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Chorus by Christopher Reid

O! for a Muse of fire that would ascend
beyond the spot where a bearded actor now stands
his voice a slightly fuzzy
baritone bellow

past the footlights
one of which is evidently
on the blink

over the stalls
releasing their expensive odours
brandy breaths and salacious
wafts of Joy

skirting the usual
gilt thingummybobs
cupids trumpets garlands eagles

up by the gods
where two late arrivals
shuffle like gannets
for a perch on the perilous cliff-ledge

out through the roof and into the night sky

which has not yet ceased to offload
its surplus grief
on the traffic of bleary black cabs and thrumming