Home Page Fiction and Poetry
Essays and Reviews
Art and Style
World and Politics




By Mark Lavorato


The Montréal Review, December 2011


Photo: Mark Lavorato




He stands behind the colossal red curtains,

an eye through the slit to watch the sold-out crowd

as they cram themselves into threadbare seats.

There are scuffles every year, double-bookings,

receipts pulled out in a huff, people made to stand

at the back and watch from the outside in. He sighs,

scratches the hair that sticks from under his tattered hat.


Every signing of the contract the theatre tells him

there's no money left for the show, what with splurging

as they do on the all-out campaigns, primetime air,

the launches of entire product lines, all shoving people

towards this, the event on their calendar. Yes, he knows

they're not here for him. What keeps them coming

is the weight of their own back-stories. The hope that

it'll be more than it never was. For reasons unknown 

to him, unrequited wishes don't fade, but compile, compact.


He plucks a rogue sequin from his leotard, and

straightens his posture as much as he can muster.

Lights dim, the rise of an excited hush from the kids,

and the curtains part before the maudlin music cues.

He smiles with wooden benevolence, the floor creaking

beneath his slippers. Finally, the loudspeaker coughs

into life with a crackle. He is so weary he has half a mind

to just stand there, staring. But instead finds himself bobbing

at the knees. Then gives a shuffle, a half-hearted shimmy.

Because what's a song without a dance? Sure. It's the same

sad show as last year. But, they've come all this way.

And you've got to give them something. 


Mark Lavorato is a Canadian novelist, poet, musician, and street photographer. His books include Believing Cedric, Veracity, Wayworn Wooden Floors, and Burning-In. You can read and see more of Lavorato's writing and photography at: http://www.marklavorato.com


Submissions Guide
Letters to the Editor
The Montreal Review Twitter
home | past issues | world & politics | essays | art and style | fiction and poetry | links | newsletter
The Montréal Review © 2009 - 2012 T.S. Tsonchev Publishing & Design, Canada. All rights reserved. ISSN 1920-2911
about | contact us | copyright | user agreement | privacy policy