The Thing That's Funny Is That Everyone Thinks I'm Dead

For Charles Nelson Reilly

by Finny Deerfield

CHARLES Nelson Reilly, I thought I could woo you.
Straighten you out, as they say. Took your class
at the Burt Reynolds Institute 3 times, my work
soaked with tears and with gin. You only noticed
my sloppy
sloppy work.

How many times did you find me in Marina del Ray
crying to sleep on your treasured ascots
and so kindly
you did not call the police?

Charles Nelson Reilly, you were a great director
but America clamored for your pipe and boating cap
begging you to roll your eyes and be droll.

The '70s were a strange time, they look, in still
photos, like the set of Brazil.
I see you sitting next to the Captain, or Tennille
and everything is Orange.

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