ATOMIC SHUFFLE

David Howard Sawyer

Amongst the bright, gleaming neon carriers,
Out on the silent streets,
There marches a cold-eyed vagrant,
Sneaking a last vicarious peek
            At the dashing business ladies
            In some frozen thought, asleep,
            Assured of cocktails with the keep,
Some of them are so sweet
Even though they shun all these signals,
And feel just fine, all incomplete.

Amidst the starlet's seekers,
Around in the Den of Horns,
There standing at attention
Is a general in blue jeans,
Waving a flag and taking a drag,
Hoping to be seen.

           Meanwhile, off alone by the bus stop
           Hangs a tired locksmith, breaking his
Handcuffs off in some dream,
Chasing the out-to-lunch signs pasted hurriedly
Upon some passing limousine.

Now fortunes are easy to make, you see,
But if you want any of mine, you must first
Be alone
And i have nothing to offer you besides my i.d.
And a few food coupons
Or could this really be a hold up, well then,
Excuse us, i'm not home.

Outside the bank the winner is signing autographs
And selling tickets to the Businessperson's Ball
Wearing a chauffer driven sundial, time to laugh
At the parade just starting on down the hall.
So, the office doors are closing,
the cattle are herded to the cars, parked
Out along the Mall
Where soap opera lawyers hang their monuments
And trophies
Where janitors party to watch them fall.


Back at the schoolyard, the windows are broken
The students have escaped, teachers are playing
Afternoon recess games-
Boredom slides off the blackboard, cobwebs
Bristle
And vandals mock the whistle
Of Bell's refrain.
Someone just asked me did i notice the difference,
I said no, i never caught her name,
Seeing as how i was just about to leave,
All was left in time's remains.

The slick sirens in red cross jumpsuits,
The carbon monoxide princesses in cheap perfume
The college maids majoring in college,
They all just ran out of their rooms.

                     Seems to be a bombshell there,
                     Remembrances of the Tomb
                     Of the Well-Known soldiers
                     Who are safe somewhere in the Hour
                     Locked away for flowers
                     Sealed tightly far from pending doom.

The campus police are searching the banisters
To see who is getting away with the stolen steps
And after finding no one slipping past them,
Republican newsmen are taking bets,
Democratic housewives exclaim, "We're not finished yet."

The siren dancers are passing out
From all the clean noses and scented fresh surgery
The waiting room is clogged, insurance men in doubt,
Filled to the brim with mixed emotions,
Dreading urgency.


The ambulance struts in with a muzak smile
And poised nurses align themselves for a show
Still no granting a victim a pardon,
oh no, not til the arteries harden,
The shock of truth would surely be an overdose.


So easy it is to take a ride for free,
If you know just where it is you want to go
But still the wind is never wasted on me,
As i am freshly lost,
Caught up in no traffic flow.


Feeling rare and beautiful,
Was the flower girl of new orleans,
Dixie Belle out of the south
She had a life filled with ice cream sodas,
Lost her knowledge to her mouth
Crying for spare change on some crowded georgetown
Avenue
Smoking a joint between smiles, all of it rolled
Quite loose
She started to hail a taxi, but did not have the fare
Called up someone on the coast who had it sent by air.


Dogs all came barking
At the do not enter store
Seeing only hondas blocking the hydrants,
Wondering just what are the Pigs paid for.
Suddenly storms all played in key,
A key nobody else would hear
And the black out there on the t.v.
Did not interrupt the game,
At least nobody spilled a beer.

Listening for the trumpets,
Standing out cold in the rain
I do believe the time is running
Out of clocks again
Christian Rhetoric's House is Full
Headmasters are unveiling the Skull
I would've told you sooner or later,
it's getting harder to pull this train

Listen to the trumpets
Ready to take my name
And raise my soul in praise of love
In the Word of the Lord
Who comes free to speak it plain.

Now Grecian monks are sitting still
Up in the Alps, writing memoirs of things to come
Shoulder to shoulder campers starve in the chill
Of firing squadrons and eagles burning
In the plunge
Men in masks and women in veils
Used carpet sellers and bookers of the offshore shells
Playboy ghosts and Lost beads of Manhattan, Salem wails
Planetary fragments scooped up along the trail
Where agents and bandits have pirates for sale
Immortal songs passing through temporal ears
Corporeal notions that bleed forgiveness and fears
There is no cure for what ain't happening here
But the bought and sold circus is coming to town
The friends of the textbook are easily found
Standing on the end of the trustee's speaking grounds
Where virtue is remembered with others sowed deep into
The reapers ground
Feel free to speak, but please don't make a sound--

Sidestepping Is a bell a
Ringing fancy, all decked in plants
Smiling wide at the temptation
To victimize this fateful circumstance

Crossing in ancient waters
i saw ferdinand shaking hands
With a tall dark stranger
who knew he was taking a chance

Jumped overboard at the mutiny of Balboa
Drifted to the bottommost pacific sand
Felt the crush of the lusitania on the lower east side
Micronesian mountain tops, urging the Rise of Pan

Hung around quite actively on his own
Just for the right moment to cop a stance
Walked up to the royal chambers,
Saw the Rook and called for an ambulance


Stole away in the night to smuggle some light
And returned to ferdinand
Says, "Hi, remember columbus? i come for isabella
this is a lousy fall out shelter
i feel the atomic shuffle,
so to live then is to dance."

Now out by the majestic view of wisdom seekers
Lemurians grimace and tease the throne
The bottom jumps on out of the ocean,
The coastal servants are missing, someone's gone on
Home
Fortunes have been won or lost, take your pick,
After all these crying children are strangled
Up in these broken homes,
Laughter fills the eyes of the idols,
Who beg for love's sweet bones.

And as the music falls like from the last stray
Heartbeat
cold feet walking along the song
complete
with no place else to go
but just as gone
Hallowed hands are breathing new life to send
To all the loveless aching deep within their jones.

 

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