building photography

The Angel of New York: The Attack on the Chelsea Hotel. The Chelsea Poems #2

The Angel stared at the woman's face
Clothed in darkness full of grace
And he felt something he could almost label fear.
She reached out and held his hand.
Said I feel that you understand,
Let's get outta here
Wanna go grab a beer?

He had planned to take her soul
Body into the Hudson roll
After he tapped into her sin and shame
And had to supress a sneer.

The neon played across her hair
A smile tangled as horns blared beware
And she danced to a beat only she could hear.

And he sang river take me home
And he sang clean as an old bleached bone
And he sang those crossroad blues
And he sang the streets of Laredo too.

The Hotel Chelsea magnified, acid paper sanctified
Rest easy all those who fall here.
The Angel snaked his arm around
Clothed in darkness, ships run aground:
Beheld the electric bulb light reflect in her tears.
In front of him in papier mache wings
Ran a man shouting "Losers win"
As the limousines waited cross the street.

Across the street where lovers meet,
Where the kings and queens of underground greet,
Where fists are clenched and complaints to the muse abound!

And he sang don't pass me by.
And he sang only the doves cry.
And he sang because the night...
And he sang grace heals lost sight.

She said did you say something
Her face was pale, sweat on her skin,
Something crawled in the pit of her despair.

He had to laugh, he'd dropped the mask...
Spell broken like her heart,
As he wound a finger through her hair.

There's something I want from you
You have to give me something too
She reached into her bag and pulled out a stick of gum.

"You don't understand it's not enough!"
She added her best sable paintbrush
And a photo of a French Church in Le Claire.

And he sang water in the rye.
And he sang to stardust in yer eye.
And he sang that old blue blue moon!
He sang a day too late and a moment too soon.

The Hotel Keeper stopped to greet her,
Said "Honey, you owe me for the parking meter!
I think you had better come inside."
The Dentist and Light Machinist
Took one look and started to screech,
"It's Old Nick, I can see it in his eyes!"
Acetate flying, babies crying, we are under attack
From spirits that fly in!
The Chelsea started to pull up the planks.

Turning away, the Angel hesitated,
Veil peeled back, macerated
By the toys of children and the playthings of men.
The young queen under his spell,
Went to make the deal as blessings fell
From the mouths of children, lost sinners and wandering souls.

And he sang damn that Purple Rain
And he sang hurt before pain
And he sang that ole black veil
And he sang there's freight hidden on the rail.

All is lost the Jew he sighed
As the young queen with moondust in her eyes
Walked off to the beat, her eyes drawn down
The Factory Master and Plaster Casters
One, two, three Germanic Company
Formed the forward party for the counter attack.
The Angel cast them aside,
Red Hot anger, rising tide,
As he made the play for the Queen's eternity.

When off stage right entered the Lizard Man
Eyes aflame and in his hand and iron biker cross  
And a deflated Orange balloon.
This one she belongs to me, we had a
Naked Lunch a mere formality
Sweetheart, come to me!

And he sang you belong to me.
And he sang the truth will set you free.
And he sang like a motherless child.
And he sang return to the wild!

The Angel hissed as she complied,
The walls of the Hotel Chelsea raised a sigh -
A cheer, a groan of delight!
Rest easy all who come to these doors
We've got your back and what's more
Old Nick and his Party won't suffice!

Solemnly handing out looking glasses,
Lightswitch toggles, backstage passes,
The young queen sat upon the floor.
To the Commander she declared 
Man, that was close, smelled
Sulphur in her hair
But the Commander was dosing the Ambassador's beer. 

And they sang water into wine
And they sang love without time
And they sang that old rugged cross
And they sang a tune to the lost.

The Hotel Chelsea came under attack
Dismantled architectural downsmack
Stripped and pillaged, smashed forlorn.
The Hotel Keeper passed away,
Broken heart blues here to stay - 
His life's work crumbled under the Angel's wrath.

All yesterday's parties trail
Spoken of under bridges, in the plazas and
They fail like the smoke of a Washington Square party joint:
And they sang we will overcome!
And they sang they have not yet won!
And they sang that wildflower haze!
And they sang of better days....

Leave a Reply