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Apr 2019
In the midst of thoughtless sand
Just off the coastal road
Where systematic palm trees
Provide just about the only distraction,
Ronnie runs a run down hotel
There in the gulf of Aqaba.
He knows his job well,
He's letting the place cool down a little.
He often sleeps in the day, at reception,
And he's got a glass eye that doesn't blink,
You can book yourself in for one night only
Unless Ronnie has know you,
Has seen you before,
Someplace shady, perhaps,
For it is said that,
Ronnie's tanned for several lifetimes..
Stay a night and
He'll treat you well,
For he's always up for a drink
And his pocket holds more than one light,
He says he used to be Egyptian royalty,
But now he's got his own cabin here
A bit out of sight.
But that's not where he keeps his things..
His cupboards are blank
And his blinds are eternally drunk,
They never come up.
He says he's known this bunk a while,
About the time fame went  aside
And the rain got into the swimming pool,
And now  you can watch it bloom with niffy pride.
And so half a bottle goes
And midnight it arrives,
And Ronnie sits you down in his dimly lit back room
And begins to tell you about the kind of people he can find:
Those who want to bring you luck,
Other who'd sell you gold at half the price,
No muck,
You may shrug
As he claims to know where the good times dock
And the bad times kept at bay,
And though he admits that he never had a close shave
You notice a scar on his cheek.
He was a minion in the spice trade
Before that war in Mozambique,
A model soldier he was
Credulous & meek and
Conveniently stupid,
So he raged and looted
And his ***** got him booted
To sunny California,
Where he got Cupid tattooed on his upper arm,
He drank with philanthropic truckers
Smoked with greedy hippies,
And he still wears these bracelets
That look like the end of a shredded sleeve
And a pinched fedora
that had its ex head murdered,
It was down town LA that instilled in him a feel
For rough bourbon
And sweeter-than-perfect promises,
He says he'd known love
Real love too,
And sank with it
He watched dreams become skeletons
And skeletons become dreams
In the cities that took shape of parodies of yore
You notice that he's got almost no nails left,
But he swears he never stole
And he never wept
He says he begged in his bead,
But his pleas weren't quite potent enough
His visions too misty to get handcuffed
And put to work,
So he scuffed for joy
In the midnight murk
And morning slumbers,
Safety in lascivious female numbers,
Action in cursed bottles & pills,
Castrated wonders & faceless thrills that meant nothing but fills
Merging into chaos
He was disappearing fast,
Diving towards greater liberty of thought and speech,
Skedaddling from basic options,
Throttling in gaudy plastic oceans,
Without a map, without an anchor,
He says he finished school with rancour,
The only thing he took to end..
He takes a swig before he brags
That even death might overlook his self
Potentially, maybe,
But you know for a fact that actually,
He's 16 years to live and that is it.
And 4 years after that nobody will remember ****.
And when you tell him that,
the morning comes,
But he doesn't **** or argue,
He smiles, puts up his thumb
And calls it a fair bargain.
Written by
Arthur Habsburg
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