Modern Poetry Edition #17, (Epics!)


Low Low Turnout in the voting. Perhaps epics are 
more suited to the non-football filled months -- 
some of them were over a page long! 

But the electorate was informed: five votes total 
and three of them for the Winner of the 17th 
illustrious MPulitzer, Lou Reed. I believe he's 
our first smack addict, and the first in a long 
while that your humble chief editor has voted 
for his own self. Welcome in, Lou.

'Heroin' really is a sweet poem -- more than worthy 
of the award. And the observant among you will have 
predicted that the prevalent death theme virtually 
guaranteed victory for Lou.

Next up, we'll take a look at some odes.

--Sean

-------------------------------------------------------------

Get your votes in soon. It's good practice for
Election Day -- six weeks from tomorrow.

BTW, Dubya voted for The Real Me by The Who, and JFKerry
declined to settle on a choice but he insisted that 
Bush's choice was "Just WRRRRRRRAAAANNNNGGGGG!"


# 17 #
[9/17/04]
30,000 Pounds Of Bananas - Harry Chapin
Paradise By The Dashboard Lights - MeatLoaf
Madame George - Van Morrison
**Heroin - Lou Reed and VU
The Real Me - The Who

**Winner of MPulitzer

Enjoy this issue. We thank you for your support and patience. Those of you
who were threatening to go on hunger strike if we didn't hurry up with the
new MP, well, we thank you for your support.

This issue started out as a theme edition -- epic poems was what I had in
mind. Epic poem about smashed bananas? Check. Epic Meatloaf Staple from
70's? Check. Ummm.

Okay let's fill it out with:

-Van the Man (indecipherable poem about something and it has a train)
   VTM is the Susan Lucci of MP -- this is his fourth
   nomination, but no hardware for the man yet.

-Lou Reed and his touching love song written to smack.

-And The 'oo, the boys from Shepherd's Bush with a piece of the Rock Opera
"Quadrophenia."

That's it. If it's not Epic it's Eclectic. If you want to consider it the
Epileptic mix, you can.

Please Read 'em. They're good. If you just vote for PBTDL, cause that's
the only one you know, you may be hit with a poll tax.


30,000 Pounds of Bananas - Harry Chapin
=========================================================================
It was just after dark when the truck started down
The hill that leads into Scranton, Pennsylvania
Carrying thirty thousand pounds of bananas
Carrying thirty thousand pounds (hit it, Big John)
I said, of bananas

He was a young driver
Just out on his second job
And he was carrying the next day's pastry fruit
For everyone in that coal-starved city
Where children play without despair
In backyard slag-piles and folks manage to eat each day
Just about thirty thousand pounds of bananas
Yes, there were thirty thousand pounds (scream it again, John)
Of bananas

He passed a sign that he should have seen
Saying "Shift to low gear, or fifty-dollar fine, my friend." (my friend)
He was thinking perhaps about the warm-breathed woman
Who was waiting at the journey's end
He started down the two mile drop
The curving road that wound from the top of the hill
He was pushing on through the shortening miles
That ran down to the depot
Just a few more miles to go
Then he'd go home and have her ease that long, cramped day away
And the smell of thirty thousand pounds (let's hear ya)
Of bananas
Yes, the smell of thirty thousand pounds (really loud now!)
Of bananas

(This song builds up in intensity and excitement!)

He was picking speed as the city spread its twinkling lights below him
But he paid no heed as the shivering thoughts of the night's delights went through him
His foot nudged the brakes to slow him down
But the pedal floored easy without a sound
He said "Christ!" (Christ)
It was funny how he had named the only man who could save him now
He was trapped inside a dead-end hellslide
Riding on his fear-hunched back
Was every one of those yellow green
I'm telling you, thirty thousand pounds (scream it now!)
Of bananas
Yes, there were thirty thousand pounds (even louder!)
Of bananas

He barely made the sweeping curve that led into the steepest grade
And he missed the thankful passing bus at ninety miles an hour
And he said "God, make it a dream!"
As he rode his last ride down
He said "God, make it a dream!"
As he rode his last ride down
And he sideswiped nineteen neat parked cars
Clipped off thirteen telephone poles
Hit two houses, bruised eight trees
And Blue-Crossed seven people
It was then he lost his head
Not to mention an arm or two before he stopped, stopped
And he smeared for four hundred yards
Along the hill that leads into Scranton, Pennsylvania
All those thirty thousand pounds (you guessed it)
Of bananas

(spoken) Thank God you're here. Now, some of you may think that it would
be easy to write a song like this, but it isn't. See, most great works of
art
have a theme that holds them together. This song doesn't. As a matter of
fact,
I had a great deal of trouble ending it, as a matter of fact. The first
ending was
like this:

Yes, we have no bananas
We have no bananas today
(And if that wasn't enough)
Yes, we have no bananas
No bananas in Scranton, PA

Now, I was very proud of that ending and, with much anticipation, I sang it
for the guys in the group and my brothers and their reaction was best summed
up by my brother Tom who said, ""Harry, it sucks."" Well, I was devastated.
But I went back to my lonely writer's garret and decided that I would try
again
and come up with a new ending. Since it was a country and western song
maybe I could add a country ending. Something about motherhood this time
'cause the song already had a truck. Something with weeping steel guitars,
wailing fiddles, and an incredible banjo part. And something with harmony
sung by, you guessed it, the LA Memorial Choir. You'll see your part when
it comes by.

