Another City By The Sea

By ManWithHat

In the city by the sea
Hear the old sailors wail
Songs that haunt the white sails
Driving them port to port!
In the city by the sea
Watch the morning light creep
Past the sailors that sleep,
Draped as frayed, sodden flags.
In the city by the sea
Watch an old sailor die,
Full of violence and lies
and the pistol's report!
But in this city by the sea,
A new sailor is born
While the waters look on
And the red sunrise sags.

In the city by the sea
Sailors feed off the hoard
That they carried onboard
Of their rickety ships.
While they chew, see their teeth
That can mash up fortune,
Teeth that cut like a reef,
Teeth that crunch the old moon.
There, the streets stink of cod
And the men stink of sweat
Whose feet daily trod
Upon dreams never met.
Oh, they rise from their meals
With their hurricane laughs
Zip their flies, turn their heels,
Unafraid of Fate's wrath.

In the city by the sea,
Dance among these hard men,
Their hardness rubbing against
The used women who've come!
The men jump like starved jackals
And they turn like red stars
That have thrown off their shackles
And have crawled to the bars.
They will drown out their lows
And they'll play up their highs
And they'll jig 'til it snows
Or the accordion dies.
Whichever comes first,
They don't care, they don't mind
"Every outcome is cursed,
Every action is blind!"

In the city by the sea,
My love lies in a grave
Where police do not go,
There's no living to save.
There, the sailors all meet
When they're chased from the town,
Knocking their whiskey down
By the morning star's heat.
And they sing their high praises
For the women of the street
Who have auctioned their bodies
So their children can eat.
When the dawn church bells toll,
Time again it will be
To lose more of their soul
In another city by the sea.

(Author's note: The site won't let me link to the reference, but this poem was also inspired by this song:

Another City By The Sea

Created: Apr 15, 2010

Tags: amsterdam

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