Willie Smith

Owed to Greed

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. 
Sputters, between gasps, concentrating on 
his two-stroke: “Booze in kitch, under 
sink, Popov – beside cleaning fluid can.” 
Spurts across the room at a shelf 
stuffed with self-help books. 
Myriad animalcules perish – 
dried to a horrid death – 
on the binding of a Webster’s. The 
Poet snaps, zips, buckles. Slouches 
onto the couch. Re-enter 
with glasses and the bottle. 
The Poet replaces 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 registers howl. 
In his grave Bach flips. 
Hand the Poet a vodka flip, 
highball just mixed. 
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 session with: 
“No longer, then, 
I take it, are you Napoleon?”  
The cat catapults across the linoleum; 
caterpillars into the Poet’s lap; glares up 
like I’m in the wrong pigeonhole. 
We chase the tom under the sink, 
whooping like Genociders and Injuns 
bombed on hard cider. Exit – two drowned 
rats in a failed thought experiment. 
Anything held against me, the Poet 
yells, I – hustled out the door 
into the back of the van –  
simply never meant!  

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