Friday, December 5

Poetry Friday: The Piano Has Been Drinking

Afansy Fet, Russian poet
Christina Rossetti, English poet
Margaret Cho, Korean-American comedienne
J. J. Cale, American songwriter
James Lee Burke, American mystery author
Joan Didion, American author
Sony Boy WIlliamson, blues musician
Calvin Trillin, American author
Josh Malihabadi, Urdu poet of India and Pakistan
Walt Disney, American filmmaker
Fritz Lang, Austrian film director
Martin Van Buren, 8th American president

What most of these folks have in common is that they're all pretty good with words and images. It's something I hope to have in common with them as well one day, besides sharing a birthday. Which is today.

But for my birthday I wanted to share the wordsmithery of another Sagittarius, a Mr. Thomas Alan Waits, whose birthday is actually on the 7th. That's okay, we'll make him an honorary fifth-of, if he'll have us.

I like this because as each item and person is mentioned it's as if they have been brought to life in some surreal claymation nightmare of after-hours broke-down seedy nightclub reverie.

the piano has been drinking (not me)

The piano has been drinking
my necktie is asleep
and the combo went back to New York
the jukebox has to take a leak
and the carpet needs a haircut
and the spotlight looks like a prison break
cause the telephone is out of cigarettes
and the balcony is on the make
and the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking

and the menus are all freezing
and the light man's blind in one eye
and he can't see out of the other
and the piano-tuner's got a hearing aid
and he showed up with his mother
And the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking

cause the bouncer is a Sumo wrestler
cream-puff casper milktoast
and the owner is a mental midget
with the I.Q. of a fencepost
cause the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking...

and you can't find your waitress
with a Geiger counter
and she hates you and your friends
and you just can't get served
without her

and the box-office is drooling
and the bar stools are on fire
and the newspapers were fooling
and the ash-trays have retired
and the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking
not me, not me, not me, not me, not me

From the album Small Change 1976.

Poetry Friday is over at Mommy's Favorite Children's Books this week.
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