Laughter On Tenth Avenue

Laughter On Tenth Avenue short poem

Photo by Idhren

Grim, forbidding a streetfull of patients
First we must distract them – that is the role
Of the dance – our worn shoes and shopping carts
Are ideal for the purpose, pure percussion
Rolling rhythm we dance on a river of asphalt. Next
We must let them know we are professionals
By the catch and flow of our castaway clothing –
Surely they will rush to judge and in that judgment
We will have them because when their frowns
Are assured we will startle them with our singing!
This will be pure song no words because words
Are the children of bias, just notes in four octaves
Enough to make the pigeons take wing and form a
Ceiling for our shenanigans. Already they have
Ceased their motion, helpless children taught to
Watch and even if they’re not smiling yet their mouths
Are open. Yes, we’ve proven they can be shocked
These veterans of fifty consecutive weeks of work wars
Paper cuts and meeting stress, kinks in their necks
Bruised eyes but we’ve softened them up so they will
Accept our touch! The massage of a homeless doctor
Makes everyone clean, dirt of hard life and dirt of
Middle class ambition blowing on the sidewalks
Perfect cushion for pratfalls and the old soft shoe!
You see as we become Gene Kelly and Vera Ellen
Low slung and muscular not some scarecrow ballet
But reality raised to art. Dance and song, song
That raises a whirlwind, painless and precise we
Excise their worries for just a few minutes because
Art is absurd, it’s a luxury and thus lives only a short
Time. The pigeons have flown off already and the sunset
Which we delayed is coming on double time. We are the
Pipers who rarely get paid but oh to see the set
Of their shoulders much higher than before, to see
That they have noticed the golden cast to the evening
Clouds. We’re certain their were a few genuine smiles
Sprinkled about downtown and even the gutters
Smell a little bit sweeter as we spread out our bedding.

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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