Jan/Feb 2001  •   Poetry

Acid with Michael Stipe: Athens Geo. 1986

by Kevin McGowin

Acid with Michael Stipe: Athens Geo. 1986

So here's what you get for living in the South too long:
It's a couch, a ratty one, and he's sitting there looking
As bored and indifferent as always while you,
A mere college sophomore or something,

Are almost ill from what you've ingested,
And you think, is this really cool? Is this really
What 20,000 people would give their eyeteeth to do,
And Stipe lights another Marlboro Light and takes

A bong hit, speaking incoherently with smoke wisping
From his mouth, and asks you for a menthol and you think
Jesus, why isn't this what I thought it would be,
And you see the man run his hand across a roadie's knee and

Thigh and wonder if it's just because you're high
But you know it's not, and you're getting tired,
You miss your own bed at home and are sick
Of talented people posing as geniuses and you just want

To go home, if only you were the one driving, which it's a good thing
You're not, BTW, and you think what I want to do with the rest
Of my life is not this, and you depart to your Athens hotel,
Shaking his clammy and oblivious hand, thinking fuck this,

Out of all the rest of my life, been here, done that,
And to hell with those who give others a name
For a regrettable evening with a man who names his band
After the mental state he's in, while you just want to be home

And getting some serious sleep.