Thursday, April 19, 2012

17 0f 30 Elegy for Dick Clark

It is New Years Eve in the city of the dead
and they are playing all your favorite records
the 45's your sisters broke, Your grandfather's box
of 78's that burned with the house.
The tape that got unspooled in your first car.

When the ball drops, it is the sun itself
going down into the wintry dark
and the dead stand crowded in the street
and the cold blows ticker tape through them

He is the oldest teenager,
His teeth reflect the borrowed light
like the moon's sliver
and the kids twist

He plays the unsaid apologies,
plays all the thrown away declarations of love
the burned letters, the swallowed words
He is officiate of this rite,
and without him, the world has lost a priest
for the living, the years have stopped
rock and roll, contrary to expectation, has died.
in the city of the dead, they stay up late
Dick Clark is on Johnny Carson
Buddy Holly's new song
is rising up the charts
The twist king says
Let's twist again, like we did last summer

and you taste the summer in your mouth
cicadas and lemon, wild irish rose
a stolen kiss in the tall grass
crackle of the radio

"I played records, the kids danced, and America watched"  Dick Clark

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