Leonard, Light My Cigarette

By Tony Babinski

This life underground
Is too much, man
My reflection in the window
Falls in and out of grace
And this constant hiss so cool
(Can you believe the heat in here?)

“People of Athens, this man is a danger to our children!
His songs are so glum!
He has some strange, hypnotic power over our women!
He’s a gypsy, he’s a Jew!”

Leonard, light my cigarette
Light my, light my, light my cigarette
Because you never laid down that cross
You just made carrying it look good
And you never really said so long to Marie-Anne
Our town. Our lady.

And look! The cross still shines on
An X-Mas ornament
On our tinsel tree-top
Souvenir necropolis.

Tell me Leonard, when will we bury our dead?
Not under this sun
That beats on the beat streets and heats
The beat that still beats on.

The heat. Now there’s another story.
It’s Dorval, 1988. The hottest Summer yet.
And the Prince of Darkness stands there
In black pants, black jacket, and a black, wool turtleneck sweater
He still takes the heat.

Leonard. light my cigarette!
Leonard, light my cigarette!
Leonard, light my cigarette!
For all the punks and the drunks and the beautiful losers!
Leonard. light my cigarette!
For all the pretty women who sing out their souls for you!
Leonard, light my cigarette!
Light it from Reijkavik to Oslo and everywhere the hot sun
Beats down on this cruel, cool world!

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