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Keeping the Flame Alive. Hand holding lit candle.

A Prayer for The Cue 


The Cue rides out with the Elders all on tricycles

each of the trikes a Harlot Donnybrook shining

that name scrawled across their tanks and t shirts

each trike with the heated stereo option

blasting out a single song

a haunting waltz called Why Am I Smelling Oil....


All of the Cue's Elders with Haralot trikes had been called 

they'll tow a giant statue of the Cue Himself

all painted in the Cue’s own banana and cola stain favs 

seemingly singing the Waltz itself, with its paper mâché arms 

swinging like Al Jolsen and then buckling, Mamie, at the knees...


I was dancing...with my Harlot


buckling and dropping to a penitent’s crouch 


to the sad song's finale

'To the Why Am I Smelling Oil Waltz'

with much cracking and groaning of the pinewood struts of its cavities...


The Cue strains to see where the sound is grating 

o'er the lion's roar of his 1500cc 

dual overhead cam machine 

the giant black bulb of its tank of freedom fuel 

that flares and sparkles o'er the jeweled Ahni. Ahni! THEE Ahni! 

THEE latest thing, THEE second layer of alternate truth 

guarding the piston drive that the Cue does ride 

while declaring 

mercy to the underworld...


He holds out his arms to halt the Elders as they ride across the rocks

into the Hallowed Hall

towing his effigy through a hundred bouldrous tablets 

lying on the Bed of Roman Law

so called by the builders of the Hallowed Hall

who'd scripted the tablets with Beluga's laws

into marble and granite rules

The Great Cue's minions, even on his orders, could not move those rocks

now riddling and shattering space itself away

tearing at the Great Cue's effigy...


And so the trikers stop like bugs hitting birds 

like birds hitting jets

like jets hitting walls

stop so fast they fly over their handlebar steerages 

to follow his order and cease the graven devourment of the statue of He

 Himself, the Cue who 

while tearing off his mandated mask then slams to a perfect stop 

and dismounts. He gestures to his trike


Beautiful Bucephalus, Equine Quintessence

the Greatest Best of Bests

twin-cooled Milwaukee-Eight engine 

and Kahuna controls 

Bold styling with premium paint 

and Tomahawk™ wheels

Capacious trunk

Passenger backrest with seat always empty I do love


And the Elders kneel and oil their chains...


With unimpeachable command, the Cue lifts the gavel he carries

in the left pocket of his gold loons and utters

the cry of the Beluga King 

He strides to the Magistrate's portable desk and 

slams the gavel down 

slams it with a sheath of clottings covered with the tongues of fathers 

slams it on the gilded surface to the chords of the trumpeters lining the hall


I demand the cache of steel!


He howls in a Belugan brogue, the sole sounds allowed

other than engines, in Beluga 

since the Second Mint Peach Festival For Bucks was held 

at the edge of the rear view mirror's lag


I will that the buck stops over there . . . or there . . . or there...


he adds in Antartican, a tongue no Elder can parse

he'd picked it up 

on his first escape from fetal imprisonment

swings off the machine and pulls the statue's cable from its trailer hitch...


George, the fence gardener, walks over from the praline piss station 

propped against the wall of the pre office

where the messages run on belts made of rainbows 

and then quite formally drop into the slits in the bouldrous tablets 

where they fall to the earth and are felt and sorted by worms...


But George hears only the message dropped into ten thousand rocks   


I pronounce this torn and shattered ideal self a memorial 

to my own insufferable courage. Let it be the new Beauty 

and only Truth 

and every thought shall measure itself there


Then  orders the rest of the towing cables freed and stored, 

and calls forth eternal sea rise 

to blot out the Franciscans and Miami neighboring tribes

uttered in full Belugian pomp of chest and much other feckless pounding

to blot out even the distant bluffs

that have been mined of their most sacred shrines 

and turned into those bold, bouldrous blocks of death....


As the eldest Elders had licked those rocks while passing 

had shrunk them to their present gravestone size, 

they had left all of the verses seeable, readable

if only He, Great Reader, would

messages from the deep past

but George has pleaded and the Cue has answered


Not on your life


So He, the Cue, waddles home to his nightly game 

the swinging of his shower head the chasing of the last 

white bat still flying frantic in his bath

a game he never tires of

keeps score, challenges and mocks the Elders 

too busy blocking acts of sociopathic commoners 

now littering their reflecting stools

He raises his septic rod and mades a final 



All trikes shall now attack! Follow the passageways and

Spare not the Other! Read the maps we've placed in your trunks 

and be strong, I am your leader


And the trikes scream off, raising the dust thick in the ancient hall 

where they'd left the shrunken in effigy


The Great Cue drags on his Medizone drip and thinks


Can there be the After Me, as my best priest, myself, foresees? 


And answers


Yes! now there shall be! There shall be the After Me Me

all alive and forever

with no fear


And he shrivels into the identical twisted struts and covers of his single likeness


In the light of a wet moon the trikers returned

parked in the great hall

bowed their heads

and waited

A Prayer for The Cue

Tom Nordgren


This poem spun off the powerful sounds and rhythms of Kevin Crosby’s djembe, bass and dulcimer, then took on a life of its own. It’s nothing I would have written otherwise, a disfigured form fitted to a world of cheap imagery and ersatz fact, out of control and filled with a strange new life…sort of like our current season. Peace and love never seemed so necessary.

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