Monday, November 20, 2006

Bards and Bars

The other night, while drinking and discoursing in a neighborhood bar, an old woman came through the door and began to solicit for what seemed to be money. But no. She was a throwback to another era...not cadging coins or drinks merely. Like the bohemian bards of the old village scene (think Maxwell Bodenheim; wait, does anyone remember Max? He wrote a batch of stellar poems in the twenties and a fine memoir before his untimely death, MY LIFE AND LOVES IN GREENWICH VILLAGE), this woman was writing poems on the spot for cash. She asked me for a subject, scrawled a poem, and then gave it to me in exchange of two dollars. Was the poem worth two dollars (and vice versa)? I think so. Here it is in full.


Your entrance
restores all

Whose eyes
only beauty
are ever seeing

Whose touch
hope restores

to all
with freedoms

you call

The index card on which the poem was written also bears a signature. I
cannot decipher it confidently, but it looks like "Mickely."