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Mark Jarman

Posted by admin on December 26, 2011

Mark Jarman is a professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Epistles, published by Sarabande. His book The Black Riviera won the 1991 Poets’ Prize. Questions for Ecclesiastes was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award and won the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.



The Dark and Ravaged Rock Star


The dark and ravaged rock star

Who lives to sixty-four

Must eat his beans and do his pushups

Behind his hotel door.


His songs extol his drug life.

His women plead for sex.

But could it be that, by his age,

He’d rather just relax?


I think so. His performances

Still overflow the seats.

But surely pre- and after-show,

He watches what he eats.


The dark and ravaged and rock star

Has lived a careful life.

If he’s still rocking at his age,

Cherchez les kids and wife.


He dyes his hair. His tattoos

Are freshly inked and scabbed.

His muscle tone, for his age,

Is buff and hardly flabbed.


He bellows at the audience.

He sings his hits in tune.

He stands before us, living,

And will not leave us soon.


        From Volume IV, Issue 2, 2009.