Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Judgment Day

The devil led the motorcade
Before Saint Peter’s post,
And said, “Another, I’m afraid,
Of those who claim artistic trade
Has given up the ghost.”

“And should the hearing now be held
To see if he ascends?
Or should we say he has upheld
The modern view and be propelled
To hell with all his friends?”

Saint Peter scratched his bearded chin
And said, “Lay out your case.
For even men who reek of sin
Deserve a final chance to win
The Master’s warm embrace.”

The devil nodded his assent,
And ushered in his tale:
“Old Barton was the type of gent
Who let the state supply his rent,
And lived from sale to sale.”

Which amplified Saint Peter’s fears
And led him to implore,
“Pray tell the time in human years
That Barton’s rent was in arrears,
And he should answer for?”

The devil smirked and wagged his brow
And said, “Past forty-two.”
To which Saint Peter asked him how
A man could live from then ’til now
Without a means review.

“Remember last week’s clientele?”
The devil quick rejoined.
“You sent a congressman to hell,
Where I have kept him very well,
For treasure he purloined.”

“The very same did legislate
The artist’s life should be
Dependent on the welfare state
With rent control, at bargain rate,
By federal decree.”

Saint Peter shook his head and said,
“By mercy Bart is saved.
For though his life was long misled,
The legislator made his bed –
And took the road he paved.”

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