Putnam County - Tom Waits

    I guess things were always quiet
    around Putnam County
    kind of shy and sleepy as it clung to the skirts
    of the 2-lane, that was stretched out like an
    asphalt dance floor where all the oldtimers would
    hunker down in bib jeans and store bought boots
    lyin' about their lives and the places that they'd been
    suckin' on Coca Colas and be spittin' Days Work
    they's be suckin' on Coca Colas
    and be spittin' Day's Work
    until the moon was a stray dog on the ridge and
    the taverns would be swollen until the naked eye
    of 2am, and the Stratocaster guitars slung over
    Burgermeister beer guts, and the swizzle stick legs
    jacknifed over naugahyde stools and the
    witch hazel spread out over the linoleum floors,
    the pedal pushers stretched out over midriff bulge
    and the coiffed brunette curls over Maybelline eyes
    wearing Prince Machiavelli, Estee Lauder,
    smells so sweet
    I elbowed up at the counter with mixed feelings
    over mixed drinks
    and Bubba and the Roadmasters moaned in pool hall
    concentration as they knit their brows to
    cover the entire Hank Williams Song Book
    and the old National register was singing to the
    tune of $57.57
    until last call, one last game of 8 ball
    and Berneice would be putting the chairs on the tables,
    someone come in say "Hey man, anyone got
    any Jumper Cables, is that a 6 or a 12 volt?"
    and all the studs in town would toss 'em down
    and claim to fame as they stomped their feet
    boasting about being able to get more ass
    than a toilet seat.
    And the GMCs and the Straight 8 Fords
    were coughing and wheezing and they
    perculated as they tossed the gravel
    underneath the fenders to weave home
    a wet slick anaconda of a two lane
    with tire irons and crowbars a rattlin'
    with a tool box and a pony saddle
    you're grinding gears, shifting into first
    yea and that goddam tranny's just getting worse
    with the melodies of "see ya later"
    and screwdrivers on carburettors
    talkin' shop about money to loan
    and palominos and strawberry roans
    See ya tomorrow, hello to the Mrs.
    money to borrow and goodnight kisses
    the radio spittin' out Charlie Rich
    sure can sing that sonofabitch
    and you weave home, weavin' home
    leaving the little joint winking in the
    dark warm narcotic American night
    beneath a pin cushion sky and it's
    home to toast and honey, start
    up the Ford, your lunch money's there on the
    draining board, toilet's runnin' shake the
    handle, telephone's ringin' it's Mrs Randal
    where the hell are my goddam sandals
    and the porcelain poodles and the glass swans
    staring down from the knick knack shelf
    with the parent permission slips for the
    kids' field trips
    pair of Muckalucks scraping across
    the shag carpet
    and the impending squint of
    first light, that lurked behind
    a weeping marquee in downtown Putnam
    and would be pullin' up any minute now
    just like a bastard amber
    Velveeta yellow cab on a rainy corner
    and be blowin' its horn, in every window
    in town.

    Marco Giunco
    Work Basket Music Words