My very American illusion of happiness

Nothing feels good tonight.

Nothing sits well.

Nothing but myself and beer

to drown away my very American illusion

of happiness—my dear, I’m not sorry.

Please understand.

Through the air vents of my room

I’ve known a many artist in my day, say

Today old friend you come to mind

And how for a short time, your voice divine

Scratchy and old, though, you and I know

Age is just a number and it’s you who’d show

Me this: Dear, Gavin Heron Vante

Who needed a place to rest his weary head

For the night I offered you some bread

Where that night you had said, Ah man!

I haven’t seen this show in years, mind if I watch

Married with Children, Amen! Amen!

Then later I’d record you playing all the chords

I always had wish I could, watching your fingers

Slide and swoop through Sloop John B

I tried to sing harmonies but who was I kidding

Aloof in my eagerness to know everything and all

You had to offer and more, more, more I cried

Singing, drinking in the night like two old friends

Because we were in fact just two ageless nobodies

In the effortless night of somebodies

Giving me your time, cradling my wine

Looking through old photo’s now

I can still feel your spirit sing softly through

The air vents of my room

The next morning of course, saying farewell

Dropping you at Austin’s Coffee

Collecting your bicycle and taking the trash out for a buck

Needing my fix of early morning talkie

That I’m sure no one ever really gave a hoot about —

Now I hear you’re out of the Coma

That took you too soon like a phantom in the night

You were right when you told me

To take it easy man, oh man, Gavin Heron Van

Where there is no plan there in lies the plan

I now know the meaning of that age old saying

Those were the days, good sir, I give my praise

Sincerely,

Dave

P.S. There’s a place for you here, always

a caged artist

I never met an artist I didn’t like

I just tasted their breathe

from an arms length away

and

when they told me drunkenly

to go to hell

at least I knew they meant it

so while she tore off her clothes

like a caged animal

in the center of a Williamsburg high-rise

a slave to her own bizarre fashion

I could see it there, her passion

exhibited like a gallery of fine art

and her hair

painted in oils hyper-realistic

she would drive herself wild

though couldn’t quite blend her canvas

into the madness she became

hysterical so

closing the cage I left

knowing

there wasn’t more I could do

than allow her the respect and dignity

to clean up her own mess.

a bad artist

At the end of the day

when my feet are sore

when my mind is heavy

and I can’t take anymore.

Playing with matches I paint.

I paint such beautiful pictures

in my heart that burns

which no one can see

because I’m no painter

I’m just a bad artist

fingering napalm.