An afternoon with the writer’s group.


He’s all tats and rap and
syncopation and gyration.

He is young, he is old, he
is idealistic and has no ideals.
He is the white rapper, new age,
all Eminem.

They love him with his good looks, and shaved
head and chains and boots.

“How’d you like it?” I asked him about the group.
“It was okay,” he said.

“I’m not sure I’m
getting a lot out of it anymore,” I tell him.

“I only write for myself,” he remarks.
“If I like it, that’s all I care about.
Doesn’t matter what other
people think.”

I nod gravely,
seeking to respect his muse.

“I’m looking for a writing
group to help me with dialogue,” I tell him like
he’s interested.

“Oh, yeah. Dialogue, that’s that word I was trying
to say, the word for how people talk to each other.”
“Right,” I keep going. “Just read The Big Sleep,
Raymond Chandler, master of dialogue.
Ever read it?” He looks at me blankly.

I back peddle desperately.
“It was a movie too, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall,
Very famous. You may have seen it?”
“Who’s Humphrey Bogart?” he asks.
“Oh, an actor,” I say.

He has to get going, we say goodbye.
I guess I never will really understand
that rap stuff.