the lady’s man

somebody phoned and said they were
coming over to ask me about the
whale I kept in the washbowl in the
“I’m going to do an interview for
The Rolling Stones,” he said.

I hung up and began sweeping the
kitchen floor:   Racing Forms,
matchbooks, paperclips and beer
bottles rolled along the linoleum
and I swept them toward the 2 or
3 waiting Safeway paper bags and
then I noticed my crayons in there.
I picked them out of the rubble:

          guitar oil pastel.

54 years old and still playing with

          e. #153
          24 colours
          quality warranted
          made   in

said the box which I had swept
along.   ah,

truly, I thought, no woman ever
deserves me.

then I put on my recording of
Mahler’s 9th.
and got them out of