Man named Boileryard,
You have risen above things,
But never shall you be above
Slipping into the accent of
A tenement Catholic
Who brawls over black bread,
Who between bouts of daylight
Wanders over the brick-strewn lot
Where the tobacconist’s burned down,
Where the indigent defeated now
Fuck like choleric bears.
Your balls of pumice surely clack
Against one another upon
Every safe hit, every defeat,
Like boot heels on flagstone.
Ah, reading your bio now
I see none of this was correct.
What were you doing living
In New Mexico — tawny, emptied,
And swept by canyon winds?
I doubt very much there were street urchins
There, or even a meatpacking district.
What were you doing having
Things named after you at Princeton?
Fie, were you not lowborn?
Your marriage as steady as a mule’s hoof?
What were you doing taking
Photographs in which your face is missing
The lineaments that confess
A titan’s burden upon the liver,
In which your thin, calm
Librettist’s lips make you seem more
Liable to snip old roses from your garden
Than strangle a headmaster?
If you ever swallowed
The flotsam of a broken tooth,
One now supposes a bite of
Almond brittle was to blame and not the
Valedictory rap of a flatfoot’s nightstick.
This autopsy is far too lovely for a
Man named Boileryard.