In memory of Richard Poirier (1925–2009)

Old age is not for sissies but death is just disgusting.
It’s a dog covering a bitch, looking so serious, looking ridiculous, thrusting.
The EMS team forces a tube down your airway where blood is crusting.
Imagine internal organs full of gravel oozing and rusting.
An ancient vase crossing the street on a walker, trudgingly trusting
The red light won’t turn green, falls right at the cut in the curb, bursting, busting.
You’re your ass covered with dust that your dust mop was sick of dusting.
The windshield wipers can’t keep up. The wind is gusting.
A massive hemorrhagic bleed in the brain stem is Emerson readjusting.

Why did the fucker keep falling?
I’m calling you. Why don’t you hear me calling?
Why did his faculties keep failing?
I’m doing my usual shtick with him and ranting and railing.
You finally knocked yourself unconscious and into the next world
Where Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the ballroom of the mind, whirled and twirled.
Fifty-three years ago, at the Ritz in Boston, we tried one tutorial session in the bar.
You got so angry you kicked me under the table. Our martinis turned black as tar.
And all because your tutee told you Shakespeare was overrated. I went too far.

This Issue

October 8, 2009