he asked me
what had become
of the man
who lived
in my earlier poems

the person he referred to
as
“my kerouac”

i skipped the speech
about not all writing
being exposition
and explained to him
my tragic character
had earned the right
to keep his name and sickening notoriety
but not the comparison

his poetry was
a joke
juxtaposed to the beat god
the only quality they shared
was misogyny

no really
he pressed
what became of him

my shoulders and tone relented
replying
he’s fucking dead
just like kerouac
and every other
lesser
imitation