Circling Planes

I spent vernissage

w/Merwin and Flannery O’Conner.

Two kids from the hood

talkin’ shit

like cirlcing planes.
“You sit in the smell

of what passes for food,

breathing what passes for air.”

“Well Bill, yknow where you are

ain’t no good

unless you get away from it.”
I couldn’t get a word in 

edgewise. So I waved for more drinks

and fried calamari. Watched as the waitress

wondered our names.
“For writers to worry 

is doing God’s business,” 

Flan advised. To which Merwin replied

“The story of each stone

leads back to a mountain.”
I couldn’t keep up

w/this conversation

even if

I hadn’t had

four drinks

on an empty stomach.

Even if

I hadn’t been drunk

the night before w/ee

“live by love, though the stars walk backwards”

and Joey Ramone

“gimme gimme shock treatment”
Flannah, (I called her Flannah)
noticed my numbness and questioned

“To expect too much 

is to have a sentimental view

of life. Don’t you agree?”
“Yea, I guess.” I never did pass

the pop quiz, truth be told.

I painted the corners mostly

and was better at bullshit

though I never knew

which was which

w/these two.
“One wrong word 

and you kill the whole joke,  ”

the poet said of his trade.

“Never be afraid to stare,”

she stared from those crazy glasses.”


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