conversations with henry miller
there is a guy next to me on the
train after work
he is holding a stack of books
and one called conversations with
i think that in a parallel universe
he and i could be friends.
i’d lean over and say, hey,
i’m jay, i noticed you’re reading
then i’d pull out my copy of
tropic of cancer
and his eyes would light
and he’d say miller is my favorite.
his named would be rick,
and we’d spend the ride from
the ghetto to atlantic avenue
talking about miller and his
exploits in america, france,
and big sur.
i’d tell rick i wasn’t much
for miller’s watercolors.
rick would disagree but we’d laugh
he’d ask me if i liked beer and football.
i’d say yes to both.
then we’d shake and exchange numbers
and probably hit some joint
in park slope for over-priced booze
and a monday night game.
i’d tell my wife that rick and his girlfriend
will be coming over for dinner.
we’d buy good beer and wine.
rick’s girlfriend would be named saffron.
it would be annoying at first
but she’d be so down to earth my wife and i
would get over her name.
the ladies would hit it off.
we’d all get along great and discuss movies
and books together,
as the sunset over brooklyn.
then we’d make plans to go bowling
or to some show up in williamsburg.
but i don’t live in parallel universes.
i don’t even have a copy of
tropic of cancer on me.
the guy gets off with me at atlantic avenue
and we go separate ways toward our
i think he’s probably an asshole anyway,
like most intellectual, nebbish, snobs are
in this city.
don’t you see, in this universe i’m king,
i’m as strong as steel
i’m a loner and a rebel.
i don’t need anyone.
and more to the point, i’ve been without
a good friend for so long,
i’ve simply forgotten how to go out there
and make one.