Back Next Pushcart Man

I am a simple man
dumb as can be
who played
a pretend king
with talent
and all
my friends
and therapists
believed me
for I am
the kid of actor
who is so good
that he can even
fool himself
so that when i
was finally discovered
and my friends
and therapists
said no more
special privileges
for him
let him not butter
his own toast
an bake his
own apple
I slammed
the door
in back and
and stayed
sulked to my bed
until I realized
who I really was
a poor pushcart man
of the bowery
a slum dweller
selling sweetpotatoes
I was no Jonah
running away from God
I was merely a dirty
old pisser
playing king.
slowly I opened
the door
to each and everyone of my friends
and smiled
with nigger courtesy
and dropped my shulders
which the chips upon it.

Irwin R. Shaw - April 24th 1985