An Alabama Song

A fantasia on the song by Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht, which is performed above by David Johansen.
Wishing you all a happy Halloween!

When we mistook a fern tree for a turn,
inwards past the branches
into the headlamp dark,
here we taste either luxury or magic,
harking angels
with every snap of branch and bone.

For preservation,
we’re supposed to leave some witches swimming
to fill unglamorous roles
as rotting archivists.

But never in Alabama – the opposite,
just because it’s not a night for imagining places,
leaving us homeless with an unhinged black door.

As a train of jackdaws across a new frontier shriek ludicrously,
inside there’s cushioned opulence and
seats, if a little… clawed to bits.

There’s magic or luxury
but we’re not in Alabama,
the distance
capable of dislocating arms from bodies

Harvest the dreams of our
unemployed with strength waning
like a red cape
hanging around
her chequered logger’s shirt.

Mr Robert Pattinson
is seated on the ground,
outside a closed alehouse
typewritten with a mind’s fatigue.

His eyes of palely fired skin
under ray-bans,
those thick eyebrows
in the dust of the vampiric street.

It is like you, me too,
to look down the trainroute
for strangleholds to the moon.

“Who wants whisky?
What, as much as we?
As cold as a carrot nose?
Join the queue
and make meals of someone in front.”

All of which is because
it would be a goodnight,
goodnight to let go.

We want power anthems of singular clarity,
with words to sing at the bottom of a screen,
as if it’s not too much to ask for company
on not the full ticket.

This passing old blur that inflates like a puffer fish
will always be with you
don’t ask why.

Leave certain questions to the drink,
for our whiskey slips dryly.

If you still have your wits
and a distinct taste for blood,
you will end up caked, finally,
in kisses and make-up.


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