The Poetry of Bob

I’ve been pedal to the metal for so long this month, I haven’t even stopped to breathe, so when I realized I hadn’t entered Agnes in the Ritas, I went flipping through the e-mails Bob had sent me to find the one with his RWA membership number on it, moving at the speed of light because I had to get back to Dogs and Goddesses. But the funny thing was, as I flipped through literally hundreds of e-mails, they started to look like poetry. What had been annoying–would it kill him to write a whole paragraph?–became Art.

And so I present the Poetry of Bob, all complete e-mails, in their entirely, punctuated and spaced just as he sent them to me, the Poet Laureate of the Green Berets or, as he told me in one e-mail:

that’s me
a senstive soul
a poet-warrior

They’re really beautiful in their brevity and complexity:

I am
you. Well. who knows.

Full of paradox and rhythm:

not crashing yet
I said before I crash

Full of imagery:

blue paint
blue carpet
not good

Not afraid of non-sequiturs:

you and the vampires
i’m going to bed

Accepting of life’s reversals:

the system failed

Sometimes epic:

it’ll be fine
we’ll get rejected
end up living under a bridge
the river will flood


Sometimes terse:

you win

What I love about these is that they’re entire e-mails, and he put the space breaks in where they are here. He just does it naturally. Of course I have ten thousand more that are bitching about publishing and making fun of me, but the fact that these gems are in there, too, well, it just gives me faith in the poetry in the man’s soul.

Bob. Poet-Warrior. The man who wrote:

Sounds good.
But we’re still doomed.
Doomed I tell you.


Book done yet?

You read them here first.

Addendum: It occurs to me that I may not have myself clear:
Bob does not think he’s writing poetry.
Bob is just answering my e-mails.

40 thoughts on “The Poetry of Bob

  1. It’s like a whole new form of Haiku. Bobku. Equally, as complex, just a different drum.
    Different universe.
    My son writes sms messages with similar brevity, obscurity and panache. So that I can’t resist saving them.

  2. Bobku. I like it.

    I e-mailed him to let him know I’d blogged about him before somebody else told him and got this back:

    lucky me

    I bought shoes today

    Really, he’s a genius.

  3. This may truly be the most disturbing thing I’ve seen in at least… 12 hours? I wonder if he can do Emily Dickinson?

    Because I would not stop for Bob
    He kindly stopped for me

    Sung, of course, to the tune of Deep In The Heart of Texas.

    Screw with the capitalization and he could be another ee cummings.

  4. I have a coworker who sends me emails like that. More words, but same rhythm.

    It could be a new form of writing. Like poetry, beyond my abilities.

    Publish it. I predict – many dissertations in its future.

  5. I’ll take Bobku


    as opposed to the lengthy, strangely-worded elaborations I need to read for my teaching but cannot understand.

  6. You see, this is why my Mum thinks most people that write email are rude because they don’t write it like a letter.

    Yours sincerely,

    Ms. Francois

    PS. Bob as a member of RWA is the funniest thing I’ve heard today.

  7. Bobkus is not bupkis
    It’s much of a muchness
    With haiku and suchness

    It’s hard to write Bobku. I thought Haiku was tricky. This has to have not only lucidity, but Bobbidity. (No, I know that word didn’t exist 4 minutes ago, but all the same I bet you know what it means.)

    Bob makes it look so easy!

  8. And what everyone doesn’t know is that Louis doesn’t even have to try; his comments just have that natural … what was that word, Mary? Bobidity.

  9. Mary Stella – LOL

    Well, it’s short poetry because a lot of the words are classified and on a need-to-know basis.

  10. I just reread the title of Jenny’s blog post: “The Poetry of Bob”. It reminds me of “The Tao of Pooh”. Now I’m cracking up at work. On one hand, Bob could think, “Great. There goes my Green Beret image. Poet-warrior reduced to comparison with Pooh: A Bear of Very Little Brain.” On the other hand, Bob, there are worse comparisons. Pooh’s much loved. He’s a GAB.

    I’m laughing way more than I should over my own silliness. Maybe I’m on tryptophane overload.

  11. It’s hard to write Bobku. I thought Haiku was tricky. This has to have not only lucidity, but Bobbidity. (No, I know that word didn’t exist 4 minutes ago, but all the same I bet you know what it means.)

    Blue-painted room, portents of doom
    He says he bought new shoes.

    Put ’em together and what do you get?
    Bibbidi, Bobbidity, Bobkus!

  12. Yes, yes, bobku is wonderful, Bob is wonderful. Email is good too.

    But— let’s get back to the subject here: did you get Agnes entered? If ever a book deserved a RITA, that one does.

  13. Question for Jenny.

    Could you email me (zlamarr at gmail dot com)? I wanted to ask your advice/opinion on something relating to the upcoming RWA Nationals.

    Sorry to do it this way, but I wasn’t sure how else to contact you. Thanks!

  14. Tapping into the rhythms
    of the universe

    I like it! A few words with a lot of echoes and connections, rather than a lot of words belaboring one point.

  15. Okay. I have to know.

    Does this mean that Bob will be buying a black turtleneck and beret, and going out on the road with a jazz combo to tour small venues across our nation with his poetry stylings?

    Why am I suddenly flashing on the movie “So I Married An Axe Murderer”?

    “Harriet. Harri—et. Heartless harbinger of haggis.”


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