A short poem about bodily dysfunctions that I wrote last week, just in time for my cabaret show on July 25th. Check out the video on YOUTUBE; search for Bob Sterry.

Scanning from the ground upward over my torso
Reveals a disturbing inventory of dysfunction
brachymetatarsia, in both feet
Unequal leg length
Reconditioned knees
Atrophied right quadriceps
Hernia Scar
L4 & L5 Vertebrae way too chummy
Are these breasts?
Are these jowls?
Gum recession
Moderate gastro intestinal reflux
Three diopter challenge in both eyes
Dermatochelassis, left and right
Male pattern baldness – rear solar panel developing.
And yet when asked
I reply, Oh, I’m fine! I’m fine.
And you, and you still love me.

There is nothing quite like watching yourself in a video or movie. Especially when it was produced using a relatively cheap camera without the benefit of a studio edit.  It’s not always the bulging waistline profile shot that upsets. We do know how “chunky” we are..dont we? It’s not always the way the light catches our bald spot and causes what is known in the video sensor biz as “blooming”; that temporary star dazzle. No, its our lack of physical grace that appalls us, our  clumsiness, our gawky actions, our lack of stagecraft; and then of course, that voice! The umming and the erring the mispronunciation, the pontificating and the plain ordinariness of it.

And of course you catch me in a vulnerable moment. Twenty four hours after my last show, “Side Effects May Include”. Sure, we had to do two encores, sure, the laughter was deep and universal. But now less than a day after what many artist should claim as a success I am deep in what all artists go through and why some turn to drugs. The awful precipitous decline from a person upon whom all eyes are focused, and all ears turned, to a guy who is putting out the garbage or trying to balance his check book and washing his underwear. Deep in the weeds.

I am told that watching yourself is essential for a professional who is intent on improvement. Yup its true. We have to endure ourselves if we hope to make the next show better. And of course that’s the first thing that popped into my head when I stopped metaphorically weeping. I have to get another gig to prove that yes, I can do this even better. And will.

So, if you like Jacques Brel, Tom Lehrer, Flanders & Swan, Broadway, Edith Piaf, and my poetry (see earlier posts), drop me a digital line with ideas and questions about how you can come to my next show. That will make me feel so much better. See you there.

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