the cat’s got the whooping cough, the dog’s got the flu

Baby, for my dinner, I want ham and eggs

I say hey, hey, I want ham and eggs

And for my supper, mama, I  want to feel your legs
– Blind Boy Fuller “Meat Shakin’ Woman”

Happy will they be who dash their little ones against the rock
-Psalm 137:9

Big Eighty left Savannah, Lord, going off to California, can’t live them Georgia laws.
All he found at first was moonshine and circumstances, post-industrial Dionysian idiots
without potable water or arable land. Masons gathering in the roadsides,
each of them diggin’ ditches, each of ‘em diggin with the Ace of Spades,
exploring the balance between hats and masks and crowns.  All the pimps ride motorcycles,
they cluster in the desert,  coming out of primary colored sunsets, each wearing a red tie
or a sky blue depending on gang affiliations -killing our prophets, imprisoning our sanest heretics
Getting’ high on self shared victimization. But, then – 115 miles of Sonora desert highway
Big Sur a’ flame, in molten, golden sunset.  Red letter days.  Must have been something to see
A glory in their pomp. He shrugged his shoulders and made a deal, saying
“Hell is full of fortune tellers and recidivist democrats.
Heaven is full of blank checks and statues and the cat’s got the whooping cough, the dog has got the flu.”

American Beauty is moral high handedness, seduction and magic in the secret handshake.
Dupes and patsies, backbiters and syndicators, the lunatic and the fool, feet of clay, hands like jars.
Pay through the nose to spite your face-  harsh women bleeding by the rattlings of their tongues.
Pawn your sword!, pawn your chain! I fucked every woman in the Hampton Hotel,
everyone of them gave birth to a red head child. Loanin’ money for interest and collecting the debt in flesh and bone,
how is this unjust?  – we tolerate the despicable & cast statues of the depraved.
You’ll spend a dollar like you do a dime. The rooster chews tobacco and the hen dips snuff.
Silence, cupidity, manifest destiny. John saw the number but he’d never learned to read.
Reprobate men in ten cent hats, sloppy drunk and sermonizing, no apology, no stated reparations,
all kinds of reprehensible doubletalk.  If the good lord’s willin’ and the creeks don’t rise, hit the lights
and pass the ammunition.!! Infamy on the counterpane, the landscape of cultural revisionism
Liberty?  Ha – a conjurer’s stunt!!  Freedom? Ha – another word for nothing left to lose,
when the cat’s got the whooping cough, the dog has got the flu.

I got married once to a four square girl, a Christian woman of unimpeachable reputation
who was herself married to another man – a fire breathing, whore-beheading prophet of God .
things were good between us for a year or two, she used to give me
hand jobs  in the gravel parking lot behind the Unitarian church,
I used to run errands and fix radios for her.  Until, one day she hitched up her skirts and showed me
her nation sack.  She said “you’re going to the boneyard boy, and you ain’t coming back!”
I cried “larks’a’mercy”! I was blind in one ear and totally deaf in my nose  She threw the dice
and stuffed them in my bed clothes.  – I said “I love you but my ears are full of poison. I came seeking the moon,
I found only a flower garden  I fell asleep and now I am dead!  What more is there to say?
I know your salty new lover, Fat Mouth Sam, a rounder and a grinder
who sold all his poetry for a bucket of beer. I see you unfold for him, like a butterfly,  naked,
in your kitchen and I ain’t fazed!  He is just as dead as I am
and I’m the best dressed man in the graveyard, baby,  ain’t no one needs to shine my shoes,
for the cat’s got the whooping cough, the dog has got the flu.

We yearn for a pragmatic mesmerist, a thrower of flowers, a balcony manipulator,
one hand on the bible, the other on the abortionist’s hook, but what we get are
mountebanks in colored cuffs, speaking in hand jive. Billy E collars. Greased manners.
In pompadours. Kings.  What we get are Mustangs when we hunger for Buicks, what we get are kid
gloves when we plainly crave plain walking boots.  So, you spend all your salt, you pay your taxes
and you’re a modern individual, cold in hand, deep in the policy game –  modern conscience+white man’s burden
is the brand new stavin’ chain. What we get is instruction to the witless, not eyesight to the blind.
Judges are dissemblers who are constantly on the make. Fraud is the only insurance.  Ambiguity is the
currency of the afterlife. The truly righteous man will not shiver when he wears his own skin, he kills
New Deal Democrats on sight and strikes his bargain on an agrarian handshake.
The last righteous man comes running, from Foggy Bottom to Capitol Hill, hollerin’
“The hurricane is coming! The Hurricane is coming!  Unloose the helicopter! Lash down the womenfolks!
Gas up the Terraplane! America is shaking!  Any man who claims rights with out assuming responsibilities
is a scoundrel!   A fist shaking televangelist for every shallow grave!
Any one who says “Live Free or Die” should be made to do so!”  But this man is not president!
This man is no undersecretary of agriculture! This man is not editor of the Washington Post!
The righteous man has no voice in the Washington Post, on MySpace, or Fox News
– and yet the cat’s got the whooping cough, the dog has got the flu.

This entry was published on 03/20/2009 at 8:44 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

12 thoughts on “the cat’s got the whooping cough, the dog’s got the flu

  1. Pingback: #1,#2 « tarnation and eudemonia

  2. changeforbetterme on said:

    Had to go a long way back to read this one, but it was worth it 🙂

  3. I recall this – this was a real change in the guard poem.

  4. I fell in love with you because of this poem. Blue eyes, whip smart, big fat cock and a Republican – perfect!

  5. lazarusthechiefengineer on said:

    This is brilliant verbal legedermaine

  6. nataliekosta on said:

    Like this one better than the other.

  7. This is one I would love to hear you read out loud.

  8. Hardy and wise. I nice rumbling jumpy flow, like hot water over cold rocks.

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