A Coney Island Christmas Card

Because some have requested it, an excerpt from my presentation in the Coney Island Museum benefit a few weeks back. The words to my poem are below (I’ve put helpful hotlinks on some of the references):

It’s December and the presents are underneath the Coney Island Christmas Tree

Do you know it? It’s 250 feet tall with 8,000 lights that can be seen from miles away, in fact, can be spotted all around the world.

There are 300 elves in the Midget City

A bearded fat man sings a drunken ditty

A working girl hangs her stockings with care,

Side by side by a polar bear.

“Ha, ha, ha” went the funnyplace clown

There’s nuts a-fire, the midway burned down

An innocent babe in an incubator.

Was rocked to sleep by a roller skater.

Hell Gate, Sea Gate,

Throw a baseball, break a plate.

Shoot the Freak, Whack-a-mole.

Stifle a shriek in the old Ghost Hole

A gourmet named Garneau swallows scepters of neon

A drunk from the Gut seeks a spot he can pee on.

Mermaids, Mummers, and Mardi Gras

Beldames, shell games, Shangri-La.

The wild man beats the bars of his cage

A cop snaps pictures of Bettie Page.

Princess Pee Wee is posing for Weegee;

Seal-O the Seal Boy, squirt gun and squeegee

Ballyhoo and beauteous banners;

Urchins with deplorable manners.

A two ton dame name of Jolly Irene,

A lemonade cup made of polystyrene.

Deep fried feasts and Bostock’s beasts

Yer leasts is mosts, and yer mosts is leasts.

Moon men, Martians, Marathon dances,

You pays your money and you takes your chances.

Missing links, papaya drinks.

Yer kid threw up, now the carousel stinks.

Fun times with your uncle and auntie

Eddie Cantor sings with Jimmy Durante.

Ocean breeze, Flosso and fleas,

French fries covered in orange cheese.

A corn dog stick for a cur to bite on,

Neptune forgot where he left his triton.

Leopard Men and Lilliputians,

Rope tricks, rides, and renegade Russians

The tattooed people are waxing illustrious.

Working the chumps, in its way it’s industrious.

Shoot the Chutes, crooks in suits,

An elephant Edison electrocutes.

Mediums guess, Old folks play chess

Inches from where Houdini met Bess.

Huberts, Hecklers, Hairy Sisters

The Human Volcano gets a tongue full of blisters.

Blockhead, Burkhart, Baron Paucci

The cooch dancer’s coughing, somebody call Fauci!