IN A BETTER WORLD
Kurt Cobain married Calvin Johnson
And raised baby kittens on a cartoon spaceship,
While Courtney Love stayed with Falling James…
And if they ever fought, it was over him stretching her dresses.
And Amy Winehouse lived to a saucy old age,
Singing ‘Cupid’ down at her local pub
And the worse thing she ever put in her veins
Was the slimy grease from pork ‘n’ beans. Oy vey!
And Dusty Springfield looked in the mirror
That hung inside her walk-in-closet door
And saw Mary O’Brien as she truly was…
The beautiful girl who could be Dusty as well, and lived.
If Jeff Buckley ever swam, he disrobed, lovely boy.
He could wait to meet the father that he never knew…
And while he never made another ‘Grace’,
His muse took him elsewhere, lovers met but no journey’s end.
Scott Wannberg became the cranky old man
That Kerouac did not, and Burroughs should not have
And hung with Henry, Exene…and Viggo. Why not?
And spun surreal poems on looms of paper and pen.
Sylvia Plath used her oven to cook
As an independent woman with seventeen cats,
For she told her fascist Daddy that they were through
And he became an Iron Giant, a male artist all on his own.
Akhmatova saved her son from Stalin
And became the poet of slumber and summer.
Some would argue they were lesser verse,
But they can have winter and open red eyes and mass graves.
Virginia Woolf put practice to theory
And left Leonard for Vita in 1928
And summered in Paris with Gertrude and Alice
And if she ever swam, had no rocks clutched close to her heart.
Matthew Shepard left Wyoming in haste,
Or perhaps he stayed and married a Phelps.
Life is crammed and packed with twists,
And if God has the answer, the vector brings more than one.
Tipton and Teena share a trailer together,
Grandparent and grandchild in a quiet life.
I have seen their ID, and whatever it says,
Your ID is yours, to share or to clutch to bound chest.
Carlos may have regretted her candour,
Thinking curious playboys wanted to know…
But what they wanted was to feel
They could check off a box – and check one out as well.
I am not a puzzle for you to solve.
I am no riddle to parse in the dark.
I am no joke for you to wheeze, laughing.
I’m a story in progress, and the ending is mine, so just wait.
September 7, 2011