Jay Passer

Toasting the French Symbolists with Phony Absinthe at Vesuvio’s on Columbus

I hate poets, I said.
why do you write poetry then, she asked.
because I’m one of a kind, I said.
what about the Beats, she asked, what about Emily Dickinson.
you want Chinese? I asked. Yee’s is good, and cheap.
you said you idolized e.e. cummings, she said, when you were in high school.
I’d rather talk to a painter any day, I said. poets are filthy animals.
but one of a kind, she inclined, like from Noah’s Ark.
don’t be funny, I said. let’s have a toast.
why’s this stuff green, anyway, she asked.
the leaky brain of Verlaine, I said, with a hotshot of Rimbaud.
how about some pasta, she said, how about Little Joe’s.
I’d commit suicide, I said, if I could afford to.
you could jump off the Golden Gate, she offered.
but that would tarnish my renown, I pointed out, as a maverick.
I guess it’s easier than getting a job, she said.
fuck the police, I said.
speaking of, she said, how’re we gonna pay for this.
toilets don’t clean themselves, I said.

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