I come walking up the sidewalk to see you,
to see you
I keep walking up the sidewalk,
walking up the sidewalk, the
sidewalk is walking up to you,
the sidewalk is coming up to you,
the sidewalk is falling,
you are falling at the sidewalk,
you are falling
and are now asleep.
Listen to the colors of my speech.
Inhale the nascence of sensation,
feel the ebony idols of the unconscious
incandesce. The colors of my speech
reflect acceptance, from violet yes
to scarlet yes, your acceptance
of obedience. I command you
to obey black,
obey like Atlas,
like machinery without complaint
and without oil other than
the colors of my speech. I command you to
The subject awakes on command.
The hypnotist holds before the subject
a blackboard. The subject
picks up the chalk and writes on the slate:
I’m smoking midnight special
on the night train,
waiting above the market
on a corner on vine
in vain for a lift
beyond the half-dream
of nicotine and wine.
Another puff, another glug,
no other goal
than to drain the pain.
Rain streaks the fog in the
cone of a streetlight whose pole
I lean against alone, feet
on the curb, nothing
to disturb the soul, save the spice
of that unattainable plane.
Another glug, another puff
on another link to the chain,
no other goal than
to myself to complain.
Maintain the rhyme, repeat the beat,
hold an old gold inside the mind.
Stain the teeth, cure the lungs,
pickle the brain. Just so
my complaint remains
this refrain: I’m
smoking midnight specialon the night train.
First appeared in Hobo Camp.