There was once a man
And he had a city on his back
And wherever he went
There were thousands with him

it was just houses
It was one man undoubted
And he was esteemed in his elevator dream
And he worked pennies for checks
And he would be tipped to keep
The lift

Up and down a fifteen floor high rise
No one on the lifts seemed to notice,
But on his back there were cities agrowin’
First it was only a handful of houses,
Then streets were concrete’d
And soon there were more people
And people and people!

And this man we call Art
Who brought people
To their apartments in the nicest
High rise
Had a city on his back,
And didn’t realize

And the city kept agrowin’!
The city kept agrowin’!

Soon there were so many people on his back,
But Art kept on asmilin’
Stamping his timestamp
And letting people ride those high rises
But as he did that
The sweat formed on the back of his neck
Became the oceans and tides
And he never knew that
When he would stop and scratch his back
The army on his back would prepare for attack.

All along though, Art still never knew
And the city grew, and grew and grew

Till one day, when Art was getting to work
He started to sweat from the pores of his skin,
And the city that grew on his back
Started drilling in…

He felt pain more pain, then he never felt before
Because the people on his back started drillin’ in the soil
They broke his skin.
They confused blood for oil.

Art, the man with a city on his back…never realized
Until the pain hit
That there were a million people on his back
He never knew exist
And they were all individuals, all different beings
And they made monuments of Art
And painted on church ceilings

Art, just the bellboy, with a burg on his back,
Otherwise worthless
Working for pennies a check
Had a civilization living and breathing on his back
Just below his neck.

Art and the city, and the elevator dream…

Continued next week only at Oddball Magazine.


Jason Wright is the founder and Editor of Oddball Magazine. Man the Storm is his alter ego. His “Jagged Thoughts” column appears weekly.