Nighthawks at the Diner

Nighthawks at the Diner

Nighthawk Postcards (From Easystreet)

Yeah, you check out the street and it looks like there's kind of a
Kind of a blur drizzle down the plate glass
And as a neon swizzle stick is stirring up the sultry night air
Looks like a yellow biscuit of a buttery cue ball moon
Rolling maverick across an obsidian sky
And as the buses go groaning and wheezing
Down on the corner I'm freezing
On a restless boulevard at a midnight road
I'm across town from Easy Street
With the tight knots of moviegoers and out-of-towners on the stroll
The buildings towering high above lit like dominoes or black dice
Used car salesmen dressed up in Purina checkerboard slacks
And Foster Grant wraparounds
Pacing in front of Rainbow, Earl Scheib, thirty-nine ninety-five merchandise.

Like barkers at a shooting gallery
They throw out a Texas Guinan routine:
'Hello sucker, we like your money, just as well as anybody else's here
Come on over here now...
Let me put the cut back in your strut and the glide back in your stride
Now climb aboard a customs Oldsmobile, let me take you for a ride'
Or they give you that P. T. Barnum bit:
'There's a sucker born every minute!'
'You just happened to be coming along at the right time, you know
Come over here now'

And you know, all the harlequin sailors are on the stroll
In search of like new new paint
And decent factory air and AM-FM dreams.
Yeah, and all the piss yellow gypsy cabs
They're stacked up in the taxi zones
And they're waiting like pinball machines
To be ticking off a joyride to a magical place
Like Truckers Welcome diners
With dirt lots full of Peterbilts and Kenworths and Jimmies and the like
They're hi-balling with bankrupt brakes
Man, they're overdriven and they're underpaid
They're overfed, and they're a day late and a dollar short
But Christ, I got my lips around a bottle
And I got my foot on the throttle and I'm standing on the corner
Standing on the corner like a just got in town Jasper
I'm on a street corner with a gasper
Looking for some kind of a Cheshire billboard grin
Stroking a goateed chin
Using parking meters as walking sticks
Yeah, on the inebriated stroll
With my eyelids propped open at half mast

But you know, over at "Chubb's Pool and Snooker"
Well, it was a nickel after two, yeah, it was a nickel after two
And in the cobalt steel blue dream smoke
Why, it was the radio that groaned out the hit parade
And the chalk squeaked and the floorboards creaked
And an Olympia sign winked through a torn yellow shade
Old Jack Chance himself leaning up against a Wurlitzer
Man, he was eyeballing out a five ball combination shot
Impossible you say? Hard to believe?
Perhaps out of the realm of possibility?

Cause he be stretching out long tawny fingers
Out across a cool green felt in a provocative golden gate
He got a full table railshot that's no sweat
And I leaned up against my banister
I wandered over to the Wurlitzer and I punched A2
I was looking for maybe 'Wine Wine Wine' by the Nightcaps
Starring Chuck E. Weiss
Or maybe... maybe a little something called "High Blood Pressure"
By George (Crying in the Streets) Perkins, no dice
'Cause that's life, that's what all the people say
You're riding high in April, you're seriously shot down in May
I know I'm gonna change that tune
When I'm standing underneath a buttery moon
That's all melted off to one side

It was just about that time that the sun came crawling yellow
Out of a manhole at the foot of twenty-third Street
And a Dracula moon in a black disguise
Was making its way back to its pre-paid room at the St. Moritz Hotel

And the El train tumbled across the trestles
And it sounded like the ghost of Gene Krupa
With an overhead cam and glasspaks
And the whispering brushes of wet radials on wet pavement
With a traffic jam session on Belmont tonight
And the rhapsody of the pending evening
I leaned up against my banister
And I've been looking for some kind of an emotional investment
With romantic dividends
Yeah, kind of a physical negotiation is underway
As I attempt to consolidate all my missed weekly rendezvous
Into one low monthly payment, through the nose
With romantic residuals and legs akimbo
But the chances are that more than likely
Standing underneath a moon holding water
I'll probably be held over for another
Smashed weekend
Thank you