Bob Quatrone

it is hard to say a word
about frank and his loss
there are so many things
that go along with the man 
and his brilliance
I never knew quite how ill he was 
the man patched and bruised
in crutches sitting on the edge
of a storefront naked floor models
behind him brilliant lights
setting him against the dark
frank, frank I never quite understood you
you insulted others whenever the chance
presented itself or got yourself insulted
by others, the head butt you received
while we sat together in central park
almost got me into a fight with the fool
so I had to walk away, left the reading
altogether but the nerve of the bastard
butting you like that and the rest
of your behavior somehow following suit
down to your decision to drop from our
company altogether but not before
we had our good times, our really good times
with cynthia and brant and others
all now passed to the other world
and you there to have joined them again
I find now many of you congregated 
at the far shore, standing and teasing
and shouting irreverently giving charon
his share of headaches for a night's work.
we have reached the river's edge
and I have still more to say about you
but can smell the mortal brine
and the slop of the river on the boat
and as you ferry away I can see you
calmly resting on your night stick
in the darkness leaving us behind.

BOB QUATRONE, idle host of 4HORSE poets, trilling, sontag, profs. columbia college 65, wilson fellow, 67, most recent pub 'the fall of the last tower' Unbearables 2018.