January 22, 2008

THE DEATH OF TED BERRIGAN

                     He died
         on Independence Day
                     1983
            of a heart attack
      carrying too much weight
            and cigarette
                   ashes
               in his beard

            At his Memorial
               in St. Markís
        Sanders likened him
            to Blackburn
               OíHara
                  and Millay
             while Padgett
       couldnít find words
      to describe his friend
       of twenty-four years

             After Hollo
       expressed surprise
    Ted beat him to the grave
          everyone
               paraded
                     outside
      behind
             Schneemanís
        painting of the poet
                 naked
                    in a chair
                          which moved
                     a wino
             to leap from
       the Ottendorfer Library steps
          screaming,

                     Praise Him!
                          Praise the Lord!

—Paul Pines

Posted by dwaber at January 22, 2008 04:44 PM