Friday, July 11, 2008

Archie.

Archie
was an
aspiring
writer
who was
always
reading
Amis
Bukowski
Hemingway
Dostievski
and Sherwood
Anderson.

Archie was
of the opinion
that he himself
was a great
writer
slash
character

a tragic loner
destined for
great things
if he could
only tap into
the
right story
and extract
from his
tortured
artistic
soul
the perfect
sentence.

Combination
of words right
the.

Damn,
he thought
and kept
writing
well
into
the night.

His poetry
when read
was often
misunderstood
by his wife
and children
and yet
every new
piece was hung
with care
positioned
in the
public eye
and
held to
the fridge
with the letters
Y and
B
which Archie
thought
was very philosophical
or was that
metaphysical?
(he looked it up
later that night
and found it was
neither really)

On Friday nights
and Sunday
afternoons
Archie liked to
drink
at the local pub
and this way
he could
tell himself
he was a famous
romantic
(absynthe made him
sick so he drank
one shot of rum)
a cursed
writer
too intelligent
to converse with most
(he finished a
crossword once
had come close
many times)
and
too
sensitive
to face the
pain of the
robotic and
mechanical
world
(he had overdue bills)

Archie was
always sure to
talk
in such a way
that
everyone in
the Public Bar
knew he was
a writer
and a great one
at that
until one afternoon

the owner
of the Pub
approached
Archie and said,
listen
I've heard
about you

(Archie leaned
forward
intently here,
oh really?
Go on...)

and I'm a bit
stuck
for Tuesday nights
so I was thinking
maybe you could
do a poetry
thing
open mic
spoken word
whatever
you know
something simple
nothing fancy.

Archie
smiled
agreed
at once
and ran home
to prepare
in delight
pausing only
to
bow under
showers
of ruby red
flowers
and listen
to the cheers
which clamoured
for his attention
through the vast
auditorium
beside the
endless applause
which no amount
of self effacing
gesturing could
silence let alone
dim
and what
of the fans
at the door
of his dressing
room
oh my
begging for just a touch
a hair
a sight of
he
THE
Archibald Constance
the great
unpublished
writer who
had been
discovered
on stage
on Tuesday night
around the corner
not
far from home
half price beer
until 7
kitchen closes
at 9.

Very
quickly,
- without much ado -
Tuesday sauntered
down the week
to knock cheerily
on Archie's door
and
it was not long
before
Archie stood
beneath the
honest lighting
of the stage
introducing
himself with
a carefully prepared
selection of poems
and prose.

This one
(he pauses here to inhale)
is called

A
simple
and
uninteresting
stanza
on
Love
which rhymes

FEEL!
(exhale)
FEEL THE WHEEL
TURN
AS I DEAL
YOUR HAND
ON MY HEART
WHICH TURNS
TO STEEL
AS I KEEL
YOU PEEL
THE LAYERS
OF ME
LEAVING ME
TO FEEL
SO REAL

and he bows
and holds it
to the sound of

UNREAL
BUT WHERE
DO I ORDER
MY MEAL?

and they laugh
as
he straightens
and reaches
for another

This one
I call

My passion
was a fruit
but you
wanted to branch
out.

and so on
all night
at least for an hour
but no one is listening
the mic has been turned
down and the
chatter
is loud for
a Tuesday as though
deliberate
so he coils the leads
correctly
(he was in a band
in school)
packs the microphone
into its case
hands it to the
eighteen year old
barmaid
(she looks
put out - what do I
do with this?)
returns
his poems
to the womb
of his bag and
pauses for a brief
moment
in hope of
a single word
a glance
a nod
but there is none
as he
extinguishes
himself
and
dissipates
out the
door
toward home
consoling himself
with the thought

- the life
of a writer
is destined
to be a lonely
one.

Outside
the rain
gently
begins to
cover him
in
silver promises

and washes
the night
to yesterday.

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