Charles (for Hank)
You devil you, the darling of the hip crowd,
the down and out crowd,
the envy of frustrated stale academia.
You changed ‘em buster,
you challenged ‘em to face up to their impotence.
Damn were you hot!
But you earned it, yes you did.
You took the beatings,
you took the lost times,
the lonely times,
the insane grief that can eat you whole and what do you have left?
You had just enough.
You kept an ember alive.
You built a fire.
Damn you burned man!
You burned them all down.
Fuck the Paris Review and all those others who wouldn’t recognize you.
Funny, they’ll never touch your truth.
So here’s to you.
I’ll drink with you.
We’ll tip those bottles up in the air and get slam dunk drunk.
You wouldn’t have a little pussy you could lend me?
Just a small piece, hell you’ve got it all.
They line up after the words have been read, they line up waiting for you to choose.
What times! You devil you.
Bye Charles, man you really had ‘em.
You really were the one.