The Captain of The Paradise

the bridge goes up
the bridge goes down
everything goes on
just like it always has

the bridge goes up
the bridge goes down
it’s been a bad few years
for bridges in this city

the bridge goes up
the bridge goes down
it’s done this now
for eighty-nine years

in the shadow of this bridge
sat a man for a time
holding the surname of the voice

he’d been a painter
a construction worker
and a California love-in-er
but in the shadow of this bridge
he was the mayor of a block
the Pirate of Pandora
the Captain of the Paradise

in a world that’s learned
to overlook one another
he took the time
to make us notice
the beauty we are
surrounded by

hurling barely decipherable compliments
at everyone walking through Pandora’s Box
breaking anybody’s attempts not to notice
the philosopher pirate smiling beneath his tree

the bridge goes up
the bridge goes down
the wind,
it has taken my smile

the bridge goes up
the bridge goes down
is it a good day
or a bad day today, Louie

the bridge goes up
the bridge goes down
this is the capital
of the paradise!

what was it like
to be a noble on the streets
what was it like
to live so far away from the woman you married
what was it like
to be simultaneously adored, ignored and despised
what was it like
those sober moments of moonlit intoxication

through your blue eyes smiling
you etched yourself into so many hearts
with but a snapshot of your story
the one you wanted to tell
the one you told in everything

and it wasn’t always easy
never is

we all have demons we can’t outrun
we all have memories we’d like to forget
of others and of ourselves
we all get dirt in our crinkles

but you’d always wash up well after-the-fact
no matter how long it took
and come back fresh
more alive than most of the people
who go through great pains to look clean

you owned your dirt
your demons
your skin

you owned you
more than anybody else ever could
you owned your smile
bright, mischievous and knowing
and leased as many other smiles as possible
from all around you on any given day

the bridge goes up
the bridge goes down
everything goes on
just as it always has

the bridge goes up
the bridge goes down
sooner or later
it’ll come to an end

the bridge goes up
the bridge goes down
the wind,
it has taken my smile

it has
for real

and i hope it will carry it to me
wherever i go in the world

Jean Luc Lavoie
Louie, my friend
Oh captain, my captain

Rest In Paradise

Jean Luc (Louie) Lavoie :: 1951-2013

Jean Luc (Louie) Lavoie  ::  December 14, 1951 – August 29, 2013

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