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Elegy for Gene Wilder on the day of his death

For Gene

Say goodbye to childhood,
Goodbye imagination.
Say goodbye to whimsy
Goodbye, gold ticket sun.

Purple velvet, curly cue grin
mania embodied wide blue eyes
shining like wet silk,
Jack without his candle stick.

Technicolor or black and white,
scenes spilled over with vibrant life,
a dance, a soliloquy, a turn of the cheek,
laughter rushing forward like flooded creek.

Want to change the world?
It’s as easy as lighting a fuse
or a lantern in an unlit room,
as easy as closing your eyes
to the hammers of doom.

For Gilda, for the faces awash in light,
for the ether that swims betwixt our lives,
for the river of silver streaked bone dust chimes
filling our veins with ticking time.

For the children, for the never born,
for the geezers struggling to hold their form,
for the quiet, for the obscene, the uncertain
and the lost, for the dreamers dreaming again.

Say goodbye to childhood,
Goodbye imagination.
Say goodbye to whimsy,
Goodbye gold ticket sun.

gene

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