Tribute to Mike Faran
Not long after Christmas Mike Faran’s poetry friends and correspondents learned of his untimely, unexpected death. Mike’s friend, Jerry, found him, lying on the floor of his apartment where he lived. He wasn’t sure how long he’d been there, only that he hadn’t heard from him or a few days and that he hadn’t been feeling well. Justifiably concerned that Mike wasn’t answering messages left on his machine, Jerry drove to his apartment, saw him and called authorities.
Readers of Mike’s poetry, some of which has been appearing here, (there and everywhere of late) might not be aware that Mike was an agoraphobic, as in he rarely, if ever, left his residence. He had his food delivered and lived on a modest government allotment received from his time in the service. His poetry was defined by human interaction in bars, at road houses, at imagined homes, and with people on the street. They were filled with the stuff of life, relationships and one-night stands. Mostly, they seemed so real, you thought you were with Mike out and about in the world. Except he was never out and about in the world. Such is the magic of the written word.
As a tribute to Mike we are running a couple of favorites from his many submissions (always typed, Mike had no computer, relying in Jerry for any and all computer business) over the years. We’ll miss you, Mike.
words of power
the pretty blonde girl who volunteered
at the senior center
also wrote poetry &
one afternoon decided to hand out
pages of her typed poems to the
elderly residents. then she turned off
mrs. baker immediately created an
uproar & waved her cane at the young girl,
calling her a bitch & a
mrs. baker wanted to see the results of the
to know who really made two albino
babies in the dark
so the t.v. went back on &
the pretty blonde girl reclaimed her carefully
written sheets of poetry
her blue eyes had welled-up with tears -
she had never been called filthy names before
& she thought her poems could enlighten
* * * * *
years later -
at a cocktail lounge in east los angeles -
she sipped a vodka-collins & thought back on
knowing that she had to be called those names
because they made her lines strong,
her poems pop like cherries
Without a Prayer
South Carolina Trailer Park After Hours
I saw the rough outline of a woman
through the tiny peep-hole.
It was raining & she was knocking
so I jerked ajar the door, leaving
the chain hitched.
She might have had a gun r a buck-
but she didn’t have anything. Not
I grabbed her arm & quickly pulled
tossing her my hunting jacket
which she used to dry-off
without showing much. She was a
thin pretty blonde
with long streaks of mascara flowing
down her cheeks.
“The bears by the trash-cans ripped
of my dress;
I think they ate it….better that than me!”
“I know what you mean,” I replied
pouring out two double-shots of JD-
“The other day the boys & men were
huntin’ down ol’ Sasquatch & we came
away with nothin’ too!”
“& the big one chased me all the way to
your door,” she said while belting down
the two whiskeys. It was going to be
a fun & adventurous night!
My dog, Camus, was
run over last night, killed.
Dead as dirt.
I dragged her dead weight into the
pregnant pit-bull, white &
peppered with blood.
Damn it to hell!
But she wouldn’t want me to
nor would she had wanted a
nighttime burial -
that today would be just fine.
So I dug a dog-sized grave in the shade
of the avocado tree &
drank my Saturday beer.
I buried Camus
without ceremony or prayer;
I only permitted myself one indulgence.
I kissed one of her cropped ears -
an ear full of beauty.