Everybody thinks they’re a goddamned poet. So whatta you write?
Bits and pieces of my life, I said.
Haikus? he belched , swirling the wine in his glass.
Yeah, sometimes, I said
Get off that shit, real poets don’t write that crap. Hell, Kerouac couldn’t even pull it off.
He gave the high sign to the bartender.
Set the kid up too, he said
From the book jackets I’d seen, he looked like Chinaski. Same slicked back hair. Same pock marked face. He toasted, clicking his glass to mine, downing it like a shot, then nodding to the bartender for another. We stared straight ahead at the rows of liquor bottles, repeating this ritual through the remainder of the Frolic Room’s happy hour.
Fuck a haiku, he said, suddenly breaking his silence.
You know, every time some sonofabitch writes a poem about me, I end up in a bar. Hell, I didn’t drink in bars—too damned expensive. Tell them to leave me the fuck alone. I’m worn out bar hoppin’—fuckin’ poets
He spun around on his stool, stood up, cigarette hanging from his lip, adjusted himself and walked out into the Hollywood night.
The bartender, walked over from the other end of the room , placed the tab beside my glass and said,
Hey bud, that’ll be $ 83.50