Wednesday, July 14, 2010

For Harvey

We toasted you the night you died,
but I couldn’t help thinking that you
didn’t seem like the kind that would die.

Which is a very stupid thing to think.

Salinger died. But he already checked out,
decades ago firing shotguns at curious trespassers.
Steinbrenner died the day after

they found your body in the bedroom.
But it didn’t make sense. You couldn’t be dead.
You are too real to die.

You are supposed to be in Cleveland
in the grocery store.
Behind the Jewish lady with all the coupons
arguing over canned soup.
You are supposed to be living through the same
shit as the rest of us.
Bus routes
and late bills.
Sick mornings and fights with the wife.
You are supposed to be nervously checking the phone book
for another Harvey Pekar.

Not dead and still and peaceful.

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