all ambition, no talent, and twenty-seven.
Membership in the Twenty-Seven Club was still open.
Nobody cared about him. He'd show them all.
You saw him on stage. You booed him from the audience.
There he was, guitar and voice out of tune,
imaginary target on his face as you cocked back your arm
and let loose the rotten tomato that hovered
and arced a pretty parabola on its way to his face.
Impact: face reddened by tomato and rage,
he stage-dived into the seething audience
and hit only floor. It was three months
before they let him out of the hospital.
Now he was twenty-seven. Club membership was open.
High on dexedrine and oxycodone,
more alcohol than blood in his veins,
he slipped behind the wheel to speed like a freak
to Dead Man's Curve with bomb in his trunk
and camera behind to watch him die live on YouTube.
He slammed foot to pedal, the car lurched and jerked,
he sped down the highway wobbling and weaving,
an army of cops in hot pursuit of a mad suicide
to the place of a million car crashes to crash and burn.
Impact: the exploding car sent shrapnel into cop
and bystander, made a pretty sight on live video.
Ten million viewers were amused. What a way to go.
Only three people came to his funeral,
mother and sister and widow catfighting over
the insurance policy they took out on him
and cashed in knowing how he wanted to go.
He was lowered in the ground under a generic tombstone.
A priest said pretty words that did not apply,
heaven and eternal life and the resurrection and all that,
denying that everything left of him was
the formaldehyded and formally dressed corpse
destined to decay into dirt and fade from memory.
Impact: he achieved his Twenty-Seven Club ambition but
everybody knew him as a short story far back in the paper,
yesterday's birdcage liner, recycled tomorrow.
Membership in the Rock Hall of Fame forever closed,
he ended as he began, a footnote to a footnote,
and nobody cared.
Copyright © 2014 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.