poem for jim carroll and patrick swayze
i realize that the two of you have nothing in common
but indulge me as i commemorate the occasion
of both of your deaths in one breath.
don’t worry i won’t get too heavy.
after all, this isn’t sexton writing about plath
or whitman marking the death of lincoln.
no, this is just a man in a room hungover
on red wine and brooklyn lager
with nothing really to write about except for
and to be honest the closing of the baseball season
and the wars in iraq and afghanistan are beginning to bore me
and who watches the u.s. open anyway?
so i want to mark the passing of you both
punk poet and b-movie icon
because i feel like i should.
to you, jim carroll, i guess we never really clicked.
the poems were okay and the basketball diaries
was a bit better than that,
but, try as i did, i was just never able to get into
the whole downtown, new york city, inane
ramones and patti smith vibe that you’re so connected with.
and, in truth, i listened to the jim carroll band once
and once was enough for me.
hayden carruth has been gone almost a year
so i think that i’ll contemplate him a little bit more
than you, if you don’t mind.
still, may your heaven be a st. mark’s place of the mind
because the real one is covered with yogurt joints
and tourists now.
as for you, mr. swayze, well, you had a nice run.
i mean you made a lot of crap, but who hasn’t?
you got pancreatic cancer and you beat it longer than most.
i guess it’s as they say
money talks and bullshit walks the marathon.
i’m just sorry to see that your passing has become another
kitsch moment in pop culture
another reason for the banal to get together and watch
point break, red dawn, or dirty dancing all over again.
but what else should the banal do on such an occasion
but gather and drink cheap beer in your memory.
look, i’ve wasted too much time on you both already
it’s six in the morning and i have other poems to write.
i have to face the work day and take a shit.
my chest has been acting up again, and that has me worried.
so, so long, sweet princes.
jim,may we meet again in the underground
a talking point pulled out of some hipsters bag
and patrick, well, i’ll probably
catch you cracking skulls on the television
after one too many beers
and nothing else to watch but a roadhouse marathon