Monday, April 30, 2012

29 of 30 Elegy for Rich Weiss

We rode the freight trains into town
jumping off when they picked up speed
and sliding down the rock embankments.
A sign on a post, covered in rust, bulletholes
advertised a long-closed window and siding company
"Exteriors of time" Fields of corn and wheat,
a go-kart track, the weird sculptures of Mini Golf
under fluorescent lights,a dingy arcade where metal bands
played in the gravel parking lot, a whirling pit over the gravel.

Rich was older, had better weed,
drank stolen airplane bottles of "cocktail" and "martini"
with us, hopped cemetary fences, showed us how to make a pipe
from tin foil and a pen, from soda cans and apples.
Rich, on Dilaudid, or Codeine, or Valium and Whiskey,
alone, a drunk, stumbling scarecrow
( or asleep on the tracks, depending on who was telling)
was hit by the Burlington Northern,
and his heart stopped.

The paramedics jump-started him,
and Rich came back, Electric Lazarus
with cinematic tales of a white light, of voices
of being spat back into the world,
which he would tell while we huffed gas,
drank Everclear, shook with stolen speed
I do not recall the method of his second death.

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