Henry’s Imagined Elegy For John
So what is this, the skyline of New York
being carried by a stork
to be born like the black Hudson
meandering twenty miles out to sea?
He’s playing a guitar made of Kleenex,
folding the neck
and the long-dead trees begin to fret.
The drums that Ringo plays
taut human skin
brought over from the jungles of Borneo.
Now the natives wish
they’d never seen a white man.
To them a song from the Sixties
only summons evil spirits,
the shaman pops you on the forehead like cops
and (keep this in mind) the cops never cure bad cops
and the shaman fans the smoke
as jungle rain begins to fall.2.
The Beatles keep on playing
because that’s what they were born to do,
it doesn’t matter if John’s dead,
it doesn’t matter if George is dead,
it doesn’t matter if barefoot Paul
doesn’t have a head.
Ringo and Buck Owens
admire the handy work
of a young Turk.
Yoko stands around and screams,
her breasts don’t produce milk
And, goddamn it,
if you give peace a chance
the right wingers won’t get up to dance.
They’re fucking Nazis, you know,
and they’ll suffer the same fate
as their hero,
abandoning the surface of Berlin
to live with Dracula
while Eva Braun plays the violin
with Sergeant Schultz
and Colonel Hogan
Bush imagines the Luftwaffe
after a mission to bomb Osama.
But going after Osama is like invading
Russia in the wintertime,
if you shit in the woods you get a splinter.
Twist and shout
living in the USSR
playing the guitar.
The Beatles keep playing,
Snoop Dog keeps on baying,
Lucy’s in the sky with the family jewels.
You can’t have peace on earth
if you don’t listen to the song.
The words don’t mean a thing to words.