Perhaps his duality would always be
For had he not been made this way
by genetic chance?
A hulking man with gardener's shirt
and biker's leather pants?
He might speed along a coastal highway,
Wind in his greasy hair,
Unchopped Harley shivering,
Eyes watering from the wind,
or was it because of sheer depth of soul?
As he peeled along, avoiding fatal curves,
Did his thoughts of roses blooming
keep him from launching himself
into the fog?
Were the droplets on his face,
full of salt from the sea,
the same as those he saw
in the morning dew on his flowers?
He was a not a Hunter Thompson,
who might return home to drink and write
reams of rage against the foul Effendi,
who beset him at night
after descending from their mansions.
Yet he too needed respite and beauty,
an Owl Farm in his mind,
Or a hotel on Sunset Boulevard,
Safe under the canopy, among the palms,
His security, not a typewriter
but a garden of perfect roses
that he would tend and breed,
Keeping beauty alive to feed
His hidden desire for peace and order.
Like an old man in the country,
The “rose rustler”he played
Lived in a little house,
His unassuming paradise,
with a cat, as secretive as him,
a lone goldfish in a bowl,
who looked out each day on
manicured paths and brick walls,
worthy of any English manor,
with acres of flowers,
dozens of colors...
but every single one a rose.
This whole thing sprang out of a title from a photo site, combined with an excellent book I read, "Freak Kingdom", by Timothy Denevi, about Hunter Thompson's "Ten years of fighting against American Fascism". If you read this, it would help to listen to Elvis Costello's "Brilliant Mistake" simultaneously!