Neon Bible -For John Kennedy Toole
There in the tawdry glow of a corner lamp,
In the piss pools dripping into gutters
Outside the dim and dreary bars,
The pages waltzing around alleyways,
Rejected and shelved,
They would not stay still.
Words dead were resurrected
Like Jesus at Easter,
And we came to know
How a confederacy of dunces,
Blind to brilliance,
Turned you away.
The staggering preacher bleats
His boozy verse from a skidmarked bible,
Flecked with bourbon vomit and neon glare.
His admonition against sin
Grins back at him with knowing nods
And come hither looks.
He mumbles a prayer and stumbles after.
And in the end,
You found redemption,
A gassy sleep in Biloxi.
A finish to the self hate,
And a slovenly St. Ignatius
Bumbling ahead like a clownish prophet,
Proclaimed your second coming.
What waste, what waste!
What might we have read had you lived?
Instead, a God distracted,
Attention turned elsewhere,
Did not even think to turn off the key.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Neon Bible -For John Kennedy Toole by Charles Darnell )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
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