Bob Bray’s “David Lee”

9 02 2014

david lee

he was my friend
and then he wasn’t
he got wild
I went to college
he loved a girl named ann
she loved him back sort of
he played the saxophone
he had a band

tenor        ramrods

ann went somewhere else
he got wilder
he broke a window
he stole a naked manikin
they put him in the asylum
he died there of something
and then he wasn’t
he was my friend

–Bob Bray


My colleague Bob Bray shared with me the above poem which he wrote in tribute to a high school friend, and I wanted to share it with the readers of this blog. I deeply admire this poem–its humanity and humility, and also its craft, its care. It is a gorgeous, understated elegy, an acknowledgement of both complexity and loss.



2 responses

24 11 2014
Jessica Lambrakos

This is going to sound crazy but did David Lee write songs while in the asylum and was he also known as Charles E. David, Jr.? If so please contact me…I have a truly remarkable story and have been looking to find him or his family for a long time…

24 11 2014
Mike Theune

Mike Theune, the host of this blog, here. I don’t know the answers to you questions, but I shall seek them out and keep you posted. Thank you for your interest–

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