It’s a meat market in here.
Why girls as green as grass
Should dance to the songs of a man ten times their age
Climb on their boyfriends’ shoulders
Throw their panties and their room keys on the stage
I’ll never know.
They wanted to send me out backed by machines
Some guy in a booth somewhere, flicking switches.
I said no: give me a band, the younger and louder the better.
Let the old man have his Zimmer frame of noise
His crackling fire of guitars
His beating heart of bass and drum.
I’ve lived; no, not lived, let’s say survived
To hear my music cut to pieces, used to sell
Everything from shoes to car insurance
Everything from fried chicken to retirement homes.
It doesn’t matter: nothing matters
But the lights, the noise, the stage
And my women. I drink them up.
I leave them pale and drained.
In the morning, they don’t know themselves
Waking with a shiver to the memory of pleasure
The scents of whisky and old leather
And the sound of curtains flapping in the wind.
Credit note: “New Live Dates” was first published in my second poetry collection, All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens (HeadworX, 2007) – signed copies still available from me for $10 (plus p&p) – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like one.
Tim says: The third of my poems about music and musicians from All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens, following An Adventure and Norah Jones and System of a Down. This one is pretty much the ageing-male-rock-musician-as-vampire metaphor, and I think it explains quite a lot about one Michael Philip Jagger, especially SuperHeavy.
I first posted this poem on my blog in 2008, but as the Tuesday Poem wasn’t going then, I have given myself free rein to repost it here.
You can check out all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog – the hub poem in the middle of the page, and all the other poems in the sidebar on the right.