the events described herein happened a year ago … vinnie did die but not quite as quickly as the doctors predicted … his life partner, ken, and his business partner, jeffrey, arranged a beautiful memorial service at the majestic, where vinnie had cast many actors in phantom

vinnie sits
propped up
in his likely deathbed

the tumor
on the left side of his brain
shutting down
the right side of his body
arm and leg unresponding
peripheral vision nearly gone

so henry and i
bring our chairs
closer to his left
where he can see us without turning

we’ve been working colleagues
on several projects
foxhole buddies
in show biz battles
professional friends
who delighted
in scheduled and chance encounters

always a fertile source
of gossip
memories
and inside stories
the growth on vinnie’s brain
has not changed his behavior in essentials
only by degree

he can’t remember certain nouns
(so we play a kind of word association
until they’re found)
but his recall of past details
is impressive
and he spins
elaborate discourse
with complicated tangents
which he manages
to connect
to the greater point
he started to make
many thoughts ago

what he mainly wants to say
is that he’s lived a glorious life
that he loves us
loves loves loves us
he repeats
and then again
“i love love love you”

most likely
we three will not meet again
at least not in this dimension
the doctors’ sentence
is two short months at most
this final gettogether
is poignant
but not sad
piquant
but not revelatory
three old friends
saying good-bye
forever
but fully appreciating
the roads which brought them here
a meeting
free of rue and fear

“you never know what’s around the corner
so live
my dears
live every day and hour and minute
to the fullest
and never take any of it for granted”

this is what the dying know
and what the living are too slow to understand
in the haste of all they’ve planned

“live
my dears
and love
love
love”

that is it
in embryo
the simple truths
the dying know

posted by admin on February 1, 2004, at 1:00 am | filed under poetry | no comments »

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