Sunday, April 15, 2012

13 of 30 Elegy for Ike Whitt

Above the trainyards, in a dying town's wildness
spray-painted over a bible verse, your epitaph
"Ike Whitt lives". You do not.
The painted rock juts above the trees,
the lizards sun themselves.
beer cans and dope bags, dead lighters.
a single, stunted tree climbs from the rocks

We have never met, you and I
but i recall your death, how
when they pumped your stomach
they found dilaudid and aspirin,
birth control pills and vitamins
how you wandered through your party
with your zip lock bag, a pillowcase of pills
you became an adolescent legend,
our own keith moon, dead of rock star excess

there is no novelty in this. the kids who crush
pills on the stone that bears your name
have never heard of you
and the hills have healed over our footprints
yours and mine, the trainyards rust
rats on the river bottom.

the bar stars dim in the daylight,
single file, to graves, a procession
too many to spray their names on the rocks
too many to remember

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