u.v. ray

The Passenger

it’s my last night in new york – still blazing and all the nightclubs are throwing out – not yet anywhere close to hitting baseline – with my fuses blown i’m caught in the symbiotic divide between the grey a morning and the violet luminescence a night

welter a white noise scuzzing round in my head – voices materialising throo the veil indistinct like a discharge a short-wave radio static – it’s 4 in the a.m – array a glittering street lights shift across the winnders a the taxi as it freewheels like blud throo the veins a the city in a stream a red tail lights – the cab slows down as we drift past the china doll XXX titty bar and they’re blasting out milkshake by kelis – two thin thai girls wearing nothing but tiny gold bikinis are standing outside the door smoking cigarettes – taxi driver’s got one good eye and the other one made a plastic – i ask myself was he in an accident or malformed in the womb  – the fucking thing freaks me out man – it just stares fixed in place – it don’t move in its socket at all as he eyeballs me in the rear view mirror and whistles with his tongue stuck throo his teeth

ooooh them girls just look at them knockout girls    he says

them kind a girls ain’t nothing but a badluck charm   i tell him   that kind a pussy is

  enough to drive any man to the nuthouse

but i don’t really look at nothing – i’m just a disconnected viewer operating on disparate frequencies – the last strands a my existence stretched out across the sky – acute pinpoints a light detonate in my peripheral vision – colours fading all fast and thin – black silhouettes – freeze frame stills jump cut all around me as if everything is playing out on a roll a black and white film and sumbody hit ffw>> on the video machine 

the cab lurches to a stop at a red light where on the corner there stands a bunch a skinny transvestites their bony fingers beckoning cars and all their jewels glinting in the passing headlights – the taxi driver shifts the auto box to P and he sits and drums his hands on the steering wheel in time to a roxy music track playing on the radio – graffiti sprayed across the steel shutters at the bank of america says corporate blood money / donate here– driver asks me what line a work i’m in and i tell him it’s a line a work more lucrative than blud diamonds – he laughs and waves his hand and says he don’t even wanna know nothing about that kind a shit – i keep staring out the back winnder up above the tower blocks looking at the vast expanse a stars and i bomb another wrap a speed and tell him that’s good cuz people who know too much get chopped up and put in cans a tuna fish

gleaming expressways shift in and out a the city – old crumbling buildings with paint peeling from walls stand alongside the steel and glass a the new – at 60 mph the driver holds the steering wheel between his elbers and sparks up a cigarette – he balls me in the mirror again and smiles with his teeth yeller as mustard

come off it hotshot who you think you tryna kid

we glide throo the streets as the night begins to dissipate – merging at the infinite horizon an amalgam of smoke and flame – everything is broken – the gods and angels are dead – hudson river glittering as the sun prepares to ignite – i’m being driven back to my hotel past empty billboards and vacant lots – four parked police cars on the sidewalk outside maggi lee’s 24hr chop suey café – red lights revolving strobing the street but nothing can animate the kodachrome picture a three incinerated bodies lying like heaps a charcoal on the ground – a young cop and an older cop stand and scan the scene with their flashlights and throo the taxi driver’s open winnder as the cab crawls by i hear the young cop say

jesus it’s just about enough to mek yr hair stand on end ain’t it – you know the

  first time i saw sumthin like this i threw up

and the older cop nods his head sagely and looks around – he douses his flashlight and hooks it back on his utility belt

i reckon i’m gonna have me sum a that good old chop suey while we wait for the

  coroner   he says

the old long yard the taxi driver tells me they call this place but it’s just a wasteground full a ruptured concrete and bits a railroad track jammied between a brick building and a chain link fence surrounding a dilapidated concrete basketball court that’s sposed to be for the neighborhood kids but is littered with syringes and broken glass

for the most part i myself never ask no questions about stuff no more – anaesthetized all i wanna do is absorb a shit load a speed into my bludstream – fuck myself up – fry my brain until the blud seeps from every pore as the price a fissile plutonium falls and our politicians itch to drop atom bombs

on the surface everything appears to sparkle and shine but i look in the faces a strangers on the streets tonight – everybody in trancelike states totalled on oxycodone and the intravenous bullshit drip fed to them throo newspapers and shell shock television shows – everybody at odds with life – howling like stray dogs in the alleyways becuz a the fatal manoeuvres in their lives 

i tell you summat   the taxi driver says    the dead bodies round this joint are amongst

  sum a the city’s most fortunate sons

from the car’s glove compartment the driver fetches a half bottle a vodka and takes a swig –  he puts the bottle between his legs and pulls a left heading west and five minutes later the headlights a the taxi contour my hotel as the driver rolls the big old Ford to a stop outside – he flicks on his yeller hazard warning lights punches a button on the taximeter and holds out his hand for the dollar bills

and you know it’s all too late – the rolling a the dice is underway – all the people out there fighting their silent private wars – and there’s no use praying now to the old stone gods that no longer exist and wouldn’t lift their little finger for you even if they did

so here’s to the beauty of this world and all the workers on the factory lines – here’s to all the drinkers in all the bars and all the gamblers at the roulette tables – here’s to the lonely and all them who’ve bin driven demented – here’s to the suicidal – the lost and broken hearted – here’s to the drifters of the streets –  and here’s to all those who sit alone late at night in tenement blocks burning cigarette holes in their own arms cuz they’re scared a the nightmares that come every time they close their eyes

here’s to all the losers in the game

they got a candy machine in the foyer a the hotel – i drop a dollar in the slot and press the button and pick up the bag a gummy bears that fall into the tray – the blonde night receptionist tells me to be looking over my shoulder up there and to make sure i lock my door

we’ve had sum rough looking customers check in tonight   she warns   bunch a guys

  just passing throo on their way to lenoxville 

the receptionist says she suspects they might be on the run summat to do with all that bad blud down in lakewood that’s bin all over the news

couple a people dead   she states closing her eyes tight like she’s going to sleep

 i walk over to the elevator and punch the call button

it’s the same the world over   i shrug    when yr number’s up it’s up pumpkin

i ride the elevator up to the 5th floor – back in my room i switch on the teevee with the sound turned down and hit the minibar – there’s old lipstick stains on the dirty glass i’m drinking whisky from

i lie back on the bed and stare at the dull grey walls – stretch my arms out like angel wings – there’s a spring busted in the mattress and i feel it sticking in my back – a reflection a red neon light slithers throo the winnder blind

my flight home is at 10pm tonight

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