a young man in flannel

by Richard Cairo

said to me,
''I want to spend my life
imitating Charles Bukowski.''
This was not news,
so I just nodded

''I've got the whole thing planned,''
he said,
''First, I'll get really drunk
when I do readings.''
''Then I'll pick out groupies
and take them back to my hotel room
and you know …''
''I know.''
''I'll wake up in the morning,
forget their names,
then puke.''
''Later in my career,
I'll be so drunk,
I'll have to phone in my reading
from the hotel room
and have an assistant pick out a groupie
and bring her back to me
and you know …''
''Oh, I know.''
''I'll wake up in the morning,
forget where and who I am,
then puke.''
He downed his poison
and I,
I lit another cigaret.

''Eventually,'' he said,
''I'll be so fucked up,
the assistant will have to read my poems
for me
and have sex with the groupie
for me.''
''Oh, okay.''
''Then of course I'll wake up
in my own puke.''
''So," I said,
watching my cigaret smoke
rise through the dim light
from the Mets lamp,
''we'll just see then.''
''G'night, dad.''
''Good night, son.''

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