A POEM Written for iAN on his Birthday May 17, 2014 by Robert Levon Been*

i wanted to just keep it for myself, but i am not good at not sharing. What is mine, should it be good for the heart and soul, should be yours too.

You’re a dusty old god,
but i like the way you cough out the blues
say it slow and lay it sweet
take off your bandages my sibylline
don’t make the same mistake the new guy did
don’t start prayin’ for me
this sun drunk fairy tale ain’t gonna end well for nobody
there’s a whole page on reptiles and other quivering things
it only takes a little purr to serve their teeth
friend your the angriest dog in the wind
I’ve never charmed a snake that didn’t want somethin from me
never an ocean that didn’t slither its way beneath my feet
just another dooms day jazz melody
played straight down the spine in D
so just keep on coughing out that lullaby
you have a certain sadness in the light
don’t need no bullets when your flying by
got sweet mercy between your eyes
you’re a dream changer, deep soul strangler
your melodies always primed
you smeared the sky with the eloquence of light
but the delicacies in the grime
in the music of the outer darkness
against the slow breath of time
the beast was quietly humming
in your chest and mine