Donald Sawyer’s Dead or The Last of the Gray Flanneled Men

“Buffalo Bill’s defunct”
— e.e. cummings

 

Donald Sawyer’s dead.
Who used to stay at the Hilton, Sheraton, Palace, Plaza, St. Regis
And ate at the Palm, Sparks, Gallagher’s, the Mandarin and Four Seasons.
Who wore worsted, twill and gabardine in solids
Pinstripes, glen plaid and herring bone.

The man liked blondes, brunettes and redheads
Tall slender church-going women
Exotic voluptuaries who charged by the hour.
Housewife, coed, salesgirl, brand manager
Chic or raw, it was all the same to him.

He dreamed and kept his dreams to himself.

The man worked, built, gambled, won, lost, began again
And again made it and again threw it away.
He sang for his supper, picked a few pockets
Boasted, bragged, betrayed, and betrayed
In the end, alone, paid the devil his due.

Donald Sawyer’s dead
Who walked in Church’s, Florsheim, Gucci and Bally
Who flew on PanAm, Delta, American and United
And drove a red Triumph, a black
Lincoln, a white Mercedes, and when I saw him last.
A borrowed sapphire Jaguar.

He dreamed and kept his dreams to himself.

Published in MARGIE: The American Journal of Poetry
Volume Three/ 2004.

Donald Sawyer’s Dead or The Last of the Gray Flanneled Men