Wednesday, December 15, 2010

poem of the day 12.15.10

the fantasy writer

the fantasy writer grabs me by the arm

i have nowhere to go

he says, what do you think about
a plot where a father and daughter
are out walking their dog
and they slip through a seam in the earth
and end up in an underground world
beneath new york city?

i tell him i like it fine
and then try to get away

but the fantasy writer is not done

would you buy a book like that?

i guess, i say
maybe if i had a kid

he says, well, i wrote that very book
in between acting gigs

and then here we go

the fantasy writer begins telling me
about the process of writing

the craft
the art

because all writers are artists

unlike actors and actresses
who just bullshit themselves and the rest of us

he talks about using real monsters of the earth
instead of the magical ones you’d find
in other fantasy novels

like eight-foot sandworms from australia

i tell myself there’s one more reason
not to go to australia

the fantasy writer doesn’t have a publisher yet
he’s giving it to the end of the year
and then he’s getting himself an agent

it’s that easy to him, getting an agent

it makes me think of the book
that i wrote three years ago and still can’t sell

the fantasy writer says he just has
to get his book out there

the world needs this book, he says

i want to tell him that i feel
the same way about the turtlehead
poking out of my ass

but it’s best to be quiet about
those kinds of things

plus i don’t want to break the illusion for the man

he’s wearing a verizon jacket
he’s holding a walkie-talkie
and i have this stupid nametag on
that lists my name and slave title

i think i want to keep the fantasy
going for both of us
for as long as i can

the fantasy writer smiles
says he has a website for the book
plus he’s doing the audiobook right now

all of the voices and everything

he writes down the web site
and the title of the book

hands me the paper and says
i don’t even have a daughter
i just imagined me and my mom
and that’s how i did it

well, it is fantasy, i say

do you think you could
promote the book for me? he asks

sure, i say
i’ll talk it up at all of the professional
conferences that i go to

that’s great he says

believing in the fantasy that i tell him

then he leaves me

on the way out his walkie-talkie goes off

someone in sheepshead bay
is having trouble with their fios connection

he says he’s on it

then he turns back to me and waves

i watch him
until i’m damned sure that he’s gone

then i go back to shelving books
i’d started with the letter “d”
but decide to skip the rest of the letters
and go right to the end of the alphabet
where the mystery books
seem to outpace everything else.

No comments: