Sunday, August 15, 2010


This morning murmur really has no logic to it, except as a nebulous wash of fond memory regarding how much I adore the traditional American dinner. (And I mean traditional – probably run by a bad-tempered Greek as parodied by John Belushi in the immortal SNL cheeseburger/no-Coke-Pepsi sketches – and not some Johnny Rockets retro-faux Edward Hopper, tourist joint with implausible chrome, pictures of James Dean, and overpriced burgers.) I haven’t spent as much of my life in diners as I have in bars, but it’s damned close. (Especially here in LA where some diners actually serve liquor.) My life has been filled with regular memories and hazy recall of shaking hands and hung over mornings, in some comforting if queasy haven, with cops in the next booth who are probably laughing at my condition, looking for relief before going home to write, barely able to raise a glass of life-saving spigot Coke to my numb lips while – on too many daylight occasions – the perversely sensual companion of the night before now cursed and groaned, hated me and the angular, cynically all-knowing, chain-smoking waitress for existing to invade in her personal hell of destroyed makeup and ruined nightlife finery, in which she resembled nothing less than Death and the Maiden attempting to negotiate an over-ambitious omelet and black coffee. Or there were pre-dawn pit-stops during drunken rampage to fuel up on grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches before returning to the lurid after-hours almost-morning as in Dave’s Diner on Canal Street that was the de facto annex to the Mud Club of the 1980s. Like I said, this blip has no point, except as fond memory and also an indication of the complete process by which lyrics like those that follow were created.

The city air was wafer brittle. Too jagged for the scarcely sane
Avoiding interloper’s glances, aware that we’d come back again
The ancient crew now reassembled, hallowed sweat in gaudy light
The odds on mayhem swiftly shortening
In the course of such a lurid night
Sweet Anita tactile armored, Baby Joseph hides a gun
Never seen the fix so angry. Spurred us to the contract run
Through all the waterholes of destiny. Drinks all round, now see us right
Commerce long since ceased to signify
In the course of such a lurid night

Marcia springs a roll of hundreds, all the hustlers’ eyes are pinned
Ike just racks ‘em, “don’t say nothing.” Marcia grins and Marcia wins
Queens caressing abject sailors, plan to steal a black and white
Civil law might be suspended
In the course of such a lurid night
Like Johnny told us “ain’t no future”. Each rotten hour as it comes
Mutinous troopers of the evening, distinguished by their rattling drums
On to conquest, on to glory; Martian, Treen or Selenite
Whatever planet you might come from
In the course of such a lurid night

Seals are ruptured, trumpets sounding, the Beast should show up anytime
Hold my horse, postpone apocalypse
This rapture’s getting too divine
I could be drunk, I could be falling, poisoned by a malachite
I could even wrestle scorpions
In the course of such a lurid night
A day of reckoning doubtless waiting, if indeed day ever dawns
Then observe the wretched penitent, speared by dilemma’s horns
Hell to pay, if Hell can catch me and I ain’t going without a fight
I could scale Gehenna’s ramparts
In the course of such a lurid night

Click here for Christopher Walken performing Delilah. (You’ll see why.)

The secret word is Yesterday

1 comment:

dh said...

I miss those diners too. The food was usually excellent. They didn't use synthetic fries or frozen patties.