But already I digress. I've been hearing about "The Best of the Best American Poetry," and this morning in the L.A. Times was a review. It sounds terrific. David Ulin mentioned only a few people (out of dozens who are in the book) but he singled out Tony Hoagland and Denise Duhamel, two poets I regularly recommend. Take a look next time you're in a real bookstore. Or even at Amazon.
In the spirit of the month here's a new poem of mine. Remember 'Write about what you know'?
The Little Girl Card
We’re at our usual table in the Turf Club when this guy
comes up. “Who’s gonna win this next one? C’mon.
You guys are here every day. Please.”
He’s not a stooper exactly, but I’ve seen him eat
the last half of a sandwich somebody left.
Ignoring him doesn’t cut it. So I tell him,
”Nobody knows. It’s a bunch of maidens.”
“Look at the board!” he tells me. “They’re
betting the three-horse like crazy.”
“So bet the three-horse.”
“At even money? I need better than even money.
It’s not for me. It’s for my little girl.”
Now everybody hates him. He’s played the little
girl card. It’s mortifying.
Charles threatens him and he leaves. Pretty soon
something comes in at thirty-five to one.
“I got it! I got it!” It’s him running around in little
circles, showing anybody and everybody.
“That guy undoes me,” Charles says and I love
him for it. Undoes. A word I haven’t heard