(R.I.P. Sleaze Manor.)

Count the muses scattered on the floor
and taped to the peeling walls–
a bottle or twelve
(with no messages rolled up inside,
for nosy roommates to innocently come across).
Snapshots of friends lost to time
and unreliable phonebooks
(they all got my number,
if you know what I mean,
but I’m a lousy secretary
and an even worse pen pal).
But the pictures do the trick just fine:
memories are monotonous
and tedious
and elusive in their omnipresence,
but pictures are worth a thousand
“hey, how ya been”s.

And what about the half-started missives
and anecdotes
crumpled up like snot-rags
and tossed in the dubious corners of the room,
right where they belong?
Forget about them,
pretend they never existed,
do a little “Flunky Two-Step” around them
on your way out the door,
on your way into
the screaming, howling, lonely streets
(when you’re in the streets,
try the “Wandering Jew Quadrille”
or the “Don Juan Dope Shuffle,”
depending on the street,

Muses live in street lamps
and balance tight-rope style on street signs
(the ones with decent names, anyways)
and whistle Dixie from wooden mailboxes.
My kind of muse loves the stars
but shuns the moon with a lycanthropic fervor.

We’re all alcoholic werewolves here:
waning buzz, half drunk, full bender, waxing hangover.
There may be a man on the moon
and he may be drunk as all hell,
but there ain’t no muse
in that god damn thing.

And there ain’t no music,
not even in a Blues moon.

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