The pathos is a whizzing eighties kid
matched suit to paisley tie, only to lose
his body in an off-white, offshore bid
to ply more wagon spin from beaten hues.
The lowest-cost deceiver took the prize
to frame generic parts with hammered lies.
Now Bob saps absent minds in boiler rooms,
his patter tapped to rock's anthemic fumes.
As modern times outsource received advance
old flames go out. But comforts must be earned.
The venerable's a sleep where sheep get burned.
All memory conspires. Bob looks askance
then takes a run at dotage in his midst.
His late big hair combs through the suckers list.
* REO Speedwagon album (1980)
- NORMAN BALL is a poet, playwright, essayist and musician residing in Virginia. A featured poet on Prairie Home Companion, his poems and essays have appeared in Light Quarterly, The Raintown Review, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Epicenter, Oxford Magazine, The Cumberland Poetry Review, 14 by 14, Rattle, Liberty, The Hypertexts, Main Street Rag, The New Renaissance, The Scotsman, The London Times among dozens of others. His essay collections, How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable? (2010) and The Frantic Force (2011), both widely available on the web, are published by Del Sol Press and Petroglyph Books, respectively.
His recent play SIDES: A Civil War Musical (Inspired by The Red Badge of Courage) is currently being produced for TV by Last Tango Productions, LLC.