A Gonzo toast to David Bowie

I awoke to the news that a comrade’s father had died. Amidst the well wishes and thoughts on mortality my wife informed David Bowie had passed as well.

Such a day where death surrounds you calls for a strong drink. I looked deeply into my tome of forgotten poetry and read aloud the holy scripture:
“2 ½ ounces of gin.

¾ ounce grapefruit juice

½ ounce sweet vermouth”

“What’s this one called?”

“The Palm Beach Special. You know I’m a sucker for Floridiana.”

Crisp. Strong. Too sour.

We kept on.

Buying clothes and silverware from the Salvation Army. We find a black dress that fits her perfectly, she comments it was probably worn by a dead person.

“The Dead don’t need clothes.”

We are walking home. We debate housing transient Anarchists in our home.

“I’m NOT having these people in my house!”
“Fine! WHAT HUMANITY YOU HAVE! These people are DOING SOMETHING , Boo. These are REVOLUTIONARIES. You would deny them housing? These people, are making a difference!”

Our eyes fade, empty sockets staring into one another. We are dying too. We do anything beside talk about the reaper in the room as her mom coughs upstairs. We’ll fight, we’ll argue, anything to feel alive. The quiet silence a stark reminder of the stillness of death. We’re crying inside, we’re seeking oblivion. This is not a special day, nor David Bowie a saint. It merely illuminates our own desire for death.

Oblivion. Void. As I make another cocktail I stare into the window.


“Your mother has pneumonia”
“Hospital tomorrow then?”

We don’t have insurance. We treat symptoms not diseases.

All we can do is meditate on death, our own mortality. An artist passes, his last album a living testament to his final moments. “Lazarus” becomes infused with new meaning, “Black Star” a strange call for new creatives:

“Something happened on the day he died

Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried

(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)”

The call for somebody to take his place, for new artists. It resonates. And yet it seems so far away. All the artists I know are broke, poor, and struggling. I watch the news as the Middle East burns.

“Play uh…Major Tom!”
“….in a way, we’re all Major Tom.”
“Lost…adrift. In a cold and empty void.”

Where are the new David Bowie’s? Where are the new Hunter S. Thompson’s? I read amazing writing from people struggling to pay rent every day. Why haven’t they made it? I work with a musical genius, a man who knows every artist in and out, who’s had the same band for 20+ years.

We work together making subs and cleaning slicers.

The passing of David Bowie has opened a void, a void he fully knew. In his last breaths he called for new cultural icons to take his place. He passed the crown. But our hands are too dirty and callused to hold it. We, collectively as artists, dream of escaping this hellish purgatory we deem “real life.”

“How many times does an angel fall?
How many people lie instead of talking tall?
He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangstar)

I can’t answer why (I’m a blackstar)”

We the unknown, we the struggling, we the artists not yet known…we salute you. May we fill the void you’ve left and inspire unknown generations of artists, writers, and Unique’s.

“On the day of execution, on the day of execution

Only women kneel and smile, ah-ah, ah-ah

At the centre of it all, at the centre of it all

Your eyes, your eyes.”

In half-paid apartments and “camping cars” the new David Bowie’s await. With coughs caused by grill-cleaner and hands shook by alcohol we dream in the gutter.

“Something happened on the day he died

Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside

Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried…”


Dr. Bones is an 8 year practitioner of the Southern occult tradition known as Conjure, Rootwork, and Hoodoo. A skilled card-reader and Spiritworker, Dr. Bones has undertaken all aspects of the work, both benevolent and malefic. Politically he holds the Anarchist line that “Individuality can only flourish where equality of access to the conditions of existence is the social reality. This equality of access is Communism.” He resides in the insane State of Florida with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.
He can be reached through facebook.

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Dr. Bones

Dr. Bones is a conjurer, card-reader and egoist-communist who believes “true individuality can only flourish when the means of existence are shared by all." A Florida native and Hoodoo practitioner, he summons pure vitriol, straight narrative, and sorcerous wisdom into a potent blend of poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism. He lives with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.

His writing can be found at Gods & RadicalsDisinfo, and Greed Media. He can be reached at The Conjure House and through Facebook.

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