August/September 2005

Kurt Newton

6 billion people,
too many guns,
not enough toilets,
but what the heck,
that's the way it's always been.

The concert began without a hitch,
guitar licks filled the sky,
bass beat pounded a heavy barrage.
The bands battled through the night
and churned the mosh pit to mush.
Stars and Stripes Forever --
or at least until something better comes along.
God Save the Queen --
and nobody bothered to wonder why.
Hammers hammered and sickles scythed.
Chinese dragons breathed fire down sun-scorched necks.

Too many sleeping bags,
not enough tents,
but what the hell,
we're all just spectators in the end.

The concert wound down until two were left,
one band in Johnny Cash black,
the other in Elvis jumpsuit white.
The battle raged until the stage was awash
in fingers and flesh
and the gunpowder stench of bowel movements
tossed from the wings
to the horn section
and twice back again,
until both performers and fans
could battle no more,
and the sun cast its light on the carnage.

Two left standing,
neither one loses,
neither one wins,
but what the hay,
it's the way it's always been.

One band suggests to the other
it's time to play a different tune.
They both laugh,
then smash their guitars
on the smoldering stage,
then promise each other
the next battle will be bigger,
then they go their separate ways
for the next thousand years
as clouds fill the sky with purple haze
and thunder pounds a bass beat barrage
and down pours the rain
like a song of redemption
for the terminally damned
in love with gods
with too much time on their hands.

But what the fuck,
it's still free to get in,
it's the way it's always been,
we're all just spectators in the end.