Gargoyle 8
cover photo by Stan Wayman
publication date 12/2/1977

Oh Tap Dancing God I Love You!

Stephen Ciacciarelli


Oh Tap Dancing God I love you!
Won’t you show me how to dance?
Shirley Temple me to freedom
I want to Fred Astaire the night.
Seething with self-flagellation
Pulsing with poison from within,
Send me a battalion of Carmen Mirandas
Or maybe
Just one Ginger Rogers step
To celluloid my happiness,
Translucent as it may seem
So I can skip instead of trudging,
So I can cry with joy, not pain.
Take one nail from out my cross
I’ll swing my arm in time
To Nelson Riddle melodies, To Arthur
Fiedler symphonies, to words
That have no rhyme.


I rise and walk off sleeping spirits.
Austere tile floor below And then
I jiggle and I wiggle and I leap
Right through the door!
Gene Kelly dancing madness.
Come on world, I’m ready!
Watch out Mr. Bully or
I’ll tap dance on your nose.
I’ve got a pocket full of smiles
That you just wouldn’t believe
I’ll give them out for free.
I’ll sing the song if you’ll read the book
My violin plays on.
I step so lightly yet tread so hard
To force my way outside
To run through the colors of my rainbow world
By the riverside.