The French Whore Who Would Not Sing

When she opens her unsmiling red painted lips

I expect to hear a song in French

Something sultry, contralto,

“Tu es mon amour,

mon coeur, mon tous,

mon avenir et mon passé.”

But she sings in a nasal soprano

without soul, something modern.

It’s an English faux dirge

Filled with what passes for class

But with its knickers showing,

Pale angst included.

Where’s the usual piano man?

The piano accompaniment is tinny,

The old piano sounding as weak

As a bleached soul molested by strange hands.

Someone I don’t know plays a muted trumpet

and again the music is faded;

A foggy black and white whisper

Compared to the usual bright color.

The young couple next to me is enchanted

By the Orchid Room so maybe it’s just my mood.

They smile the bright luminous smiles

of oblivious and self-absorbed young love.

I bury myself in the music and Brass Monkey

And wait, remembering being young

And in oblivious, self-absorbed love.

I’m waiting for a reason

But it escapes me.

Perhaps I’m waiting for some contralto to sing

Something sultry in French;

“Tu es mon amour,

Mon coeur, mon tous,

Mon avenir et mon passé.”

I have to laugh at myself.

Tonight I am my own illusion,

Sans Absynthe.

Seriously, aren’t we all?

La grande illusion

dans le grand jeu de vie.

None of my friends are here tonight?

The bartender winks and I’m able to smile.

Mamu nods at me knowingly

As the blue smoke, itself an old friend,

swirls its tendrils in the air around me.

When the pale music is quiet

I can hear the hum of familiar voices

Lifting in laughter and conversation

in the back room past the noise of the room

past Mamu’s broad shoulders.

Sweet, deadly Mamu, the human door.

Are they playing at billiards or cards?

Playing in the room of mirrors?

Usually I would join in.

But everyone has their own agenda tonight.

Sitting alone is mine.

Perhaps I am playing the sultry

French whore who would not sing.

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Absinthe Makes the Mind go Yonder

Like being underwater,
Voices are garbled and faces waver.

For this night my world is “happy”.
Whatever that means, really,
But there’s a smile on my face,
And nothing morose enters
The bitter-sweet catacombs inside my head
Just the music and the safety of noise
From people seeking this word “happy”,
Much like me…
There’s a certain comradery here.

This sweet state of cheerful oblivion
Is known as “erasing tapes”.
Tomorrow,
When I wake to the too bright sun,
Memory will be killed off a bit more
Until one day, in the end,
I will have given myself a lobotomy
And die peacefully in my sleep
Unaware that I was ever unhappy at all.

Sunday Night At The Orchid Room

I come here to listen.

To youth and vigor spilling out

from inner voices that speak of vinegar and honey,

of sulfuric acid and mercury.

Sweet Voodoo Child tests the waters

giving glimpses of the power of her words

yet to come.

She is what gives us hope for the future,

as delicate as the dew-shimmering webbing

of a dragonfly’s wings

caught under the microscope’s eye…

as strong as the chainmail of the black knight,

a soul with a Kevlar vest made to fit.

The inner visual acuity of a Lennon not dead,

a Leary not burned out on LSD.

I salivate at the mere thought of new words,

of wisdom so ancient

it free falls from his soul

…Older Than Aztecs…

Look into his eyes, it’s there to see.

Listen to his voice, it’s easy to hear.

A prophet, he’d scoff at what I say,

but it’s as real as this dream we live.

Only a man who’s seen beyond time

Could play the music so well

And wear that gray fedora with such grace and style.

Sweet Child of Mine

brings out the mother in me

and my she-claws spring to defend.

But she’s quite grown up speaking of love,

her voice grown strong

the way Women’s voices do

when they leave prince charming’s behind

sitting in a mud puddle of pig shit, his mouth hanging open

as she saunters away.

Make no mistake,

None of these people need my

clipped and broken talons in their lives.

They don’t often know it’s me there at the corner table.

I simply listen to the timbre of their souls

carried on the blue smoke of the Orchid Room

and love them for the fact

they don’t simply live, they feel in ways I recognize, in ways I respect,

and will stand up at this mike to sing their songs for us all.

Ah, the Orchid Room…

I order my drink here,

A Brass Monkey:

That’s ½ oz rum, ½ oz vodka, 4 oz orange juice in a high ball

But the bartender knows me here, knows my drink,

He fixes it a bit stronger and longer and forgoes the optional Galliano

on nights when I come in

nodding my head in his direction.

Pardon my bare feet

This is the place I kick off my shoes.

And let my hair fall down.

I sing my song at the mike,

for the others who come here to listen.

Pardon my low cut crimson dress

This is the place I show myself for who I am, it’s true.

There are no lies here for me.

It’s far too easy for the others

to feel insincerity if my words are not stripped bare.

(written by Mimi)