I Googled David Franklin Young–You Weren’t There. Now You Are.

I remember when
marijuana was $15 oz.
I was neal cassady
on that magic bus
zig-zagging
across the south
ontheroad to Miami
nonstop to Jamaica
teenagers caught
free in America

I remember
you threw up
in that Arkansas midnight
taking ludes w/o water
falling out of the car
flat on the bluehighway
you would do anything
to keep from driving
you laughed
looking like a
half-assed
snow angel
laid out
on that delta asphalt

28 years
since I have
seen you
not that we haven’t
thought or talked
your name
I tried to picture
you in a nursing home
couldn’t
blocked it out

we got a letter
saying you died
I was angry
not that you were gone
but for other reasons
maybe for the way you lived
or didn’t
or could have
maybe for the way
they left part of your
brain on the stoop
that black-damned night
as the ambulance
pulled away
maybe because you
never found the
easy way to make
a buck
your get-rich-quick
schemes always
fell apart
but you would quickly
come up with another

I don’t normally do funerals
but
would have done yours
would have wrote
a long poem
celebrating–
cried reading it
would have read
something from
Kerouac’s scroll

like fabulous yellow roman candles
exploding
like spiders across the stars

and slipped something
under your hand for
your trip
I would have looked
deep into your face
behind that little
shit-eating-grin
you always wore
seen our past
like a childhood
flip book
and said good-bye

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16 Responses to I Googled David Franklin Young–You Weren’t There. Now You Are.

  1. paisley says:

    this was tough… i am sure your friend would have enjoyed the irony.. i am sorry for your loss,, but he will be here forever,,, or at least till they take the internet away….

  2. cruxandflux says:

    tells a great story

  3. Paul says:

    Beautifully made memory tribute poem. In the tradition and extended it. Balanced calm and precise. Wonderful work.

  4. johemmant says:

    Okay, cracked me, I’m crying…..beautiful, special, one of your best.

  5. johemmant says:

    Gets better and better with each reading, really amazing, Scot…….

  6. Scot says:

    paisley
    thanks–not really a loss-has been gone so long

  7. Scot says:

    crux
    🙂 many stories about him–your words reminded me of some more

  8. Scot says:

    paul
    thanks man–

  9. Pris says:

    I’m sitting here stunned. Beautful loving poem, Scot.

    (and do dig out your photos when you can…the rest of mine were lost in a move)

  10. Scot says:

    thanks Pris–I have a few left–lots of plastic sheets/negatives

  11. Bob says:

    Sometimes things just don’t work out, I understand it as well as most folks. Fortunately for everyone except your friend, this is not one of those times. Somewhere, like the rest of us, I think s/he appreciates it, too. Beautiful tribute, Scot.

  12. Oscarandre says:

    This is an outstanding poem, Scot – the form itself actually conveys something of the time you describe and the people that were you both. And you have veered closely and successfully away from sentimentality.

  13. Scot says:

    oscarandre
    thanks for the kind words and visit

  14. has a nice Beat feel to it

  15. Scot says:

    sleepswithbear

    thanks for reading

  16. Contessa Confessa says:

    Lovely, quite.

    (i love a good snow angel…)
    I write poetry every now and again… but only when I’m really feeling it. Not sure I could manage 30 poems in 30 days and crank out much worth keeping/reading. Kudos to you!

    Now I’m off to google “Kerouac’s scroll… “

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