Lay Your Wager Down

from A Carnival of Voices

You're my flesh and blood
But we're not the same
a common name
and now
a common distance
I looked up to you
in your plush armchair
respect or fear
I couldn't see the difference

Lay your wager down
Who'll be king in Tinsel Town?
`Cause all the prophets and the gypsies
on the strip in Venice Beach
Have looked me in the eye
and said, "Your dreams still lie in reach"
and who am I to doubt them
and who are you
to write these speeches?

Is it my poverty
That brings a blush to you?
Or the honesty
that speaks the mind
that comes with it

Were you once a man
with younger eyes
a hungry pride
that would not feel
resistance?

Lay your wager down
They're crowning the king in Tinsel Town
There are strangers, there are lovers
out on Fairfax in a line
They look me in the eye
and say "Our thoughts are intertwined"
and who am I to doubt them?
And who are you to tear down
these signs?

Ellis Paul Music (SESAC) 1996