Bud In Cans

Everyone claims they met him,
drank with him
and I make that same claim,
it was back in the late 60’s
when he still lived on De Longpre.
We heard there was some kind of party
so Tanya and I drove up there.
It was only two miles from my apt.
in East Hollywood.
I remember he had a screen door
I could see past the porch
and into the living room.
The party had wound down
even though it seemed early.

He was alone
no married girl friend
in the backroom,
no outbursts of the heart,
just a cat on the window sill
looking bored and weary.

I was a long haired kid
with big ideas. Tanya
was a tall blond sculptor
from the Valley.
Both of us easy targets
for the drunken dismissive ridicule
that got him booked
into the frat houses and Fifth Street bars.
But there was none of that,
at least I don’t remember any.
The mind can play tricks though.
Memories take on a new shape
and the years that go by
can calm the waters,
make moments seem softer
and more important
than they were.
We drank cans of Bud,
not even that many.
It was calm and uneventful
to tell the truth.

But we met him that night.
It was early
the door was open
but the party was over.
Even Shakespeare
had slow nights.

Tanya and I went back
to my place,
smoked some hash
and put Sibelius on the box.

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