Bob Holman


In time, the light of passion returned to his eyes,
And then, suddenly, it was genius or burst!
He’d been dogged by self-mistrust, earnest & true,
What’s the matter with you?
Now visions
Stayed put, he could look & talk at the
Same time, he could see through & through it.
His anger at the fools who looked first
At the signature, then at the work — he’d show
'Em! He began sweeping with a vengeance.
It all came back, so very clear, rushing
Towards him! He turned his back as the wave
Broke over him, & swept him out to sea.
Draw this, he said. Draw this poem, I ordered.

What a drama! Harder than walking on water even,
It was more loved than lovely, something you
Can only write down, never endure. Oh,
She uttered, as he rolled over her, fuck me now!
People actually talk like this.
He was inside the painting at the time.

Bob Holman is an endlessly innovative poet/performer. Internationally known, his popularity crosses academic labels. He embodies the image of an artist whose life is large, literary, and spent in service to language and community. Holman is recognized as the co-daddy of slam poetry and he is the founder of the beloved Bowery Poetry Club. His books include Life Poem, The Unspoken, Collect Call of the Wild, and many more at