Ballad of Nobody

The songster has forgotten the lyrics, so he begins:

Sorry, there was a problem following, so try again later,
is the way this ballad kicks off.

The boy wakes up with a start.
A noise outside his bedroom window:
Clack-clack. Clack-Clack.
Clouds spongy with rain hunch
over weary trees speechless in the dark.
The clouds soak up the light of street lamps
they reek of the turpentine refinery down the road.

Manny he could not abide
The rankling odor, no.
So he left us.
He left us alone thereafter.

On my walk to the bank this morning I did not see any dogs. I did not hear any dogs barking. I did not see any cats, or birds. In fact, the only animal I saw was a smoker in front of the corner bar. I turned to face him and say bonjour and saw that he was lost in a reverie. Smoke curled from his barely parted lips. His attention seemed to be focused on the rain cloud passing over, but his eyes were glazed and unfocused. What was he remembering?

Manny he could not abide
The rankling odor, no.
So he left us.
He left us alone thereafter.

What Marie was doing all this time on the corner?
Stretching her un-dressed arms out wide like some
maternal jesus saying christ on a crutch, Manny
what did you think was gonna fuckin happen?
Your trouble is, you never contemplate

the delicious violet-tinged ends
only the neckties strangling
choking the robbers at the Jade Outlet Store
where we hung out one summer, so long
so long before we slid down in our seats
on the train to Port Bou ticketless
and dreaming of this cat who refugeed through here
on his way to a terrifying destiny rich in deeds
back in one of them wars one time
before my time. Our time.

Manny he could not abide
The rankling odor, no.
So he left us.
He left us alone thereafter.

And Marie she shouted into the rafters
berating the huddled figurines
bearing loaves of infinite silence.
Yeow, yeow, she wept. Yeow, yeow.

Manny he could not abide
The rankling odor, no.
So he left us.
He left us alone thereafter.

And she stood there alone munching off
that box of fried chicken we awarded her
for that crazy kick-step and and the roundups.
KFC’s a prize worthy of any saint
even saints do like to boast.

Manny he could not abide
The rankling odor, no.
So he left us.
He left us alone thereafter.
He left us. Alone.

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