Wednesday, April 4, 2012

4 of 30: Elegy for Ted O'Neil

In the windowless Union Bar and Grill
the painted goat quoted Heidegger
"Existence is in the form of a question"
and we, dumb and young and full of Schlitz
gathered around the burned boat you left behind you
and were starless

The day the haterock died,
I hated God and Texas
hated the way they left you
on the floor,the record deal
the night before, you said to me
"I'm almost thirty years old.
I have to get it together"
The next morning, your brain was dead
and your body followed

Yesterday, on the radio
I heard a song from nineteen years ago
It was not yours.

There is a procession,
with pinhole cameras in their bones,
with men in bottles, a patent medicine tent revival
a smalltown parade of car crash and almost
You go into the dimming light as we forget
forget the body's abandon and roar of blood

The ghosts gather thick around the bar, remembered smoke
moths hurling themselves against the incandescent,
the spirit yellow in glass. The townies sway.
a nineteen year old kid
beats the shit out of a pawnshop drumkit.

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