For Eric Bohnenstiel

For hours in flames going the speed of darkness,
Hard wall of black noise whited out with light,
Ecstasy, whiskey, coarse thrum of it all,
Gloom was your hymn, your argument, undead
Majesty. In an age of irony,
You were too serious, my monster, and died.

It’s hard to feel sorry for you. You died
Like a jammed chainsaw, howling Hessian god, darkness
Your only friend, what squalid irony,
No one rushed to your aid when you became light
Fare, a joke for the hip, those you wished dead
With silver tonnage on their cortex, after all.

They told you to grow up, get a job and all,
Leave the hell and graves to those who have died,
So you hid in fjord and swamp. Brain-dead
Ex-con, history was unkind when your darkness
And pure grime were mislaid in pop-star light.
It felt good in the days before irony,

To go so fast, yes, when that chic irony
Couldn’t snuff your Viking growls, soaked with blood all
Night, smoky barbarian sweat, subpoena, light-
Ning you rode until dawn, until you died
On stage, Ben Gay for the neck, and darkness
Whirling back toward you again like the dead.

Concrete thud, mouthful of windshield, the dead
Of night luring you along with the sad irony
Of a botched tattoo, cool skeleton darkness
Your home, a moveable blood feast for all,
Threw chains into the wood-chipper, what died
Down your throat, what ruptured bulb of lost light?

Cold beer in winter lot, last of daylight
On your humming Chevette, you will raise the dead,
Every inch of you a new scar. We died
When you first hit the lights, before irony
Took it all away, harsh glory and hot rush, all
The things we left to you in slow darkness.

So don’t laugh, make light, pour slick irony
Over the dissonant dead, those who fought for us all,
Whose darkness will still sting ears after we’ve died.