The family gathers to watch the TV,
Momma and Poppa and Sonny, that's me.
We turn on a picture of a solemn old man
blinking his eyes in mild surprise
and straightening his tie.
He announces to all in deep soothing voice:
"Choo, Choo, America! now ring out the
Its Jazz Danse Macabre on the night train
The fog dissolves and a coach full of people
sit anxiously a-waiting in seersucker
The Charleston plays as the train pulls
the passengers rise now, they all start
and dancing as one, they convulse down
faces distorted by hideous smiles.
Elbows in, elbows out, now all pirouette.
They touch their knees, they touch their
they all strike up identical poses
as if hinged together like marionettes,
worked by the syncopated clickety clack
Jazz Danse plays upon the railroad track.
Danse Macabre rolls across a dying nation
as the dancers kick out in syncopation.
Some kick so hard - their legs fly off.
Yuppie man, Junkie man, gentile and Jew,
Jazz'll get your Momma and your Poppa
(But how can that be?
They're both sitting
here with me.)
At last the dancers shuffle off down the
and the show must be over, the people
But the train doesn't stop, the band keeps
Razzamatazz bleats out the trumpets' mute,
and the greasy insinuation of the saxophone
calls the danceline back to the screen
Now children can't understand
all that they see.
They gobble down images like candy
with a sickening mixture
of matter and form.
My life is hedged in now
with drugs and desires,
but whenever I close my eyes,
Jazz Danse Macabre
still plays on my screens.