a death repeated

“Here he comes! There he is!”

Funereally crawls the campaign caravan

            inclining west upon 18th Street

Tight to the center line clinging

at the speed of Secret Servicemen loping,

                          bent like a black ship it comes,

                              tacking North on Castro.

Third from the lead, the open

           Cadillac bears the scion within,


                                    Robert Kennedy,

crowd bellowing worship and rage,

          Bobbeeee! crying and Stop the war!

                       waves of tumult mutually nullifying.

And here he comes, there he is, off he goes,

              the tie-askewed rumple-

                       haired icon of American political dreams,

Within reach, almost touching


God, thought Jimmy, how did he get that tan? The evenly expensive perfect fawn-colored briefcase tan, and the smile, the rictus unmoved by the external world, his arm and hand rocking like the beam of an oil rig. That’s him, the best they’ve got, the only one.

“Stop the war!” he shouted and dropped out, hands on knees, hung-over brain a dried pea in a shell. When he pulled his head up, the Cadillac had slipped from sight, crossed Market Street.

“The trouble we go through, ridding the neighborhood of pests,” he gasped.

“He didn’t look happy,” said Cathy.

“Hope not.”


On Tuesday, San Francisco Democrats turned Kennedy down in favor of Eugene McCarthy, his opponent in the primary. Southern California backed Bobby in sufficient numbers to win the state for him with 46% of the vote.

A few minutes after midnight he was shot to death in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel.

The Midnight Special ran the following front-page headline: