The Zombie Birdhouse

This is a poem I wrote 26 years ago yesterday. I found it last night in one of my old notebooks and typed it up for your enjoyment.

The Zombie Birdhouse

In a very bad part of the worst of your mind,
Down a dark, foul street, to the apartment that’s rundown.
Where skeletons dance because the blind fish can’t,
And the toothless old men rap with junkies.
Tired old whores get cash for their sores,
And their Johns walk away bleeding.
The pimp just laughs as he collects the cash,
The man he sleeps with is clean.
The cops always stop at the end of the block,
They won’t go near that place.
So the Zombie Birdhouse goes through the day
As if it were already tonight.

Now the junkies and zombies talk one on one,
They relate to each others thinking.
And the toothless old men and the tired old whores,
sleep and don’t wake again.
The pimp who laughed, got stabbed in the back
By a man who had caught a disease.
“Stone-Eye” Dick smoked a bird with the fish,
And the dead cat got high off the fumes.
Sister Lucy, who used to be Bill,
Has just fooled another lucky young man.
And so the Zombie Birdhouse goes through the day
Just like it will tonight.

The man on the can says he’s with the band,
As the point of the needle hits home.
The Acid Freaks speak with the Krishna Elite,
And create their own religion.
The skeletons and fish think this place is a mess,
What happened to this place they called home?
Two dead men told tales that pirates thought safe,
And the stuffed parrot told what he saw.
The Jamaican men sung a zombie hymn,
And the junkies joined in the chorus.
So the Zombie Birdhouse went through the day,
As if it were already tonight.

The band played all night to the zombies delight,
They grooved on the funky bass lines.
Disco Sam danced with whomever he can,
and especially the younger men.
Jimi and John sang a protest song,
As Janis and Jim sat and took hits from their bong.
The Acid Freaks and the Krishna Elite
Chanted where they thought it fit in.
Sister Lucy danced with “Stone-Eye” Dick,
And the dead cat strutted his stuff.
And so the Zombie Birdhouse played that night,
And in your mind it will always exist.


About The Poem And It’s Name

For some reason I had this poem stuck in my head yesterday, and when I found it I realized it was exactly 26 years, to the day, from when I wrote this: May 11, 1986 – nice synchronicity!

Back then I played keyboards in a band called Zombie Birdhouse, which our drummer had re-named. Previously we were called Sounds In Silence – probably one of the worst band names ever…

The name Zombie Birdhouse came from the title of a 1982 Iggy Pop album (shown below):

I left the band in May or June of 1986, and concentrated on a music project I was working on called “Eccentric Activities.”

This poem was not typical of my writing at the time (or since), and it was one of those times when the words flowed out as fast as I could write them.


Bonus: Here’s a drawing I found a few pages earlier in same notebook as this poem: