Welk's Champagne Surprise - Poem by Val Morehouse
Bow. Glance underneath at the tight
black heart composed entirely of strings.
Light plugs into its ganglion,
sharpening pointed incisors in the spotlight
like some kind of dentist's nightmare.
Right now the beast looks polite. It behaves.
But I can almost hear it picking its teeth,
the big fat harpy. Such demure ivory. An elephantine abacus
inside its spit and polish, the rogue hunches all quiet innocence.
It wears a top hat of red geraniums as a disguise.
Tails and white tie behind its rack of impossible numbers.
'Madame Chairperson.' I catch it flexing its mastodon ear
behind the scenes. 'Distinguished guests.'
A hum oddly like a beehive echoes under its pious hood.
'Ladies, of the the Women's Cultural Society.'
'I shall commence tonight's programme with a
little sub-cultural warm-up.' Scattered applause.
Knuckles crooked, the baby grand sniffs the syncopation.
Baton up. 'Ah. One. Two. Ah-one. Ah-two, Scooby-ooby-doo! '
Galloping gonzo up and down, the bonebox snorts out every dirty blue note,
Classical jive, black-and-white rattle and roll
launching like a rocket. Hand that piano an aria and
it raunches back bop. In ragtime the bad ass boogie bass
charges across the footlights accompanied by
rampaging bulls eyes of surprise.
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