On the day you were born in Toledo Ohio, October 1969
You couldn't say that everything was going perfectly fine
The moon had a footprint on it or two that hadn't been there before
While down on blue earth in a cloud of blue smoke several nations were going to war

Who would bring a baby into this world some people said
Into these years of terror and of napalm and of lead
Your parents probably thought it too but in the end there you were
in Toledo, Ohio wrapped up in a blue baby blanket and starting to stir

O trees sticking and burning O clinging fire O smoke
Was there ever a time when your optimism, Frank, was not a joke
Yet you drifted in happiness through one evil empire after another
You carelessly hurt people far away as well as girlfriends and your mother

Trees, did we take you for granted? Frank, you definitely did
You were born into the tang and smog, you were just a chubby kid
You took so much for granite that was only flesh and bone
You took yourself to daydreamtown and wandered there alone

The stars are further away than we can imagine in our mind
Even the closest stars and the people whose hearts we would like to bind
And in our own hearts locked away are the distant unkillable sins
The fear and the shame that began to grow as soon as our living begins

Frank you are not a poet at all in the end you are just a guy
On the skin of the sodden earth and its graves you float and don't even try
Just a guy with a song in his head and a tongue to go la la la la la la la
Still babbling like the baby you were when you opened your eyes and saw

In fifty years what have you learned? Only to sing and keep singing
And never to mind the gravel of life though it keeps on nicking and dinging
O Frank, what is the point of you? Sometimes I have no idea
And if we're alive in fifty years time I won't understand then either

What is a life? A miserable pile of poems and fingernails
What is a man? A tangle of songs who makes promises and then bails
And probably never bothered to learn how most of the songs even go
What is this poem about? Happy Birthday, Frank, I just don't know.

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