--For Ves Pitts
Blam. Smash. Crash. September 22,
1999, beer truck crushes Ves
where Prince Street crosses West Broadway
as he leaves his job for lunch.
His shirt ripped to shreds. Blood stains
the mall without walls. A man covers
him with sheets while the man's wife calls
for help. A double-decker tourist bus
teeters almost over as every passenger crushes left
to catch a glimpse of the bleeding Ves.
Leaving Ves connected to the hospital tubes
pulsing blood and air through his throat and chest
I walk home down East 14th Street
below the glow of red neon sign:
Guardian Life, 30 stories over the sidewalk,
standing out against the pitch black sky.
Who if anyone or thing has guarded Ves,
the most cosmo-man on the scene.
He's lived in Stuttgart, Alaska, California, Washington,
Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, D.C., Massachusetts,
Uruguay, Malaysia, an altered state, an other state of mind,
but still talks like he just came out of the Alabama sticks.
As I pass the punctured ground where the Palladium
once stood I begin to think of all that Ves would do
tonite if he were not strapped to a bed:
give head to a stranger in the Chemical Bank vestibule,
smoke glass pipes with an Indian and a cop,
photograph a submissive, flame-eaters, and blood-
drinkers, make it with a hardhat on the job-site,
crack the glass paintwork, run his face into a wall.
Ooga booga boo times seven equals Ves' lives,
then leaving a sandwich, blam, smash, crash, ooga
booga boo, slam, smash, crash the post-modern spectacle
life cannot possibly stand-in for the real body.