Saturday, October 09, 2010

for j.l.

you shoulda been 70 today
happy berfday, you old beatle

i remember when you were on sullivan
i thought you were silly
'cos all the people i knew who liked you
were seven year old girls
(of course, i was a seven year old boy)

the day you checked out i woke myself up
with a spilled glass of water
just in time to hear the story of your death on npr

last night i dreamed i was there
when that nameless piece of shit laid you low
i cradled your body
but i couldn't save you
any more than i could stop him
from doing what he did

you made the template for a dream
for me and three or four
generations of snotnoses
singing "rock island line" at the church hall
and screaming yourself raw for the drunk sailors
in the reeperbahn toilets or that liverpool cellar

i think you were learning how to live
in the wake of all that bullshit celebrity
when that nameless piece of shit laid you low
which makes your death more tragic, to me
than all those others that contributed
intentionally or otherwise
to their own demise

and for what it's worth, john
i think you owed all of us
not one damn thing


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