There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Any More

Summer, 2003 / No. 10

On Liberty Street, I think, “There are no Solid Gold Dancers any more.”

Then I get hassled for change outside the textile merchant’s store

I’ve been thrown out of for dropping ribbon spools and “making a

fine mess, thank you very much.”

I start to walk and think, “Who can think of love when it’s hard

getting enough out of being alive? ” Nature tries to cover me like

velvet, make everything seem more romantic, but I gotta learn to

ignore that shit.

Internet cafés, homeless guy, psychic, dollar-store music, and used

condom swimming in puke: all within one block. And thank God that,

in the end, technology will save us all, make us all the same.

All I need is one late-night glass of habit and I’ll be through, in just

one year I’ll be through with sweating red wine from my armpits, all my

tense pores. Just one year, that’s all it’ll take and then I’ll be through with

this street, this town.

Red light. No cars coming, and who cares, I’m fucking walking, I’m like

an immigrant here, anyways. What I do, what I’ve done, will make a

mighty fine epitaph: “LIVED, LAUGHED, DIED.” You’ll be able to look up my

name in a dictionary and it’ll have a definition, a lexicon, a history. Hmm.

I’m counting my time down as I walk one last time north on Liberty, picking

at my cracked lip, my hands colder than when I was born, in my pocket is

opium for the people—thank God I always could make ’em laugh—oh, and a

song as catchy as any Irving Berlin could compose:

I wanted to try, oh

how I wanted to say

to you so many things

that it’s funny, wishing on a star

how stupid I think we all are

how little it all means

in the wider scope of things

and now, how better off it seems

to just have me and my little dreams