Nine ball

I’m blasting Mozart’s

Symphony 41

on the Philco stereo

at close to 3am

in the basement

of the old house

up at Mt. Pocono

causing whitecaps

to appear upon

the troubled waters

of Lake Writersblock

I’m hoping for a poem

or story of great meaning

one of substance and worth

…filled with poignant words…

to spring from the well-worn

felt of the old billiard table

upon which I shoot

a game of 9 ball

with the immortal, but imaginary

Di Mozartini himself

the legendary billiards connoisseur

it’s your shot, I say

to dear old Gottlieb

as the Jupiter Symphony

fills the dimly lit cellar

with inspiration

and in its honor

I pour another cup

of boysenberry wine

to chase the cold from

the darkest hour

of a winters night

as rhapsody reverberates

off of the oil burner tank

shakes windows in their casements

rattles the box wrenches

in their hangers

above the workbench

and descends upon

disassembled lawn mower parts

on the cellar floor

I steel myself for

the final round of play

…then…

…Wolfgang Amadeus…shoots…

his shot goes awry — I say:

“a bit off our game tonight – aren’t we, old pal?”

I chuckle and chalk my cue

I approach the table

and study my shot

take my time – I see the run

but the Great One knows

I have him on the ropes.

I draw the lightly talc’d

red maplewood shaft through

the crook of my left forefinger

to the point of release, and

it’s geometry from here on

a lightly pressed shot off

of the cushion

and we’re done – finito

I say goodnight to the dark shadows

that lurk behind the oil burner.

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