This is from the new issue of Drunken Boat, and has a recording of me reading the poem as well.
“If we knew we were going to be the Beatles, we would’ve tried harder.”
—George Harrison, quoted by his eulogist, Eric Idle
He was the teneral child,
of celebration, departures together, anticipation,
of flying in vacation hats before the destination.
He was the green in my eye
future funambulist, tamer of gators.
He proclaimed, “I brought the loud in the house,”
ottered all summer in layers of liquid glee.Now what if we reinvented ourselves
new name new job new style new friends
on a regular basis, remembering dates of new births?
After the accident he gathered his buddies to spread the ashes
of his ring finger. He could still play. They met under the falls,
watching the edge. It looked like piano keys tickled fast.
This was before his soul’s vasectomy. Then,
domesticated by the shopping list, he fell too far down
the sleep staircase. We could all be Ringo or George,
maybe even John if we knew.