Jokerman (a.k.a Zimmerman/Dylan/Jack Frost)

Jokerman  (written on request)

when you started
hands in your pocket
trying to look like James Dean
with Suzie holding on to you
looking happy
singing like Woody Guthrie
on a train Bound for Glory
with a sneer and whine, bloody angry
and a divine sounding Hohner
you were already finished
You never got any better
Nothing will ever beat your
Blowing in the Wind

But then there was your genius
song after song of poetry
and harmony
and lyricism
and beauty
but somewhere you sold your soul
to the devil for plenty of greenbacks
though your great songs kept coming
No more young and goggled
cigarette dangling from the very edge of your lips
jacketed and girlish
the rebel loved by older women
riding your Harley Davidson
you sought refuge in religions
but something seemed gone from your muse

Looking back, what remains
are your words
your Testament
and a pose
I learned from you
to let no one know who
you really are
Remain an enigma
a mystery
and private
and let others say
whatever they want about you
let them make you larger than life
or vilify you
and as your shadow grew
consequently you grew smaller
with only your songs and words
to keep you alive forever
and your ‘industry.’

Jokerman, I wonder
who you served, anyway?
It wasn’t God or the Devil
but just your own graven image & Mammon
but your words betrayed you
and spoke of something deeper
carried the light bulb you had kept down

Despite everything I can’t stop reading
or listening to your songs
You were a medium chosen
for greatness
and what can one do about it
except to acknowledge that
and marvel at your ability
to channel some kind of immortal poetic soul
to the lesser mortals around you
in such a way that no one
can contest your supremacy;
can only rival you, if at all.

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Dr A.V. Koshy is presently working as Assistant Professor in Dept. of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has authored or co-authored seven or eight books of poetry, theory and criticism. He is an editor and anthologist. He is also a distinguished teacher of the English language and literature and a critic, with a Ph.D in modern poetry, specifically Samuel Beckett's poems in English. He was a Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry in 2012 and his book Art of Poetry was selected as Best Reads 2012 by Butterfly and the Bee. He has been editor's pick on Camel Saloon thrice and poet of the month thrice in Destiny Poets UK besides often having his poems appear in the highly selected category. Has other international awards, diplomas and certificates to his credit too.

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