You cast yourself in a normal light
and left the rest of us jumping
through the strobe, playing fools ball
through your scripted squares
bound for the big rectangle
and rows of stares.

You flew, you flew, you flew,
you drew from that ersatz sun culture
something like birth among laughs,
about wide streets stinking of sun,
baking one-stories, fumes from the frames
and drive-in coffee shops
bad burgers surrounded by hills pregnant with
meanings guarding the valley in celebration of oncoming
bliss and worshipping streches of hedges
bordering weird plants,
semantics in rows where
Rosemany goes and
nobody goes but she
across the valley of no fun,
rating second-rate chances, a gog
in a mist they call smog.

Then, there were dogs and more dogs--
your mother gave your room Íto them,
and they lathered it up. Life got
to the point where the furniture smelled
and nothing jelled, least of all last year.
Race cars, sports cars, it was all an oval,
muscle cars to the hilt, flexing and belching
across a finish line little you pointed to
with, is that it?

On that note, daddy took you to Vegas--
a kind of distraction while he counted cards
and took the casino for a gym bag
up to a seventies hotel room with
glitter on the cieling and a hot blue
sky pointing at you while you couldn't
believe you were weird. Those rooms
have all been torn down, the early
nineties replacing the ground.

So it's bitchin in the Mission,
pool halls to dive into,
brandishing sticks and tricks
of the pen trade, your mini-parade
across stained sidewalks and
those lovely, penny-ante hustlers
writers write about on their off days.
One thing, pal, will you remember
the screen between us, the
shapely lights?





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