The Reader




Monday morning a more bohemian me

with beard and flannel shirt

carries a typewriter through

side streets and alleys,

sneaks sub-rosa past the patio screen door

into the studio apartment of the Reader.


He sits Mark Twain in jeans,

a cheerful Ezra Pound smoking a joint,

dwarfed by his huge mahogany desk,

anticipating my interruption will

sweeten with teaspoons of time

his coffee constitutional,

pretending we invented sugar

or at least today’s mouthful.


I’ll be your secret-eater, with me ‘it’

goes no further. Once digested ‘it’

is discerned, blended if need be,

then recycled to cover the trail

or given texture and tone,

taken to MaCaffertys for some voice

 and symmetry, soothed with Irish

and then rounds of Irish.

They only take cash,

you brought cash, right?


A plaque over the bar

appropriately announces


Monkeys don’t speak

     To avoid work –


The light is terrible

but the whiskey cheap

and each wall seems painted

to create a different mood.


We pass ‘it’

to one another,

read and reread, drink, type, drink

and then show ‘it’

to the barkeep, a Melville fan,

who announces last call and a reading.

Last call always draws a crowd.


Back into the damp streets,

talking monkeys telling secrets,

stumbling, reciting,

bonded arm in arm,



is bordering on readable,

he says for effect,



bordering on Tuesday,

says me,

bordering on complete.

2 replies on “The Reader”

Hi Craig

I like the way you take us on this journey through a manuscript’s fate with that fate depending on the reader. Every detail creates impact and flavor. I can picture him perfectly and sense both the need of humor and anticipation between the writer and the one ( the reader) who holds his success at hand. So well done! Than you for sharing.

Thoroughly enjoyed,


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