Like a golden Kouros,
You rode into our ideals,
Billy Budd of the waving plain,
White Stetsoned integrity,
Lean hipless alto,
Lawman and songman,
Gun or guitar,
Big screen star.
Beyond the purple sage,
The high Sierra hedged your hero-deed,
Where your legend must succeed,
Matinee preoccupation of our Western fascination.
But then a succubus fell in beside you on the trail,
Uncoiling its umbilical lariat.
We watched with horror,
We screamed, we hoped,
But you were roped.
The palomino died,
In a museum for the living dead,
Like you, glass-eyed.
Halved like a Texas pear,
The vampire doubled you in blousy smock,
Fleshy, hippy, lumpy twin,
Weed-wide enough to wrap a dead man in,
And wrote for you the last song you would ever sing.
Oh, what Odysseus? What Jason? What Aeneas ?
Ever traveled "Happy Trails?" Sweet Jesus!!
She moved you from the big to little screen,
To black and white.
You circled out your life on pony paths,
As you were allowed,
Kouros corralled and cowboy cowed.
You called us "buckaroos" and put your picture on a tin lunch
We saw the mountains of the high Sierra fail.
You circled round and round your Happy Trail.
We buried you beneath your Hill and Dale.