Bill McCully ate glass,
rolled out of moving cars and short trees,
wanted to be a stuntman,
had some kind of a plate in his head.
We’re sitting in a strange bar
in East Baltimore, talking about
the old days, like last summer,
listening to Norman Greenbaum.
‘Goin up to the spirit in the sky’
The native morning drunks take a dislike
to something about us,
whiskey and beer mixed so early with testosterone
and we’re not locals.
It gets to the mother bashing stage
and I start to fantasize pain in
geometric shapes, two guys
in the morning mist pacing with pistols.
‘When I die and they lay me to rest’
Bill in his best Clint Eastwood way
grabs a bar stool, takes a bite
out of its black leather backing,
the perfect touch to calm the situation.
I felt bad for the stool, light a cigarette,
the big palm thing in the corner
goes back to growing,
the bartender takes his first of the day.
‘Gotta have a friend in Jesus’
Leaving, stumbling, Bill points out,
completely out of context,
that the rain falls on the living and the dead
and I wonder if he was listening to the lyrics.
Driving off the lot he mentions the time
I talked him down with the knife in his hand.
I tell him we’re even, and nonchalantly
inquire how he digests this stuff he eats for effect.
‘Go to the place that’s the best’