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
– 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,
bonded arm in arm,
is bordering on readable,
he says for effect,
bordering on Tuesday,
bordering on complete.