Despair and Delight

She tries the church first,
and when that doesn’t come together
like the science of a perfect symphony had always promised,
she burns her bridges and checks into the bedlam dream house.

Ten years spent using ten dresses to make something
that’s going to be murder when she finally writes
twenty songs worth hearing.

Even the spotlight is gonna be out of breath.
The boys are gonna beg to bleed,
and the limousines will make a bridge that extends
all the way to Tokyo.

The nurses are played by extras from the ghost town
they used to call Chicago. They bring medication,
milk and whiskey
every hour on the hour.

They smile so much that the cracks
forming along the walls go deep enough
to start an electrical fire.

Some of those rooms burn for weeks,
but she loves each and every one of those girls
for their undivided attention and clean fetish uniforms.

Everybody has to start somewhere. She learns to play
the piano in her sleep and the guitar while the ceiling
keeps falling down, climbing back up and then falling
back down all over again.

Concussions are for people who have nothing
better to do than sleep while the train is leaving
the station between the stations.

She has an affair with a first cousin who visits
once a month and then writes a song
about the way hell is half the length of a phone booth.

A lot of her songs are like that. Manipulation is a lot easier
than hoping the trouble comes her way by simply standing around
and looking lost.

There’s no doubt that she’s going places. That dress she wears
on the day she leaves the nurses and restraints behind
is the first thing New York talks about when the police show up
to find the bodies in that bar piled up like restless chess pieces.

She surrenders willingly
and uses the one phone call for a sweet old man
who runs a little talent agency on Sunset Boulevard.

Before the whole thing even goes to trial
she gets four thousand marriage proposals.

Some of them are even from real people.
She accepts five during the week
when the first single starts riots
in some of the lesser-known parts of the flat world.

At least
that’s what she thinks when the clock
rolls back those ten years and starts all over again.

- Gabriel Ricard