A woman walks into her room
Where her child lies sleeping (sleeping)
And when she sees his eyes are closed
She sits there silently weeping (weeping)
(I see Gay Liberation has hit LA.)
And though she lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania (vania)
(Three thousand munchkins and a troll.)
She never ever eats (bananas!)
Not one of thirty thousand pounds (harmony now)
Of bananas
(Sounds like the Mormon Tubercular Choir out there.)

Well, the sad truth is no matter how loudly and how love-ely, if that's a word,
you say 'of bananas', it doesn't alter in the least the fact that when I sang that
ending for my brothers and the guys in the group their reaction was best summed
up by my brother Steve who said:

No, no, Harry, you gotta be kidding me.
What?
You really expect that to end this song? I mean, it's nice, Harry. The words are
potentially harmless and the music is a lot ... it's, it's pleasant. But, I think Tom's
definitely right. It sucks.

I was broken-hearted. And once more I went back to my writer's room, decided
finally that honesty was the best policy and I would end the song the way I
found out about it in the first place. And that was coming on a Greyhound bus
through Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1965. Like this.

You see the man that told me about it on the bus
Says it went up the hill out of Scranton, Pennsylvania
You know he shrugged his head, he shrugged his shoulders, and said
And this is exactly what he said
He said, "Boy, boy, it sure must've been something
Just imagine thirty thousand pounds of bananas."
Yes, there were thirty thousand pounds of mashed bananas
Of bananas
Of bananas
Thirty thousand pounds
Of bananas
Not no driver now
All bananas
Just bananas!


Paradise by the Dashboard Lights -
=========================================================================
BOY:
I remember every little thing
As if it happened only yesterday
Parking by the lake
And there was not another car in sight
And I never had a girl
Looking any better than you did
And all the kids at school
They were wishing they were me that night
And now our bodies are oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And we're glowing like the metal
on the edge of a knife
Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
C'mon! Hold on tight!
C'mon! Hold on tight!
Though it's cold and lonely in the deep dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light

GIRL:
Ain't no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed
Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed
Ain't no doubt about it
Baby got to go and shout it
Ain't no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed

BOY:
Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed
Baby doncha hear my heart
You got it drowning out the radio
I've been waiting so long
For you to come along and have some fun
And I gotta let ya know
No you're never gonna regret it
So open up your eyes I got a big surprise
It'll feel all right
Well I wanna make your motor run
And now our bodies are oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And we're glowing like the metal
on the edge of a knife
Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
C'mon! Hold on tight!
C'mon! Hold on tight!
Though it's cold and lonely in the deep dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light
Though it's cold and lonely in the deep dark night
Paradise by the dashboard light
You got to do what you can
And let Mother Nature do the rest
Ain't no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed
Cause we were barely seventeen
and we were barely...
We're gonna go all the way tonight
gonna go all the way tonight
We're gonna go all the way tonight
gonna go all the way tonight tonight
We're gonna go all the way tonight
gonna go all the way tonight tonight
We're gonna go all the way tonight
gonna go all the way tonight tonight

RADIO BROADCAST:
Ok, here we go.
We got a real pressure cooker going here,
two down, nobody on,
no score, bottom of the ninth...
There's the windup, and there it is,
a line shot up the middle, look at him go.
This boy can really fly!
He's rounding first and really turning it on now,
he's not letting up at all, he's gonna try for second;
the ball is bobbled out in center,
and here comes the throw, and what a throw!
He's gonna slide in head first,
here he comes, he's out!
No, wait, safe, safe at second base.
This kid really makes things happen out there.
Batter steps up to the plate here's the pitch,
he's going, and what a jump he's got,
he's trying for third, here's the throw,
its in the dirt, safe at third!
Holy cow, stolen base!
He's taking a pretty big lead out there,
almost daring him to try and pick him off.
The pitcher glances over, winds up, and it bunted,
bunted down the third base line,
the suicide squeeze is on!
Here he comes, squeeze play,
it's gonna be close, here's the throw,
here's the play at the plate,
Holy cow, I think he's gonna make it!

GIRL:
Stop right there!!!
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further!
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?
Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy
for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away
and will you make me your wife?
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?
Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away
and will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now
Before we go any further
Do you love me!!!?
Will you love me forever!!!?

BOY:
Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
And I'll give you an answer in the morning
Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
And I'll give you an answer in the morning
Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
And I'll give you an answer in the morning

GIRL:
I gotta know right now!
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?
Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away
and will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?

BOY:
Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
And I'll give you an answer in the morning
Let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Let me sleep on it
And I'll give you an answer in the morning

GIRL:
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further
Do you love me!!!?
Will you love me forever!!!?

