‘O Duke! my Duke!’

Jul 17, 2019 at 1:06 pm
1994, Aspen, Colorado, USA — ‘Hunter S. Thompson in His Office.’
1994, Aspen, Colorado, USA — ‘Hunter S. Thompson in His Office.’

This is part of a package of articles on GonzoFest 2019. For more, click here.

(with all apologies to Walt Whitman; for Christopher Coleman) By Heidi Taylor

O Duke! my Duke! our strange trip is done; The Shark has weather’d every rack, the dream sought is none. Las Vegas is near, the slots I hear, the fuzz are all appalling, While bats fly the steady keel; the desert grim and lawyers calling: But O dream! dream! dream! O the bleeding drops of red, Where America your dream lies Fallen cold and dead.

O Duke! my Duke! rise up and hear the yells; Rise up - for you the freak flag is flung - for you the waitress wails; For you cigarettes and ribbon’d firearms - for you the people were a-shouting; For you they cry, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Duke! Dear father! This dream inside your head; It was some dream that on the floor, You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Duke does not answer, his lips are pale and still; My father does not hear my cry, he has no fight nor will; The Shark is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From strange trip, the victor Tricky Dick, comes in with the object won; Exult, O freaks, and wail, O America! But I, with mournful tread, Fearing the dream my Duke derived, Is fallen cold and dead.