Red Wedding


On Top Of My Lot

'It is incorrect to dismiss critics as being merely failed artists.
They have failed at far more than that.'

To Ben Jonson

Bellicose protector
Engineer my fame
Now lend me your name
Jealousy conjecture
Obligations pay
Now whet my blade
Steel me with your strictures
Overcome your rage
Now steer my hand and bless my page

On Top of My Lot

Pitiful the figure now you see
Backed into a corner out of hunger out of need
I am forced to kiss the gentle hand that feeds
And of charity to lick the very dirt upon her feet
And while the artist trapped inside me stifles screams
To every simpering syphilliptic soul a sycophant I've been
Writing even begging letters to the Queen
When times were lean

To Apollo I offered a prayer today
I've offered to be his bride
Promised the earth if he'll bless the stage
Succour my art with a patron's grace
And method and means provide
To Apollo I offered a prayer today
I've offered to stand aside
If only his backers will save the day
I'll give him artistic rein to play
And swallow my bleeding pride
To Apollo I offered a prayer today
I offered to see him right
I offered him bonds I offered him stocks
Offered a seat in a private box
If only he'll take my side

But I've just grown more bitter every day
Intermittent medication hasn't helped to ease the pain
That every week every hour of every day
Cuts me to the quick with every unsuccessful play
With every flaw in every plan with each delay
Every resolution shaken through my epigrams betrayed
I have sworn I have promised and I have raged
For that I crave

Apollo has promised to name the day
He's checking the moon and tides
He's offered me all he's offered me fame
The book of the film the computer game
And laurels from every side
Apollo has promised to name the day
As soon as the runes decide
He's offered the lot he's offered the whole
Offered me Kemp in a starring role
And even the critics to bribe
Apollo has promised to name the day
He's offered a diamond mine
The belly to please the groin the gut
Serial rights a director's cut
As soon as the contract's signed

And since this dainty age
Cannot endure reproof
Make not thyself a page
To that strumpet the stage
But soar high and aloof
Safe from the wolf's black jaw
And the dull ass's hoof

Now I must not demean or deride
All the vicious witticisms that my critics have designed
But with pity and with understanding mind
I consign my bitter enemies to a higher court in time
Where they will naked stand to tremble and opine
And submit themselves to judgement just as they have others tried
And be stricken out and crushed and dealt in kind
And cast aside