Saturday, January 26, 2013

swinging doors (short version)

nobody ever walked
through those swinging doors
not even billy the kid
in his sunday best

or jack the ripper
in his carpet slippers
or jesse james
with his brain in flames

who wouldn't play
abe lincoln's games
or general grant
with his railroad track

who shot poor jesse
in the back
or bob ford
with his flaming sword

riding to chicago
in the dining car
with a glass of port
and a cuban cigar

or robert e lee
with his cup of tea
who paid the bill
for poor quantrill

or queen victoria
with her daffodil
asking andrew carnegie
to please sit still

or cora peal
in her negligee
teaching edward vii
the truth and the way

or nellie bly
with her apple pie
or j p morgan
with his cloudless sky

or john d rockefeller
with his shiny dime
making sure the trains
always ran on time

look out the window
of the smoking car
no mongol hordes
ever rode so far

as wyatt earp
in his checkered vest
as he blew a hole
in billy's chest

Sunday, January 20, 2013

tomorrow is always midnight

webs of passion
never go out of fashion

webs of betrayal
never grow stale

webs of fear
will always be here

and a web of suspense
never relents

a deadly dame
always wins the game

and a chump who is spurned
never learns

a guy named bob
has to take on one last job

as a boss named mister cass
pours some whiskey in his glass

and his flunky, albany red
laughs at whatever he said

bob is in for it now
he had no chance anyhow

his dreams of being a regular guy
are headed for the sweet bye and bye

he heads back to his lonely room
under a cloud of doom

hardly knowing what to think
he stops in for a drink

he knows it's getting late
he better keep his head on straight

he will have just one
and when it is done

why not two?
what's a guy supposed to do

when it's too late
and he's being swallowed by fate

he is down to his last dime
and it's closing time

just as well
because he has to answer the bell

tomorrow morning at nine
rise and shine

meet two guys named slim and pete
down on desolation street

they have what he will need
to do the deed

suddenly everything's a blur
and he thinks - of her

the cause of all his woe and pain
will he ever see her again?

just make it out the door
don't think about her any more

too bad, bob, too bad
the only chance you ever had

go home and get some sleep
you are in too deep

nothing left but to take a stand
and play the hand

Sunday, January 13, 2013

a ballad

in the merry month of may
my true love broke my heart
i vowed eternal vengeance
but knew not where to start

i went to see the gypsy
her counsel for to seek
but when she heard my tale of woe
even the gypsy could not speak

i went to see the serpent
in her cage inside the zoo
and she commiserated
but could not tell me what to do

i went to see the wind and waves
that beat upon the shore
and they sighed but had no solace
for the sorrow that i bore

in an alley by the docks
i found a pawnshop dimly lit
and i bought a .357
to my hand a perfect fit

in the fog i flagged a passing cab
and directed it uptown
as i chatted with the driver
my face it bore no frown

i felt a peace within me
as the cab approached the gate
of the brightly lit up mansion
where my love would meet her fate

i looked up at her window
as the rain beat on my face
and all the hate within me
disappeared without a trace

a guard approached and asked me
what business i had there
i turned away without reply
indifferent to his stare

the house, the lights, the wind, the rain
like an iridescent dream
all vanished in an instant
as if they had never been

i walked along a river bank
and heard the tolling of a bell
never to think of her again
until we meet in hell