BOY: Let me sleep on it!!

GIRL: Will you love me forever!!!?

BOY: I couldn't take it any longer
Lord I was crazed
And when the feeling came upon me
Like a tidal wave
I started swearing to my God
and on my mother's grave
That I would love you to the end of time
So now I'm praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don't think that I can really survive
I'll never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now
I'm praying for the end of time
It's all that I can do, woo hoo
Praying for the end of time,
so I can end my time with you!!!

BOY:
It was long ago and it was far away
And it was so much better than it is today

GIRL:
It never felt so good
It never felt so right
And we were glowing like
A metal on the edge of a knife

Madame George - Van Morrison
=========================================================================
Down on Cyprus Avenue
With a childlike vision leaping into view
Clicking, clacking of the high heeled shoe
Ford & Fitzroy, Madame George

Marching with the soldier boy behind
He's much older now with hat on drinking wine
And that smell of sweet perfume comes drifting through
The cool night air like Shalimar

And outside they're making all the stops
The kids out in the street collecting bottle-tops
Gone for cigarettes and matches in the shops
Happy taken Madame George

That's when you fall
Whoa, that's when you fall
Yeah, that's when you fall

When you fall into a trance
A sitting on a sofa playing games of chance
With your folded arms and history books you glance
Into the eyes of Madame George

And you think you found the bag
You're getting weaker and your knees begin to sag
In the corner playing dominoes in drag
The one and only Madame George

And then from outside the frosty window raps
She jumps up and says Lord have mercy I think it's the cops
And immediately drops everything she gots
Down into the street below

And you know you gotta go
On that train from Dublin up to Sandy Row
Throwing pennies at the bridges down below
And the rain, hail, sleet, and snow

Say goodbye to Madame George
Dry your eye for Madame George
Wonder why for Madame George

And as you leave, the room is filled with music, laughing, music,
dancing, music all around the room
And all the little boys come around, walking away from it all
So cold

And as you're about to leave
She jumps up and says Hey love, you forgot your gloves
And the gloves to love to love the gloves...

To say goodbye to Madame George
Dry your eye for Madame George
Wonder why for Madame George
Dry your eyes for Madame George

Say goodbye in the wind and the rain on the back street
In the backstreet, in the back street
Say goodbye to Madame George
In the backstreet, in the back street, in the back street
Down home, down home in the back street
Gotta go

Say goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
Dry your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye...
Say goodbye to Madame George
And the loves to love to love the love
Say goodbye

Say goodbye goodbye goodbye goodbye to Madame George
Dry your eye for Madame George
Wonder why for Madame George
The love's to love the love's to love the love's to love...
Say goodbye, goodbye

Get on the train
Get on the train, the train, the train...
This is the train, this is the train...
Whoa, say goodbye, goodbye....
Get on the train, get on the train...


Heroin - Lou Reed and Velvet Underground
==========================================================
I donít know just where Iím going
But Iím goiní to try for the kingdom if I can
ícause it makes me feel like Iím a man
When I put a spike into my vein
Then I tell you things arenít quite the same

When Iím rushing on my run
And I feel just like jesusí son
And I guess I just donít know
And I guess that I just donít know

I have made very big decision
Iím goiní to try to nullify my life
ícause when the blood begins to flow
When it shoots up the dropperís neck
When Iím closing in on death

You canít help me not you guys
All you sweet girls with all your sweet talk
You can all go take a walk
And I guess I just donít know
And I guess I just donít know

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
I wish that Iíd sailed the darkened seas
On a great big clipper ship
Going from this land here to that
I put on a sailorís suit and cap

Away from the big city
Where a man cannot be free
Of all the evils in this town
And of himself and those around
Oh, and I guess I just donít know
Oh, and I guess I just donít know

Heroin, be the death of me
Heroin, itís my wife and itís my life
Because a mainer to my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then Iím better off than dead

When the smack begins to flow
Then I really donít care anymore
About all the jim-jims in this town
And everybody putting everybody else down
And all of the politicians makiní crazy sounds
All the dead bodies piled up in mounds, yeah

Wow, that heroin is in my blood
And the blood is in my head
Yeah, the godís good as dead
Ooohhh, God that Iím not aware
I just donít care
And I guess I just donít know
And I guess I just donít know


The Real Me - The Who
==============================================================
I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink.
I sit and tell him about my weekend,
But he never betrays what he thinks.

Can you see the real me, doctor?

I went back to my mother
I said, "I'm crazy ma, help me."
She said, "I know how it feels son,
'Cause it runs in the family."

Can you see the real me, mother?

The cracks between the paving stones
Look like rivers of flowing veins.
Strange people who know me
Peeping from behind every window pane.
The girl I used to love
Lives in this yellow house.
Yesterday she passed me by,
She doesn't want to know me now.

Can you see the real me, can you?

I ended up with the preacher,
Full of lies and hate,
I seemed to scare him a little
So he showed me to the golden gate.

Can you see the real me preacher?
Can you see the real me doctor?
Can you see the real me mother?
Can you see the real me?