Pig Alley #2

down along Pig Alley everything is in a fog
there is nothing moving anywhere except a hobo dog
with his nose stuck in a boiler that’s been busted for years
when from around a darkened corner a young cowboy appears
just got into town, it’s the Pike Street Kid
and the dog and him go off together down along the skid

Amelia was a pilot then until she came to land
among the barkers and the buskers by the newspaper stand
with everything she owned inside a lowly paper sack
on the road away from where she came and never going back
and when she heard about the hobo dog, heard about the Kid
she said “that’s where I’m going” and that’s just what she did

there’s a white horse in the alley ‘neath a watercolor sky
and here comes Father Christmas in the middle of July
attending to the castaways and the winders of creel
he takes out his harmonica and plays a little reel
in honor of the clinic that was conjured into view
in the backroom of a tavern on First Avenue

they’re sweeping out the hallways after last night’s demise
making room for further escapades arriving by surprise
Carina with her boot lace and her bundle full of keys
she’s the one that you depend on when the locks begin to freeze
and the seance and the magic show, the mongers of delight
anything is possible if you look at it right

from out of nowhere Pagliacci comes to take a bow
in a top hat of balloons, you wouldn’t recognize him now
juggling a load of empty boxes as he fumbles for his keys
but they slip right through his fingers, he falls cursing to his knees
a little monk comes running with a license to intrude
“hey, watch your language, buddy, god is in a bad mood!”

“no bosses, gods, nor masters,” says the Pagliacci clown
he’s been in the bookstore and he couldn’t put it down
“no angels in the armories, we sacked them years ago
the skies are great democracies for all the winds to blow”
and the poor befuddled monk is left to wander off in doubt
“forgive me father for I know not what he is talking about”

on the beach below the pilings in a well pitched camp
there lives Gentleman Jim with his band of trusty tramps
living almost entirely on dumb luck
still the gentleman’s got enough put aside to buy them a pickup truck
and the sun is shining brightly as down the road they drive
some of the very few to ever get out alive

there’s a pig below the clock that tells a fraction of the time
and the bricks are made of burgundy, there are no straight lines
as down along the avenue they used to call The Skid
you can see the hobo dog, Amelia and the Kid
disappearing in the distance as the sunset comes to fall
leaving us to wonder were they ever here at all

down along Pig Alley, down among the weathered walls
the stairways and the cafes and the flower stalls
in the courtyard by the oyster bar and Angeline’s Tree
there was a wayfaring stranger and a ship that went to sea
and I met my love in springtime when I was playing my guitar
we still go there sometimes to find out where we are