There can be no biography of him,
Who was no one and everyone
And went by many names such as
Leroy Everybodytalksabout and
Pan Smolarek and the man who
Casts no shadow. He never married
And his companion was a chicken.
Winter and summer, rain or shine,
His home was a bench in Lincoln Park
Near the old miniature golf course
Where he and the chicken performed
Loosely choreographed dumb shows.
When the police arrested him he laughed
And said, “Mene mene tekel upharsin.”
He rode city bus lines with the chicken.
He carried a toy bow and arrow set.
He wore an alarm clock around his neck.
When the horseplayers gathered at night
Outside the Commonwealth Hotel
And a truck brought the Racing Forms,
He and the chicken were also there.
He had some literature, in Johnson’s phrase,
And held Wordsworth in high regard.
The Old Leech Gatherer was a personage
To whom he often alluded – but when stung
By looks of stupefaction among his listeners
He would quote Hamlet, albeit imperfectly:
“This was caviar to the general population.”
He never made any money but he was
A great businessman and was a great lover
Though he remained a virgin all his life.
“There are just so many fat people now.”
Those were his last words, whose truth
I reflect upon whenever I go into Starbucks
So I try to make my own coffee at home.