Pad over to the Poet’s pad.

Surprise the clown making love to his fist.

Hoping thereby – he grunts – to get a

handle on some angle for an ode.

Gets out, between gasps, concentrating on

his two-stroke: “Booze in kitch, cabinet under

sink, Popov – beside cleaning fluid can.”

Spurts across the room at a shelf

stuffed with self-help books.

Myriad animalcules die –

dried to a horrid death –

on the binding of a Webster’s. The

Poet snaps. Zips. Buckles. Slouches

onto the couch. I re-enter

with glasses and the bottle.

The Poet replaces his glasses.

Mumbles, hates to wank in focus.

Pulls from his pants a ballpoint.

Rolls eyes at the ozone. Explains he’s

fingering the Muse’s organ.

Play her like a fugue.

Force every register howl.

In his grave Bach flips.

I hand the Poet a vodka flip,

highball just now invented.

Both eyes out of his skull lower.

Chugs the flip. Falls

to scrawling in a spiral pad

snatched off the cocktail table:

“Able was I ere I saw Elba.”

Sip my drink; suppress a grin;

start the session with:

“Are you no longer,

then, I take it, Napoleon?”  

The cat across the room catapults;

caterpillars into the Poet’s lap; glares up

like I’m in the wrong pigeonhole.

We chase the cat under the sink,

whooping like Genociders and Indians

hammered on hard cider. Exit drowned

as rats in a failed thought experiment.

Anything held against me, the Poet

screams, I – hustled out the door,

into the back of the van – never meant.  

Willie Smith

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