I Saw Ray Davies on Austin City Limits Tonight

I want to tour with Feist 

and shoot pool with Van Morrison

I want to play bongos behind Rickie Lee

and scat with Ray Charles.

I want to jam with Brian Wilson 

and tell Jagger to fuck off, mate.


I want to be reincarnated 

as a troubadour.


A Dylan, 

reluctant in my genius

A Waits, 

guffawing at my fame

A Cohen, 

transcending my gift

(until I’m broke).


But when I sing, 

I disturb the atmosphere

Like the rasp of a …

The drone of a …

The atonal mash of a …


I still can play

“A Well Respected Man”

on the guitar

but it resists me

like a girl

who knows better.

The harmonica

whines at me 

and pleads 

it has a headache.

Muddy Waters 

would take one look at me

and shake his jowls

and sigh from his gut.


I want to be reincarnated 

as a troubadour.

    Copyright © 2006 - 2017 Thom Forbes, all rights reserved.