How could such a serious man be so funny?
The Wittgenstein of laughter, he bared the bones of funny
and examined them with the truth in his mind and
whiskey as witness to his soul.

Dancing with the skeleton had him banned in several states,
but he wanted to do it—no one could dissuade him.

He loved bridge,
paused moments,
where everything coalesced into an instant
(not a whole),
a start perfectly prescribed
whose dissolution was a recipe
served on roller skates—

He rode the rails
over the valley of laughter—
the angel that foretells
the coming of the end,
the transformation coming round the bend,
the clown in the wilderness—
the new kid in town.