Sunday, May 24, 2009

Risin' Blues

The lovers of God were all wondering when
They would see Jesus in glory again
And Jesus rolled his eyes and said "Foolish young men!
You'll never know, but it's all right -- you'll have my Spirit."

And moving on up to the clouds of the sky
Jesus was taken and it caused them to cry
But two outlaws came and told them "You're looking too high.
Your Jesus went a-ramblin'. Don't fear it."

Dreaming all the time, I'm searching for the clues
My body it's hungry, my soul's a purple bruise
I live in the house of the rising blues.

A man from two worlds in a house painted white
Kisses his wife and daughters good-night
Then picks up a Bible and the Bill of Rights
And sighing prays to God or to Lincoln

While under his feet a legion of pigs
Roots in his garden and orchard of figs
And a creep calls to the window "Death to the Whigs!"
And he wonders what the neighbors must be thinkin'

Every single hour there is nothin' but news
Our circuits are loaded, we're gonna blow a fuse
Livin' in the house of the rising blues.

The architects of the invincible zoo
Built camels by committee and elephants, too
Led the creatures to the gate but could not get them through
Now they sit and curse and wish they'd studied magic

Alexander the Great sat down next to a bum
The bum looked at him and asked "Why have you come?"
And Alex said "I need your prayers, now give me some!"
The bum replied "Well, isn't that tragic."

People workin' hard, people pay their dues
People wanna live, but they don't know what's the use
Livin' in the house of the rising blues.

Jesse James went to the chapel and left with a wife
He loved her more than money and more than his life
Then one day a banker pulls on Jesse a knife
And says to him "Your woman has unmanned you!"

Jesse gathers his horses and men for to steal
Stopping him, his weeping wife says "Think how I feel!"
But Jesse says "You cannot help the way I deal.
Try to be happy bein' unhappy, can't you?"

Walls are closin' in, I'm drunk without the booze
I need some kiss to wake me, but I don't know whose
I live in the house of the rising blues.

The deaf, dumb and blind men didn't want to be healed
Snubbed doctors and pastors, the best in their field
Said "The wages of sin can never be repealed"
And shuffled with the prophets to the temple

I walked with the homeless to the twentieth mile
Kids were turning cartwheels and backflips in the aisle
Camera crews and cheerleaders were tellin' us to smile
Oh, I wish that it were only that simple

My last friend gave me some brown walkin' shoes
You're given your friends, you really can't choose
Livin' in the house of the rising blues.

The dark horse rides a quiet carousel
The puddles are pooling and the fairgrounds smell
They say heaven is three days away from hell
But who knows if anyone has been to either

I live with a girl who once brightened my day
She's tall as an angel and light in her way
She says she's my friend and my friend she will stay
There's nothing left to do now but to leave her

Some of them lovers go in threes and twos
Some stay alone and hope the others lose
I live in the house of the rising blues.


Anonymous said...

A very insightful poem about the current state of the Republican and Democratic Parties. Here come the rising blues.

Anthony Zuba said...

Thank you, Anonymous. It is that. But that's only about a sixth of what this is about. It's about a lot more than that. There are politics in here, but the politics of this song are more thematic and general than topical.

Mainly, the song is about religious frustration and spiritual ennui. The world has got no justice, couples have no peace in their homes, and a man has got no woman. The love of God is so near but it feels really far out of reach, the way things are going.

Anonymous said...

Homelessness doesn't show up in poetry as often as it should. I'm glad this piece righted that wrong.