Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
SHJ Issue 18
Spring 2018

Something About Bob

by Marit Anderson

—for Robert “Bob” Nanninga
Spandex and The Bee Gees gripped
the California Coast. I flew south from Sausalito
and had trouble finding a vertical landing strip until
I read his column in a local newspaper and had visions
of environmental sanity and journalistic courage.

After work one evening, I went to a play at an artsy
theater in Hillcrest. Something about love. I arrived
alone and was seated in the front row. In the
foyer, I’d seen pictures of the all male cast.
There he was
   the writer
      Robert “Bob” Nanninga.

It was a play about a group of friends on holiday being
theatrical and naked. Picture this: A chorus line
of nude men in the aisle in front of the stage. Right in
front of the front row. Men jumping and kicking. Penises
flying. Wagging like non-random growths on marionettes.

But these were real manly packages
   a few feet from my face

Bob’s stood out. He wore a black leather cock ring with
metal grommets. Some close encounters are more
memorable than others.

I never spoke to or was officially introduced to Bob
Nanninga, who wrote his last poem shortly before taking
his last breath. Something about love—and trees.

Yo, Bob. I want to stand for the trees as well
   and my feet are burning.
I want to stand for water protectors
   and my legs are covered with oil.
I want to stand for women
   and my pussy is being grabbed
      and called a pre-existing condition.
I want to stand for Black Lives Matter
   and I’m white and confused.
I just want to stand for something
   that doesn’t suck.

The times they are a stretchin’, Bob, like worn out
spandex. I wonder if your spirit is still
         and standing
            for something
               about love.

—Previously published in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2017-18 (Garden Oak Press, in association with the San Diego Entertainment & Arts Guild [SDEAG]; February 2018); appears here with permissions from the poet and the publisher


[Webmaster’s Note: See YouTube for Anderson’s reading of this poem at Full Moon Poets Slam in Encinitas, California.]


SHJ Issue 18
Spring 2018

Marit Anderson

hosts Awaken the Poet Within, a weekly poetry writing group at the Encinitas Library. Her poetry is anthologized in the San Diego Poetry Annual (2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 editions) and Summation: The Merging of Art and Poetry (Volumes VII, VIII, and IX), and appears online at Excuse Me, I’m Writing. She holds five degrees, two in Nutrition and Dietetics and three in Psychology, and practiced in those fields for many moons prior to slinging words at poetry slams.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury