Inside Darryl’s Bookcase

by Marina J. Neary


He flew in from New Orleans
To lecture on Wordsworth at a local college
And then asked me to meet him
For lobster and chardonnay.

In the darkest corner,
Where no one would spot us from the street,
I rambled about my trip to Prague, and the smell
Of Czech cathedrals on St. Martha’s feast.
And he rambled about his fondness
For Scandinavian folk tunes and Russian girls,
How he’d always wanted to play Hamlet,
But they would only cast him as Othello,
How his colleagues kept giving him jazz tickets
And Duke Ellington records for his birthday.

All right, he’ll keep the tickets and the records,
But for God’s sake,
How many Langston Hughes anthologies
Does an average black genius need
To remember his place?


Copyright © 2010 by Marina J. Neary

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