Sorry. An Old Man Found Some Things

i apologize in advance.

Today, i had numerous things to get done. My top priority was to write on my book.

Didn’t.

Before i started, i created a file for the lateral file case in my home office. Putting it in its place i found three thick folders of things i had written i had not completed to my satisfaction, dating at least back to the middle 1960’s. As with most of my stuff, the shards of writing long ago had grammatical errors, oversights, typos, were too wordy and in general what you expect from a story teller not a writer.

i was fascinated.

i am now going through them, cleaning them up a bit (but never enough for critics and most of the time, me too, but hell, i’m a story teller).

So you are probably going to see a lot of stuff from those folders on this site. i apologize. But my muse made me do it.

Pompei

i went to Pompei today
in the rain;
left Naples in a bus;
a fat little man
mechanically spoke his piece
about Naples’ squares and statues
while pimps and whores and hustlers
and
little boys selling dirty pictures
crowded past the bus
while
the bus itself was composed
of innumerable people in one large box,
highly seasoned with the filth of a city
integrated with the smell of the diesel fuel.

in Pompei,
the rain turned gentle;
vendors donned their rain gear;
their umbrellas blossomed
to protect their wares,
slides, tour books, trinkets;
the fat little guide swept us along
in his unbemused fashion
telling of the grandeur, the beauty,
reeling off death statistics
like an accountant,
and
suggestively showing ruined rooms of license.

i left Pompei today in the rain;
the bus felt dry;
soon, near Salerno,
no,
Amalfi, at the crest it seemed,
the clouds broke out the sun
in its harsh, startling glory:
the Mediterranean waters sparkled below;
the hillside homes blanched white
against the breaking sun’s fury
as the bus wound its way
up and down the switchbacks
of the Amalfi coast roads
enchantingly
on the return to Naples.

i left the bus,
making my way
to a phone exchange,
waiting, calling
only to hear the unanswered rings
before
walking to the pier
to wait for the liberty boats
to take me to my anchored ship
alone.

At least, the rain stopped.

Naples, Italy
October 14, 1972

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