He remembers, forgets,
knows those sat,
stood around the bar
were not marionettes.
They did not move by strings,
act on words from the wings.
He could not make them do, say,
as puppets in his play,
what to him would be
pleasing, pleasant things.

He dissembles, regrets,
knows they are,
quite naturally,
at times, frighteningly, free.
Nothing angers, flames, upsets,
the string worked ways of marionettes.
What unwinged his mind,
the plays of humankind.

Now how vividly she shines,
that woman over there,
sat at a table, among friends.
She laughs, leans back in her chair,
a light makes a halo of her hair.
He knows of him she is unaware,
feels sure she is someone’s lover,
could be that man’s wife.
She was another woman,
he had no chance with in his life,
would not dance with him,
by the moon romance with him.
He was hoping he looked pleasant,
not too worn, hard, adultly grim,
but she was never going to turn,
look and smile at him,
invite him to her ocean,
to swim beyond the rim.

His nerves hinted, anyway,
if on him she focussed,
he would find no words to say.
Reluctantly, he accepted,
it was not a play.
They were not players.
Life could only seem that way.
He knew the signs,
he drew the lines,
still he exhausts his mind.
Time to go, he decides,
leaves his vacancy behind.

Back home, in his room,
he tries to work out
the acts of silhouettes,
as they flickered on his eyelids.
So weary now, he frets,
plays with the faces,
he remembers from the bar,
not free of him now,
but as marionettes.
What he wants, he gets,
what he feels, he can say,
and the woman turns
and smiles at him.
In his mind,
he lets his puppets play.

Clown in his own circus,
his chaos upsets,
bewildered by the fuzzy, hazy figures,
the indistinct dance
of self directed marionettes,
he attempts to grasp,
until his brain blanks.
What he remembers, he forgets.

Lies back on his bed,
on his pillow rests his head,
dreams himself as an old man,
sat in a dusty loft,
around him, silver scissors,
black wire, broken nets,
lolling out of boxes,
hanging from the rafters,
a cast of discarded,
long forgotten marionettes. 


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