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Owens, Elisabeth, R. (ed.) / Encore: more of parallel press poets

Pfingston, Roger
The best looking man at the funeral,   p. 47

Page 47

The Best Looking Man at the Funeral 
It was the wife of the deceased who said 
I was the best looking man at the funeral. 
And I did look rather spiffy in my blue 
blazer, light blue shirt, dark blue tie 
and pants of a complementary hue, 
a proper ensemble sliding to a dark closure 
of black wingtips with a slightly cleated, 
selfishly comfortable sole, though nothing 
disrespectful or inappropriate. 
I blushed at her words, more so when 
she followed up with When's your next movie? 
as if I were some sort of Sean Connery 
or Kenny Rogers, with whom, I'm told, 
I share certain features. Speechless, 
her husband lying just beyond the crowd 
of mourners moving slowly past the casket, 
I stepped back and merged with the other suits, 
my face blood hot, burning still with mortal pleasure. 
Roger Pfingston 
[previously published in Earthbound (Pudding House Publications, 2003)] 
Poet's Statement 
The "deceased" in "The Best Looking Man at the Funeral"
was the father of a 
close friend, and for a long time I held off sharing the poem with him and
mother, thinking they might find it indelicate, too self-serving. But they
received it 
well, even sent copies to other members of the family. When it first appeared
in a 
magazine, then a chapbook, I gave copies of those publications to my friend,
hoping he would also share with his family the poem's broader "acceptance"
in its 
published form. 

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