The Club Manager
His office is above the stage
behind a thick scarred wooden door
a desk piled high with bills, receipts
a small safe bolted to the floor
Envious friends say "Man, how sweet
to be the guy behind the Scene!"
He puts aside the payroll page –
it's time to fix the ice machine.
The overhead is suffocating;
electric, rent, insurance, beer
the mobbed-up dumpster, glassware, liquor
mics / cables / amps / repair
advertising, ASCAP sticker
bar staff, wait staff, bouncers, sound
(the owner talks of relocating –
he might as well just burn it down)
Bands talk of blood and sweat and tears
they want more money, better dates
He knows that if they don't sell drinks
there's no point to unlock the grates
Sometimes, worn-out, alone, he thinks
‘I'm through, I can't last one more week'
but reconsiders when he hears
cheers, clapping, whistles, stamping feet.