I submitted this piece to an anthology collecting poems inspired by Bob Dylan…that was 680 days ago. When I saw the rejection in my email, I couldn’t remember the market’s name. I suppose 680 days will do that to my brain.
I probably haven’t laid eyes on this poem in that length of time. I still like it, especially after a little more revising.
Working Class Poet’s Blues
I’m a blind man drawing a man,
a deaf-mute composing an opera,
a singer/songwriter without a guitar.
“Jesus, you’re not Dylan,” Anne says
and makes another cup of coffee.
She lingers in the kitchen.
I’m Bob Dylan writ large and small,
macro and micro in my conceit
and mumbled phrases, my blue harmonica.
“Do you plan on actually doing anything?” Anne calls
from the bathroom where she plucks herself,
a preening bird on a swaying branch.
I’m doing everything by writing,
shaping the world with word and line,
encouraging kings and paupers to feel.
“Wash some clothes at least,” Anne mumbles
and she saunters naked to the bedroom
where she puts on her armor.
I’m the great galaxy washer man,
holding the suds of creation in my hands,
tweaking the temperature, dark earth, white sky.
“I should have married William,” Anne tells herself,
snatching up her purse and walking out the door,
unready for the night but keeping that quiet.