Light is blinding me, yet I need to see. I need to explore my audience.
The table directly in front. Two hipsters peakocking in quirk. Their expression adds to the flamboyance of the room. Relaxed yet poised, the pair knowing their beauty and peculiarity has the room checking in with their flare. Cool with expectation. Genuine interest or common courtesy? Time will tell.
The 2nd row. A relic sits. A 60 year old footing of the arts. His feathered top hat propped upon shoulder length gray hair. Wearing a plaid shirt, buttoned to choke, he rolls his sleeves up just enough to unveil the beginnings of his tattooed body. His wrinkles grow, as his eyes smile, his spirit the centerpiece for the open mic gallery. Will the old-timer feign interest or add my performance to his little black book of destined stars?
A synthetic gaggle of blond beauties occupy the table to my right, their conversation undeterred by me standing on stage. Free entertainment and a hard to beat happy hour snatched them from the cold streets of New York.
Then there’s me, winter hat still propped on my head, its baubles dancing with each scan of the crowd. My face. Do they see my fear? Are my nerves etched in a stance, a tapping toe, a fisted hand? I should have worn makeup. A mask for my insecurities. Lashes darkened for false bravado.
My shirt. Orange and red play with each other upon the fabric. A sunrise emulsion, adorned as a poetry power suit. It’s my favorite button down, bought for 4.99 at a San Diego thrift. Today, the buttons lay open exposing a heaving chest, breaths quickening with each visual probe of the audience and analysis of myself.
Time to start. Can I start?
Hipsters stand in pairs, at home within the scene
Braided hair, tatted wear, yet artful is their sheen
A relic sits alone, thoughts friend upon his table
Passing time within his mind, his life a New York fable
Make up faced, with gin to chase, a gaggle breaks the silence
Mike in hand, I take the stand and pray for qualms compliance
The butterflies are swimming. Feet reflect their flutters
Yet, dreams are too profound, for fear to lace arts utters
Here I go, mind on show, my heart the lone composer
To touch your soul, my only goal, as words start to wash over