The Floating Palais – Mike Ladd

Moored to catch a summer breeze,
the vision floats.
Its cupolas and promenade,
hall of Arabian gold, blue and terracotta,
where the shadows move
to nervy music.

Johnny O’Loghlin marathon dances
with a twisting python,
and Tinker Wallace jitterbugs
The black eel gentlemen and the women
in schools of velveteen
do the Bubbles waltz, the Tripoli,
Sand-dune, Kissing Time, Oriental Memory…

They have gone the way of the Floradora,
the Empress Tango, vanished with the Western Star,
my forebears, my fathers, all my mothers’ passions.

Mind is a Floating Palais:
there, then gone,
by explosion or slow rot below the waterline,
sinking down into the ooze,
the muddy river, in 3/4 time…