We all went to Thailand to die,
one way or another.
You managed first.

Lord of the tennis court,
your wasted body blazed away
your afternoon hangovers:
maximum sweat for minuscule triumph.

Alabama moody, how you hated
your black fellow-countrymen,
derided colleagues of all colours,
praised the propensities of Korean prostitutes.

Somehow, between court and bar,
you found the time to harangue
mystified, tongue-tied students,
simple targets for disgust or lust.

Rough guide to Bangkok's bars,
always company for a beer,
ever hopeful that some teenage clairvoyant
would warm to the heart
beneath your grizzly veneer.

Then you moved up a gear
in the fast lane to hell:
drowned a rich new job
in all-night booze,

fixated your libido
on trans-sexual criminals
who slashed your face,
undermined your balance

till you fell and smashed your brain.
Crazy Robert, master of self-destruction.
A hard act to follow.

Bryan Murphy

If you've any comments on this poem, Bryan Murphy would be pleased to hear from you.

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