I don't know why I loaded it so heavily with nonsense-rhyme, but once I started I couldn't stop
AT THE BACK OF THE BUS
The fighter-writer’s laying on
a million dollar bang and bash
in flash cache past the country clubs
Out on the wildest woody slope,
The painter-waiter fired a man
And hired a van to stack and stash
The stars whose cars some schlub
Would wash and crash for pills and soap.
The landlocked-dandy hawked his Hals
For board and bread aboard the bus
And shook his easy eyes’ surprise
To see on seats back left, mid right
The iron-siren soused with scowls
Averted from the fluff and fuss
Afforded her marauder-fraud
Folk-joker snoring in plain sight.
“Hey Moany Joany!” sneered the wisp
His beard a weird gypsy eclipse
“Hey Bitchy Mitch, how’ bout a song
To light the night bright blue, dame Joan,
A singalong, perhaps,” he rasped,
“A chorus ‘cross your bitter lips?
That ‘taxi’ track lacks class of course
But is at least, a little known.”
She stored her horde of howls and stings
For years beyond this tawdry trap.
‘He’ll have his fun, this unwashed imp
This limp-lord tramp of New York tricks,
I’ll bite back bright, my latent hate
Will staunch his aged arid tap,
For now, my frown will own this van,
This sinning stone can stick his sticks.’
The ill-matched batch of cult adults
Chugged cheerless through the towering maze
Till slowly Joni’s journey turned
To gentler greener sounds and sights.
The driver dreamer looked away
As hay was made amidst the haze
Of haves and has-been beatnik hicks
Now blinded by the city lights.
The full-up fun bus pulled up airless -
Careless careerists collapsed to ground
To see the scene of casual carnage
The great create when loose to play.
The fightwright held sure court on sport
Relating Zaire’s frightening sound
“The angry, hungry, jungle rumbled
To chants of Ali Bomaye.”
The tireless diarist shrunk back shrewdly,
Eavesdropped on the schmooze of pop kids,
Circus jerk-offs hawking showreels,
Deal sharks apt to be impressed less.
Downtown upstate upstart drop outs
Turn up tuned in, soon doubts set in,
Slick songs sicken sixties hipsters
“Turn down this cheap tin can synth mess.”
The auteur turncoats skulk and snap
The scene into a deep, dark farce
A wistful waltz time overlaid
To frame the failures of the age,
Shaping squares round eastern faces
Wondering which west face to cast.
Thunder rolls in, wonder bails out,
Leading players vacate the stage.
The troupe regrouped relieved rolls back
To wherever they all came from.
“No fireworks” said the vagabond,
“No fireworks” she, for once, agreed.
Those were the last words that they spoke,
The one thing they agreed upon,
A shared assent no record kept
And neither would again concede.