The Ultimate Deadpan: Ode to Joey Bishop

by Gordon Stanley

JOEY Bishop, you son of a gun!
Sit down, have a martini, a smoke,
oh sorry,
I didn't realize
you were dead.
Actually I didn't realize
you were still alive.
We hadn't seen you on the strip
in years, so . . .

So that means you're the last
of the Rat Pack,
Jewish comedian
in a cardigan, master
of one-liners, demeanor
of an untipped waiter
headlining at the Sands
Frank, Dino, Sammy,
Lawford, all gone the way
of the desert after
Bugsy Siegel moved in
Today Vegas is a theme park
a gelded shadow
of its cheeky, seedy past
not a fit place any longer
for rats

I heard you felt
too much like a mascot
a mouse in the Pack
But no less than Sinatra
called you the Hub of the Big Wheel
not realizing maybe
he was channeling Lao-Tzu.
You get that reference?
Maybe not. After all
you once said, ''In kindergarten,
I flunked sand pile.''
And now you are a sand pile,
you son of a gun!

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