Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Missing Versions
(For Bill Gainer)

I went looking for Bill’s (what’s his name?) book of poetry
And couldn’t find it, but started having thoughts about this and that;
Poetically of course.

So I ask myself,

Where’s that fucking book? Bill (last name forgotten)’s. little skinny paperback. Looks like a pulp novel only too small.

The one I begged him for and got free because no one buys poetry except fools like me, and it was stained. I hope with whiskey or beer, but probably with tea.

I finally got Peadar’s (Peadar O’Donoghue's) book all the way from Ireland.

Almost came when I saw the envelope with its customary customs sticker.

Then I read it and got really pissed off, so I invented a drink for my friend’s dead cat, then I put it down in my room somewhere and lost the fucking thing because I was looking for Bill (come on brain and remember his last name)’s book of poetry.

So I started reading Peadar’s book again and got re-pissed off.

Goddam you guys for finding those thoughts before me
Goddam you for have so much cool.

Fuck you all for enjoying your inebriation with words,
May you rot in hell for getting ideas in places I don’t
Even know exist.

And I looked too.

I searched my ragged rooms and couldn’t find Bill (what's his fuck?)’s book
But found Sinatra shaking his fist full of dice

I found CD’s of unplayed jazz impressionists

I found New Yorker magazines

 Found Anita O’Day and Allen Ginsberg

I found Gregory Corso and pictures of my friends on
A Philippine beach the day after I fell in love

I found California in books but I didn’t find Bill (whatever the hell his name is)’s goddam book that was about the size of another book
“All About Hawaiian” right next to “English As She Is Spoke”
Dictionaries and DVDs of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Pier Paolo Pasolini

Under all the clothing, books, papers, afghans on my couch
I found electronic attachments and more New Yorkers

I found phone bills

I found Christy and Heinlein and Bradbury

I found Asimov

Books I’ve borrowed from friends who’ve moved or died or
Stopped caring but I didn’t find Bill (last name unknown)’s book
But I found paintings and prints

A Barbie dressed like a Portuguese Princess and masks

A photo of my sister and a carving of Don Quixote

I found the drink I just made and invented and named for my
Friend’s dead cat but

I didn’t find Bill (what in the fucking hell is his last name)’s goddam book.

Part II

So I slept and finally, finally, finally
I dreamed about bees for fuck’s sake

I dreamed about living in some kind of damp, slippery
But with a high living standard, cave
Not quite above the tide line

Now the sun’s full up and that miserable, stained little volume
Of poetry finally, finally, finally showed up
Between Agatha Christy and Robert Heinlein a long way
From Silent Running

I can’t figure out how it got in there in alphabetical order

I sure didn’t mean to do that, but Gainer! His name is Gainer.
Bill Gainer, Bill Gainer, Bill Gainer

Every one of your little noirish
Bits makes me want to wear a
Fedora and a dark suit holding a
45 automatic

Say, “Hand over the verse, pal.”