Monday, September 12, 2011

My Poetry Year: Entry #74

In which Your Humble Blogger ignores the directive that says that '80s hair metal is supposed to be fun:

"Autopsy of a Rock Legend"

I doubt this is what the women who said
They'd like to see him naked had in mind.
The coroner's handiwork will describe
In new detail what everybody knew
But no one had the stones to keep him from:
The depression of the major pathways
That allowed oxygen into his cells,
The tearing of the liver, the bursting
Of too many capillaries. That's it,
As if she found the autopsy report
Flipping through old issues of Rolling Stone.
It won't be any great revelation.
His heart wasn't made of metal; his hands
Didn't bleed with soul. He's a body now,
His '80s thunder god sex is shriveled,
And even if on teenage nights I dreamed --
But there's no music left where they've laid him
Except for what plays on the radio
In the chalk green morgue while the coroner
Hums along, dropping parts of him in pans,
Each one landing in time with the rhythm.

* * *

Ten syllables per line this time. I think the language in this one could be more evocative and fresh, though there's one line that sticks with me (bet you can guess which one). This year marked the twentieth anniversary of the death of Steve Clark, guitarist for Def Leppard, and that's what set off this poem. Twenty years. That in itself is enough to make me think about mortality, the passage of time, and all the other matters that hair metal generally avoided touching upon. And that statement right there will probably serve as the basis for another poem (or a serious revision of this one) down the road.

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