Poem Hunter
In The Stalls
(28 February 1865 – 22 January 1945 / Milford Havens, Wales)

In The Stalls

Poem By Arthur Symons

My life is like a music-hall,
Where, in the impotence of rage,
Chained by enchantment to my stall,
I see myself upon the stage
Dance to amuse a music-hall.

'Tis I that smoke this cigarette,
Lounge here, and laugh for vacancy,
And watch the dancers turn; and yet
It is my very self I see
Across the cloudy cigarette.

My very self that turns and trips,
Painted, pathetically gay,
An empty song upon the lips
In make-believe of holiday:
I, I, this thing that turns and trips!

The light flares in the music-hall,
The light, the sound, that weary us;
Hour follows hour, I count them all,
Lagging, and loud, and riotous:
My life is like a music-hall.

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My Beef I Marvellous collection of cooked meat animals fed on grass as green as crayons Blood-red joker markings on my upper lip fair-trade organic grape this evening I walk with a cigarette to the garden holy smoke about geraniums on the window sill The seductive leaves, black ink on velvet the blossom hues draw me close for love I stroll to the fenced shrub garden sit on the bench funnel smoke through my lips at brown snails on the wall II The Frigidaire meat selection I slice the beef and roll it on my tongue I will greet tomorrow I shall decide the attire although part of the day may hold me in chains I will eat the tongue of an ox I will bellow bronzed words onto 48 sheets throughout Belfast