Actors, athletes, writers and painters
Policemen, lawyers, fire fighters
Does the mind assessing those groups
See them as grouped and feel
A different feeling while
What is the difference?
Between the two groups?
Why assume they are groups at all?
Maybe it’s just a bunch of words
Coincidentally placed together
A meaning from meaninglessness
Created because meaninglessness is such
A lame old time
Did you see an actor standing next to an
Athlete on a street corner, both of them bumming cigarettes
From a writer who needed to run home quickly because
His mother is folding his clothes and that idea
About chapter five could actually work
So why not ditch the coffee and lend these two
Similar people cigarettes
See, they must be similar
But are an actor and athlete, similar?
Well, is it because how they look?
Is it the familiarity of their aura?
Are they known?
Are they celebrities?
Did they want this?
Was it their destiny to be
In the dictionary of meaning
Well, they play, don’t they?
They sit and play and think and dream
They throw their bodies around
And they accept cigarettes from writers with knowing nods
As if to say, hey
We’re from the same planet, aren’t we?
The actor says to the writer, you know
We stood together at Toot’s Shor in 1950
Right next to this guy, yeah this guy
See, it’s Joe DiMaggio, and we’re distant cousins
And it’s because we play
And that doesn’t necessarily make us more important
But it may make us more interesting
Then Toots spilled a beer onto my shoe
The athlete said, and we all laughed together
Oh, DiMaggio, said the painter
Who had been observing the scene, you see
He had been analyzing the angles, and the way the sun
Reflected off DiMaggio’s fedora in that certain way
That made him appear like an Italian Knight on temporary leave
From his mission ordered by the Pope
To give hope to the nation through
The exuberance of running down a fly ball
Before crashing into the monuments in center field
Oh, DiMaggio, said the painter
I don’t know about interesting?
I mean, from a level of pure human behavior
Could it be said with certainty that DiMaggio has a more interesting career
Than a policeman, patrolling the streets for intoxicated civilians
Who vomit on their personal page of American History and are looking
For a fight
As means for transcendence?
Is he really more interesting than a doctor, or better yet, a surgeon?
Yeah, a surgeon, they are doctors, too?
Is he really more interesting than a surgeon tasked with removing
A bullet from the brain of a victim
Is he really more interesting?
Well, I suppose if the perceptions of society were removed
Said the writer, who looked like a cross between a ghost and
I suppose if the perceptions of society were removed
We’d all have to agree that we’re equally interesting
After all, a person can only go on living
Due entirely to conditions entirely beyond his control
One second early or late
One moment of anger
One reflex action
One little step on the metaphorical land mine of odds
One singular slip
And we’re gone
Who the hell knows?
Danger is so ever-present
That humor was created as a coping mechanism
Hey, you can’t say that for sure
You can’t say that with certainty
You’re right, said the writer
It’s conjecture, but who are you to say anyway?
You don’t have a sense of humor
Anyway, says the painter
I get the sense that you might be trying to express
The fallacy of vulnerability
Something about consequences being unavoidable
And all we can do is react
The best we can
No, I was just trying to say
It’s a certainty that
We won’t be here
Standing on this Manhattan street corner
We won’t be able to talk to a friend
In a fedora trying to do something special with his life
We won’t be able to talk to ourselves
So, are you saying we should really do nothing?
Says the painter
That it’s wrong to try?
No, I’m saying it’s wrong
It’s wrong to be afraid
Fear is inevitable, says DiMaggio
That’s why we have policeman
I’m just wondering
Said the writer
If I’m keeping track or
Getting swallowed up
You didn’t mention religion
Said the painter
Who, me, mention?
You know, at the beginning