endless roundelay of revelry
For you alone, and whisper all the lies
You’ll need to hear to help you live with me:
That great success is calling out your name;
That merit always gets you the reward;
That hard work and persistence win you fame;
That life here has a price you can afford.
I know it won’t be easy on your pride
To bang your head against unopened doors,
But think of that great treasure trove inside!
Come live with me and that, that will be yours.
What do you say?” you ask, and I just sigh.
What can I say? I’m living here, aren’t I?
Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells