Alan Catlin

The Conga Line from Hell 

There they are the revelers 

wearing cheap conical hats, 

bearing breath-controlled, 

retractable whistles, metal 

noise makers they all employ  

at once as an ear drumming assault, 

all in the name of dressing up 

in new frocks and suits to  

consume vast amounts of legal 

beverages and other kinds of 

mind altering chemicals,  

driven to become adherents 

of Nietzsche’s “everything is 

permitted” edict, all rules  

abolished once partying begins, 

all sense of propriety forgotten, 

unlikely liaisons formed in back 

room office space, hotel storage 

closets, under banquet tables cloaked 

in white linens as if some merry 

musician, band leader, had declared, 

“Let the humping begin!” 

Background music becomes the refined 

crude that fuels the savage beast, 

that suggests otherwise responsible 

adults form a line alternating men 

and women , grab the waist of 

the humanoid in front of you and 

let the dance begin, let this hydra 

headed millipede begin unrestrained 

kicking anything within its path to 

jungle fever music, all the faces 

wide eyes and lust crazed, mindless 

as a herd of headless chickens, 

all of them slaves to the hypnotic 

beat, following the command of 

a pied-piper-with-a-drum music man, 

that bandleader of the doomed 

exhorting the dancers to kick, 

kick, kick until they drop, spineless 

and spent in dark, unfamiliar place, 

dead to the world. 

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