Vol. 7

ROB COOK
The Dance Homicide Top Forty

 

Limousines long as a city block.

Jewelry at cranked volumes.
Boys brag to get that gun-to-the-chest dizziness
and flock to the popular criminals.

Everywhere the music was like a dead body.
It invaded each digitally-saved city, each room.
But no Gypsy-stringed sadness.
No piano trails to the Hudson’s afterhours.
Just Martin Luther bandmates concealing,
between profanities, the stresses
suggested by a life that ends.

The not-here-to-stay gangsters perform
extortions not of rhyme
but words that age the same.
Words repeated to their extinction
which is not a ghetto, but a syntactical hatred.

Pumped full of unplugged champagne,
they can descend on the next word,
the next woman,
another noun groupie
that’s been filled,
a 100 karat baby bun
incubating,
the rhythm ready for cloudburst,
one more stormy
drive-by.

Starting today, Motherfucker will be included on every
good-night card. Bitch will be the new transcendence
for protecting one’s family
and the hour when someone knows you.

The VIP orgies will wear out
with music mined from diluted platinum and diamond.
The only truth is in their rhythm,
says the one who dims between beats.
Each bird rhymes, he says again, even the leaves.

A low-mileage spaceship blares with late,
lil’ symptoms of attrition, radio blindness,
eyes that can no longer
find what they know.

The hard-rhyming men brag like knives
about the women they’ve knocked-up
with turntables and sampled snakes,
songs loaded with lipstick beats
lined up on a dance bed skinned
to raw club clothes.

Why won’t the emcees
and the posing lily-white Union Jack artists
record the censored gunfire at the moment
of drive-by—
where someone recites
through his blood-marked
mouth—
and write threats to the murder
entourages

and send their head-clap,
jump-shot slang
to the immediate syncopations
and the club crowd already undulating there,

(and not by mailing tranquilly violent
long-form articles to the post-Harvard clearinghouses),

tongue-pumping
the pistol-whipped oxygen,

demanding nothing less
than for the crab-leggers
and the drug whisperers
to shine
and for the pimp’s carton of spilled
strawberries to shine
and for the bouncer’s watered down
stab wounds to shine
and for the man-being-thrown-through-a-plate-glass-window
to shine
before the sidewalk hits him
and rises again,
not one snare-shot-verb conscious between
the incoming cracks of cop light
that also shine.

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