Geez, come in outta the rain, wontcha? Come in an’ lookaround, folks. We got a white sale and a black. We got a goin’-outta-business, we got a everything-must-go, we got a end-a-season, deepdeepdiscount sale, folks. Pleez come in. Lookaround. See anything you like? You no like?
Howsabout a case of Willie Nelson or Wallace Shawn or Wallace Stevens counting crows? Howsabout Larry, Moe and Curly Joe? Howsabout that Patti Smith in them skinni jeans feeding dimes into the automat. Waiting on a ham on rye, pickle and slaw on the side. Howsabout Nichols and May, Bob and Ray, Ted and Alice, takes your pick. Two fer one or one fer three or two on two and dere’s my final offer now getouttahere before you puts me outtabusiness! No, wait. Speaking of Bob, we got Bawb Wills and Bobbee Ginsburg, we got western swing. We got Chuck Jones doing the mashed potato with Marky Twain and Mirko Cunningham. The Marvelettes and Marvino, we got ‘em all. (Gottem, needum, don’t needum. Nobody needs any of ‘em, when you come right down to it, but hey!) The James Gang from Boston, with B. Holliday and Billy the Kid and Kid Ory and Only the Lonely as performed with marvelous rhythmic invention by the Blind Boys of Dollarama. And Hellen Merrill angelling I’m Just A Lucky So-and-So. And that fat fuck from New Orleans, wassisname. And Lena Horne until your heart will break, take that too.
All of it, take it all
take it all
Can I get you a basket, a cart, a bag? Can I interest you in a set of dioramas? First, we have Don Rickles at the Sands. Don’s on fire, folks, sweating like a bastard. Strapped into his tux, hair plastered to his scalp, teasing out the sweet symmetries of Sam Cooke days before he was cornered and killed, Sam Cooke chopping onions, stirring souls, guesting on Julia Child, assisted by Shirley Temple, Tatum O’Neill and Art Tatum. But Rickles is having none of it, having a go at ‘em all, trash talking, flames erupting, a regular conflagration. He’s on a roll, folks, watchim atit, pure genius. Audience pissing themselves. Roaring. Tossing back their highballs. Room is jumpin’ and waiters waitin’ and everyone on fire and sweatin’ buckets now. Don’s gonna have a stroke, folks, big ol’ aneurism!
Where were we? Oh, yeah. Second diorama. Dawn Powell on a bender, shitfaced, pants ‘round her ankles, bourbon on the rocks and texting for inspiration, staring at the box behind the bar. Blotto. But that’s not all. There’s Charlie Schultz sprawled on the couch and doing kissykissy with Fred McMahon while Johnny’s pencil tattooing the desk and jittery knee jumpin’ on the high-hat and laughing at Doc and laughin’ now, goatish e-e-eee-e-e! I kid you not, true story, guy walks into a bar… So now Buddy Guy and Buddy Hacket, so now Buddy Holly bringing up the rear. So now MLK and JFK and RFK making eyes at RBG, just off the plane now, dazed now, looking for the guy with the sign, the guy for the connecting flight to wherever. Bags ticking now, ticking and slowdancing round the carrousel, roundandaround they go. But back to Doc in the spot, turning thirty-three-and-a-third and spreading his jacket for the red satin lining, for the lizard flicking his tongue and doing his pushups and flaring his ruff.
What did I forget? Oh, yeah. The Carter Family cashing in at the Grand Ole Opry. Lucy and Mr. Malooney, aka Mister Magoo to you. Link Wray pickin’ geetar for Skeeter Davis. And can I interest you in a bento box of Bette Davis, of Bix Beiderbecke, Duke and the Count? Of jet-puffed Prince waiting on the King and Queen, Ike Quebec on sousaphone? The genius of that fat fuck from New Orleans again. Marilynne and Jackie Robinson again, comparing hats. You look pissed, never mind. At least we can agree on the importance of Hemingway. On plain talk. On fishing. On shooting Bird and Dizzy. On Dean and Jerry. On Rabbit Angstrom. And Lena Horne until your heart will break, take that too.
All of it, take it all
take it all
Last I looked, Cassius was harmonizing with Flank Boyd Fright, singing Sojer Boy all night long with that fat fuck from New Orleans, wassisname. Buster Keaton, then. Batman, then. The Jordannaires and the June Taylor Dancers, then. Making angels under the godseye ceilingcam, roundandround they go. Hank on a Zoom call with Bobbee, then. Or a sign: Marsalis and Sons. You, you who has it all. Now take it back. Take it all back. Even Ray Charles and Ray Eames doin’ it on the ergonomic. Take it back. Warhol whittlin’ juleps on the porch and Gomer shakin’ his ass. Take it back. Hoss and Little Joe, Pollock on the floor, burning down the Ponderosa. Take it back. Tony shooting his wad at Uncle Pussy and Jack Palance riding shotgun with Ellie Mae, Lassie behind the wheel.
Take it all back.
Ahab on deck now, loosening up, tapping his cleats, scanning the outfield for Mexicans. And now the Blind Boys of Alibaba floating out and out with the tide, out with the dead seagulls, the strange fruit, the spent condoms, out and out with the candywrappers and candystripers, with the likker bottles bobbing, with all the shit and glittering splendour floating out and out from under the boardwalk of Atlantic City.
Can I get a witness, can I wade in the water till I is washed clean again, I is washed clean of every last name? Every last fucking shiver of recognition?
Yup, is clearance sale on now, folks. Is fire and brimstone sale. Is white and black, is everything must go, is every damn thing on the floor event.
You break it it’s yours, folks.
You break it it’s yours.