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'This Thing Called Life'

Poetry Inspired by the
Music and Spirit of Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson


Michael Skau

About the Poet

Michael Skau is an emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He studied under Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and William Burroughs at Naropa Institute and has published books of literary criticism on Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. 

Skau has also published poems in Carolina Quarterly, Northwest Review,  Paintbrush, Laurel Review, Passaic Review, South Carolina Review, Hawai'i Review, and Mudfish, among many other periodicals.

He was named Winner of the 2013 William Kloefkorn Award for Excellence in Poetry, and his collection of of poems, Me & God, was published by Wayne State College Press in 2014.




Spring 2017 »

by Michael Skau

Even if you were not an early fan
of Prince, you had to admire the chances
he took, blending and bending identity,
gender, genre, religion, and race.
Gored for the sex we understood
even if society did not approve,
he declined to parse behave and misbehave,
the solitary ambivalent mode. All along
the watchtower, his witness was his song.
Refusing to become a corporate slave,
he chose freedom to live, perform, and love,
to cherish delight and not to brood
too long, to accept all colors in his embrace,
black and white, purple, raspberry, and paisley,
inviting us all to his blistering riffs and dances
as he grew from prodigy to self-made man.




Michael Skau ~



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