Ousted Laureate …

amiri_baraka-608x300

……OUSTED LAUREATE
ON THE NEWARK-to-BOSTON

The shock of recognition, triggered by
an old man coughing, rattled the Acela
quiet car. He had no alibi
and read the Times review of Cinderella
Rice’s memoir and a book of verse.
I didn’t want to interrupt or bother
him, provoke an incident, or, worse,
discover I’d confused him with another
brother wearing academic cords,
a knotted scarf, Italian slipper shoes
and glasses. Nor would I risk crossing swords
by bringing up that line about the Jews.
So, I waited ’til we reached the Promised Land.
I introduced myself and shook his hand.

October 13, 2010
___
Acela is the express train run by Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor from Washington, DC, to Boston.

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2 Responses to “Ousted Laureate …”

  1. Desmond Swords Says:

    The shock of recognition, triggered by
    an old man coughing, rattled the Acela
    quiet car. He had no alibi
    and read the Times review of Cinderella
    Rice’s memoir and a book of verse.
    I didn’t want to interrupt or bother
    him, provoke an incident, or, worse,
    discover I’d confused him with another
    brother wearing academic cords,
    a knotted scarf, Italian slipper shoes
    and glasses. Nor would I risk crossing swords
    by bringing up that line about ‘the Jews.’
    So, I waited ’til we reached the Promised Land.
    I introduced myself and shook his hand.

    I added one comma, at the end of line 9, and thought, ‘this makes Mullins’ poem perfect. I am his guardian poetry angle angelically blah de blah’din ya’ll.’ You all.

  2. Desmond Swords Says:

    oops, and put in parenthesis ‘the Jews’, purely for stylistic reasons, my thinking being that the intellectual ‘story’, path, arc, metaphorical resonance, blah blah blah de bleurgh, is an either or preposition as per the logical narrative of what the voice in the poem is actually communicating, is either ye or nae, so, have a ponderf and guess fucking what? As per slash model slash poet slash actor slash producer slash director, it’s all a loada fucking late nite waffle Ricardo mon aims. Mullin Abu!

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