Saturday, January 6, 2018



"I ride on the mailtrain, baby /can't buy a thrill..." ~Bob Dylan 

You can buy a ticket
but you can't buy a thrill.
It's all 'be in at the kill,'
but the victim don't pick it.
You can tell them to stick it
(and they certainly will.)

On the overground pale-way
the fare's taken in souls.
The dead-wagon rolls
to the market each sale day,
but ratbags on the trail may
soon eat the controls.

Still, the circus tent's pie-warm,
and the clown car's on Uber
(tho the Clown's in a stupor
from some three a.m. tweetstorm.)
Cassandra's on cable in fine form
til the noosers come loop her.

You can buy a ticket, you all,
but you can't stop the train,
and you can't towel off the hard rain
that's been brought here to fall.

 ~January 2018

written for  Shay's Tickets, at real toads


ratbag: Victorian slang for (*cough*) 'a despicable person'

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Images: American Train, © Hiro Yamagata,  All Rights Reserved. Fair Use
Rabbit on a Train, © Michael Sowa,  All Rights Reserved  Fair Use.


  1. in a twang from Boston or East London, that ratbag driving the train (or bus - you've seen the pics) ... well, ya know, we're all fooked...

  2. Cassandra Ann Conway, I presume. Love the picture of Dumpster in a tweet-induced stupor at the wheel of the clown car, though the reality of it sucks. "All I can tell you is, it's all show biz." (Okay, now it's gonna bug me all day trying to remember what song that's from!)

    1. John Lennon Nobody Loves You (When you're down and Out)

  3. Really, really good. Even I could read between the lines from halfway across the world.
    Fine, satirical work, when we need most to recognize the absurd.

  4. You have executed some very wonderful rhyming in this poem, Joy. I love the wit lurking between the lines in this piece. Especially the tweetstorm. We are watch the theatre of the absurd these days.

  5. I had to smirk at the lampooning of this new circus of the absurd. I never buy a ticket yet I always seem to be either in the caboose or in the freight car waiting to get stuck.

    I know what an Uber is but never called for one, no smart phone is good. Let the idiot think he is driving--he may be looking out the window but I doubt seriously his hand is on the wheel of that clown car--he's too busy making radio gaga radio googoo. The train will wreck the only question I have is how many people will they take out in the crash.

    beautifully written Joy--things like this make it well worth being up at 0430.

    1. Thanks Mark. Sometimes I feel if you don;t get a laugh(or a smirk) out of it,you'll go crazy taking it seriously since wtf can you do about it anyway. Glad to have some company at 4 a.m., too.

  6. Now I'm wondering if my Muse (went on one of her escapades without me, and) read your poem before I wrote about the Pain Circus. It's all a show, isn't it? The ridiculous world that seems to function as if someone wrote a mad program we can almost touch but can't believe real? The people dancing (almost happily) into roles no one (sane) should play? The at-a-touch-of-your-fingers (or a swipe) sort of madness? It seems that we don't even have to buy the ticket anymore, someone wrote the numbers on everyone's foreheads and not enough of us are fighting to get rid of tattoo... but some of us, always will (and always remember that we either roar of lose our heads).

  7. The American nightmare 'tis truly a 3-ring circus of verses, rhymes & crimes, all of them both luminous and diabolick. This has the sleazy ease of the magic want that crayons the bleached art page we are fated to--rollicking, rioting, rotting us away. Fine work H.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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