My Grandfather’s Favorite Poem by Me


Written in 1988 and unedited.


the man in Indianapolis

at the back of the drugstore

dressed like Jesus

is the best poet in the world.

I’ve never heard otherwise.

and maybe

if I drink from the lithium lake

I wouldn’t be so surly.

and maybe

Rimbaud’s Drunken Boat

should have sailed

instead of the Love Boat.

and maybe

whooping cough

should be the national pastime.

The author sitting in front of his grandfather.
My grandfather sitting behind me at a 1988 family gathering.


traffic lights do have personalities

and make people angry on purpose.

and maybe

Burt Convy

and Muammar Khaddafi

should trade jobs;

they’re pretty much the same

and I’ll bet Khaddafi sings better.

and maybe

Ronald Reagan and Iris Chacon:

the Dolly Parton of Puerto Rico

should exchange roles.

and maybe

we’re all evangelists

selling the gospel according to ourselves.

My grandfather with his arms folded and wearing a Busch beer cowboy hat.
Al Hardin in 1983.


love, true love

not the love we see in magazines

or on soap operas,

in Jackie Collins novels

or on mirrored ceilings

w/ tape recorders under the beds

or the love that comes from a


not those loves or lusts

but true love

will fall from the sky.

and maybe

this love will strike us all.

and maybe

there will be a cure

for bad music.

My grandfather wearing a blue sweater and sitting in a patio chair.
Al Hardin in 1994.

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