The Rat Pack Visits Bogie in an LA Hospital c. 1952  

Bogie is prostrate, Demerol-ed, and as lilywhite as bleached borate.
 
Holy Christ, whispers Frank, he’s unreachable. It’s splitsville!
 
We’re all necromancers, answers Sammy.
 
This is the real deep end of everything, says Joey.
 
(Dean was queasy about hospitals
preferred reading a ‘Little Eva’ comic book and
sipping a highball in his hotel room.)
 
The nurse loosens the screw, increases the drip-rate of Demerol.
 
Darkness makes its own light, Sammy intones in Frank’s ear.
Looking straight at Sammy, Frank asks, What the hell does that mean?
 
As the nurse passes Peter, he pinches her ass. The fabric of her uniform
Chafes between his thumb and index, releases a synthetic sound.
 
The nurse turns and gives Peter a hangman’s grin. 
 
Let’s get a drink says Joey.
Yeah, let’s, says Frank.
 
“Dolly’s mother (Frank Sinatra’s grandmother)
plucked up the baby, carried him into the
bathroom and held him under the cold water faucet.
A moment later Frank Albert Sinatra wailed for the
first time.” (Sinatra, Lew Irwin)
 
Godess of water. Cold water.
who gives me everything;
my place in a fulminating
sun, who cools my bourbon
the colour of lions, who grows
my orange flowers like sweet
verbs and keeps my voice mellow
melodic as orange dusk in Nevada,
keeps Lake Tahoe full, my Luckies
tobacco brimming in Virginia fields.
How many times your cold rain entoils
my roots, renders a backdrop
to love loss; Watertown or
pelting down on the Lincoln’s
black roof, a rhythm no less
when you, in a crucial Hoboken
bathroom baptized me alive, your
hands in memory of all that lives
sings my sentiment exactly.
 
- Matt Santateresa