Thursday, May 25, 2006

In The Palace Of Cards

The palace of cards has walls of mirror-glass. Come on in. Admire yourself.
Ignore the chimes that don't tell time, ringing, blinking, bells and whistles; they're just here to entertain.
Oh yes, you have to pay, but hey--
you're having fun, right? That's right. Enjoy the ride.
Look, it's all new here: bigger, better, brighter, more, higher, LOUDER!

Under the crazed stare of the billboards you can dance with the one-armed bandit and he'll love you as long as you feed him tokens
(that's all we trade in here, tokens)
Under the dancing lights you can stare like a day-struck owl and we'll feed your greed as long as you love us
(yes, you love us, everyone does
but it's only token love.)

We'll sell you back all the dreams you forgot when we stole them from under your pillow.
Shining knight, princess, explorer, artist, you can be that for a day, for a price, for a pay-per-view
you can play that as long as you stay, as long as you pay.
No warranty is offered: if you poke at the edges of the dream, you'll find the seams
(it's seamy behind the scenes, behind the screens)
between the panes of mirror-glass. Oh, don't look there.
There's nothing to see, and anyway you're blinded by the light
day-struck owl, candle-struck moth, love-struck buyer of tokens and dreams.

Make a mark? You are a mark. Just a star-struck smear on the sidewalk when you fall from the walls
dizzy with dazzle and dazed by the noise
drunk on the sheer, the over-the-top, the just-what-it-is is what it is.
Overfed and starving like a famine victim gorged on cotton-candy for the soul.
Drowning in the overflow, the undertow, dying of thirst and choking on the outflow
going down for the third time, over, over, it's all over, Rover!
Dead like a car-struck dog on the Strip, a pedestrian every week, a not-so-victimless crime.
Hit me, dealer, it's another hit-and-run. Oh, but they love me, I'm a star, I'm a hit!

You can be a star in the house of cards but the King of Diamonds killed the Queen of Hearts and the Clubs won't admit you and the Spades only hit you and the Ace comes flying like a black jack
(you're such a sap to even come here)
the flying Ace comes at you like the Black Baron. Red Baron, whatever.
Those blackout days left you in the red and the only color here is green:
double zero, snake-eyes, Ace of Spades lying on the felt like a shovel left in graveyard grass.
No rolling in the green for you, the only rolling is the clacking dice like teeth in the skull-faced joker's grin.
Cashed out. Cashed in.
Did you think you could win?

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