He was tall, Solomon. Not tall like you think, but tree tall. They're going to tell you Ben died of Marfans, then you'll hear rumors of white lines with hundred-dollar bills, Colt 40's in his cup holder, & won't know what to think. I believe both.
I am not going to tell you he arm wrestled uncle John and beat him back when uncle John had biceps like softballs or that he told Grandma off then talked her out of a butt whoopin'. I can't be that guy. He wasn't the greatest uncle that you'll never meet. He just wasn't. He was tall though. Marfans makes you tall, Abe Lincoln had it and he was skyscraper tall. Ben was taller. He was an aspen, all porcelain white with dark knots, when he smiled those autumn coins would wink sun in the wind like the earth just let out this long love sigh, a cool breeze that would swagger fall leaves around his feet: round hips and shy grins. I don't think he ever smiled enough.
He was the toughest of your dad and I. Mentally speaking. Believe this: In Ohio they called him "scrapper," I put my fists up for him a few times but he always picked fights bigger than me.
I like to think when he snorted that wick-line of coke, when his aorta ripped away from his heart, and the cosmos opened up right there in his living room where all he had to do was step through that sparkling rift & pluck any galaxy he wanted from the air...that he held for a moment. I believe he stood there, alive but dead, longer than any other man could have. By will. Just by his will.
J.R.Pearson is a poet living and writing in Dalton Gardens, Idaho and his work is currently featured in The Indie Underground. He has a few choice pieces of writing forthcoming online as well as in print from The Cherry Blossom Review, Dogzplot, & The Indie Underground. He is a member of an experimental group of collaborator's called Orzel Transtextual Poetry which engage in, among other things, combining Flarf with real-time emotions. He was born in Lansing, Michigan and watched his brother, Ben, die there at 28. Survived by his nephew Solomon.