The Peddler (or "The Art of Business")

"Once it's on the page, it's already compromised.
What's the point, really?
Kicking up the corpse of some vicious inspiration,
Just to reproduce the embryo of another convention.

"All art is vice.
Poets and the muses? Liars and five-cent Marys,
But at least they are at my disposal.

"Don't forget I was once like you, all piss and poetry.
I was always so discreet; I watch the decomposition from the stands,
Played the whore and the hostage.

"So come on, let's redeem all those old clich├ęs.
Tragedy is mine - stake your claim.
Why artists desire death is simply beyond me,
One more or one less...

"I like watching you run,
Spread that canvas across the abyss,
And see how long you can delay the inevitable.

"Do you want me to admit I'm a fraud?
Even a knave will confess to the obvious:
An ugly truth that adorned itself in the stolen skin of beauty,
Only to impart this fragment of wisdom,
That the earthy and cold hand of death lies on the tongue.

"So a little sympathy for this honest actor...
And please, let's not discuss the state of my soul.

All prices are negotiable."