Man Bartlett

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A Ferlingetti of the Mind

A poem by Lawrence Ferlingetti from ‘A Coney Island of the Mind’

See
It was like this when
we waltz into this place
a couple of Papish cats
is doing an Aztec two-step
And I says
Dad let’s cut
but then this dame
comes up behind me see
and says
You and me could really exist
Wow I says
Only the next day
she has bad teeth
and really hates
poetry

The Aztec two-step line has been stuck in my head for 10 years or so. Well, the full line, “A couple of Papish cats is doing an Aztec two-step.” Sounds so good I want to eat it. And “you and me could really exist.” But I actually don’t like the end at all. Kinda wish she had perfect rows and loved poetry…