Friday, February 23, 2007

Tap



Heels afire, chalice raised,
he doubletimed it to the Bright Lights,
ready to eat or be eaten, but
his act was from like the prairie somewhere
and everyone who was anyone
got real tired real soon
of the way he’d constantly cut up,
shoot his feet off all the time.

He did his part, give him that:
when they called the cattle in, he went,
auditioned for auditions while
his letters of introduction from
Nowhere Terpsichorean
went yellow in their plastic sleeves.

Eat or be eaten? Give us a break.
Not even a day job.
His bankers’ civil chill became
a frozen siege of civil law.
His door was a union hall for wolves.
For awhile there the sandwiches
got thin enough to make him wonder
what was eating whom. Tap City.

But nobody misses all the breaks.
He got the call, from the Bridge Commish,
found himself in charge of rust
on Bay Span three, endlessly
patrolling in his baggy greens,
filing his chits, watching his steps.

Soon he was back on his feet again.
He even stopped a few of the city’s
more reluctant suicides,
even married one, a pianist.
It struck him that, against all odds,
he’d found the perfect place in time,
a hollow in the universe
that fit the space he occupied.

Nights were best: alone, on top,
back turned to the blazing town,
he’d mount the oxidizing wind
with an airy music in his teeth,
bell the bridge a step or two
to greet the pirouetting stars.


4 comments:

Minx said...

Ooooh, 'terpsichorean' - what a gorgeous word. Had to look it up but have filed it for future needs!
Yummy.

John said...

Not an easy one to find a place for...

Cailleach said...

Ah the Bay bridge in SF - I did a double take when I saw the picture. This poem tells a good story - is it a real character?

Minx said...

As`real as, I would imagine, Cailleach.Just goes to show that there is a perfect niche in life for all- somewhere. There are hundreds of stupid people who have jobs that entail dangling about in mid air with no safety nets! I am just glad it's not me.