one thirty-six a.m.
I laugh sometimes when I think about
Céline at a typewriter
ordinary men with feet, ears, eyes,
ordinary men with hair on their heads
sitting there typing words
while having difficulties with life
while being puzzled almost to madness.
Dostoevsky gets up
he leaves the machine to piss,
drinks a glass of milk and thinks about
the casino and
the roulette wheel.
Céline stops, gets up, walks to the
window, looks out, thinks, my last patient
died today, I won't have to make any more
when I saw him last
he paid his doctor bill;
it's those who don't pay their bills,
they live on and on.
Céline walks back, sits down at the
is still for a good two minutes
then begins to type.
Hamsun stands over his machine thinking,
I wonder if they are going to believe
all these things I write?
he sits down, begins to type.
he doesn't know what a writer's block
he's a prolific son-of-a-bitch
damn near as magnificent as
he types away.
and I laugh
not out loud
but all up and down these walls, these
dirty yellow and blue walls
my white cat asleep on the
hiding his eyes from the
he's not alone tonight
and neither am
©2001 Linda Lee Bukowski
reprinted with permission of Black Sparrow Press