When I forgot the words
to a song I could always
count on Bob for help.
It was like breaking down
on a musical highway
and calling Mr. Rescue.
He would mouth the next line
and I wouldn’t miss a beat.
For 20 years we railed in
harmony against the ruling class.
The joints we played weren’t
the minor leagues of the music industry;
they were the sandlots.
What sparse crowds we did attract were
usually too drunk to appreciate
3-chord missiles fired at their masters.
Once in Dallas we asked
a club owner how much longer
he wanted us to play
and he actually said, Until
the SWAT team arrives.
You should have died on a tiny stage,
Bob, not in a tiny apartment,
a reminder to call Affordable Dentures,
for a good reason to smile, tacked on
the wall you were found leaning against.
You should have died on a stage
behind the chicken wire that
protected us from our adoring fans
and which you rightly pointed out
also protected them from us.
—from Rattle #39, Spring 2013
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