30. Cleaning Old Files

The old files, correspondence shredded, the scraps

of literary life sprawled across the living room, some

easy to rip, others like tearing skin. He pauses over

poor Coleman, inventive Colman, who wanted fame,

who lived above the Guggenheim and jumped one night

to the street below cradling his dachshund in his arms.

He wrote lovely letters. Few remember him now.

The sentence every writer dreads.

David walked through a blizzard from the train

to Coleman’s apartment for dinner with him

and James Laughlin and a young fiction publisher,

and they ate too much, including Chocolate Mousse

Kim Hunter, invented by Coleman to honor her,

admired the snow disappearing Central Park, J

said he’d be pleased to publish David’s collection,

but the book never came out. He rips up the contract

and the letters from Coleman and for a moment

pauses over the young man who thought a walk

fifty blocks up Fifth Avenue in a blizzard was a career move.

So we checked out Wikipedia on this guy

and he was impressive, but the reviews

were mixed. Your reviews are also mixed.

We can see why you liked each other.

No one could understand him either.

We wonder why you just don’t say it straight,

whatever it is you want to tell us in your poems.

Are you happy? Sad? Poems about kittens

are everyone’s favorites, just like pictures.

Anyway, your Wikipedia page needs serious work.

There are inaccuracies everywhere, beginning

with the number of your wives. Which reminds us:

it’s your birthday. Felice navidad. Twenty

of your friends think that’s a funny joke.

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