Refuse Avenue (new poem—an homage to Dylan)

[The following poem is a Dylanesque homage, and is most certainly a nod to “Desolation Row”. But it is also intended to stand on its own.]

Refuse Avenue

I hear they’re making it into a movie
From the book based off of the trial
The pearl stilettos auctioned off
The blood run down the aisle
Enter the captive jury
On the brink of a crucial vote
To whom our hearts belong this week
And who must jump the boat
The picketers collide in the cross-hairs
The gutters are starting to brew
As the boys and I spend a penny
Down on Refuse Avenue

Hester Prynne, she’s been pulled out of bed
“It takes two to tango” she swears
Undulating in a wedding dress
The one Madonna wears
And Lancelot croons from a lion mask
“I hear you’re worldly wise”
A year from now his penitence will
Cut him down to size
Now the city’s already sinking
And Hester has nothing to do
But send a letter on her snow-white garb
From Refuse Avenue

Mr. Rorschach, he furiously scribbles
On his sandwich board of doom
While Groucho weeps his smile away
In a burning room
There sits Lazarus, licking his wounds
He’s hiding behind the door
Beside his friend Boo Radley
Who is drooling on the floor
Down the street the virgins are calling,
“Hey can I bum a light from you?”
But the party’s already started here
On Refuse Avenue

Princess Rosa is getting some shut-eye
She’s running a little late
Despite her father’s efforts she has
Already spun her fate
Her slumber is quite contagious
She makes even Eutychus tired
Her closet has many talents but
Her palace is covered in briars
She’s dreaming her prince is in town
For her beauty to rescue
But its only Rip Van Winkle lodging
On Refuse Avenue

Lennon, in the garb of a Guru
With a bag over his head
Is nowhere in particular
He’s made the street his bed
He’s got nothing to hide
But they keep a watchful eye
He hides out in the quarry
With his fingers toward the sky
Don’t be late for the show
His tricks are all on cue
He performs his feat on Saturday
On Refuse Avenue

Mr. Swine, he rules the air
He licks a gilded mic
His patrons have abandoned him
Saying, “Man, you better take a hike”
The lady, she was his foe
Because she came from France
Now they’re peeking up her skirt
Their hands are down in his pants
Both have arrived on time
But they haven’t got a clue
They’ll be begging door-to-door tonight
On Refuse Avenue

Up the road the choirs are singing
The sermons have been rather plain
The preacher’s always smiling though
He feels more like Gwynplaine
The stage is set for the Baron
He says he lifts himself by his locks
But when he returns from the swamp
They have to carry him home in a box
Says Gwynplaine through is bullhorn
“I’m afraid to say it’s true:
On half a horse Münchausen rides
Through Refuse Avenue”

This very hour all the pirates
With the help of Santa’s elves
Link a cuff to every hand
Who grabs more for themselves
Then it’s off to the happy farm
They strap them snugly in their seats
And dazzle them with picture shows
While they suck on rubber teats
They’re pedaling so very hard
They’ll be making a buck or two
They’ll be spending every cent of it
On Refuse Avenue

Hail to Constantine and Goliath
On a plane to Viet Nam
They’ll paint the jungle orange and say,
“That’s one small step for man.”
The crowds are jeering at Judas
They’re gonna pull is electric plug
The kids from Kent light torches
Their graves already dug
Their seeds are wandering rocks
We can cover the night with our crew
But please don’t ask too much from us
Here at Refuse Avenue

If you weren’t in my Frankenstein quilt
I hope that you understand
(If it’s any consolation
I stole the parts from another man)
Yes, I read your bumper sticker
It grew rather small as you drove away
We don’t have much time for those down here
We don’t have that much to say
You said you’d visit me again in the Spring
You might as well remove your shoes
Cause we all know it’s always April here
On Refuse Avenue

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