I wasn't expecting to actually find it. I have sheafs of old poems in a file drawer, probably hundreds of them, many handwritten or typed on an ancient portable typewriter that probably came out of the '50s. That's back when we ripped pages out, crumpled them up in frustration and tried to hit the waste basket on the other side of the room.
Now I just slam mice - not the real kind! Poor mices. I do go through a lot of them, but Martin Scorsese used to throw chairs, and look at him.
What I'm getting to in my usual circuitous way is: while I was writing the John Lennon poem in my last post, I thought of a poem I'd written not long after his death, meaning it must be 30 years old. And by the holy, after only a little rummaging, I found it.
The only common lines are "John, I" and "outside the Dakota". I seem to remember the poem differently. Thirty years will do that.
It was typed on a yellowed piece of three-ring white binder paper. Saved for posterity. Never published. In my life, I've only had about 12 poems published in "little magazines" (boy, are they little: no one reads them!), and the rest, I think, could be called a private collection.
I still feel the same about John. I feel like he's around, and feel foolish for saying so, for even thinking so. I just saw the PBS documentary, LennoNYC, and was both over- and underwhelmed by it, by the grainy home movies, his wicked wit, casually prodigious talent and unbearable sweetness. But he looked old at the end, older than he should, and gaunt. What happened?