John Cain



It Ain't My Isness

John Cain
John Cain


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Maybe I’m naive
to actually believe
there is art that matters,
and has meaning.
Is it something I can make,
or am I just another fake
another dreamer dreaming?

Self doubt and sour grapes
with confidence alternates.
I’m a fool, a lout
and they are great.
Or the reverse,
It’s even worse….
An artist who is famous
is just another anus,
They say “he’s a genius”
but in real life he’s a “pen-ius.”
All around us
Bullshit sculpture,
Bullshit paintings,
Bullshit musc,
Bullshit culture,
modal three-chord pop tunes
are ubiquitous,
the lyrics ridiculous
useless and banal,
Juvenile and anal,
And they got the gig,
and made it big.

Why them,
not me?
Damn my jealousy!
Should I dare to think
that perchance, I stink,
That I’m not as good
as those other fuckers,
or as I am?
Self imposed treason
that that’s the reason
that that’s the thing?
They have the glam,
And they have fans.
Those mother fuckers
were so much better
in their V-neck sweaters,
and they could sing,
and those other cats could swing.
And I’m a whiner
‘cause they seem so much finer,
… but they’re not,
and I’m just being a snot,
I judge them
and begrudge them.
I say “It’s all show business
And that ain’t my is-ness.”

Then I see or hear some art,
that I think is smart.
and it makes me feel.
Someone created it,
and now I ain’t shit
‘cause it’s the real deal.
and I can’t berate it,
That one rare find,
that one of a kind
that’s unique
and it speaks
without banality.
Well, maybe I could be,
or so I dream,
the next
Antonio Carlos Jobim,
God damnit,
just another
Atonal phony-ass Jim Beam
or so I seem.
There’s a thousand kings and princes
but only one Beethoven.
A thousand kings of rock ’n roll
but they all stole
the side burns, shades,
the stupid clothes,
the look,
mere crooks.
And they convince
the rubes and hicks
they’re funky and hip
but there is only one Prince.

I wish I could be brilliant
like the Beatles or Tim Minchin,
but I’m not.
and I’m caught
in my own bitchin’
Burning up in envious heat
I get out’ the kitchen
in defeat,
I rot.

How I wish I could be clever
like Cole Porter or James Taylor.
At least he got to nail her,
Rode Joni like a pony,
Carly like a Harley,
yet none of them is phony
They make real art
and I can’t even start.

So, I tell myself,
If I could find the place
to display my face
to the human race
just in case
I might be brilliant,
or they might think so,
I could make some dough,
ya know…`
My big-ass ego.
“Being here’s
what holds me back.”
I tell myself
as if it’s fact.
and judge myself
“I’m just a hack.”
And “I could make it there,
or if I had weird hair.”
and, “life ain’t fair.”
Afraid to Dare.

It always has to be
some other place,
another place hipper
Than where I’m at.
Where it’s at
is like a cat,
And you can’t be fat.
No silver slipper,
New York, L.A.
New Orleans, Paris,
(big enough to scare us
if we come from far away.)
Nashville, Seattle,
(Assholes and cattle)
Ok, I’ll take the trip
‘cause it’s not where I am
to get the “fam.”
Maybe I should go
haul my big-ass ego
where the action is.
Get loose.
But, all I do is jam
So I call it all a scam
and I’m just a big ham
That’s my excuse.
and, “What’s the use?
It’s all show business
and that ain’t my is-ness.”