4 January 1999

Hear William read it on WEFT 90.1 FM...

Portrait of a Chicago Newspoet

(for Rettberg)

There is a man shouting in a smoke-filled room
Look closer, between his fedora and wingtips
He might be you
His writers are never fast enough
And he keeps firing his muses
He boards the blue line at Division
The hammering of the trains
And the typewriters
The only music he knows
He growls over cigars
Tribune, chips
And a pint of Billy Goat Black
The overflowing shelves of his apartment
Full of autographed first editions
Of books by McGrath, Fearing, Rolfe, Rich, Royko
There is a photo of him with Audre Lorde
Another with Jerry Rubin
He was at '68
Who is the eccentric poet with the goat
Writing alexandrines about the carbombing
On Paulina?
Look closer
And Remember this:
He might be you


Newspoetry at Spineless Books