Smokey Joe's

from by Rags & Bones



An homage to those groundbreaking writers upon whose shoulders I try to stand...



It’s 4am on sunset the traffic’s movin’ slow,
The purple neon flashes: “Come on in, we never close.”
Outside, the line is forming, the wannabees all flirt
They buzz around the doorman, liftin’ up their skirts
Inside the royalty reclines In the afterglow
The congregation’s gatherin’ downstairs at Smokey Joe’s

There’s Mr. Clark and Johnny and everyone can tell
Those smiles that they’re wearin’ are illegal as hell
They’re slicing red tomatoes, the home grown variety
And laughin’ like those good ol’ boys can laugh in Tennessee
And guy, he’s drinkin’ whiskey, a single malt, you know,
The kind you can’t find anywhere ‘cept down at Smokey Joe’s

Bobby’s quite the joker, you cannot pin him down
Between those devil’s horns he sports a dark and thorny crown
He whispers to Johanna "Let’s get out while we can
Before they turn us all into statues made of sand
Yeah come on, lets go fishin’ I brought my line and pole
There’s always something bitin’ downstairs at Smokey Joe’s."

Lenny’s old ‘n horny and in his holy way
Perfectly imperfect he removes his clothes to pray
And everybody’s bowin' to gods unseen again
For every drop of golden ink that passed down through their pens
Yeah, thanks for "What’s it to ya" and “Everybody Knows”
They’re singing “Hallelujah” downstairs at Smokey Joe’s

Tom parks his ol’ ’55, slips on his hat and coat
He takes another swig o’ wine, he takes another toke
There’s paparazzi everywhere, but Tom walks in unseen
They’re busy interviewing the home comin’ queen
Well, her lips are fat as oysters but the doorman, he says “No
That ain’t the look they’re lookin’ for downstairs at Smokey Joe’s."

I know its unappealing to see me on my knees
Beggin' like an orphan “Just a crumb, sir, if you please”
But who else can I turn to in my hour of need
To save me from the oblivion of mediocrity
Now, who are you to criticize? I saw you with your soul
Whisperin’ to the devil out behind Smokey Joe’s.

© Phillip Rosenberg


from Rabbit Holes, released August 10, 2016



all rights reserved


Rags & Bones Joshua Tree, California

contact / help

Contact Rags & Bones

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code