Tag Archives: poem


“Travel through Europe in a wagon with a troupe of occult clowns.

Wear long black capes. Navy wigs. Powder.

Iodine falls. Rings of coal around the eyes.

Red patent leather platforms.

Leather jumpsuit with studded gauntlets.

Don’t speak for weeks. Pretend you can’t hear.

Live in drag at age 70.

Long chocolate nails. Ropes of emeralds.

Make insane secret unshowable films.

Build a secret underground garden.

Learn hypnosis. Cast spells.

Expand psychic powers. Write volumes. Sculpt.

Crude primitive jewelry and diamonds.

Live in a vast cave and mural every surface.

Sleep in a giant clam.

Eat only off silver.

Wear insufferable amounts of perfume.

Click your tongue. Hiss and stare.

Use fame and fortune to highest zone advantage.

Let poverty teach.”

~ Steven Arnold

Steven Arnold‘s Zanzibar Lounge.



We each of us have a good alibi
For being down here in the joint;
But few of them really are justified
If you get right down to the point.

You’ve heard of a woman’s glory
Being spent on a downright cur,
Still you can’t always judge the story
As true, being told by her.

As long as I’ve stayed on this island,
And heard “confidence tales” from each gal,
Only one seemed interesting and truthful —
The story of Suicide Sal.

Now Sal was a gal of rare beauty,
Though her features were coarse and tough;
She never once faltered from duty
To play on the up and up.

Sal told me this take on the evening
Before she was turned out free,
And I’ll do my best to relate it
Just as she told it to me:

I was born on a ranch in Wyoming;
Not treated like Helen of Troy;
I was taught that rods are rulers
And ranked as a greasy cowboy.

Then I left my old home for the city
To play in its mad dizzy whirl,
Not knowing how little pity
It holds for a country girl.

There I fell for the line of a henchman,
A professional killer”from Chi;
I couldn’t help loving him madly;
For him even now I would die.

One year we were desperately happy;
Our ill gotten gains we spent free;
I was taught the ways of the underworld;
Jack was just like a god to me.

I got on the F.B.A. payroll
To get the inside lay of the job;
The bank was turning big money!
It looked like a cinch for the mob.

Eighty grand without even a rumble-
Jack was the last with the loot in the door,
When the teller dead-aimed a revolver
From where they forced him to the floor.

I knew I had only a moment –
He would surely get Jack as he ran;
So I staged a big fade out beside him
And knocked the forty-five out of his hand.

They rapped me down big at the station,
And informed me that I’d get the blame
For the dramatic stunt pulled on the teller
Looked to them too much like a game.

The police called it a frame-up,
Said it was an inside job,
But I steadily denied any knowledge
Or dealings with underworld mobs,

The gang hired a couple of lawyers,
The best fixers in any man’s town,
But it takes more than lawyers and money
When Uncle Sam starts shaking you down.

I was charged as a scion of gangland
And tried for my wages of sin;
The dirty dozen found me guilty –
From five to fifty years in the pen.

I took the rap like good people,
And never one squawk did I make.
Jack dropped himself on the promise
That we make a sensational break.

Well, to shorten a sad lengthy story,
Five years have gone over my head
Without even so much as a letter –
At first I thought he was dead.

But not long ago I discovered
From a gal in the joint named Lyle,
That Jack and he moll had got over
And were living in true gangster style.

If he had returned to me sometime,
Though he hadn’t a cent to give,
I’d forget all this hell that he’s caused me,
And love him as long as I live.

But there’s no chance of his ever coming,
For he and his moll have no fears
But that I will die in prison,
Or flatten this fifty years.

Tomorrow I’ll be on the outside
And I’ll drop myself on it today:
I’ll bump ’em if they give me the hotsquat
On this island out here in the bay …

The iron doors swung wide next morning
For a gruesome woman of waste,
Who at last had a chance to fix it.
Murder showed in her cynical face.

Not long ago I read in the paper
That a gal on the East Side got hot,
And when the smoke finally retreated,
Two of gangdom were found on the spot.

It related the colorful story
Of a jilted gangster gal.
Two days later, a sub-gun ended
The story of Suicide Sal.

~ The Story of Suicide Sal written by Bonnie Parker; thus ending my week long hiatus from blogging. In totally unrelated news, I’ve been cooped up at home recovering from an illness, which crept up on me during Austin Psych fest.

But health issues aside, APF4 was incredible! I met so many sweet spirits  including Elza from Linger Not Vintage, and saw some of the best bands. Among my favorite shows of the weekend were the Black Angels, Crocodiles, the Soft Moon, Spectrum (who I’d previously never heard, tsk tsk), and my friend Gregg’s band, the Meek. Every show I saw was good though. I’m still in a bit of a daze over the whole ordeal… in a good way. 


(English translation)

“Please, tell me.  Do you want to be my playmate? Do you want to play for ever and ever?

Do you want to feel yourself important with childlike spirit? To sit seriously at the head of the table?

To skilfully pour wine and water? To throw pearls? To be happy for nothing and wear old dresses with nostalgia?

Please, tell me. Do you want to play the game of life? Of the snowy winter and the endless autumn?

Shall we drink tea? The ruby tea making yellow smoke without saying a word?

Do you really want to live keeping your heart pure? To be  silent for a long time?

To stay  scared because November is coming? Because  the street sweeper is a poor sick man who whistles under our window?

Do you want to play the game of the snake, the eagle, the long journeys, the train, the ship? Of Christmas, the dream, and all nice things in this world?

Do you want to play the game of the happy lover? Do you want to pretend to cry, and play the game of the coloured funeral?

Do you want to live? Forever? In a game that has become so real?

Do you want to lie on the ground covered in flowers? Do you want to play the game of death?”