Spring 1998 • Vol. XX No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1998 |

Shrine outside Basquiat’s Studio September 1988

Back on Great Jones his face against the facade fronting the carriage house rented from Warhol— inside, his suits stiffen from starch, spilt paint. He's bought the farm whole, enchilada & all—August & the heat covering everything, needle-sharp, asleep. No more feeding his habit art—he's gone & done it this time, taken his last dive. Exit, stage right. A broken record—his black skin thick, needled into song— a swan's. Upon graffitied brick— INSIDIOUS MENACE LANDLORD TENANT—folks pile candles flowers photos notes to God & lace anything TO REPEL GHOSTS, keep his going at bay before memory comes early, snarling & sweeps him into the mouth of euphemism— sanitation worker, waste management engineer, garbage man, dumpster diver, trash heap, heaven.

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Kevin Young is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems, 1995–2015. His Book of Hours was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Prize; his book The Grey Album won the PEN Open Award, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. This essay has been adapted from Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, longlisted for the National Book Award.

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Back on Great Jones his face against the facade fronting the carriage house rented from Warhol— inside, his suits stiffen from starch, spilt paint. He's bought the farm whole, enchilada […]

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