Sonnet For A College Friend, Not Missed But A Near Miss Anyhow

I heard this first at college, "F**k your books,"

and then from some old man, some decades later.

Behind a gashouse in a dry canal,

my college friend fished with bent, baitless hooks

(quite odd, because he was a master baiter).

He was not what I could have called a "pal";

and had no couth, not one scrap, not at all.

He lived out by the barbed wire, not much further

from Laramie than that sad plain of murder.

You might know him---the ballcap and duckcall,

the tarnished trumpets' blasts of rhetorics

that spew forth from his mouth, his kind of kicks

he and his sort, destined---greased---for a fall

into Lake Fire's enlarged and opened maul.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

The poem alludes to T. S. Eliot's poem, The Waste Land, I; to the heinous, brutal beating and murder of Matthew Shepard outside Laramie in October 1998; and to Isaiah 5:14.

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