Rumors, Refugees, and Revolution.. a short story

The flies are buzzing about in the summer heat.
Rumors, refugees, and revolution float.
Bills of Mortality are for sale daily, a penny per publication.

The Church’s Minister had seen and smelled this all before
-vapors emitting from the excrement of the earth like an exhalation;
authorities getting nervous; pubs full of brief revelers;
and the Poor being thought to carry contagion
The Rich had already fled with their doctors and clergy.

I was born in a bath-house brothel
to a silly bitch who slept with someone
I became the Filth on Your Street.
Dirt is just a fact of life.

You must understand, Mum admired anyone who was a Holy Man Healer.
In these times, mystics mill around every street corner.
The cause of this health scourge was thought to be EVERYDAY RELIGIOUS MISDEMEANORS.
We quickly found our miracle worker
and a miracle is a miracle,
whether it be a good one, or evil one.
He preached casting out Sin through the act of Sin, itself-
Mum expediently sacrificed her spirit on his altar of seduction,
for the common good,
and it can be said, in the healer’s estimation,
that Venereal Disease is GETTING TOUCHED BY THE HAND OF GOD.
I left Mum alone after that,
Singing Her Syphilis Psalms.

The Mayor created a contraption in which to live
– to protect himself from his constituents-
and decreed,
“Mark the doors of the sick with a GIANT RED CROSS,
and tell all the others to SEND THE VAGRANTS PACKING!”

Neighborhood Watch Squads made certain that the dying did not escape
from their Padlocked, Infected Homes.
The belongings of the dead get auctioned to pay for their coffins.
and alas, Poor Me, became the town’s gravedigger.
Humming along as I dig,
to an imaginary piano playing, out of tune, in a high end key,
“Ring Around the Roses, Pockets Full of…”

Rumors, Refugees, and Revolution.. audio file only

or see the reading..

Categories: Manic Beatnik Riffing

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