Friday, December 22, 2006

The Wasted Land

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I. Something Died in Here
APRIL sucks if you’re an old fart
It’s like your willy is one of those zombies
In one of those zombie movies
It comes back to life, but who’s kidding whom?
It’s still dead
Anyway, your penis won’t feed on people’s brains
Even if it is old and shriveled
I remember that time my cousin’s foot
Got run over by a car
And I was frightened. Cause I gave him the mescaline.
And I took some too, cause I’d just read that
Book about that crazy Indian guy by Carlos Whatsisname
Who probably made it all up
Then, all of a sudden, that Big Boy statue
You know, the one on top of Frisch’s Big Boy
Where they sell the Frisch’s Big Boy sandwich
Man, I love those things
Started talking to me
You’re out of gas he said
But I’m not a car I said
It’s a metaphor he said.
Oh, I said.
Buckle up, he said
And I was so freaking scared
Then he started speaking in German
“Ich bin ein Berliner”
Or some shit like that
I guess that makes sense cause Frisch is a German name
And I ran into this place where they had
This fortune telling lady, Madame Whatsername
With these Tarot cards and stuff
She looked me in the eyes and said
Kid, you got pupils the size of quarters
You look like one of those Keane kids
In those crappy old paintings
Then she tapped her bony fingers
In one of those Tarot cards
One of those real fucking scary ones
Here is you card she said
The Wanged Chung
Fear death by chocolate

II. Why You Lose at Chess
The dead do not play chess
If they do, they always lose
Pawn to Queen 4
Pawn to Queen 4
Your move
The dead guy just sits there
Bony fingers wrapped around the queen
Or his own dead shween
Out of the mystic East
Comes a dream of the mystic West
Out of the mystic West
Comes a dream of
Etcetera
We are dreaming of each other
Chess masters playing before a mirror.
East and West are one.
We are playing with ourselves
Jerking off
If I have to spell it out for you.
Hahahaha
But what of Lazarus?
What's he talking about?
I dunno. Some old Star Trek episode.
HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME
Oh, shut up.
HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME
I wouldn't stay here if you paid me.

What’s the matter?
Nothing’s the bleeding matter.
Where are we?
Rat’s alley, I think.
Why do you think so?
It’s an alley. There’s rats in it.
What’s that noise?
The wind.
You farted.
What are you thinking?
None of your business.
I never know what you’re thinking.
Thank Christ.
Amen.
If you were a psychic I’d kill myself.
Oh, crikey.
What?
It’s a dead man’s bone.
No it isn’t. It’s one of them rawhide dog bones.
Ecky-ecky-ecky-ecky-pikang-zoop-boing-goodem-zoo-owli-zhiv
What the bloody hell was that?
Oh, calm down it’s just a nightingale.
Nightingale my ass.
I wet myself.
Searching for bargains, ladies?
Eagggghhhh!
Who are you?
T.S. Eliot, antique dealer
I will show you amazing bargains!
Christ, you frightened me!
Bloody old poofter!
This is the chair she sat in ...
Who?
Madame Sosostris, the psychic
You can see where the rich golden cupid peed on it.
Ooooh.
That makes it even more valuable.
Not interested.
My emporium contains an assortment of candelabra
Encrusted with rich filigree and bric-a-brac.
Piss off.
HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME
SHUT UP

III. The Fire Sale
They’re selling post cards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports –
Oh, sorry wrong poem
And here’s Mr. T.S. Eliot, noted modernist poet
And the subject of today's man-on-the-street interview
Hello, Mr. Eliot
What’s on your mind today?
The Thames. It’s a mess.
Empty bottles, sandwich paper, cigarette ends.
Yes, it’s quite a problem.
No nymphs, though.
No. Apparently not.
The nymphs are departed.
Were they ever here in the first place?
Yes. But they’re not here now.
Where’d they go?
They didn’t leave a forwarding address.
What’s the T stand for?
Turgid.
Shut up, Ezra.
Cet gen ici, il est compl├Ętement fou.
Bais ma coude.
A busy scene today along the Thames
As dead writers and imaginary beings continue to mingle.
And here comes Mr. James Joyce!
Ix-nay, on the Oyce-Jay.
We’re all in disguise today.
I am Tiresias, the blind guide between this world and the next
You may have read about me in Joseph W. Campbell’s
Many exciting books
Har, and I be ye old sailor home from the sea
Disguised as an impotent Jewish ad salesman.
I’m Billy the Mountain, disguised as Donovan
We're Terry Jones and Graham Chapman dressed as women.
Look! What's T.S. Eliot doing?
He’s looking in that young lady's window is what he’s doing.
I think he's spotted a nymph!
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
She turns and looks a moment in the glass,

He's making a face!
Christ, look at her.
Bloody prude.
They won't bite, you know.
Stop laughing at me!
You don’t like women, do you?
What?
Don’t shop if you ain’t gonna buy.
Stop laughing at me. I like women!
No, you don’t.
If they’re smart, you think they’re pretentious.
If they’re old and poor, you sneer at them.
Female sexuality makes you cringe.
Ar, and he don’t like Jews, neither.
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
You remind me of this fellow, Boylan.
Put down that arrow!

IV: Death by Chocolate
Augustus, the Gloop, a fortnight dead,
Forgetting Wonka’s warning, drank deep
Of the chocolate swell
Of the chocolate river
And did fall in
The swift current took him, writhing, up the tube
Shooting out and away
Like an impacted German turd.
No money could save him.

Consider Augustus, who once won the Golden Ticket.

V: What the Chunder Monkey Said
Yatta yatta. Yatta, yatta, yatta.
He who was living is now dead
Jerry Garcia is now dead
Ken Kesey is dead
Get a job

Stop children.
What's that sound?
Everybody look.
What's going down?

To be a rock
To be a rock and not to roll
To be a rolling stone

What's that then?
Never eat anything
Bigger than your head

Yatta yatta. Yatta, yatta, yatta.
Santa, Santa, Santa.
Santy Clause
Is coming to town.

NOTES

Not only the title, but the plan and a good deal of the incidental symbolism of the poem were suggested by "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Preface: Standard printer's dummy copy dating back to the 15th century. Actually, a mangled passage from Cicero. The original text states that nobody wants pain for its own sake but only as a means to an end. Cicero, evidently, had never met any masochists.

Line 2. This is a parody of Jack Handy. Not a rip-off.

Line 12. Carlos Castanada, a UCLA anthropology student who hit the big time writing about peyote after he supposedly met a Yaqui shaman at a bus station.

Line 14. Frisch's Big Boy. A hamburger chain boasting an iconic Big Boy statue of an enormous fat kid in checkered pants holding a hamburger the size of a Buick. The basis of Lard Lad on "The Simpsons."

Line 27. A quote from John F. Kennedy. In literal German, it means "I am a jelly donut."

Line 35. Creepy paintings of big eyed waifs that were popular in the 1960s. Walter Keane signed his name and took the money. His wife Margaret actually painted them.

Line 41. Wang Chung.  From "huang chung," meaning "yellow bell," the first note in the Chinese classical music scale. Also a 1980s British New Wave group with a video that caused epileptic seizures.  

Line 63. A quote from "The Alternative Factor," season one, episode 27 on the original "Star Trek" series. Worst episode ever.


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