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James Anderson

Remember Paris?

I asked as we sipped
vin ordinaire and cracked
plastic menus under
elm trees in sunny Minneapolis

Yes I do you said
things were different then

They're different now I said
except for this table
and Lyndale Avenue and your
hair and the way you smiled
at me and the way he always calls
and can't we forget what
I said can't you see how much
you mean to me can't
we pretend (and you
holding a palm up answering
the phone -- me waiting)
like we used to pretend and canít
we just go on and on

But ten minutes later you
were gone

The check came
I swallowed my wine
Somehow I'd forgotten
this is America
and there can only be
one winner

My Writing Class

she raised her hand and a very exacting
and particular man with Bono glasses
said yes? and she asked what about pen names
what about them he said
what is it with pen names
anyway he fumed
nom de plumes
this is poetry people
this is ourselves
sing and be seen
be an artist
or be nothing
weíre not here
to hide

but what
she said
if I had an affair and
want to publish poetry in magazines
and donít want my husband or family to know
all about it and he said
(taking off his glasses wiping them carefully)
should be ashamed
of yourself

©2007 by James Anderson

James Anderson publishes poetry and short fiction in a variety of venues, both online and print.

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