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Lost Amigos

~ a glosa in three parts ~

contact between you &
God means no church,
no society, no reform,
& almost no relationships,
& almost no hope in
kindness of hope inherent
in that what is good,
shall live & what is
bad, dies—Your
flesh will be a husk,
but yr. soul a star—

—from Jack Kerouac, Book of Sketches, Oct. 31, 1952



I see you’ve lined up
yr bottles for tonight’s
obliteration, hoping for a
hit, some kind of catapult,
another dis-appointment with
old friends & lovers banned
from sobriety. Let me tell you
now, friend, there are no
lost amigos, only grand
contact between you &

incomplete, you say,
without that special someone
every day a seek
& almost find, that time
in Jalisco if you hadn’t been
blind drunk, the search
would be long over, yeah?
insatiable she was,
only her crucifix made you lurch
God means no church

but enough about me—
how’s life treating you?
Have you learned yet
to take a compliment,
or does that old leather
strop torn
from its nail in the woodshed
still reek of bay rum?
do you still bleed his scorn?
no society, no reform

I’ve been there, I know.
All that shit between pretty
covers with my name
on it, I scrounged hard
from railyards—rusty
I-beams and wet pine chips
for a bed, alone
now I’m practically a saint—
all those women, a few drips,
& almost no relationships


so here’s the thing—
there are no dead poets
there is no dead anything
sure, mountains are melting
& a certain green salamander
won’t be unfurling her thin
pink tongue for termites anymore—
but it’s not yr doing; she’s done
here for now, a slow grin
& almost no hope in

wishing your fellow man
were not so immune
to yr discontent.
Life seems easier
when you can stir up
guilt in yr little grass hut
like a pot of beans
on low simmer—
hell, you can’t shut

you can confuse yourself
over & over like those old wooden
paddle toys with rubber ball
attached—k’bonk, k’bonk, k’bonk,
what’d I do? what’d I do? what’d I do?
short answer: nothing. A fine gent
you are, always will be.
Inner space, same as outer,
nothing lost, mis- or unspent,
kindness of hope inherent

but you’ve heard all this—
smoked it & wrote it
& sold it to a few
worse off than you. Maybe
it’s time to clear off those
shelves. They’ve been yr hood,
yr holy armor, for how long now?
No one wants a soldier with flat
feet. Letting go’s the only rood
in that what is good


So. Make friends with emptiness.
Yesterday’s om and a planet’s
worth of mountaintops
won’t save yr bored soul.
Practice saying, I am deep
& meaningful, leave the biz
of others to others
never ask them why
believe love and genius
shall live & what is

is. There’s no other
tense and no better
way to let go the tension.
Stop gluing name tags
to intolerance—gluten, lactose—
give up keeping score;
everything you look at
multiplies—boom, ka-ta-boom!
bad, dies—Your

the one in charge
of what comes around
& who stays away
but still,
we’re amigos to the end,
bro, through love & lust—
throw out the dishwater
from yr last best date—one day
you’ll smell, it’s not a healthy musk
your flesh will be a husk

I have to split soon.
You got tons of visitors
cuter than me lined up. I just
came to oil yr valves, give
the silver in yr irises a gleam.
The New Year isn’t far;
it’s continuous New Now. We’ll
meet again soon. You’ll see
that nothing leaves a scar—
but yr soul a star!

© Elaine Stirling, 2014
Image by Kara Bobechko, © 2014