Frank William Finney ~ Chatting With Cobblestones

bouquinistes 4
In memory of Butch Shattuck

Fuzzy old Polaroid: you
sitting cross-legged on a round quilted rug
holding your cherry-red Gibson SG.
Your jet black hair, parted in the middle,
a wispy plume resting on each shoulder.
That familiar purple and white striped shirt.

You were the youngest and the first
in the village  to have your own flat;
a little studio above your mum’s house
where you taught your soul the blues
from a Shuggie Otis record.

The next time I saw you,
you were propped up with pillows
a blood-stained white halo
wrapped round your shaven head.

The riffs returned slowly
but polished as a pair of your shoes and
the barflies gave you a hero’s welcome.
A genuine Lazarus back from the grave.
For nearly a year they worshipped you.
You charmed the ladies.  You drank for free.
Then you met Mephistopheles.

You begged for drinks and old friends shook their heads.
The townies hung your portrait in their Hall of Shame.

The last time I saw you, you were chatting with cobblestones
and pointing at passing cars.

 

Frank William Finney ~ “My poems have previously appeared in such publications as Orbis, The Iodine Poetry Journal,  Wild Goose Poetry Review, Poetry Nottingham, and  Green Mountains Review. A collection of poems The Dissolution of the Sparkling Bridge was published in 1997 by Suksit Siam.  I have work forthcoming in Offerte Speciale, Ardent!, and LanguageandCultureNet. I live in Bangkok and teach British and American literature at Thammasat University.”
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3 comments

  1. One awesome and talented writer “Sir” Frank, Thankyou for sharing this ‘deeply written’ poem with us! (I have yet to read “CYNTHIA” and await it)!!

  2. you have brought tears to my eyes. I also wrote a poem for him so this fills my heart to its brim. I always admired your talent, so real.

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