William Corbett – For Philip Whalen

William Corbett

For Philip Whalen


Sulmona Meat Market

the son, cute, blond,

gold chain and earring,

sideburns like Valentino’s

he likes Oakland on Sunday

by a field goal

Saxaphone and Shotgun store?


a new ristorante

in the land of the bean and cod

where North Shore ladies came to get schrod

risotto, papardelle, cod’s cheeks

for the Big O

                    This Thirteenth day of January

his funeral at the graveside

the priest’s foot slipped

spooked perhaps by Allen’s Buddhist chant,

the Pony Express riders, long hairs, kaddish,

“midst simple life of country folk,

yes, some of these days…”

he hit the pedal wrong

Olson’s casket lurched down, tilted,

stuck and the priest raced through

                              his semaphore

snow like torn tissue

blows down over the harbor

and out over Minot’s Ledge,

north over Ten Pound Island

’twas afterwards we repaired

to the Tavern, the entire company,

thirsty, “Just like Charlie,”

moaned the bartender, “to get buried

when I have my hands full!”

return to SHAMPOO 5