The Last Train Out of Monkeytown


(This poem has deep meaning for Blind Man at the Gate, but many of the references and allusions probably only he understands. Don’t bother asking him to explain the poem, I’m sure he won’t.)

The Last Train Out of Monkeytown
Blind Man at the Gate

He caught the last train out of Monkeytown
Bought a ticket on Easter 04 and was eastbound
Left the wagon train beamed from outer space
Said adios to the obtuse and turned his face
Toward something he hoped was there

Was it the Conductor’s last call
With a shudder he sometimes wonders
What would have happened had he missed that train
He fears he’d have shrunk smaller and smaller
Until he disappeared
Not entirely invisible, but totally unrecognizable
To who he was supposed to be
The one he still hopes to become

Curiosity may have killed some cat
But not this cat
For this cat curiosity was a saving grace
Salvation from the dismal fate of the incurious
The Last Man who invents happiness
Or so he thinks
While he sits on his couch
(With seven hundred channels)
And stupidly blinks

That curious cat will tell you
Age may steal your good looks and jump shot
But don’t let it abscond with your curiosity
What’s the point of living fourscore
If you know it all in the first score
Don’t sit there until the raven croaks nevermore
A world of wonder lies behind an untried door

Truth is not a laminated card you carry in your pocket
Truth is a long hard road and you have to walk it
And you might as well know it’s a toll road too
You will be required to sacrifice your certitude
But that’s okay, it’s only a small pittance
To bid good riddance to a dead end existence

Was it a train he caught or road he walked
Seems the metaphors got mixed
Oh well
Whether he hit the road or rode the rails
He thanks God for the grace to bid farewell
To the backwaters of Monkeytown
For a journey through dark heat
To a new dawn of becoming


(The artwork is Train Tracks by Bob Dylan)