(Recited at an undisclosed Navajo Indian reserve, Four Corners, New Mexico, 1999.)
He was what they used to call a 'hep-cat'.
He walked a 'road traveled', sure, but it wasn’t a highway.
And there was a spring and life in his gate
but the white picket. White picket? ...It was yards away.
His words were tempered, not tossed:
A box was a thing people got stuck in,
- not a void others filled up with crap then gave away on special occasions, he’d say.
...He said a lot of things.
Then, he’d clear his throat, hike up his pants...
Yes sir... he’d be ready to Bowl!
He Bowled ‘cause it was ‘the right thing to do.’
- you needn’t question everything.
Just as the ball, cold and solid, would disappear before him,
In time, it would return fresh, ...anew
"Not unlike the cycle of death and rebirth,"
the dance of Siva.
He said these things
and people took notice.
His bowling shirt and shoes were his uniform.
Well, not his whole uniform.
There were pants,
black acrylic socks;
and, for a time, a mustache.
But in this ritual,
with the team shirt and pants, the shoes, socks
and a large order of nachos with processed cheese and jalapeno peppers
‘It’ all came together
while his consort worked the room at the El Macombo Chinese Restaurant
across the highway.
Yes, indeed, there was perfection.
It was that simple.
...Why complicate it?
From the original forward of 'The Decay of the Angel'.
Recited by Akihiro Miwa at the funeral service for Ivan Von Noshrilgram, distinguished philosopher botanist, wild game hunter, exotic animal trainer, extinguished firewalker, linguist, writer and humanist lecturer. And bowler.