This particular poem means a great deal to me, and I owe Reuben a great deal of thanks for drawing this one out. In this assignment, Reuben had us read Frank O'hara's poem The Day Lady Died, a poem that vividly captures the day O'hara found out that Billy Holiday had passed away. In the assignment, Reuben wanted us to choose our own subject while constructing a poem as close as possible to O'hara's style. I can't even tell you how wonderful it was to write this piece and in my heart of hearts, I truly believe it was just waiting to be written.

I chose to write about the death of Joey Ramone (born Jeffry Ross Hyman and who was the lead singer of the punk band The Ramones). I had been working at CB's Gallery (sister club and next door to CBGB's, the club where the Ramones success would eventually make its debut in) when Joey Ramone had died. It was truly a memorable time for me.







Hey Ho, He went


It is late in Astoria a Sunday
three days after they nailed him to the cross, yes
it is 2001 and I will get off the phone in my room
because I have to water the lilies
and then go straight into thinking how work

is going to be weird on Tuesday,
and I don’t know how weird until Tuesday

I walk up the bowery beginning to remember
3 CDs sent to me in ’86 and no CD player and keeping

Synchronicity only
the other two had four ugly guys on the cover and
in Virginia Beach those days everyone was pretty

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvI go onto the bar
and Micheline (who I once heard respond to
a couple of goons asking if they were in a gay bar,
“yeah, we’re all pretty happy here”)
doesn’t even look at the money in the pouch she hands me
and I also get the set list for the night
but I’ll need to make change, I do think
so I go next door to see Brendan, but I don’t stick around
because he’s practically yelling about how he’s glad

punk is dead

and for me though I just stroll pass the building shrine
flowers and candles and tears
then I go and stop in the front of the club
standing with my cigarette under that awning, I puff
and Ralphie is there and casually asks me
did I leave anything

and I am  stepping on my cigarette by now and thinking
what a wonderful world
leaning up against the door of 315
while he shouts out that song along my snuffed out butt

I then leave to him and everyone and I don’t even begin to worry