DENNIS WILSON (1944 - 1983) by BRADLEY MASON HAMLIN
Marina Del Rey ...
I was there the day Dennis Wilson
on my own would be “Surfin’ Safari”
while unauthorized from duty for the United States Navy
in the army they call it AWOL ...
but unfortunately had no real home in California
any more or any where other than the military in Long Beach
in retrospect, gotta thank them for that
(at least I went back)
not just any shoreline would do
a séance of salt wind wanted
Venice and Santa Monica and the Marina
where I grew up
listening to The Beach Boys
and doing my best to be a beach bum
when we moved northeast in Los Angeles
to Highland Park
we would sneak back on weekends
if somebody had a car and an 8-track of
Endless Summer ...
and from Santa Monica where we lived on California Avenue
walking over to Venice, walking over the canals
and into the Marina where we once had an apartment
had since moved to England
my brother off in college
and mom ...
she drowned from depression
when I was 15
and so walking ... listening ... for her ghost
she liked the beach, too
vodka martinis and The Beach Boys
we had something in common
and when missing her, try to remember
and so there
trying to figure secret code of fitting into grand scheme of ocean blue
and hearing someone say the words
Dennis Wilson drowned ...
getting punched in the stomach with an invisible fist
my favorite Beach Boy
the guy who wrote “You Are So Beautiful”
and sang it at the end of every show
the soul of the Beach Boys
that cool guy that made the girls scream
looking for a ghost and found one
and realized ... too cold to surf
didn’t have a surfboard on runaway vacation anyway
and especially didn’t wanna swallow pride
and borrow a stick from one of the surf jerks
really wanted a beach party
that could capture pure fun & sun of Annette Funicello movie
in a city always reminiscent of summer
felt like crying for Dennis Wilson
and in truth
a little for myself.
December 28, 2013
“Dennis Wilson (1944 -1983)" by Bradley Mason Hamlin.
Zero RPM: Z-101. Edited by Lucy Hell. © 2013 by Mystery Island Publications. Published: 12.28.13.
All rights reserved.
Photo of Dennis Wilson (at top of page) from the collection of Mystery Island.
BEACH PARTY FOREVER (Lucy Hell Poem)
DENNIS WILSON FOREVER (Billy Hinsche DVD)
BEACH PARTY USA (beach archives)
ZERO PERCENT MAGAZINE