a new poem – Some Things about Ernest Hemingway

A brand new poem.  More influenced by Mark Leyner and a short attention span than anything else.  I hope you enjoy (but the important thing for the 4:00-this-morning me was writing).


Some Things about Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway ended his life
on the day my best friend back when was born,
He bought the rifle at Abercrombie & Fitch
Hemingway and I share our birthday,
him, skittering into the world five months before the newer century, to taste it explore it, for a while.

Take all the words out that are extraneous
not needed in other words –
but there is more to it
My father complained that Hemingway wrote
like a tired old man, but that is not true
it’s the ham hand of the essential
thick fingers pinning thoughts with the thinnest papery touch.

In For Whom the Bell Tolls you know
100 pages in
it tolls for Jordan
each word is like a bullet centering, bearing in
through the mountains, biting the pines
Men with guns, like that is all there is
maybe it is, when all there is is men with guns.

When I was a teenager full of dumb thoughts
I imagined putting the story of Al Stewart’s On the Border
into a Hemingway novel
simple language, brothers maybe, Spain, water & boats, the way war
rifles down things in the world to a simplicity
although I knew nothing of any of it.

In school we were told after we finished
The Old Man and the Sea it was really Jesus
three days in the boat and all that,
I once had a dream
about the movie they made
Bogart as the old man in the boat
searching, fighting, hauling in the big fish
in his trenchcoat and gray fedora.

As he became an old man
Hemingway wrote while standing up
pad or typewriter on a plank placed on a
yanked out dresser drawer
Mornings, hours in his bedroom like that
a solidness even there.

And when he finished writing for the day
his days lined up evenly,
flattened so he could to place on each one this desire
then noonish, or one
he stepped out to his pool
and swam a mile
and he said all he could do is wait and hope
for the magic to come again tomorrow.

Sometimes when I swim
I like to imagine
that maybe, just maybe the world will twist
and tomorrow morning I will rise
still sore, tight, my body happy
and it will let my mind unspool words
as the sun is bright and warm.
I think of that, sometimes

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