John Prine died today. He was my first concert. He wrote every song I love that I don’t remember who wrote. He wrote this poem, too, but he wrote it through me. I’ll miss him. One day I’d like to see him again.
I had a feeling I could be someone.
You’ll only feel by listening
to the same song,
but none better than the downtown boy
with hair like Dylan
accepted to Yale when I was
but dropped out
and now plays to a Farmers’ market audience–
an empty picnic blanket and me.
At 24 years old,
he looks more like twelve
and sings folk like a wizened bluesman.
Will he go anywhere
or stay in Fairfax forever,
wearing the same uncool shoes
as the classmate I bullied in 4th grade.
If America’s misfits come to San Francisco
and SF’s go to Oakland,
where do Oakland’s go?
We’re only fifteen miles north of The City,
but you can believe in the stars having a plan for you
and we’ll still believe in you.
If you move too quick,
you hit the speed of loneliness
like a too-fast car,
breaking the sound barrier,
collapsing into yourself,
We all feel that way.
Some of us become.
We all pass away.