Disdainful of hippies, you seemed Kafka’s queer cousin.
Knowing too much about your demons, you made peace with them, sharing the same world.
Feeling your romantic self the only self, shooting at the moon,
drunk on George Dickel, down a sloppy back road, you once threw a stone through a cop shop window, hoping to end up housed and fed, but got fined instead.
It helped drive you mad, a little like that O. Henry story. Except for the big sky. You were in Montana.
Ferlinghetti, that old fuck, called you a child, like Emerson bemoaned Thoreau. You were more in tune with trout than Larry, who never got merry without revolution. A real man, he.
You dealt with them as long as you could, and then one day you just quit, feeling it odd how the plain things in life live on while life itself gets trickier.
After talking with Marcia, you felt like clay excavated from your garden.
As you looked out over the Pacific Ocean in your favorite chair, you decided to take a little target practice, using all your bullets but one to put a hole in everything she ever touched.
The last was saved for your brain. She’d touched that, too. Everything touched it. Nothing would leave it alone. Not even the clouds.
When Robert found you a month later on the living room floor, the smell nearly drove him away. He wrenched the .44 Magnum from your stiff hand and found the brief note you left. It was under your right arm, spattered in brains and blood.
Funny to the very end, it said: “Messy isn’t it?”
And the ocean breeze whistled through the holes in your house like laughter.