Thursday, February 9, 2017

"That Guy Over There -- Telling That Story" and "The Other Day, When it Was Raining"

That Guy Over There -- Telling That Story

        I
That story,
That that guy over there,
Is telling to those people over there,
Is not an interesting story.

Those two people
Pretending to be interested
In that guy's story--
Are doing a really good job
Of pretending to be interested
In that guy's story
I feel sorry for them.
I am really glad
That I am not one of those two people
Who have to be listening
To that guy's story over there.

That guy, over there,
Telling that story,
Seems almost as self-satisfied
As that guy at the Ladybird restaurant
On MacDougal Street
Last month:
I think he must have been an actor,
And Jesus fuck was he proud of himself
Telling his endless fucking story
About who the fuck cares
Jesus fuck he was entertaining
Although not quite entertaining enough
To ruin our excellent meal.

But this guy,
Right now telling that story--
Maybe his story is actually good--
One of the two people listening to him
Is laughing.
They both seem to be enjoying
That guy's story.

Still, he is way too proud of himself.
I am glad I don't
Have to listen to him
And I am really glad
I am not him,
And that I could never be
As self satisfied as him.

If I am ever as self-satisfied
As that guy telling that story,
Please kill me immediately,
And then bring me back to life
And kill me again.

        II

Of course,
As Leslie just correctly pointed out,
I seem awfully self-satisfied
After having made my comments
About that guy, over there, telling that story.
I think my days are numbered.

February 9, 2017


The Other Day, When it Was Raining

The other day, when it was raining,
I thought of that time, a long, long time ago,
I think it was a Tuesday or a Wednesday,
And it was raining, and I was walking home
From the Pioneer Supermarket
On Bleecker Street and Sixth Avenue
And I was happy, and I was singing,
And yes, I was singing The Carpenters:
"Rainy Days and Mondays"
(An early hit for Paul Williams,
Who also wrote "Rainbow Connection," and
Who also played Virgil in
Battle For the Planet of the Apes).

So I was walking, and singing
(I do this a lot, and sometimes
People catch me doing it:
The last time that happened,
Earlier this week,
I was singing Cohen's
"If It Be Your Will,"
To make sure I knew it,
For yesterday's performance at Hi-Fi,
And the person who caught me
Outside singing, said
"People will think you're crazy,"
Which maybe they do.
And maybe they're not wrong.)

But, so, anyway,
I was walking, and singing,
"Rainy Days and Mondays"
On a rainy Tuesday or Wednesday
In 1971 or '72, most likely,
And this man said,
In a kind voice
"But it's not even Monday."
And I smiled and walked on,
But I thought to myself,
The song isn't about
Rainy Mondays:
It's about rainy days and Mondays:
Both.
Either one.
They both always get
Paul Williams and Nancy Carpenter down.

But what has always gotten me down
For 45 years,
Including, most recently,
The other day, when it was raining,
Is that I didn't make this point
To the very stupid (although very nice) man
Who interrupted my singing that day.

February 9, 2017