This poem was first included on the LP "Neighbourhood Rhythms." It was
written when Dennis was still alive and living on Washington St, Marina
Rey. "He had a lot of ghosts chasing him then," remembers Bill, "but he
have a beautiful baby blue '57 Thunderbird." By the time the record hit
stores Dennis Wilson was dead.
Bill Bentley is now Senior Vice President of Media Relations at Warner
Records, California. Special thanks to Adam Webb for helping to secure permission to reproduce this poem.
By Bill Bentley
"My dog smells queers," he says,
the voice scrapped dry from swigging malted sand.
He's the dream kid at the tail end of America, burnt red to a scruffy crisp,
high and dry behind the wheel of a baby blue T-bird,
now left to listen for a silent station
on his holy radio.
No way would Popeye be too proud of this beached boy,
prowling the street named so nicely after our first grandfather George.
"Colonel Smirnoff," I say, a southpaw living on cottage cheese and bad blood.
Every day it's the same: two eyes that go out with the tide while he salutes an invisible white flag.
No stripes, no stars,
just a shaggy dog bar backed by an endless buzz.
So what's left?
Stick ol' Glory in his skull, a few lit sparklers in each arm and turn him toward the ocean
for one last lonely dance?
But drummer Dennis, the sweet and sour Marina menace, has it figured different.
There's no one behind him,
no mosquitoes to swim into his ears or clouds to rain on his face.
That's the way it's got to be when you're nearer the end than the start.
"So don't worry baby," Dennis barks,
"it's only the world, and anyway,
there's still the sun."
I listen, he looks, we smile,
while the surf applauds its most famous friend.
Then with a cockeyed grin to match the new moon
"the dog smells junkies, how much for the dog?"
There are no takers tonight
in Marina Del Rey.