portion of the artwork for Sam Rasnake's poetry

Lost Elegy for Hank Quinlan
Sam Rasnake

—Los Robles, 1957


What does it matter what you say when truth

is not an option, when your future’s all

used up in shadows over empty walls,

in whispers you should never hear but can’t

stop listening, a ticking in your head

as if dreams were ever enough, as if

one word or even two could be the sum

of tarot cards in smoky rooms, music

from the pianola so old it’s new,

the lost beauty with its bent for grieving,

a place to hide, an almost life—the touch

for grace and obsession, for sorry luck,

all measured for a fall—clean and silent—

the hard nights drifting on dirty water


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 42 | Fall 2013