Ragged Dandy found dead under
the Eiffel Tower, June '63—so he slunk
back to the Bowery real ashamed-like,
head pulsing with some sort of sick
from his jokes & guises.
"Back to what you know! Back to
something / anything worthwhile," he
screamed—but he'd still lay awake
sweating & beating,
with eyes dull & rapid, watching blue shadows
cast from the television flicker
over his hollow face.
Like some sad little saint
caught in a lie he watched what
he believed cave in & crumble. Slumped
over sipping rum "so ya gotta catch something
new," feverish shouters, but the girls
just giggled & walked away—so Dandy
sighs-cries & falls back in bed
like a little orchid grown too top-heavy
tilting out of the pot.
Look in the mirror, mascara runs down
cheeks in thick black streaks
& it sets in;
the slow sick realization:
there is no God—only
Ragged Dandy & television.