In this here mist
I stand akimbo
From pumpkin head to raised fist
Shadow of a scarecrow
I strut outside in stylish veils
I moan I scream I rattle my sails
Backed by all that is proper and safe
To which I shall retire on the morrow
Tonight, the scariest within we cast out
We feast we celebrate we stage it up
While next door sits in stunted disarray
The real dwelling of haunted decay.
He lives with ghosts for ever more
It is his truth, his daily core
All that after this one night
We no longer wish flaunted about.
To seal this dark eve’s happening
A black cat lets itself be seen
And trots alongside for a few paces
The ferryman of hidden faces.
La tournée du chat noir, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, 1896, lithographie en couleurs