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Not Fade Away

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Half of the Beatles have fallen
and half are yet to fall.
Keith Moon has set. Hank Williams
hasn’t answered yet.

Children sing for Alex Chilton.
Whitney Houston’s left the Hilton.
Hendrix, Guru, Bonham, Janis.
They have a tendency to vanish.

Bolan, Bell, and Boon by car.
How I wonder where they are.
Hell is now Jeff Hanneman’s.
Adam Yauch and three Ramones.

[This space held in reserve
for Zimmerman and Osterberg,
for Bruce and Neil and Keith,
that sere and yellow leaf.]

Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings,
Stinson, Sterling, Otis Redding.
Johnny Thunders and Joe Strummer,
Ronnie Dio, Donna Summer.

Randy Rhoads and Kurt Cobain,
Patsy Cline and Ronnie Lane.
Poly Styrene, Teena Marie.
Timor mortis conturbat me.

Source: Poetry (January 2014)

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

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Not Fade Away

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