October 7, 1984


A mournful Joe Pepitone
laughs early,

real loud
in triptych

but remains still
like the canvas cerulean sky

    (no clouds to be seen
    only five o'clock shadow)

                I paint-

                an awful likeness of you,

the three interconnected panels
            of our undoing.

Your realism,
my holy cow

                        coughs up phlegm
                        blank, wet

in favor of an abstracted
gessoed middle part,

feathery maelstrom
of homeplate ablaze

in blue neon,
                                    a disembodied
black bat, ready to
swing,

                        hateful,

knotted
like mustarded pretzels

bloated
like ballpark franks

their tears raining
clouded greenish gray bottomed
mineral spirits

made of Louisville ash
and pliant horsehide

rubbed since childhood
in linseed oil.

                        I stand empty
like Bull, motionless,

grave, cleats planted deep
                        into rocky dirt

trademark red
left-hander's sable brush

strapped heavy between
his wide open legs

drips blue veiny blood

onto his chest protector
gilded in sacred gold leaf.

                        Show pity
on me, a poor Tantalus,

    Joe Pepitone,

                bereft of hope

forced to stretch
raw unprimed linen

unfinished third section,
row zero, devoid,

                Jackson Pollock dead.

My single engine prop
                        headed
                                    for Nicaragua

crashed today too.