The Man Without a Name
Everyone thought they knew him;
Everywhere he went he was recognized.
They misjudged him for a banker,
A lawyer, a professor, a car dealer,
A yachtsman, a restauranteur, a carpenter,
And a movie star, among countless others.
Folks would often sidle up to him,
Begin conversations, serious or jovial.
And he would befriend them, warmly,
As if he’d engaged them for years,
Even though he was a man
Without so much as a name—
Who was never asked to reveal it.
Had he been questioned, just once,
He would not have known how to respond.
The people who met him in Los Angeles,
Thought he was, definitely, an Angeleno;
Those who greeted him in Boston,
Took him for a Bostonian.
He seemed at home on either coast—
A fellow for whom location was secondary.
He blended in like the frothy margarita
He ordered wherever he appeared to be.
Total strangers claimed he was a relative,
Although they were always a bit uncertain,
As to which side of the family he belonged.
When the day came that he disappeared,
He left a cargo of sad souls behind,
Who told endless stories about his exploits—
None of them real – all of them true.
About the Author
Bart Edelman’s poetry collections include Crossing the Hackensack (Prometheus Press), Under Damaris’ Dress (Lightning Publications), The Alphabet of Love (Red Hen Press), The Gentle Man (Red Hen Press), The Last Mojito (Red Hen Press), The Geographer’s Wife (Red Hen Press), and Whistling to Trick the Wind (Meadowlark Press). He has taught at Glendale College, where he edited Eclipse, a literary journal, and, most recently, in the MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. His work has been widely anthologized in textbooks published by City Lights Books, Etruscan Press, Fountainhead Press, Harcourt Brace, Longman, McGraw-Hill, Prentice Hall, Simon & Schuster, Thomson/Heinle, the University of Iowa Press, Wadsworth, and others. He lives in Pasadena, California.