Root Boy Slim, 1945-1993

John Balaban

Dead now, Foster MacKenzie III,
better known as Root Boy Slim,
lead singer and composeur
for the Sex Change Band.
His trademark "Liquor Store Hold-Up in Space,"
"Dating the Undead," and the popular
"Boogie 'Til You Puke"
rocked the '80s bar scene in D.C.,
his coked and uninsultable clientele.

Just the sight of him invited trouble.
Even his Post obituary misbehaved, saying
he was "overweight, dressed like a slob
and took delight in shocking his audiences."

I kept the clipping for a week,
then crumpled it, tossed it in the basket.
But plucked it out, alive in my hand
like some stunned sparrow,
some stoned songbird
fallen down a long chimney.

 

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