His friends called him Cubby

His friends called him Cubby
                                             For Hubert Selby Jr.
 He’d spent half his life in a duel with death,
the other in a quest to transcend
the Ego and get out of the way of art.

He birthed books from an American nightmare.

He mainlined royalties to eroticize the pain
that ripped out his lung and gave him the hump,
like all the poor bastard Harry’s that he wrote about.

Annihilator of apostrophes

you took a Stanley to the page.

You said that we should,

Write with love for everyone in our books

the criminals and the cops.

A Bodhisattva

trapped in the body of an addict.

Your ten ribs gone, unloved and obscure
in Hollywood with the freaks and fakes,
in your room
writing spiritual guidebooks for the sick,
never once making Oprah’s book club.
achieve something
before the duels end.

I sit and write lines for you, Cubby,
to tell you that your rage is not silenced,
and your words still fire like bullets in the brain.