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SHOWMAN


Deguire, you always knew more than you let on knowing,
read more books, saw deeper into all of us,
and what you had to let go, you let go, to get
on with your business of living the only way
that felt right to you.

You never wasted yourself
courting our approval, nor wanly wishing for the world
to take note of you. When you wanted to party,
you made a party. When you wanted music, you made it.
If we persisted in boring you, you moved inside
your head to listen to the music there. When love
was what you wanted, you found lovers, letting
tragedies be what they were but nothing more.

You left us a myriad of bright images--
a piano or a chorus growIng out of your fingertips,
becoming you scattering notes and laughter like confetti
over everything anywhere close. You made it all yours,
Bach or Berlin, Verdi, Gershwin, Beethoven,
Sondheim, Wagner and Fats Waller. It was the
muchness of it, the rich shapeliness of music
that lifted us with you.

And the waves of music you sent out
into our universe, crests and troughs, still resonant,
bouncing up from Manhattan streets, flung back
from the surf at Oyster Bay, drifting like wraiths
through the bleaching bones on Upsala's campus,
infusing the random sounds of the world,
sirens' wails, lovers' moans, the rush of wind,
on summer nights, they're all still coming at us,
the joy and beauty you lived for, Deguire, forever showman,
it'll always be just music, music, music.

Del Earisman
March, 1996

Copyright© 1996 Del Earisman

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