Follow on Bloglovin
Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
You can also find Monica's writing here:
Search The Girl Who
« Country Baby Swims In Poison. | Main | Party People. »

Sad Funky Funeral Train From America.

In the end, they didn't know what to do with the body really. Display it? Let the people see the altered face of the legend one last time? And if so: where? At the ranch? In a hall? On a train rolling through the countryside in this gelatinous heat, stopping in hamlets and one-horse towns; a train rolling in/a train rolling out: the music always there playing in the background. The unstoppable beats. The unkillable voice. That final tour.

They still can't decide. So his body lies there undanceable. Maybe he is in his old bedroom in some overdone four poster Victorian with an oversized Mickey Mouse leaning over his waxy slight fingers, keeping lookout. He won't wake up though. Way too tired. No nap could of stopped the bullets.

The people who loved him make more sense to me than many other people. They loved someone magic. Not talented. Magic. Talent is everywhere these days. Cruise back any deep suburban cul-de-sac on a midnight ride and there's Talent staring at you from his parent's driveway, his eyes like a buck deer. An acoustic guitar in his creamy little fist. Flip-flops.

Keep driving, for Christ's sake.

The one they loved, the one all the millions loved so much, was one of the real ones. Snapped with the belt of his father til he threw up in his mouth. Thrust out in the footlights when he shoulda been hiding dirty magazines under a rock by a creek in some woodlot. Singing to a world who sang along to every word when he shoulda been falling in love with some chick for real, instead of having to pretend about it. Dancing with zombies when it finally became apparent that only the dead could ever appreciate who he was and where he was heading. Crucified by the ones who made him.

Hey, we got bored. You got lazy.

It would have been cool, the train thing. A steam locomotive knifing through the United States Summertime, when death seems so impossible yet still very very likely. People would show up. In droves. In zippered jackets and sequined gloves they would sweat their raceless colorless sexless salty sweat down off the tips of their natural noses/nose jobs onto the sizzling concrete of some Iowa rail station platform and no matter who showed up to doubt any of it with jaded hipster eyes, they would be denied, because death was involved and bodies in coffins will never ever allow the living to pull that shit on them.

The train would pull in, the fancy casket would roll into town for a few hours, maybe the whole day. People would line up and cry, but in happy ways. Happy they lived when someone like him lived. That he danced right through some of the same moments that they danced through.

New York, LA, come see your man.

Miami, Seattle, come see your man.

Philadelphia, Detroit, come see your man.

Chicago, Boston, come see your man.

Tulsa, New Haven, come see your man.

Gettysburg, Trout Run, come see your man.

Conshohocken, Bridgeport, come see your man.

Appalachia, Gold Mine Town, Whorehouse, McDonald's, Alley on Broadway, Roller Rink, Discoteque, Dairy Queen, Sam Goody, Chick-Fil-A, Plymouth Meeting Mall, Mormon Temple, Jewish Synagogue, Moonies, Atheists, Piercing Pagoda, North Falls North Dakota, Brooklyn, King of Prussia, BigFoot Country, Rattlesnake Country, Mule Skinners, Jail Birds, American Originals, Sweet Tea Drinkers, Klansmen, Priests, Cops, Robbers, Queers, Trannys, Newly Baptized Babies, Stoners, Dopers, SpeedFreaks, Winos, Break Dancers, Pop Lockers, Moon Walkers, Justin Timberlake, Ice Road Truckers, Horny MILFs, Soda Sticky Rug Rats, Webster, The Lost Boys, Liz, Liza, Jesus on the Cross in Gary, Indiana, America.....

.....come see your man.

Reader Comments (18)

right on.

July 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkasey anderson

you're so right! I agree with you.

July 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterana_jo

Been reading Monica and then you from the very beginning of both. Never commented once. Just not a commenter. Amazing Serge, this makes me want to actually go back to your Marah days, to listen to the words of your songs.
Absolutely Amazing! Now I see..............

July 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBumpkin on a Swing

Jesus fuck!!
Inspired shit here.

The secret is that you never really gave it away. Even if it was obvious.

The sad, fucking obvious.

I remember dilaudid Elvis.

Happy 4th, America. You get what you deserve.

July 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

whoops. thought it was Lincoln. Abraham, not Gerald. As usual, Im a fucking idiot!!!

July 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterXmastime

Holy shit. This is the kind of post no one will comment on because anything they might try and add after that will just make them sound like a poophead.

Truly great writing.

July 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia

Serge, this is awesome. truly. I can't think of anything eloquent to say, so I'll just leave it at that. I never comment (here nor anywhere), but felt compelled to do so this time 'round.

July 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

what Amelia said....Happy 4th of July, Serge. Hope the family is doing well.

July 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEric

I don't know, call it info overload, but though Michael meant a lot to me, I just couldn't find it in myself to write about it. Glad you did.

Keep up the good work.

July 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisaF

Magic? That's Smokey Robinson. Quincy Jones. And you.

The ones who make their own stuff, that's beautiful and true – that's magic. That's Smokey, and Quincy, and you.

Michael? It was all lies. He was Smokey Robinson Barbie. Yetnikoff pulled those strings, and Michael, he danced and wished he could be... or at least be with... a real boy.

Victim? I don't think so. Victimiser? We all know so. Manna from heaven, shit from shinola, guilty from convicted – there is a difference, there is a fine line.

Michael was mentally ill. He knew it, we all knew it.

Newsflash. In case you didn't know it, and I hope you did, what you wrote there just turned into...

A song. Stick a tune on that thing. I dare you.

July 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks Serge. You are always an inspiration.

July 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thank you for your words.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Two quotations this time:

"The found him slumped up against the drain
With a whole lotta trouble running through his veins
Bye bye Johnny, Johnny bye bye
You didn't have to die
You didn't ahve to die"


"I dreamed I saw St. Augustine alive with fiery breath
And I dreamed I was amongst the ones that put him out to death"

The poor man survived a lot of things: his troubled family; being a childhood star; "crossing over;" outliving his "usefulness" as a star and musician. Any one of those would have been enough trouble.

Well said, Serge

July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin


July 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersuzanne

Sergeee- wasn't just the talent, it was the work ethic thrust upon him by the overpowering and somewhat nutso father Joe. the thing you (Serge) touch on is the magic but i think the magic is simply this...natural and somewhat "enhanced" good looks, god given natural talent and most of all...the need and drive to WORK. Lou Reed, one day in 1966, walked into Warhol's studio and told Andy he had just written a great new song...Andy replied.."Oh Lou... how come only one?" Mike was a worker and that drive made him special...most people are fat slobs with zero ambition.

-- Gorelick

July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGorelick

Did you know Nick Hornby just linked to you from his blog? That's big.

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Nick Hornby? The sculptor? Christ, that is big.

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSerge

i was searching if Nick Hornby said anything about MJ. And i found the link to you in his blog. Now I know why he did so. Serge, thanks for the writing. It touched me... speechless...

January 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>