|Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore at Moore's weeding. Photo by José Villarrubia.|
Posted on this blog with the author's permission.
for Alan Moore
© Neil Gaiman
The Scorpio Boys in the city of Lux sing their strange songs
and smear the windows of your car with cheap rags,piss on your doorstep.
It's lucky to see them. If you see them you won't die today.
There's an old man. He's all that stands between us and the End of the World.
The End of the World knocks on his door once or twice a week,
they have cake and tea and a chat, and crumpets in the winter, and a battle of wits.
So far the old man is winning, the world only ends every now and again.
We don't remember it ending. We're from this go around.
Oh, they stare, the Scorpio Boys, it's an act of magic of course
if you believe in them at all. If you see them you'll be lucky. So damn lucky.
Beaten up and left for dead by the Piltdown Men
singing *we are we are the Piltdown men we are we are*
they stumble down the roads of the cities of twilight
breaking bottles and puking in gutters,
someone finds you and picks you up and carries you home.
Maybe it was us. You never know.
A cigarette traces a shape in the air,
Something made out of light and smoke, so you know it's magical
someone says it's lucky and who knows what will happen?
Stranger things happen in cities. Even small cities.
Take Lux, for example: a city that isn't even there,
Like all cities it is a magical description,
a way of making impossible things happen at a distance,
like a poem or a whisper or a saucer filled with ink --
you can stare into it, or dip your pen.
Either way it will take you to invisible places,
open a door in your hearts to us,
sharp-nosed and shabby genteel, with ink-spots and cinder-burns on our clothes.
When there are enough of us, we will become a city.
Doing it because we believe in it. Because the stories need to be described.
And come to us for their faces.
© Neil Gaiman