Daily Archives: January 8, 2022

The King Is Dead: Long Live The King

The King Is Dead
Long Live The King

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Behold, sweet sovereign of song,
creator, keeper, carrion king
of Rock and Roll,
how we miss you.

Old now, my liege, how we hum
how we whistle distant echoes
of your reign
and remember!

Not for you, sweet prince,
mediocre marble monuments,
bronze busts in barren halls.

How you were us!
How, in your dotage,
your swollen jowl,
your sallow cheeks,
your leaden eye
became our own.

Not for you, the canvas likeness hung on walls
with saints, small children, gods and golden men.
Not you!
For you, lord, the paper likeness,
the image on black velour;
in plaster lamps,
plastic icons,
and now this final homage
to your fiery youth.

With every moist touch of these lips, this tongue
we wash away the mucous of those later years
of yours and ours;
summon forth the young prince;
call back those vibrant times
of yesteryear
when the bud shot forth from the vine
and you emerged
and we emerged.

Every touch, sweet prince, to brush away
the bloated darkness of those later
and stay the past within this tiny,
glossy image forth.

Goodnight, sweet prince.

From Poems of the New Old West

Copyright©2002, Jack Purcell