The way I remember it
is that he was telling us about his friend
Lew “Sausalito Trash Prayer & The Basic Con” Welch
who walked off the planet and into the woods and…
And I interrupted.
Didn’t mean to.
Hadn’t learned yet
that things you say under your breath
can sorta be heard in a classroom,
things like “That’s how I feel when the poems won’t come.”
“What?” he said.
“Nothing,” I said.
“No, really,” he said, “that’s why we’re here.”
“Ok. Do you ever have days when the poems won’t come?”
“Sure I do. Days. Weeks. Even months sometimes.”
“And whattaya do when that happens?”
“Those,” he said, “those are the days when I try to learn how to live.”
It’s dark now,
nigh onto midnight,
and this is one of those days
when I wish I had learned how to listen.