Saturday, August 9, 2008

let us now praise famous men

Final Fare

James Agee in a cab,
between blocks,
by tenths of miles,
before pedestrian crosswalks,
beneath green-to-yellow-to-red

we all will suffer,
the death of a father
the murder of inspiration
the suicide of talent
hurtling to its end
through tunnels of exhaust
in smolder of nicotine conflagrations
in Hudsons of distilled spirits
feet firm upon an Indian island
head bopping to the rhythm of the typer
like rain on an Appalachian tin roof
heart's beat receding
into the bleating of traffic's din
city sighs
a final breath
the last swells of S. Barber's
Knoxville: Summer of 1915

a death in the family
and no one left to pay
the final fare
of this 'swing low, sweet chariot'

for Dr. Alan Spiegel

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