-for Tony Vaughan

To die a young man
is your only reprieve
from chronic poverty
months of back rent
shitty jobs
O brother poet, artist, musician
dear friend of 25 years

Disinherited son
transcends crazy mother
a cruel world you tried to make better
always busking at Bart stations, street corners
the ugly clothes belie your beautiful pictures
a serene place of light and communion
a necessary place to create
in order to survive

No more wine toward the end
before the cancer eats you alive
one last year you’re given
to be an artist
free of material struggle
for the first time since childhood

Now you’re gone
a body of work remains
Pan among the animals
out of your body for real this time
the places you made
far from the danger and drama and pain

In the park you play guitar
drink red wine
get high
the sun burns
the wind sighs
love me now
I’m still alive

© --- Rosemary Manno








painting by Tony Vaughan
St. Micheal©Tony Vaughan

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