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”

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

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“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

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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.

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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.)

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A life well-lived? Purpose fulfilled?

Martyrdom: less than he deserved.

Parades, memorials, new folk songs?

Yes, that. Not this. This is absurd.

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“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.

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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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