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The first time that I saw him
It was as if he had just materialized
An animation moving through the parking lot
Mythological, untouchable
His limbs like paintbrushes
His board a puppet on strings

He invited me to join him in a jam session
He carried me in his rhythm
I felt his radiation

The second time that I saw him
He carved a maze out of the concrete
And dared me to follow him
I took to the path earnestly
And where I lost the trail
He would reemerge and usher me onward

I felt privileged to dance behind him
To study his choreography
To linger in his shadow

The third time that I saw him
The weather had changed
New pedestals were being erected
He mocked the passing storm with indifference
In a sort of spontaneous performance art
He tuned way down, where no one could follow him

Where others became frustrated and confused
I paid close attention
I knew I was in the presence of a genius

The fourth time that I saw him
We became friends
He opened up his world to me
He let me hang out where no one else could belong
And he ran up a several hundred-dollar phone bill on my dime
Then pissed himself laughing on my parents couch

He lived on the edge of insanity
Inspiring me daily
And writing the future with each breath

The fifth time that I saw him
We were both survivors of something
He was gracious to my wife and daughter
But his eyes were still wild
And as we stood together in some new arena
I simply thanked him

I thanked him for what was
I thanked him for what is
I thanked him for what will be

He’s the poet that wrote our masterpiece