“Oh my heart” haiku

Michael Stipe, Jan. 4, 1960

Michael Stipe told me
What to write but I couldn’t
Understand the words

R.E.M.’s first work
Was like that, so propulsive
Yet inscrutable

Just when the mumbling
Was getting old, Stipe started
Enunciating

Words didn’t always
Make linear sense, but band
Had some things to say

The way they said it?
Unique. Trace scenes and connect
Hearts, feelings like dots

They did it somehow,
Though, without actually
Drawing any lines

Lost their religion
Found shiny happy, and damned
That radio song

Rocked out on “Monster”
Laughed at apocalypse, all
In a day’s work song

Felt gravity’s pull
But had one last disc to make
“Collapse Into Now”

End of R.E.M.
As millions of fans know it
And Michael feels fine