I swear, brother,
this isn’t going to be about
saying goodbye at 35,
or leaving Dad’s head hanging,
or leaving a generation to curl up with
Reagan and reaction.
No, this is going to be about fast cars,
and fastest of all,
the women rolling out of bed
at 4:00 a.m. for their modeling jobs,
leaving a twisting trail of negligee behind
on gilt-edged Beverly Hills bathroom floors.
Consider it a fan letter of sorts,
destined for the seventh heaven
on whose winged beachhead you must now lie.
This is going to be about flying out of Oklahoma City
in your own turbo prop,
interior design by my father
with his Bauhaus touch
spiced with Southwestern sepias and sunset oranges.
Oil bid’ness blues and grays.
Did you ever stop to take it all in?
And where were you headed?
There is no itinerary for me to peruse.
Only a black and white glossy
which hangs on my wall,
filigreed with a starry star’s smile.
A Buddha’s grin which speaks volumes
without saying a word.
So where was it to next, Captain?
Vegas, Miami, L.A.?
They say you were nice.
A bit of a tennis bum.
Good behind the wheel.
So what sort of Valhalla are you lying in?
Surrounded by what sort of sad beautiful
tangle of wasted angelic starlets
dead too young of anorexia or heroin o.d.?
Is James Dean anywhere to be found?
I’m missing your advice
along with Coburn’s and McQueen’s.
I wonder what your school of cool might have to say
I read the classics, once.
I like jazz.
But I’m down here in a world on fire.
Send the hook and ladder.