/ Michigan quarterly review: Vol. 19, No. 1
26 THE MICHIGAN QUARTERLY REVIEW PAINKILLERS The King of rock 'n roll grown pudgy, almost matronly, Fatty in gold lame, mad king encircled by a court of guards, suffering delusions about assassination, obsessed by guns, fearing rivalry and revolt popping his skin with massive hits of painkiller dying at 42. What was the pain? Pain had been the colors of the bad boy with the sneer. The story of pain, of separation, was the divine comedy he had translated from black into white. For white children too the act of naming the pain unsheathed a keen joy at the heart of it. Here they are still! the disobedient who keep a culture alive by subverting it, turning for example a subway into a garden of graffiti.
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