The Ache of Decay: a Eulogy for a Friend


Though you have softly haunted me in the last 37 years,
your disappearance a mystery and logical consequence 
at the same time, last night you pulled me aground to you
reaching out with a bony grasp I could not escape to run
just as you did on your very last day when evil found you
a fair haired lovely of kind eyes and dulled senses drifting.

Why did no one know your name to pin a tag to your toe?
Where were your broken hearted mother and brothers?
The 70s dichotomy, full of marauding psychotics and love
free spirits and walking malignant tumorous contagion too.
I had seen you last on Venice Beach sidling ocean waves
from a distance as we smoked and sang a freedom song.

All was light then and love searching, seeking–a dreaming.
No one could hold you down but what roots had you then?
Did you have a father and did your mother try to keep you?
I barely knew you as a latecomer to my hey day pre-parting.
Part of my flowering teenage society in full bloom just then,
I had to leave for another coast and on a whim you did too.

I remember you cooked enchiladas in a pan for us one day
and I had never eaten anything called Mexican food before.
My mouth burned, tentative tongue swimming in odd spices.
You brought the sun and a recipe home from your California.
You, who wore brown suede moccasin boots fringed in love,
a traveling spirit of unleashed, unending desire to live freely.

Restless and fiercely unleashed you were locked in impulse
and the lull of hazy high of whatever was passed your way.
No trace of fear or caution, you were a stretch for my wary.
You sat down to pilot life and enjoyed the height of clouds
while I was the lip biting pumping hearted passenger blind.
Like the wind you caught to fly, you passed on through me.

But today you seep in my bones and pinch my thoughts dry.
It could have been me or my daughters or sisters strangled
the hands of murderous savagery abysmally wide tentacled.
Insatiable lust for life you had matched his in mass murders.
A rover like you searching, seeking and finding youth’s sins
road-songs of impenetrable lightness against a dark’s deep.  

No one completes you, a part of the composite space-time.
A forever child will never know the truth of scarred wisdom
the full compendium peace of surrender that is not defeat
like we thought it was burning out not burning through it all.
A chip of the cosmos, all we ever were and will be for now
I know you sign the silent words to me in my restless sleep.

Your human traces tattoo synaptic sheathed memory’s skin
recombinatory particulate ossified bone and detrital kindred
melding in minds where curiosity, fear and mortal angst sit.
Those who carry you bouyant as your spirit ever was and is
float a child’s bay abutting the seas of misfortune and strife
smiling liberation song’s perpetually moving feet of hunger.    

Remains do not matter, mere material remnants of a body,
a shell symbol of connection to a race of radical reactivity.
Bury you deep in soil of your mother that earth never held;
no soul or idea chained you to the moment of your making.
No touch of a hand or kiss on the nape of your neck stilled
spirit so wildly untethered attached only to windless decay.

Held in a life loss unspoken, unnamed too long unknown,
torch carrying family and friends, acquainted to a tragedy,
oh murderous mistress memory mine let her flee binding;
devotional clinging was never hers to believe such perqs.
Only mask rivulet stain of stony faces crusted in creases
wipe ache from ears of those who never heard her cries.

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