“Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” – Neil Diamond:
As I awaken to ‘dulcet’ tones
The ‘Howling-man’ preaches his song
I am unaware of his following
But aware I don’t belong.
Brother Love chanted all around
I listened with great intent
But all didn’t make any sense
As I scrambled to stand, hell-bent.
Gruesome feeling of sunken depth
Begins to confuse my bearings
I arise with wary wanderings
‘Hippies’ abound in the clearings.
This feeling that can’t be shaken
Disturbs my exit from the scene
As the preaching voice fades out
I’m unsure about where I’ve been.
A clock of distance is chiming
Thundering with every number
Turning to face the hands:
12:30 – the end of my slumber.
Further down the canyon I roam
The heat in the sun so bold
I think of ‘Twelve Thirty’ again
The time of distance unfolds.
I’m reminded of New York City
A cooler climate days on end
The steeple of the past so clear
With its time unable to mend.
Stuck in the past like time
My thoughts curdle my whims
As I empty my pockets, surreal
A smoking joint in mind, swims…
“Mrs. Robinson” – Simon & Garfunkel:
Now basking in lovely scenery
Trees, flowers, blue skies and more
I suddenly stumble upon a road –
Traffic, buildings and old folklore.
Opening my ‘blinds’ to the sunlight
Forever kept drawn in NYC
A Coupe de ville purred stationary
Waiting on colors to set it free.
Then the line of feminine rapture
Paints along the crossing walk
Each one carrying her ‘cradle’
Each one destined to stalk.
“Mrs Robinson” plays from the radio
The harmonies of two conveyed
The walking feminine figures
Eyeball the Coup de ville enslaved.
The last one in line turns around
And winks at me in provocation
Familiarity breeds its contempt
As I dwell in desperation.
The fear that stirs within me now
Bubbling from a boiling pit
The churning sounds of knowing
The face from the past forever lit.
The Coupe de ville’s color appears
The car embarks upon its ride
The female line has passed now
But thoughts ponder in my stride.
Walking and thinking for miles unknown
My mind obsessed with solving
The female face crossing that road
Burns my soul with no evolving…
“California Dreamin'” – José Feliciano:
The early evening shadows beckon
Shifting and searching for sanity
The pastel shades of tranquillity
With their truth reflecting humanity.
While I walk this winding road
A sound of engines begin to strive
First, a Coupe De Ville takes a left
Driving up onto the Cielo Drive.
Stopped in its tracks, the second car
Sounding purrs in lesser motion
A Ford Galaxie – the identified model
Driving away, gives me no solution.
Later, a landmark hosts the view
My walking distance now subsides
The Spahn Ranch sprawls in front of me
With the Ford Galaxie and the palisades…
“Twelve Thirty” – The Mamas & The Papas:
Walking toward an unsettled settling
Figures disembark their speed machine
Five in view, but more to reveal
My feelings en route, now has-been.
Alarmed and shocked, dropped in my path
The known masks from the past prevail
Twelve figures stand poised around me
And each one lifts their darkened veil:
The sound of her words, she intoxicates
Spitting them out like venomous fire
Using her mood to undermine the man –
“The Noise” relishes her dominant desire.
Acting like some saintly angel
She twists upon every factual line
Rallying people for her aching mind –
“The Lucifer” stalks the man to dine.
Napoleon Complex, such small fry
Dressed in black, charmed in light
But moods and stresses spoil her broth –
“The Dark Mist” slithers her sound in flight.
‘Buongiorno Soul,’ becomes the soulless
The Italian Riviera far from hearts
Siphoning poetry, the man is unaware –
“The Word User” steals and soon departs.
The bullying black suit does infest
It seeks and seethes all around
The obnoxious tone demeans the man –
“The Baggage Demon” sells her pound.
The blonde charm stokes the fire
Authority drives the workers’ role
Another selfish cloud of unreason –
“The Philander” eats man’s heart and soul.
Flowing black mane of beauty
Ready to perform at her will
With Class of a steely nature –
“The Masked Voice” unveils her chill.
Her fickle bones of structure
Would cause this one despair
Trust lies in a broken engine –
“The Dumb-Founder” drives to her lair.
This owner of ‘everything’ sulks
Daddy has weathered her clout
The ugliness of challenging wanton –
“The Metallic Mouth” – the cowardly shout.
Painting senses with womanly lib
Obnoxious to the core of extreme
A droning summation of contempt –
“The Artistic Dykestra” in full beam.
Gifting you with a friendly smile
But your back had better beware
The knives of Satan can be sharp –
“The Gossip Monger” does not care.
Male of one with cheeky grin
Partner of one who strives to talk
But still behold your back again –
“The Gossip Stooge” thrives the stalk.
So now the team is listed –
The Howling-man’s ‘army’ intact
Not one of them recognise me
And I continue to make no impact.
As I walk and pass them all
And into a dark, open room
A candle is burning brightly
Near a figure slumped in doom.
Looking at the faces all around
The shapes of stares unspoken
I look to the figure once more
Then my heart’s smile is broken.
The horror that strikes before me
Attacking me in fragile state
The body I see before me:
A Doppelganger, a twin – my fate.
My identical features well-masked:
Dripping in blood, so dirty
A clock that sits so silently –
Its hands the shape of twelve thirty.
As I depart in deathly horror
The twelve now smiling a knowing wink
I stumble and lunge my fatal exit
Into the darkness for all I sink.
My earthly state begins ascending
Then three of the figures show concern
I follow the light unto the heavens
The three faces all bewildered in turn.
And when my guiding light outshines
A sense of faith and relief are apparent
“Noise”, “Philander” and “Masked Voice” –
Their tears combine: my leaving present.
Now the clouds roll by and onward
My newfound peace around I thrive
But one concern I hold in mind –
And that’s 10050 Cielo Drive…
“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” – Vanilla Fudge:
“TWELVE THIRTY” poem inspired by elements of the song of the same name by The Mamas & The Papas as featured in the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” (2019). And also inspired by elements of the said movie with the inclusion of further songs from its soundtrack.
The twelve characters (depicted as part of the Manson Family in the poem) are people who Mr. Marshall has been ‘impressed’ with (for all the wrong reasons!!) sporadically throughout the years between 1987 – 2019, from first entering and then gladly exiting his life. “May the Devil bless them all…but perhaps he already did?” (Quote: Tony G. Marshall, 2020).
Copyright ©2019/20 Tony G. Marshall/Cosmic Dwellings.