I should read one more book,
By Norman Mailer – I think,
As I sit in my office perch on floor 19,
In my New York City cubicle,
Doing New York City things,
And I watch the cursor blink,
On a blank computer screen,
At eleven thirty PM – I say to myself,
What would Norman do?
The fucker would write…
Finally, hands of the desk clock point up,
To twelve midnight, and there is hell to pay,
I say it out loud – to the thieving bastards.
Not a sound on the floor.
So I think of riding to work on a fall day,
Years before, in my apple picking years,
On an old International bus,
Fifty miles north of Kalamazoo,
To the old Henderson Orchard,
A girl named Kelly is on my bus,
She’s a fellow apple picker from Duluth,
But she hasn’t a talent for apples,
But she wears bib-overalls on her first day.
She tells me that she cut her hair short,
The day that they sent her to Reform School,
And now, she prefers it that way.
At noon I sit in the shade of the bus,
I am reading a book and eating the peach I brought for lunch,
And she comes by and sits down – asks what’s it about,
She points at my book.
A murder I say.
Oh yeah, she says — did they catch the guy?
I tell her the man was executed, shot.
She laughs at me,
Should have been my old man, she says.