|Oct/Nov 2006 Poetry Special Feature|
Interviewing an Old Rock Star
His humor is acetic, I'm told. High-grade vinegar.
He is in his sixties, with white hair.
Today's kids don't know of his band,
heedless of constraint. Or of the junkies
who would embroider his arms.
To the kids he is the old man who takes walks
circling the block each afternoon,
not the young man with a guitar
who drank hard.
The paternity suits that followed him
are stacked away like old fan letters.
Each afternoon he putters in his mother's garden.
He chases the children off her lot.
"The kids are everywhere," he complains.
"Any thoughts about your past?" I ask.
"What's it like interviewing a fossil?" he asks.
When I don't respond, he says
"Everyone's nostalgic about their youth." Then he adds,
"Youth is like a kidney stone. Painful.
But it passes."