Jazz Dance Macabre

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 bell.
 Its Jazz Danse Macabre on the night train to Hell."

The fog dissolves and a coach full of people
 sit anxiously a-waiting in seersucker suits.
 The Charleston plays as the train pulls away,
 the passengers rise now, they all start to sway.
 and dancing as one, they convulse down the aisle,
 faces distorted by hideous smiles.
 Elbows in, elbows out, now all pirouette.
 They touch their knees, they touch their noses,
 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 too.
 (But how can that be?
 They're both sitting
 here with me.)

At last the dancers shuffle off down the aisle;
 and the show must be over, the people are gone.
 But the train doesn't stop, the band keeps right on.
 Razzamatazz bleats out the trumpets' mute,
 and the greasy insinuation of the saxophone
 calls the danceline back to the screen
 once again.

 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.

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