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This poem is taken from PN Review 222, Volume 41 Number 4, March - April 2015.

Adventures of the Noir Américain: An Audience with the Prince Tony Roberts

He likes to huff and puff and blow the house down
but half the porkers in the audience
are from the Fleet and they’re all busy
with not listening. Instead their vocal cords
are happily vibrating in the spirit  
of the Constitution’s First Amendment.
He side-mouths Red that what they’ve got is Circe’s
crew out there tonight (drawing another
Homeric blank). So he has the quintet play
a vamp-till-ready, while he’s waiting on
a kind of hush that doesn’t come, and then
he leans into the mike to try a pitch
he’s told that Mingus made (All right, he’s heard
it didn’t work, but it will surely
mollify, and the Prince is right now
in the kind of mood his drummer, Red, would call

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