It is an open secret:
He is afflicted with lymphoma
& his works must get published
to raise funds
for his treatment.
It’s cancer, he quips,
as though it were no big deal.
He sucks it up –
the banter of friends
their recollection of those dog-years
when he was following orders
to organize his fellow writers/artists.
Is there a trembling in the voice:
O but we don’t hear it anyway.
He thinks of putting out
a scholarly track,
a novel perhaps
that will slow down the coming of the dark:
Words like incandescent filaments
to light up his journey.

Of course, it’s almost comical.
This belief in the revolution
of patriots & drunken saints
makes you smile these days.


You keep wondering
how prisoners on death row
count their days.

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