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This poem is taken from PN Review 210, Volume 39 Number 4, March - April 2013.

from 'The Muses' J. Kates
The Muse on Sunset Boulevard

Once I had respect and love
, she whined
in Attic Greek - a song I know too well.
I sat down next to you, you looked so kind,
I like red wine
. I ordered zinfandel

and steeled myself to listen to the tale
of Rick's café - Mister, I met a man -
waiting for the wow, and wished like hell
she looked a little more like Ingrid Bergman

and less like Norma Desmond. No such luck.
I need an agent. Gentleman that I am,
I kept my mouth shut. I don't give a damn,
frankly
, I didn't say. Still, I was stuck

and sympathetic to the grande old dame.
What the fuck, I'm singing, what the fuck.



The Muse in Soviet Life
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