on a bench downtown


the man was an ass
but
as far as i could tell
he knew his stuff

he hung in there
through the imagists
through the beats
and even
had a few ugly things
to say about
the new formalists
which was fine by me

but he was an ass
nonetheless

he spoke down to us
from
his crystal nowhere
and was quick
to mistake dissension
for challenge

his profile told me
he managed
some restaurant
i've never heard of
in
the pacific northwest

that means nothing
of course
but
it's the kind of thing
one checks on
in these situations

in truth
i was just killing time
until
my friend texted me
the name of the bar
to meet at

somehow
the subject of pain
arose while
i skimmed through
an article about the
ceasefire negotiations
in ukraine

"bukowski said pain is
absurd"
i wrote absentmindedly

i was really
quite tired of him

"bukowski was absurd"
he spat at me

i shook my head

the talks
were going nowhere

"he could be"

 

the bar
was called blakely's