Friday, August 12, 2016


One Christmas Eve my brother
Turned up at my tiny apartment
With the biggest desk I ever saw
Strapped to the top of his VW bug.
(There must have been a contest;
If the car had won, the desk
Would have carried the car
To West 74th Street
And parked it in my living room
Which was also my dining room,
My kitchen, my library
And where the maid would sleep
If I ever hired a maid.)
The apartment door came off its hinges
And, bending the laws of physics,
We barely got the desk inside
We put the table where I ate on top
And a chair. And a floor lamp.
And the marble chess board --
Enormous and impractical -- my brother
Gave me for my birthday that year
Although I don't play chess.
I became known as an eccentric
Who ate on a desk beneath the shade
Of a fair-sized dining room table.

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