No-one tagged me with this meme. I'm doing it anyway, and anyone who wants it can have it.
1.1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.
The closest thing to hand was Yusef Komunyakaa's Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems. This is what I got, from a poem I haven't yet read properly, 'The Beast & Burden: Seven Improvisations'. It straddles the first two stanzas.
He sits under a floodlight
mumbling that a theory of ants
will finally deal with us,
& reading My Lord Rochester
to a golden sky of Johannesburg,
a stray dog beside him, Sirius
licking his combat boots.
2 The Decadent
Herr Scalawag, Esq.
dances the come-on
in Miss Misery's
He does a hellcat
high step stolen
from Josephine Baker,
holding a fake flower
like a flimsy excuse.
It's not quite his For You, Sweetheart, I'll Sell Plutonium Reactors. From that, I would have got:
on tabletops for me, while corporate bosses
arm wrestle in back rooms for your essential downfall.
I entice homosexuals into my basement butcher shop.
I put my hands around another sharecropper's throat
for that mink coat you want from Saks Fifth,
short-change another beggarwoman,
steal another hit song from Sleepy
John Estes, salt another gold mine in Cripple Creek,
drive another motorcycle up a circular ice wall,
face another public gunslinger like a bad chest wound,
just to slide hands under black silk.