Ode to Hank

The one side of his tongue was rough,
downright ugly in its intentions,
yet his other side was less so–
more melancholy.

His words are hard,
rough and raw like his life.
They called him the “Poet Laureate of Skid Row.”
Pimps, whores and penny-pushers were his muse,
the best friend a low life could have.

Most wanted the rawness
every day, all day. I too I must admit.
Yet the tenderness and truth
deep in his alcoholic soul,
I could see a cracked rearview inside
his crustiness.

Such beauty that which comes out
from his rustic hands and deep crevassed face.
His words, like his face, tell of lasting sorrow
that scarred till death.

What beauty.

Bellowing up from the soul of heartache
I see myself in him.
The desire for a loneliness that
lasts a lifetime.
With only my typer,
alcohol and music,
in a room on fire where only the words are left bare.

I read him and I feel whole again.
Knowing that I’m not alone;
that through his own pain
my own seems almost as tolerable.

Bluebirds never left him but
in understanding his madness,
I am able to join him and hopefully
I to wont have to try.

Appears in my collection, Scribbling’s From a Beer-Stained Napkin: Moonlighting Between Heaven & Hell


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