Oct 20, 2017, 07:00AM

Eulogy for Bob Kaufman

The Gods feared your magic words.

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You wore your life like a life preserver
Forever remembering the political chaos
Vietnam King and the Kennedy brothers

Tongue on fire minding carrying
The music of Charlie Parker in your heart

You dodged the lawman’s bullet
Riding high the poetic barb
To the Top of the Mark

You walked the streets of North Beach
With matted hair and soiled jeans
That failed to disguise the nightmare dreams

You fired away with satellite precision
And the Gods feared your magic words
Your eyes boring through the living dead

You walked unmasked for all to see
Lady Death the ultimate clown
Followed you about town
Oblivious to the gothic nightmares
You wore like an anchor around your neck

You moved through North Beach streets
The original be-bop man
Poet in residence caretaker of the clan

The haunting breath of death snapping
At your heels like
A bloodhound closing in for the kill

And when the magic of North Beach left
You did too, moving to the Bayview
Away from the social zoo
A living Bangladesh come true

Your words to the end
Hard as a pair of new boots
Echoed across the universe like
King Tut’s curse

And when death came to claim you
The angry ghosts of the Co-existence
Bagel Shop beat hard in the
Paper hearts of every city cop

The shadow of your being
Dancing from Chinatown alleys
To downtown high rises
Billie Holiday forever singing
In your heart


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