In New York, between Adam Clayton Powell and
Frederick Douglass, there stands the Apollo Café.
People come from all over the world to listen to ear-java.
There are parades of angelic-singers gracing the pastoral-stage.
Sometimes they are practicing, like children sleeping,
waiting to die. A few have golden New York tickets.
That’s all well and good, except when the nostalgic-gates are
crashed by gorgons. They come scaled, looking for sirens,
slithering the musty building. They stare fiercely
at smoky-speakers mounted in the walls, unsure where
the heavenly music comes from. All over the theater
stone faces appear. The box-seats are filled with stone-men
smoking cigars, their hardened-hands frozen between the legs
of their screaming wives. Ushers are tipped over in mid
sentence. Chaos is in the aisles. Half the people are heavy,
leaded-stone-parishioners dutifully frozen in eternal prayer.
The others are confused, crying out in mournful panic,
What is happening. Brian what’s wrong with you?
What is happening. Brian what’s wrong with you?
Ohh, Lordy Lordy, have mercy,
Ohh, Lordy Lordy, have mercy.
The disgruntled ticket-master keeps admitting, and the doors
become jammed with frozen people, grey marbles with smiles
and ticket stubs. There is no escape for those inside.
Eventually the gorgons gaze at every soul.
Eventually they slither away, confused and disappointed.
Eventually only Ray Charles remains.
His voice can be heard echoing off hard surfaces.
Is anyone there?
Is anyone there?

  • Glenn Lyvers