Tuesday, March 15, 2022

An Anecdote or Two

Spem in alium
As two motorbikes
Rumble by. Hongo

Has an anecdote
About Bill Kittredge
Calling him at home

When his stereo
Had on something like
Spem in alium.

Kittredge, hearing it,
Made a joke, asking
Which of them had died.

Kittredge has since died.
On a barstool once,
He told a poet

Who was not Hongo
How that poet got
Accepted into

His writing program
In spite of being
A college dropout—

Seems Bill and Bill Root
Were in Bill’s office
Sipping some bourbon

From a flask, when Bill
Said to Bill, damn, Bill,
I forgot this one,

And pulled a folder
From an envelope.
Well, have you read it?

Bill asked Bill. Just poems,
He said, not the rest.
And? Well, Bill, said Bill,

I guess there are signs.
Fine then, let him in.
This was many years

Before Bill Kittredge
Teased Garret Hongo
About his music.

That poet dropped out,
But today he sits,
Playing some music,

The kind Hongo likes,
Some heavenly choirs,
As if someone’s died,

As the motorbikes
Add something to it.
He thinks of Hongo

Getting that phone call
From funny old Bill,
Who probably lied.

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