Dylan’s Voice

A Poem

By Kevin McGowan


how to put it?
vocally equivalent
to Humphrey Bogart’s face:
craggy, sunken, cigar smoke
infused, dram-darkened behind
the rain-pebbled glass of another
cheap gumshoe office in noir city
doldrums, a face of the wee hours
but, above all, lived in:
the man acts
and I believe him

yes, a bit
like that – old northern
bullfrog croaking from swamps
about spirits on the water
gettin sent back to the penitentiary
and whatever other sorrows
unfold before the harmonica kicks
in again, but
when Bob sings
I believe him.