Here There, Anywhere
At a breakfast meet-up for St. Paul poets the topic of discussion was, "what poet was your greatest influence?"
As the Algonquin roundtable was being polled, I knew I'd be alone. For everyone's answer demonstrated a superior intellect.
"Ginsberg," started the roll call.
Followed by another, "Ginsberg."
Then, "Ralph Waldo Emerson." Funny, no one ever refers to old Ralph by his last name.
"Ginsberg," echoed again. How I hate Ginsberg.
"Ezra Pond," someone said, who dared to be different.
"Mine is Ginsberg as well." By now it was obvious I was an accidental attendee at the Ginsberg Poetry Club.
Finally the eagle's feather was passed to me. "Dr. Suess is my greatest influence."
A collective chuckle arouse from the table, then hubristic young man sarcastically commented. "I thought we were discussing poems, not nursery rhymes."
I paused to take a deep breath and with a smile responded collectively to everyone at the table. "Considering Ginsberg had such a profound influence on contemporary poets such as yourselves would any of you care to share a verse from one of his many works that inspired you?"
Everyone glanced slowly at each other hoping the other would answer. Finally the awkward moment was interrupted by our waitress.
"Have you folks decided what you'd like to order," she asked?
I immediately spoke up. "I'll have the green eggs and ham, mam."
As though it were preplanned she responded on cue, "will you have them here, there, or anywhere?"
Now dear readers, before you dismiss me as an old fool, know that the story I just told you is absolutely true.