In the end, they didn't know what to do with the body really. Display it? Let the people see the altered face of the legend one last time? And if so: where? At the ranch? In a hall? On a train rolling through the countryside in this gelatinous heat, stopping in hamlets and one-horse towns; a train rolling in/a train rolling out: the music always there playing in the background. The unstoppable beats. The unkillable voice. That final tour.
They still can't decide. So his body lies there undanceable. Maybe he is in his old bedroom in some overdone four poster Victorian with an oversized Mickey Mouse leaning over his waxy slight fingers, keeping lookout. He won't wake up though. Way too tired. No nap could of stopped the bullets.
The people who loved him make more sense to me than many other people. They loved someone magic. Not talented. Magic. Talent is everywhere these days. Cruise back any deep suburban cul-de-sac on a midnight ride and there's Talent staring at you from his parent's driveway, his eyes like a buck deer. An acoustic guitar in his creamy little fist. Flip-flops.
Keep driving, for Christ's sake.
The one they loved, the one all the millions loved so much, was one of the real ones. Snapped with the belt of his father til he threw up in his mouth. Thrust out in the footlights when he shoulda been hiding dirty magazines under a rock by a creek in some woodlot. Singing to a world who sang along to every word when he shoulda been falling in love with some chick for real, instead of having to pretend about it. Dancing with zombies when it finally became apparent that only the dead could ever appreciate who he was and where he was heading. Crucified by the ones who made him.
Hey, we got bored. You got lazy.
It would have been cool, the train thing. A steam locomotive knifing through the United States Summertime, when death seems so impossible yet still very very likely. People would show up. In droves. In zippered jackets and sequined gloves they would sweat their raceless colorless sexless salty sweat down off the tips of their natural noses/nose jobs onto the sizzling concrete of some Iowa rail station platform and no matter who showed up to doubt any of it with jaded hipster eyes, they would be denied, because death was involved and bodies in coffins will never ever allow the living to pull that shit on them.
The train would pull in, the fancy casket would roll into town for a few hours, maybe the whole day. People would line up and cry, but in happy ways. Happy they lived when someone like him lived. That he danced right through some of the same moments that they danced through.
New York, LA, come see your man.
Miami, Seattle, come see your man.
Philadelphia, Detroit, come see your man.
Chicago, Boston, come see your man.
Tulsa, New Haven, come see your man.
Gettysburg, Trout Run, come see your man.
Conshohocken, Bridgeport, come see your man.
Appalachia, Gold Mine Town, Whorehouse, McDonald's, Alley on Broadway, Roller Rink, Discoteque, Dairy Queen, Sam Goody, Chick-Fil-A, Plymouth Meeting Mall, Mormon Temple, Jewish Synagogue, Moonies, Atheists, Piercing Pagoda, North Falls North Dakota, Brooklyn, King of Prussia, BigFoot Country, Rattlesnake Country, Mule Skinners, Jail Birds, American Originals, Sweet Tea Drinkers, Klansmen, Priests, Cops, Robbers, Queers, Trannys, Newly Baptized Babies, Stoners, Dopers, SpeedFreaks, Winos, Break Dancers, Pop Lockers, Moon Walkers, Justin Timberlake, Ice Road Truckers, Horny MILFs, Soda Sticky Rug Rats, Webster, The Lost Boys, Liz, Liza, Jesus on the Cross in Gary, Indiana, America.....
.....come see your man.