The Karaoke before the Storm
By “Aspie Chris” Robbins
Life is just a cabaret,… tonight,
but when the iron gray clouds of oppression
stormtroop over the landscape tomorrow morning,
life is just a call to arms.
Tonight is the Election Night of 2016.
We cast our votes against the riptide
while trying to cling to a dignified piece of driftwood.
Then we go off to enjoy some down time
in an upbeat karaoke lounge,
as we sing our favorite classics
from ABBA to ZZ Top,
from soulful divas to punk-rocking derelicts
and every deity in between.
One young man,
who socially struck out for the 50,000th time in a row,
decides to just do his own thing from now on
and appropriately sings
Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself.”
But even this refuge is threatened
for when we glance around to order another brew,
we spot the flat-screen television above the bar
broadcasting a high-def harbinger of doom.
A series of deadly trumpet blasts
turn every center state in America blood-red
effectively slashing the country in two.
An AC/DC song comes on
and we, indeed, become “Thunderstruck”
at this unexpected turn of events.
Some of us cheer when we see
a few voting states turn blue,
but as more of them turn red,
you can almost hear a faint ignorant chorus
chant, in the style of First Samuel,
“Give us a king to judge us.”
We listen to someone singing
Creedence Clearwater Revival’s
“Who’ll Stop the Rain”
and sit frozen in disbelief;
wondering how anybody could disregard
basic history lessons
and be so dense
that they would throw our constitutional republic
into the Gulf of Tonkin
rather than let a woman run the country.
But still, we decide to have one more night of merry making
before the apocalyptic gavel
comes crashing down on our heads.
A swing-dance era goddess
sings the theme from the Broadway musical “Cabaret”
and lifts up our stone-frozen hearts in joy
even if only for the moment.
Even if tomorrows “new day dawning”
is a thunder cloud that lightning-strikes us dead,
when the last of the american bohemians
scatter in the streets from blue-thug bullets,
and perhaps 1/20th of one percent of these free-thinkers
has the genuine guts to shout at the new regime
“I’d rather die as a wolf than live as a sheep”
right before they do exactly that,
and my wife and I renew our wedding vows
in a FEMA concentration camp;
at least tonight we’ll have one more festival
before we fight and die for the American Resistance.
At least we’ll always have our Karaoke Cabaret.
Lisa Bolduc, aka Ratty: I am a Boston based Hip Hop artist, specializing in poetry and art that encourages critical thought. My pen name is Ratty. The letters stand for Righteousness And Truth Transform You, representing my art’s mission to awaken one’s spiritual senses.
Christopher Wood-Robbins who prefers to be called “Aspie Chris” in his writings and drawings, has been writing poems of gender and racial equality, as well as odes to individuality, for the past thirty years. In 2007, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and has dedicated his craft to promoting autistic awareness (and acceptance) ever since. He lives in Central Massachusetts with his wife, Julie, and occasionally indulges in a bohemian lifestyle (painting pictures in an open mic gallery in Cambridge, MA. (when his financial situation allows).