Rule-Breaking, Round 1: Heroes and Goofs (written while waiting in line for two hours to see Elephant Revival at the Boulder Theatre two nights in a row)

Heroes and Goofs

I saw Lenny Bruce in a dream last night.

He wore a black, long-sleeved shirt and

a full beard.

I followed him through the

strange streets of New York,

Passed the gutters, the coffee houses and the bars,

Under the traffic lights and the overpasses;

I followed him across the country

to Los Angeles.

I saw him drink single malt whisky

and shoot heroin with

a two inch needle.

I heard him joke, and

I heard him swear.

“Why are parents so afraid of their children being taught by a gay teacher? It’s not like their child is coming home and saying, ‘Gee Ma, today we had five minutes of geography and ten minutes of cocksucking.’”

The crowd was hysterical,

And the crowd was appalled.

And the police came to throw him in jail.

And he died with a needle in his arm.

I asked him “But you died.

And now you’re standing here

alive as all your legacy?”

“My life is more than a heartbeat,

More than brainwaves and bloodflow,

More than hands and arms and legs and feet

and a head,

More than the eyes, the tongue, the chin;

More than the tits, the bellybutton,

the asshole, the cock, and kneecaps;

More than skin, more than bones

Life is more than life itself.”

I saw the ghost of Graham Chapman last night

astride an ethereal horse, with excalibur

raised in his right fist,

smoking a pipe.

He was surrounded by hundreds of thousands

with no pants on,

Who stood on their heads, howling,

making up names for him, and praising them.

And then began pissing in his general direction

for no apparent reason.

He fought his way through the crowd,

waving his sword in one hand and

a bottle of gin in the other.

And I followed, forcing my way above the mob,

crawling over heads and shoulders, calling to him with a dazed and drowning sensation.

“But you died. And now you’re standing here

alive as all your legacy?”

“Go away!” he shouted.

“I died, and still;

nobody can leave me alone!

Why can’t you all just fuck off!”

I saw John Belushi in a dream last night.

Alive as you or me,

with a black porkpie hat,

and two Ticonderoga pencils stuck up his nostrils.

I asked him “But you died.

And now you’re standing here

alive as all your legacy?”

He cocked his head, and wiggled his eyebrows;

And poured whisky over my shoes

and smashed the bottle on his head.

And squirted my eyes with cream pie filling

And dashed away sideways,

scuttling like a crab.

I saw Robin Williams on stage last night,

wearing coke bottle psychiatric glasses

and expelling gibberish faster than the human ear can register.

He finished reciting next years presidential inauguration speech

in perfect nonsense,

And asked a faceless crowd for comments.

I stood up in the back row and called out

“But you died. And now you’re standing here

alive as all you’re legacy?”

He stood still for a moment with his head

tilted to the right, and

he took off his glasses.

“What ist a man, who’s life

doth extinguish in a luminescent implosion;

Who proceedeth not to linger

like the unwelcome poltergeist,

Whom all wish would taketh a flying toss

off the Sears Tower?”

And with John Wayne’s voice, he began shouting

“You been bird-doggin’ this plane of existence long enough!

It’s high time you was movin’ on, sonny!”

I turned my back to leave, while

he expunged the air in front of him

Of everything appropriate, or socially acceptable.

But he paused when I reached the door, and

looking back into his grinning face,

His eyes were laced with a hint of melancholy.


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I was grown from mushroom spores.

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