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Friday, February 25, 2011

Poem of the Week--Could I be Bob? Phil Ginsburg

This is a fun way to get us back into that Poem of the Week grind, so thanks, Phil. Wonder if he's distantly related to Allen?

Speaking of handles, Editrice Liz has a Twitter now! Follow her: @EditriceLiz on And if you want to know a bit more about the whole endeavor, there's a note on our Facebook page. But enjoy the poem first.

Could I Be Bob?

by Phil Ginsburg

I came out of the supermarket yesterday
And a guy I see at the gym once in a while nods to me
And says, “How you doin’, Bob?"

And I drove home thinking: Could I be Bob?

Could I be Bob, the retired kick boxer, who now runs a bike shop
And hopes everyday some punk will come into the store with a pistol and
Demand money so he can display his Muay Thai Art of Eight Limbs technique
And leave this out-on-bail felon
Bloodied and broken next to the bash guard of a BMX with 4 to 6 inches of front Suspension?

Could I be Bob the Pastor who once gave a prophecy that the world
Would end in fire on 2002 and that the new heavens and new earth would
Begin on May 12 of that year
And the only sign left of the previous civilization
Would be a burned out Footlocker store in Minneapolis?

Could I be Bob the supermarket produce guy who everyday sifts
Through asparagus spears but hurls darts of displeasure at his mother-in-law
Who wants him to put down the dill and exert his will and bring home the bacon for her Daughter Jenny who’s a dollar store shopaholic?

And could I ever be Bob who performed the Heimlich maneuver on a 76 year old former
Assistant District Attorney choking on an artificial parsley flavored crouton at a
Salad bar who, unbeknownst to Bob, would suffer a massive coronary three days later
At home while playing Scrabble with his wife of 52 years who just finished making the word “Classic” worth 21 points?

I don’t think I can be Bob.

I’m just me.

I wish he had called me Steve.

I could be Steve.


  1. I think the really difficult question (left unsaid; I like the "unsaid" in a poem, the "unasked," -- (leaves so much to the reader) -- is whether you might be Susan or Annie or Joanna. Could be a bit more complicated, involving extra introspection. I'm not trying to be any kind of phobic here, just funny at no one's expense but yours. Great poem, Phil, Bob, Steve, or hey, do you think you could be Obama? He probably also has gone to the supermarket back in the day when he had to do his own shopping, and might have repaired a bike at some point. ok, super job - love it! Actually, I think you might be Phil. Could Bob etc. have written this? Of course not! best, julie

  2. Good point Julie. Also would have been fun to be a different species or extraterrestrial! (We have a bit of an E.T bias here at the Toucan). Thanks for commenting!