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This poem is taken from PN Review 254, Volume 46 Number 6, July - August 2020.

Three Poems John Birtwhistle
On a Conducted Tour

Here we are, in the renowned Spiegel Café,
scene of the last poem before he shot himself.
Yes, all these mirrors are great for selfies.

This is the actual corner seat where he watched
via those mirrors the demented gentleman
– Do grab yourselves a coffee while you can –

whom the regulars dubbed The Professor
who’d sit all day long with endless pots of tea,
soundlessly declaiming to his imaginary class

– and don’t miss out on the legendary gâteaux
drenched in liqueur, though in our poet’s day
the Spiegel was, as it were, more bohemian.

You can take it in turns to sit exactly here
and I’ll go round the corner so you can spy
on my reflection pretending to mime,
...


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