and Woody Herman played

Written by: John Heck

Blues in the Night.

A malignant moon
shines his metallic claws -
combs my hair and brushes me forward.
I am alone in the shadowy crooks 
of a poisoned metropolis.

A clandestine garbage chute -
where waifs and strays burn
within the fetid bowels 
of a cavernous concrete underbelly.

The orphanage awaits my arrival,
as muted outcries are crushed 
beneath my footsteps. 
A parentless prison
teeters atop Utopia's dreaded brim;
the hamlet where Orwell slew Hilton.

St. Peter has been released
and no longer tends the kitchen.
Agony and angel wings reneged
a redundant brotherhood of sorts.
His recipe for remorse shall be missed. 

Blues in the Night.

In the distance, 
feigned epileptic outbursts
placates a patron's fears.
Caffeine injections

stimulates another's venial sins
as it magnifies their cardinal options.
An insomnious woman converses
with a napkin holder. The surface

is dull and unreflective, like she.
Banter never-to-be heard
by her never-to-be gentleman caller.
I am home –
amongst the dead I adore.

A haggard waitress serves me a menu.
A laminated journal stained 
with melancholy and mustard.
Desolation and demi-tasse
are tonight’s midnight special.
Ten cents additional, if you order deluxe.

Blues in the Night.

I twiddle my thumbs 
for I have no other’s to borrow.
I catch my rugged reflection 
in the asylum’s window.
I espy my counterpart again

in a twisted spoon -
realizing I’m three utensils short 
from a grievous quartet salted
with Mack Sennett misfits.

A collection of dishes clatter
above the sanatorium’s jukebox. 
I place my spoon on the counter
and pick up a lifeless knife.
I envy its potential and possibilities

as Woody Herman croons 
in the background.