Plague Song: Chelsea Boots

My Chelsea boots want to go out and party, have a little fun;
“Dude,” they call from the closet, “what kind of life you got for us?
Are we going to stay here forever, with yr. dead b-ball kicks,
……………Unhiked hikers and lace-up dowdies?
We, my dog, are Chelseas, and we do not sit quiet—we are the meaning
……………Of Saturday night.
And here we are marooned in your closet of a tomb,
They shouldn’t sell us to anyone who can’t dance the carpe diem
Or the deca-dance.
You should have to pass a good-times background check,
To pull down a pair of us.”
I try to explain: there’s a plague outside. I been off-property three times
……………In two months—and those have not been Chelsea times.
People are dying out there and I’d prefer for a while not to be one—
……………So you see.
“With all disrespect,” the kings of the closet call out, “we don’t see shit:
Open the clubs, open the bars, let stream the taps,
‘Open Sesame,’ says us,
Go out, kick up our heels, dance, party, sing, laugh—
Plagues are good times for fun, and (whisper we this) great times for sex;
War zones are hoochy-coochy zones and this sounds like war.
You think you can dance now—put us on—cue your best plague-list
……………(How ‘bout The Cure? Heh, Heh, Heh)
And go to town.
Party all night, party the day through,
Have fun, revel, fuck,
And when the Horseman comes riding through,
On poison hooves,
Keep dancing but—listen up now, boy–duck.”

Mark Edmundson

Mark Edmundson

Mark Edmundson is University Professor at the University of Virginia and the author of Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals and The Heart of the Humanities: Reading, Writing, Teaching.His book on Walt Whitman is forthcoming from Harvard in April.
Mark Edmundson

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Author: Mark Edmundson

Mark Edmundson is University Professor at the University of Virginia and the author of Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals and The Heart of the Humanities: Reading, Writing, Teaching. His book on Walt Whitman is forthcoming from Harvard in April.