When she opens her unsmiling red painted lips
I expect to hear a song in French
Something sultry, contralto,
“Tu es mon amour,
mon coeur, mon tous,
mon avenir et mon passé.”
But she sings in a nasal soprano
without soul, something modern.
It’s an English faux dirge
Filled with what passes for class
But with its knickers showing,
Pale angst included.
Where’s the usual piano man?
The piano accompaniment is tinny,
The old piano sounding as weak
As a bleached soul molested by strange hands.
Someone I don’t know plays a muted trumpet
and again the music is faded;
A foggy black and white whisper
Compared to the usual bright color.
The young couple next to me is enchanted
By the Orchid Room so maybe it’s just my mood.
They smile the bright luminous smiles
of oblivious and self-absorbed young love.
I bury myself in the music and Brass Monkey
And wait, remembering being young
And in oblivious, self-absorbed love.
I’m waiting for a reason
But it escapes me.
Perhaps I’m waiting for some contralto to sing
Something sultry in French;
“Tu es mon amour,
Mon coeur, mon tous,
Mon avenir et mon passé.”
I have to laugh at myself.
Tonight I am my own illusion,
Seriously, aren’t we all?
La grande illusion
dans le grand jeu de vie.
None of my friends are here tonight?
The bartender winks and I’m able to smile.
Mamu nods at me knowingly
As the blue smoke, itself an old friend,
swirls its tendrils in the air around me.
When the pale music is quiet
I can hear the hum of familiar voices
Lifting in laughter and conversation
in the back room past the noise of the room
past Mamu’s broad shoulders.
Sweet, deadly Mamu, the human door.
Are they playing at billiards or cards?
Playing in the room of mirrors?
Usually I would join in.
But everyone has their own agenda tonight.
Sitting alone is mine.
Perhaps I am playing the sultry
French whore who would not sing.