the pump don’t work cause the vandals took the handles

they say you can’t sing

but i’ve heard you do it

they say they don’t understand what those words mean

even though they mean

exactly what they say

maybe they just don’t understand what it means to them

it’s hard to write about yourself

but it’s even harder to read about yourself

words that get lost

as you try to find the right ones

but you always left the right ones out

which made it easy

which made it all make sense

which made them move across the page

off the record

into the next room

and then it was like overhearing someone

talk about you

and i would press my ear up against the door

and crack it just a bit

so that i could find out what they were saying

what you were saying

what i was thinking

when i heard you for the first time

talking with god

about me

about “the ghost of electricity that howled

in the bones of her face”

and you said

“i don’t call myself a poet

because I don’t like the word

I’m a trapeze artist”

and even though your still in the air, bob

you really stuck that landing

– happy 70th, bob.

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