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renee zellweger & basquiat hit the road

October 8, 2012

When he came out of the bathroom

at Macy’s Coffeehouse in Flagstaff
walking all strange and saying
we had to leave immediately,
right away, let’s go NOW in a hiss,
I could have killed him
when we got to my van
me juggling hot coffee and croissant
and unlocking the doors when
I watched him pull
a rolled up poster
out of his pants.

That explained why
he was walking so strange:
I thought he’d
had an accident
or something.
Junkies are like that
you know.

But no, it was a poster stuck down
the leg of his skin tight jeans
that he pulled out that morning
after the long drive all night through the desert
from California on our way to Taos.
They didn’t deserve it, he said.

Deserve what?
I asked disgusted.

Did you just steal that poster?

Yes I did, he said indignant.
They didn’t deserve it.
Look what they did
to that poor black man,
they burned his eyes out.

I barely saw that it was
a poster of Othello
and that they had indeed
taken a match to his eyes but I
was already in motion barking
at him to get his ass in the car,
we had to get to Taos,
the Poetry Circus was going to start
without us.

What he did with that poster after that
I don’t know. But he was right:
they didn’t deserve it
if they were going to treat him that way.
No, we didn’t deserve him at all,
the way we treated him, and lord knows
I tried my best, lord knows I tried.

Now that he’s gone
I’m glad that I didn’t insist
on him returning the stolen plate
that he painted my portrait on
during a rainy afternoon
Poets Living Room.

I do wish that he’d cleaned the plate off
before commencing to paint.
He said he was inspired by
the residue of the raspberry jam.

RIP my friend mister gauvin 11/26/1961-10/8/2012
from the piece we never wrote but talked about writing together:
renee zellweger & basquiat hit the road
I know he wrote a few pieces for it.

Maybe I will write some too.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2012 7:29 am

    Reblogged this on Compassionate Rebel and commented:

    A memorial for Warren Gauvin will be Sunday Oct 14 11am at Bell Arts Factory. All are welcome.

  2. October 14, 2012 7:31 pm

    Do you ever get the feeling we’re sitting stunned
    deep & heavy in our seats after the applause dies down
    rising ever so slowly after the applause dies down
    our eyes still glued to the stage
    as the big hall empties
    still basking in the throat-catching vibration
    from a difficult, imperfect yet resonant performance?

    I know I do, as I tend to after every show–
    lingering in contemplation of the wide-framed stage–
    holding on to the barren yet ever-renewed possibility
    of meaningful spectacle in all its risk & swagger

    So many friends, mentors, family & dear, inspiring
    strangers heading for the exit in a lively mumbling crowd…


  1. gauvin: “i couldn’t see the bored” « art predator
  2. on remembering gauvin 1961-2012 « art predator

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