“R.I.P. Hubbard (Larry) LaFarge”

Just a new performance piece. Since few of my subjects survive my stuff I’ve inserted an alternative ending



A giant he was of girth and growling

We admired and envied his national standing

Shrugged at his red-blooded man-spreading

Flashing on podia and once drunk on t.v.

Where my girlfriend swore she saw his love stick

“It just popped out – made me feel sick!”

 – when a string was undone

On his Balinese beach wear sarong.


We aped his style in hats and suits

hand made leather cowboy boots –

Necks draped with ostrich boas

Or capes right out of Transylvania.


A tap from his goat horn stick

ensured rapt attention

As devotees plied him

whiskey, cider and ales

To ramble apocryphal tales of

Drinking bouts with Dylan Thomas, et al.


His yellowing memoirs,


Filled ranks of shelves

In Hay on Wye and Wigtown, Galloway.

Where I nicked a copy, autographed,

“Best wishes, Deirdre, on your birthday.

Hubbard, smiley face, X X X”

From a soggy box outside a shop.


I sighted him in Basil Blackwell’s

Bulging his pockets furtively

As he browsed the non fiction section,



I sidled behind ‘His Enormity’

Noting the spartan emptiness

Where ‘Hubbards’ ought to be.


Over a rabbit room pint in the “Bird and Baby”

I asked after his work

In the light of his recent debility.


“Brilliant, dear boy, burgeoning.

Even though I have been unwell

My reputation’s flourishing

My memoir’s flying off the shelves.”


He took out a cutting, sighed and drawled

“I’m slated as next year’s new big thing … again…”

Then stood and tapped his watch, 

“ My round next time – I must be off.”


Through a wiped circle in a steamed up window

I watched him limp St Giles

Swaying a little, cursing a lot

Waving his fist and stick

Careless of hurtling traffic

And wondered if any hooting Jehu

Knew the faded greatness they cursed

Or read of his verse…


                                 …He used to be famous.



(former fatal ending) :

“He slipped as he limped St Giles

A rush hour bastard to cross.

Looters scooped ‘personals’ from the gutter

An empty wallet, a broken cane

“RIP OFF THIS BOOK!!” times four

Not much more.

No one pursued his fedora.” 

© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Should go down well as a performance piece especially with the mention of a ‘love stick’.
The next line ” – when a string undone” seems to me incomplete; should it be ‘became undone’?

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