For Kevin Elyot

I know it’s sad, all this going,
I have the English dread of change,
want it always all the same—
prefer to channel loss, not growing.

This elegiac tone really gets my goat,
everything shrouded in sentimental mist;
poems written in the aftermath, the poet pissed.
I think it’s time to grab elegy by the throat

and shake it hard, that from its strangled cry
we might detect what poetry it really has to offer.
Or whether these mourning togs and poseur coiffure
simply camouflage the fear to die.

So when you left with ne’er a word and friends
who loved to see you had no chance
to bid adieu, have one last hug or dance,
what use is elegy? I think what you preferred

was viper wit, gossip and news of all you knew,
tidings of great adventures destined to fail,
anything that let you weave a tale
to regale your friends, who can’t believe it’s true.

There is no more of you.