The Barber

by Peter Notehelfer

He was reading Bukowski
when I walked into the shop
hardly seemed that kind of guy
huge burly Norwegian that he is
a picture of himself as a Viking
holding a full stein of lager
hanging up on the wall 

But that was Bukowski
a poet for the working man
at home with the shop steward
as with a literary agent or editor
Anyway the barber was saying
‘His poems are like a novel
without all the words’

Where upon he set about
with his clippers & shears
to edit the excess vocabulary
growing around my neck & ears
while waxing eloquent about
that morning’s moonlight
reflected on the harbor

“Storytelling reveals meaning
without committing the error of defining it.”

~ Hannah Arendt


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