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Jeremy Hogan

a death in missouri . . .
a poem for a dead man in a dead dream, land

i just returned from Missouri ... my step father who was never my biggest fan died a week ago. he said i'd be sleeping in the gutter with my camera ... well that's good, met some nice gutter punks there along the way, saw America, saw the world ...

years ago, age 21 or so, I sent him a photo of a riot at a Grateful Dead Show, when two weeks later Jerry Garcia was dead ...

the old man tore it up, threw it in the fire ... never told my mother

now ... in this new millenium of technology ... when communication is no less harder

he was something like 80. i drove through 500 hundred miles of icy roads passing semi truck flipped over. ice ¬turned the trees into chandeliers under the cold moon light.

spent some time with an ex-con out in Missouri ... a friend of my mother's. we talked about junkies and prisons and hustlers. we spoke of America ... where the Dream is now gone ... like Indian summer on the last sunny day, December, before the ice storm came.

we spoke of the 60s and the electric koolaid acid test. Timothy Leary and when the hippy days became a drag ... getting out of the drug trade he did

mystery star-lighting on the soul, criminals climbing into happy universes of sad rich people on the take.

i met a woman, near 60, she drives a truck ... we talked about the Goethe book Faust. we spoke of Mark Twain ... Twain was from Missouri in a lost America

we drank cheap working class beer ...

I ... read Walt Whitman, “O'Captain, My Captain ...

in ten degree cold, old farm house, downstairs, looking through the things of a dead man

whom once I despised, and who despised me too, but now I must pity ... because the living do not mourn the dead they mourn themselves ... this we know,

turns out he was something of a photography collector ...

so now I've inherited a cache of photos from the 1890s thru the 30s ... some of them are of Cairo, Illinois ... some pics my step dad picked up. he had a lot of stuff.

a photo of a 1920s race car in a town and time now gone, a man on a motorcycle ... 1930

see you there in some other life time of oil wells now pumped dry and family fortunes long squandered by children who hated their parents ...

the town or Cairo is now dead ... like old 80 year old men, on the last day of summer ... wind blowing, icy messages ... from the shiny snowy memory of a place that once was but is no longer and people who have come and gone

so what do we have from all these dreams?

the wind, my friend, we have the wind

water, my friend, we have water ... for voyages, in bloody finite mortality and for laughter until tears create an infinity of memories

we take, and the money is gone, the things are in decay ... as I look around ... the blue sky surrounds me

and my family, what I have, and some friends I've just made

the moon wilts across timescapes and through other dimensions into souls connected in ways now less understood than before in enigmatic expressions of chance

Jeremy Hogan

December 8, 2006 - Indiana


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