tip of the bomb


Arcade switchblades blink and flash
and the pinball machine’s on full-tilt-
and the white-skinned girls with painted curls lilt
into the wall as the change machine invokes another rattling jackpot.
Ask not what the evening has in store for you
but what you have in store for the evening-
grieving easy at the end of the day gone by.
Bygones are bygones on long-gone Saturday Nights
with the light of the night’s first cigarette to show you the way
into the corners of the shadows
in the shadows on the corners
where the mourners moan long trombone drones for a stone to lay them down to sleep.
And it’s traffic-
and it’s music-
and it’s people-crowd-stammer-jabber
hustle-bustle bone and muscle-
a chip on every shoulder and a spring in every step
and some shoe-shine-schlep hustlin’ nickels for his spit.
And this is it!
The smell of Saturday night!
Burning gasoline-
lean and mean-
a love machine grinding
away five days of grinding
away one day at a time-
for a dime-
for your precious, precious time.
And now it’s time to dance in too-big pants and slippery leather wing-tips with blue
Goodwill stickers stapled to your sole.
Fire in the bowl and raise it to the too-soft lips of the Beloved.
Daze her dazzling beauty with sweet-smoke-easy-laughs and
to never part
from the comfort of her lazy legs.
And records play in windows two storeys up-
and what’s the story in the window over there-
the one with the girl with the Rapunzel hair-
yelling at the boys on the bricks-
with silver crucifix hearts thrust through open shirts-
watching skirts twirl down the street-
off to meet loverboys in a better part of town.
But, I’m down.
I’m down with the word that I found-
and I’m down with the cook-
and the crook-
and I’m down with the book that I found
while I was lookin’ up.

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