December 10, 2004

i will be here when you haunt

i will be here when you haunt

*Boy in Video Arcade

Some see a lake of fire at the end of it,
Or heaven's guesswork, something always to be sketched in.

I see a sullen boy in a video arcade.
He's the only one there at this hour, shoulders slightly bent above a machine.
I see the pimples on his chin, the scuffed linoleum on the floor.

I like the close-up, the detail. I like the pointlessness of it,
And the way it hasn't imagined an ending to all this yet,

The boy never bothering to look up as the sun comes out
In the late morning, because, Big Deal, the mist evaporating and rising.

So death blows his little fucking trumpet, Big Deal, says the boy.

I don't see anything at the end of it all except an endlessness.

The beauty parlors, the palm reader's unlighted sign, the mulberry trees
Fading out before the billboard of the chiropractor.

The lake of fire's just an oil speck.
I don't see anything at the end of it, & I suppose that is what is wrong with me,

Among other things. And it's slow work, because of all the gauzy light,

It's hard to pick out anything.

-Larry Levis

* my buddy Alan was found dead in his cabin yesterday. for a burly and often ornery biker who was banned from two states, he was one of the most loyal friends i've ever had. the above poem is for him. though he wasn't much for reading, i think he'd like the image of death blowing " his little fucking trumpet." we did a fair amount of carpentry work together and i learned some great tricks from him. the greatest thing i learned from Alan, however, was the expression "you can get glad in the same pants you got mad in." i'd heard him use it a hundred times yet it never ceased to get a smile out of me. that was his poetry. rest in peace, brother, i love ya.


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