Stage Fright

Stage Fright

Stage Fright

I watch your body language deciphering every tumult and delight I recite
I wonder if my angst or joy excites you, if it make you feel alright?
In that microcosm it matters not to me, I need to dissect these inner demons
and squashing their mastery of fear and rejection, is my newfangled treatment

I’ve recognized that it’s not about me or you, it’s how we meet up in the middle
I needed my echo to make me powerful enough to pick up my pen and scribble
My voice is the stage, the spot where we engage with each other
We applaud the colors, and embellish the lightning and thunder

My mind, like yours, had succumbed to the fears of this empty matrimony
My hands sodden like a facet, the tremors rippling, underpin my testimony.
Laptop in hand gets paired with my stares, my tongue relished in a chocolate kiss
Wrappers everywhere, cocoon-style living, while getting prepared to fight the abyss


I stare again and again, now noticing the shadows in the stools have faces

the faces have a name, my breath becomes too short and my legs start to pace

Their lips unmoving, still their murmurs travel, they mock beneath their breath

Inside me those old cacophonous sobs begin to well, until my eyes feel death…


What’s left of this dead star in the hollow gutter of a dying universe

As the spotlight fades on existence, the air gradually is taken over by a curse

The leftover halogen glow from the previous performance still lingers

With ethereal bloats of stagflation still dancing, I hope my confidence triggers…


The expectations from sharpened stares is they will appear as ominous,

and those piercing eyes, those constant piercing eyes…will riddle confidence.

Those are the weapons made to stop humans and tame monsters, true,

but anymore these days I cannot decipher between the two.


Such hollow pulls of ephemeral pistols have led to clear pressing dangers

Like who is this ghost I see on stage, may as well have been a stranger

That mirror in the studio apartment right next to the bathroom, is it sating?

maybe the only audience I need is me, but that critic holds no weight and—


now I see you all, as little morsels of that same old conviction

and me upon this dais, to you, it may seem as a contradiction

But I was you, back there, filled with reticent retort for courage

I was the socially inept one in the group, I was the socially malnourished.


My pressed feet upon the stairs have given up, descending toward disease,

those footsteps cascade amongst this darkened maze of human trees,

each turn deeper into the cataclysm, each move of probabilism becomes reliant

to bid farewell to stage fright, to the rise of spotlights, to this cert of me, and I am defiant


My therapy since that disgrace is a confluence of manifold, inspired data

I craft it on this stage like an alpha, while you sit and listen like a beta

In my mind’s eye I try to perceive you all as dearly creatures, yet inferior

It helps me dress you up a tale or verse for a whimsy-minded interior


My part of shame is how I let myself endure the pain, now my pen stains

The paper plane that I write in vain, and I’m open-heart like a locket chain

I share these grownup verses, so you learn the truth before the hearse begins working

Yes, I stood in front of that mirror in rehearsals, reciting my sermon for the curtains


But first this promise I must keep, this story I teach has some perturbations reaped,

Straight back postures I need, from your chair cushion I can raise you from your seat

From this stage I trace out theories and charts for all your question marks

Like raised halos atop your heads where your hair parts, I scout your nous’ then start.


I find you are enamored with me, the nights your lights are in need of some luminosity

Your eyes like spotlights pop and focus on to me, then inundated with curiosity

One lucid swoop, your ears perk, and I stand proud to raise you past the clouds

And if I’m allowed to peruse your mind, without doubt I’ll continue my tale aloud


I know of you, you’re scared, thinking those bright lights and glares will engulf you

But they are only lights, and light shouldn’t scare you, not anyone among you.

Those lights are meant to empower you, the scared you, to impregnate through the viewers

this spotlight that exudes a profound life, a future, is one the audience must humor.


You must make them humor you, even if it is by a cursory glance or a reviling glare

Believe it or not your words and presence they hear them, see them and they are all the flair

that you’ll ever need. Stand tall with conviction and don’t let that empty stage light

overcome your might, you are strong, believe in yourself and conquer this stage fright

Paul Neglia
Latest posts by Paul Neglia (see all)

Paul Neglia

Proud father of 3. Part time writer of poetry and short stories. I want to paint the world in but a few words.

6 thoughts on “Stage Fright

  • June 2, 2020 at 8:23 PM

    If you can fight through the Stage Fright you should consider reading your poetry aloud at a public reading. I was reading aloud as I went and I think you could win some Slams with your verse. Very nice Paul I enjoy reading your poems. Jamie

    • June 24, 2020 at 10:42 PM

      I dont know. Lol. I’ve never been one to recite my poetry aloud. I would have to start with a very small audience, like me, myself and I first. Lol. Glad you enjoyed this Jamie.

    • June 24, 2020 at 10:40 PM

      Thank you so much Phyllis. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • June 8, 2020 at 6:14 PM

    Very nicely done Paul and very much enjoyed – I like Jamie would love to hear you recite your own work.

    • June 24, 2020 at 10:43 PM

      Tall order there my friend. I read it to myself multiple times before posting, but that may be the extent. I don’t know maybe in the future I would. If I ever do I’ll let you guys know about it.


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