Riverview: first a beer garden,
Now a terrifying amusement park
At Belmont and Western Avenues.
Entering the main gate, King Fat
Turned to me: 'I feel exhilarated,
’Here in the arena of manly challenge.
‘Look, there is Aladdin's Castle!
‘Within lie mazes, and contraptions
‘That blow jets of air, and revolving
‘Barrels through which one must crawl,
‘And startling fart-like noisemakers.
‘Once I saw a dwarf reading a newspaper
‘In a corner of a room therein -- a room
‘Dominated by a slide that, unless
‘Great care were taken, could land
‘You in a tub of water. Now that was
‘Sensation! The dwarf, however,
‘With utterly indifferent mien, kept
‘His nose buried in the newspaper
‘Whose headline has stayed with me:
’RECORD HEAT TO CONTINUE.'
Inside the Castle King Fat attacked
The first maze as if trapped a pinball
Machine, bouncing from one wall
To another, undaunted by failure,
Spinning on one leg, kicking
Like a mule, hurling his girth
Against the actually quite flimsy
Walls of the maze while singing
At the top of his lungs, ‘One-eyed
'One-horned flying purple
'People-eater,' a novelty
Tune popular that summer.
Emerging from the maze, he
First head-butted, then kneed
In the crotch an acne-scarred
Attendant pathetically ill-equipped
To restrain him, and cannon-balled
Into the water tub. He was now
Singing, 'Who wears short shorts?'
The droning, pounding lyric by the
Heretofore little-known Royal Teens.
Later we loafed on a bench as the
Crowd meandered by – white
Suburban kids, black gang members,
The general hoi polloi of Eisenhower’s
Final years. King Fat seemed sad,
Preoccupied, eyes tightly closed
As if to exclude the physical world
In favor of some compelling inner
Reality. At last he opened his eyes
And spoke in baleful tone: 'I've been
‘Having some disturbing visions,'
He said. 'Apropos of you, Mitchell,
‘I see a peculiar existence that
‘At least offers novel unpredictability.
’Money will always be a concern, this
‘A karmic correction for the materially
‘Comfortable circumstances of your
‘Youth. Sexually, you can plan on
‘Quite a rangy arc of experience
‘Including some troubling episodes
‘Of erectile dysfunction side by side
‘With occasional amorous triumphs
‘Of the kind that accrue to men who
‘In future time will be called stud muffins.
‘Ha! You’ll be a cuckold and a cuckolder
‘Of others, sometimes in one weekend,
‘You putz. you schmuck!’ Then he sighed
And shook his fine leonine head.
‘More disturbing, however, was a
‘Dreamy tableau of my death from liver
‘Failure in a room of the Belmont
'Hotel. And as for this place,' he
Continued, with a sweeping gesture
That encompassed the whole of
Riverview, 'it will be demolished
‘And replaced by a police station,
‘A jail, and a parking lot. But come
‘Now! All that is tomorrow and this
‘Is today! On Thorndale is a bar
‘With belly-whomping contests!
‘Tutti fruitti aw rootie whop bop
‘A loo whop a whop bam boom!’