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   g u a r d i a n    l i f e

--- G R E G   F U C H S

--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.

© crossconnect 1995-2000 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |