Shooting Star

by Robert Polito

"I seen a shooting star tonight,
and I thought of you... "

In a San Francisco basement apartment
There's a woman I keep hearing about, who
Claims for the last twenty years she's lived
With Bob Dylan, and wishes to write a book about it.
That might mostly be new to him—hey man,
You must be putting me on. But she sells scarves
From her own North Beach shop, and according
To this woman Dylan's changed—a lot—
Heavy now, yet kind, if also a little
Crazy, in and out of hospitals, he doesn't look
Like himself. Still, wherever he travels
He mails her love poems in his familiar
'60s style, and she'd be honored to show them around.

A sleepy kitchen at dawn, the woman steps
Towards the kettle, pajamas open to her waist,
An owlish man, drunken, slothful, lags behind.
The glamour of the damaged, but how much
More gratifying for her not to have spun the whole
Hazy farrago out of loneliness, madness, or for money,
And this morning to wake beside someone
Who persuades you he recorded "Shooting Star" just for you.

please note: photo by Don Hunstein


  1. I love this piece of writing, then I'm a sucker for a story of a lost and hopeless soul...

  2. In a way, I've lived with Bob Dylan for about a quarter century myself...certainly, he seems to offer fitting commentary for what's going on in my life again and again. In particular, "Shooting Star" has resonated like crazy since the death of my father "saw a shooting star tonight and I thought of me, was I still the same, if I ever became what you wanted me to be, did I miss the mark, overstep the line that only you could see...guess it's too late to say the things that you wanted to hear me say, saw a shooting star tonight, slip away...."

    Great poem....

  3. That's nothing--I live with Peggy Lee. Not many people nowadays have heard of her, but that's good because she's not mobbed when we go out. I like having her all to myself.

  4. Poignant . . .I don't know why, but I pictured the red-headed woman in Hopper's Nighthawk. Odd.

  5. So far I've seen one shooting star in my 35 years of life - having as a motivation to keep on living to see another one.

  6. Stories can be told
    of love's simple hold
    with eye
    or promises.

  7. I LOVED this, but then I live in a made up world most of the time :-).


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