All the dead rock stars have been buried in
weird, glittering ceremonies and are living
under the Witness Protection Program in
the badlands of America.
By now, they are almost outlaws, getting
old and bitter, and the ache in their bones
when they remember yesterday is making
them crazy for the rhythms that still twitch
in their fingers, and their throats are horny
to shout the songs again, with all the tension
and heat of being cool.
He worked out hard so he wouldn’t get fat
any more, but anyway the plastic surgery
had killed the old identity and the secret
agent in the blue suit and red tie had hollered,
“No gigs! No gigs!” over his departing shoulder,
so now there is nothing left but electronic
dreams and the perfumed heat and silken
curves writhing on the water-bed, even if
there would always be plenty of money until
they decide to turn him off.
Sometime in the middle of the night, he began
to wander in the big country, where the deep
space sky knows all about you but can’t possibly
care, and sheer movemet might increase your
chances in the long run… and a white horse
appeared on the low moon horizon with sad
eyes and everything… and he sat in the saddle
and they galloped headlong through the decaying
purple darkness until a blue, opalescent dawn
revealed a town where tumbleweed was rolling
along Main Street and an empty chair in front
of the saloon was rocking.
Walking through the drifting dust and swinging
doors toward the smell of coffee, he noticed that
Hendrix was a two-gun man. They were all there.
They had been waiting for him.
This prose-poem takes the “dead rock-star” legends to a surreal extreme that leads them to a ghost town.