by John F. McMullen

John Perry Barlow
died February 7th

He was a friend
not a close friend
but a friend.

He was many things
— a cattle rancher
— a lyricist for the Grateful Dead
— co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
— and a person who seemed to know everybody.

From the first time I interviewed him
thirty years ago

The thing that I remember most
was his way with words.

Whether the brilliant
Declaration of Independence

That he wrote for
residents of Cyperspace.

Or telling William F. Buckley, Jr.
On a Firing Line Debate

That it was such a daunting task
for him to have to go against
one of the great debaters of
our age. All I have going for me
is that I know that I’m right.”

Or on a panel discussion at
NYU Law School in the
early days of the Internet
turning the first words of
the Gospel of John
And the Word Was Made Flesh

Into a credo for the new age where
we must learn to live in a world
in which “The Flesh Is Made Word

After the talk, he brought tears
to my eyes on the sidewalk outside
telling me that his fiance had died
on a plane from San Francisco to
New York and “John, I really loved her

So, I didn’t see or talk to Barlow often

But I miss his
— wit
— way with words
— friendship.

Copyright John F McMullen 2018

John F. McMullen, “johnmac the bard”  is the Poet Laureate of the Town of Yorktown, NY, the author of over 2,500 columns and articles and eight books, six of which are collections of poetry (his most recent “Live At The Freight House” is available at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats), and is the host of a weekly Internet Radio Show (over 240 shows to date). Links to the recordings of all radio shows as well as information on Poet Laureate activities is available at