This is a poem written circa 2004 about the desire to make a living by one’s own art and not to compromise. Needless to say, I failed living up to it.

Bohemian Urge

Oh to be a Bohemian and live the life of the street musician,
except for in the wintertime, of course, when my accordion would freeze
to the money-collecting monkey’s paw and he would have to be chopped free
from my shoulder by some kindly axe-wielding passerby.

And then of course, I’d have to buy a new accordion.
And a new monkey.

But how sweet it could be!
Sitting on a bench in the park or on the sill of a shop window,
playing outside with my heart’s joys and sorrows
for the occasional scrap of a dollar.

To above all be free from pretension and simply be,
to feel the note soar in my heart and fly out through my hands
as they squeeze the life out of the box.

And then there would be the policeman.
“Do you have a license to perform?” he would ask.
“Does one need a license to live and die?” I would reply.
“You know as well as I that street performers must obtain a license.”

But I’d have my accordion
and my monkey.

That’s all there really is to it, right?

© Scott Walldren