Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A voice

 —In response to Scott Simon’s interview with cabaret singer Lady Rizo, 4/21/12

Most of us with a ‘voice’
don’t have publicity materials.
Maybe a Facebook.
Our venue is always small.
Life is indeed a cabaret, ol’ chum—
in a church, a stage in a basement,
graveside or garden wedding,
folding chairs, a friend playing
the piano.  If you’re lucky,
a garage band backing you up.
No tip jar, no personally produced
CDs in cardboard sleeves,
not even a cover charge
(unless you count the offering).
Everyone who’s come to hear
you sing has heard 
the same tunes many times before.
Old hymns lustily sung,
gospels and spirituals from the belly,
Dvořák’s Goin’ Home 
blesses the husband, 
then the wife a few years later.
No grinding or growling of any kind.
Just a voice trying to get it as clear
as can be:  you are not alone.

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