Posted by: Mark Nielsen | March 12, 2014

Closed Casket [poem for Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014]

Philip, as Lester Bangs, imparts curved wisdom in "Almost Famous"

Philip, as Lester Bangs, imparts curved wisdom in “Almost Famous”


Closed Casket       [for Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014]


“the only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.”

         –Lester Bangs/Cameron Crowe/Philip Seymour Hoffman, in Almost Famous


The war he fought was not in the news,

although –truth be told– it left him broken;

the kingdom and king that he defended:

seen only in absence, creeds unspoken.


Tragedy is a farce. Comedy: his shield.

(If only his father could see him now…)

His heart: a window for those who dared.

His death: mystery. (The why, not how.)


A life well-lived? Purpose fulfilled?

Martyrdom: less than he deserved.

Parades, memorials, new folk songs?

Yes, that. Not this. This is absurd.


“Toes like fingers” they said he had,

but nobody will see them now.

He walked ten million extra miles,

a sturdy workhorse pulling the plow.


His harvest meagre but always timely,

but winter here lasts far too long.

More Bangs for my buck than a hundred others–

He sang a lovely but twisted song.


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