Friday, December 17, 2010

Tom Waits on the Danube (for Lu, Sonja, and Lu)

Big bundle of a spirit moaning,
he gots to float past the castle.
And you better be there waiting,
under the pink moon and shocked
just like them vodka-washed stars
can't believe their blinking eyes.

When Tom Waits navigates Serbia,
all the frowns must leak off and boil,
so he can catch them in his crazy bag
and turn them into infinite laughing.

It's not too dark in the pink moonlight
that will fall at an angle to your river.
After each song of swirling catharsis,
that balladeer will fizz up with giggles.
He'll stand in a shallow-draft Jon boat,
with a ten-foot long paddle to plow
through the wet-color, watery Danube,
and he'll moan till the golden fish dance.

And he'll come here for you, my sweet dears.
And he'll come here to sing, my sweet dears.
And he'll come here where all things go hard
to sing you great kaleidoscopes for bridges.

And his song might wake up the dead.
Ruined ghosts on ramparts will shout
on syllables of black-bearded strife
like Blues from a great battled Fate.
And the air will jazz out like fingers
to a sward before rocks sloping down,
where young hearts beat to a dreaming,
where hands hold, wringing out ironies.

When ole Tom Waits wails in Serbian,
things are gonna jump up like magic.
Smoke will curl beneath the Danube
like gentle nightmares in candlelight.

When Tom Waits comes down the Danube,
big soul will pour from his mouth and eyes.
When Tom Waits floats Danube water,
accordions will swell unknown waltzes.

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