By Kenn Hartmann
Bingo held court canopied beneath spring leaves & eternal sky. OK, ‘twas the DC Eagles clubhouse party in Beloit across Illinois border in Wisconsin west of Rock River. Let's check GPS coordinates, uh lets see uh waz happnin' here on this motorcycle curb packside street. Bingo held court, recited poetry, evoked spirits, pontificated, "if you ain't got honor you ain't got shit." The Saturday nightsoirée swirled around what was being called ‘the literary corner.' This was billed as Bingo's Life Celebration party & Bingo plannedto bang away at life's drum to his last breath, he even quoted the ancient poet Wallace Irwin, "she blew tars off spars & spars off mast"& who can forget? "O wizzell me dead!' the capting said." It's rained for weeks Midwest U.S., rained earlier that day in Sweet Home,but out here the night was clear & the air perfect. A young probate near the garage asked, "what keeps him going? Bingo's got to bea hunnert." A voice from the shadows said, "he's refusing his medicine." The probate asked, "money?" The shadows reply, "He resists authority." Bingo's voice is energetic & his poems might mock conventions. But he's living the life others only dream. ThroughBingo's Downed Biker Fund those brothers & sisters who are ‘down' in prison can get a piece of biker paradise, well that's whatFree Riders Press is isn't it, an oasis of cool road stories surrounded by a publishing desert of corporate bullshit? Here's how it goes: he throws words like tossing a dagger with precision. Bingo once recited the ‘to be or not to be' Shakespeare scene to a cop who had asked him to recite the alphabet. Somewhere between "to sleep, perchance to dream" & "his quietus makewith a bare bodkin" the cop fidgeted until shrugged to his partner slumped in squad, "well, he does know Hamlet." They let himoff, even refusing to write a warning, "Thus conscience does make cowards of us all." When reciting poems he becomes animat-ed, intense like a concert violinist playing a rockabilly riff in abandoned, hollow stairwell listening to notes bounce off darkness.
He has a way of mesmerizing the listener, perhaps because he can mesmerize himself with poetic refrain. After one particular- ly spontaneous recital, there's no formality at this reading, not like poetry slams or fake shit like that, no this is mano-a-mano, likehe's telling you an intense secret to humorous climax. Someone said, "Can you believe it? Bingo said he uses Viagra to get a hard-on so he doesn't piss on his shoes." Another guy replied, "Bingo tells it better, he rhymed remember with fender, then stood &pissed over the hood." The two discussed the poem for twenty minutes, while others went for beer & the last of the baked beans. Kenn asked Bingo for a pic & he saidDespite earlier weather, riders had come from southern Illinois & northern Wisconsin to converge on Bingo's celebration – at one quote: “My photo is always at the bottom of point the clubhouse rocked a sing-along to page 2 or 3” of the Free Riders Press I Want To Be Remembered
I would like to be remembered (in a good and brotherly way) Bingo, besides being around since motorcycles were invented, perhaps earlier, got into That I tried to be a brother to all bikers every day.
poetry early, maybe fifth grade passing up Gunga Din by Kipling (you limpin' lump o' I've lived a good and happy life - more years than many will - brick-dust Gunga Din, you squidgy-nosed old idol) in favor of Irwin's "A Nautical So shed no tears for this old man when i go over that last hill! Extravagance" a poem that mixes yarn with unadulterated yahoo! Which helps explain That 'HILL' you'll go over too - some day - and then we'll meet again.
Bingo's ultimate style. You can of course find Bingo's occasional contributions in Free We all know that day is coming - but we'll never know just when.
Riders Press, but also online at VTWINBIKER.COM & click on the poetry tab under So live your life with honor - as I have TRIED to do - Richard ‘Bingo' Cosby. To contribute to Bingo's cause, send to: Bingo's Downed Biker
Then when you go to 'Harley Heaven' the brothers will all remember you.
Fund, 2206 Jefferson, Two Rivers, WI 54241.
-Kenn Hartmann- [email protected]



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