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Dress Rehearsals

(My thanks to American actress Suzen Murakoshi)
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Since you ask me, then, I’ll tell you,
                       if you’ll put your pen away,
               ’Though I know that you’ll report me.  
                       I’ll begin then, if I may?

Life is not a dress rehearsal, I once heard a poet say,
We are manufactured actors in this shambles of a play,
With our entrances and exits and our prima donna whines,
And our rage upon the stage each time a dolt forgets his lines....

All the schmoozing and the boozing and the ‘Christ it isn’t fair’,
All the weeping and the wailing and the tearing out of hair,
All the bluffing and the bleating as we calculate the score,
And the knavery and bravery of butchers making war...

All the mummery and flummery, the posing and the sweat,
All the snorting and aborting and the wallowing in debt,
All the scoffing and the doffing and the drivel sold as art,
And the fury when a jury votes to tear our lives apart...

All the starving and the carving up of geese and fatted calves,
All the peering and the leering as we sneer at other halves,
All the nudging and the judging and the shovelling of shit,
And the dreaming and blaspheming and the poetry and wit...

Well, I’ll bet you I can get you even money on the odds
That it’s boring to be soaring up in heaven with the gods,
So they made us to parade us, just to watch us every day,
And impromptu’s how they want you in this shambles of a play!

               As to whether he was clever
                       or a madman, I can’t say —
               But we’ve had no dress rehearsals
                       since they shut us both away.