These lines a naked pretext for two words.
If you haven’t heard them lately,
don’t they sound good? Don’t they sound good
if you have?
The English language fell in love
with Barry Hannah, bodily.
All the great bullies I used to see on our front
are dead or wounded past use. . . .We saw victory
and defeat, and they were both wonderful.
Barry Hannah is a treasure you can loot
for selfish gain, more Rabelais than Welty,
trace elements of Clemens and O’Connor
(The Truth and Reconciliation Tango).
‘Southern Writer’ fits him like a glove
that doesn’t fit. He’s been misread for his
loyalty to Ernie. Name meets Name meets Name
meets Name—meets Ralph Eugene Meatyard
meets the Family and the Genus and Species.
Faulkner drove McCarthy from the South.
Barry Hannah settled in in Bill’s backyard.
Where the ghost of a committee sued his pants back on
for Word Miscegenation (genre mixing),
for counting flowers on the wall in piney woods.
He pled pilots!
swamp of lust!
Mixed doubles on a Harley-Davidson!
Appearing for the plaintiff, an old established firm,
Sex, Race & Class. (Revenge & Ridicule, of counsel.)
Exhibit 1: A rocker and a townie,
carnal in the moonlight,
spread out across Mr. Faulkner’s grave.
For the defense:
Airships, Ray, Hey Jack! and Never Die,
his solitary western, which ought to be discussed
in an amphitheatre at the Sorbonne: “Era’s End:
The Wild Bunch Meets Empire Burlesque.”
He took sick then he got better. Pull for him,
among the kudzu and magnolias and John Grisham,
and his wife, and his dogs in Oxford town.
(Somebody better investigate soon.)
Time has dealt the final ace; sentences
he writ across lined yellow pads live on.
Barry Hannah is the father and the mother of this poem.
The man. The myth. The man. The palindrome.
Klipschutz (pen name of Kurt Lipschutz) is the author of This Drawn & Quartered Moon, which will be issued by Anvil Press (Vancouver, B.C.) in Spring 2013, as well as Twilight of the Male Ego, The Good Neighbor Policy, and The Erection of Scaffolding for the Re-Painting of Heaven by the Lowest Bidder. His work has appeared in periodicals in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, and numerous anthologies. Also a songwriter, he co-wrote Chuck Prophet’s 2112 disc, the critically acclaimed Temple Beautiful, “a love letter to San Francisco stained with tears.” He lives in San Francisco.