Writing Implements

“How do you write?”
the moderator
asks.

“Oh! With a
typewriter!”
says she.

Her fingernails clack
on the burnished
tray which
holds
our waters
and she laughs
a
lilting
laugh
along with
the audience.

Her breasts
are smothered
beneath her
burgundy
blazer–
after all
she is more than
simply
a woman;
she is an Artíst.

“It makes me feel
closer
to Hemingway,”
she says.

There it is:
the pretty bow
that constitutes
a writer.

An audience
will fall in love
with wit
like that.

I get my
proximety
to Hemingway
through a bottle of
Vermouth under the
bed
and one of
Rum next to
the cat’s dish.

“And how about you,
sir.
How do you write?”

I swallow hard
against the
implication.

“Different ways,”
I say.
“Whatever is handy
when
the heat
comes.
I’ve written on
grocery lists,
in book margins,
on pamphlets,
church programs,
music scores,
receipts for
cat food,
anything, really.

But I usually write using
my laptop…
or, if I can’t
get to it, then I’ll
use
my phone.

“A phone?”
she says.

“My goodness, what has
our craft
come
to?”

The audience laughs.

I’ve forgotten
how that goes.

I wish I’d told
the truth.

But people can never
forgive you
once you
tell them
the truth.

If I had
shown
more courage,
I would have said:

When that storm
.flashes. and
breaks on me
with its
silent thunder,
the only
implement
common
to all the
writing
I’ve ever
done
is
a chronic
desperation.

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