Bar or Barroom Experience

(For Tom and Tommy)

Magma 58

Tom Waits’ album of noise
that destroys Woyzeck’s killer
with calliope, pump organ, marimba, gongs,
bongos, timpani, chamberlin and tuba
does the conga in my mind
drags me down to a junkyard hell
of murder, counter murder
and the only way out I’ve left to try
is to stab the moon in his dirty old eye.
It’s turning into that kind of night
until I dream up the bar
I want to be in now,
the kind of bar that Tom lives in

where
the lights are dim and dirty
and the room is long and thin
the television has no screen
and water’s coming in
Cutnose Ned is in the corner
pouring wine for his dead friend
as the jukebox serves to order
an old Tommy Cooper blend –

I was walking along outside the library when a fella bends down with a pair of scissors, cuts the bottoms off my trousers, throws them inside the library and says, There’s a turn-up for the books,

Just like that

— moisturized Patty from Cincinnati
slaps Jägerbombs down for the crowd fresh in from Shanghai town
while a six-mallet marimba strikes up a frantic score
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht rise resurrected through the floor

that’s the kind of authentic bar or barroom experience I want
a crowd of freaks dressed up for clown school,
fake pints, kind words, a collapsible bar stool,
toilets overflowing with lilies and soap
and dispensers stuffed with complimentary dope

that’s the kind of authentic bar or barroom experience I’m thinking on
that’s where I’m most likely at last to meet Tom.