Neil Coppen

writings/ plays/ poetry/musings/travel journals and newspaper columns

Ballad of -Frankie da Bum goes to Bollywood

September22

From a road side stall-midnight-

I see my destiny reflected in a cold cuppa chai

You’ve been given the wings Frankie (I mutter to myself….prophetically …..pathetically)

It’s time Kiddo for you ta fly!

Now it seems, that dreams

can make a sane man do desperate things

‘Whats it all worth? Eh fuck it’ (I mutter)

and quickly collect my things

Thumb a ride

with a Punjabi Truck Driver

who swings open the door and utters

‘Well Sah, what you waiting for

Why don’t cha hop inside?’

‘Which way ya heading?’ …. the driver enquires

as I sip casually on a cigarette

(inhale)ahh to the land of all my dreams

(exhale) to quench the thirst of all desires

He turns the Key

ahhhhhhh Mumbai, that’s a little outta your neighborhood!

I nod

The engine roars

and soon were shooting through the veins of Bollywood

Rushing through the electric chaos

Touching the interminable void

Sipping on sweet cocktails

of sin and celluloid

Bright light -skin tight -thug fight

Hold on tight….

(This might shake you up a little)

I only got twenty bucks in my pocket

but already I’m soaring like a rocket

Through the stars-to become one

never looking back

Bought me a fancy second hand suit for a few dirty Rupees

Act like I care

Brylcream my hair

I’m a super star now

No longer the groupie!

Waiting -with midnight cowboy cool-

under this Mumbai street lamp

Feeling all swanky

though I smell like a tramp…

But I don’t give a shit

Cause just you wait till I hit

bolding like a giant across them movie screens

took my own advice

rolled the knowing dice

Now I can’t turn my back

on my Bombay dreams

No I can’t turn my back

on my Bombay dreams

But cars (as they do) come and go

with no money men

or eager agents

coughing up the contracts

let alone da dough

No dream makers

Only dream takers

Celebrity fakers -like myself

Lining up with the whores along the sticky Bombay boulevard

Residing in the lost

….never found

Here no one asks me ta do my Pacino..

…Hoffman?

…my Deniro ?

I can play the all singing, all dancing lover boy

I can be your Chandelier dangling hero

But they brush past this future Bogart

nonchalantly slouched out on the street

Then an old lady takes some pity

You poor sad thing! she says

and tosses a few rupees at my feet

The sun sinks down

as the coins tinkle on the ground

and another star crashes and burns on this lonely Bombay sidewalk

like a cigarette-stumped-

-gone out-

but still smokin

and this ‘wanna be’-'look at me’-'Just you wait an see!’

calls it a night

and finally packs his hope in

Turning his back on his Bollywood dreams

Turning his back on his Bollywood dreams

I slowly and sadly fold away my pair of wings

What’s it all worth? Eh fuck it (I mutter)

and quickly collect my things

Thumb a ride

With a Punjabi Truck driver

Who swings open the door and utters

‘Well sah what cha waiting for

Why don’t you hop inside?’

‘Which way you heading ,Sah?’

The driver beams

but I tell him there’s been a little change a plan

I’m going in search of new pair of dreams

How I didn’t find fame

Only shame

On those streets of Bollywood.

but take heart to know

There’s a lamp post and a second hand suit

waiting for me down in ol Hollywood.

posted under Short stories, poetry

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