It was a Spring morning in Austin, Texas in 1995. Yearly poetry weekend was here. My favorite time of the year. My only attempt at verbal poetry for me when I was stationed in Texas. I arrived early and I added my name to the back-up readers. Many people came early and I went to the nearby coffee shop near to the reading. It was filled with the College students. I ordered my coffee and I looked for a free seat. Only free seat was lone pretty woman with auburn hair and serious looking hazel eyes. I went to the table and I asked her. Could I sit here please? She gave me a hard look and she told me. You can if you don’t bother me with useless conversation. I smiled and I told her. I promise to be mute as a butterfly. I will just write poetry and hold silence. She gave me an odd smile and she agreed. She gave me motivation to write and I wrote a poem for her.
You whispered to me. Life and love is.
Bleeding and damnation.
Sweetness and the taste of bitterness.
Knowing hate and accepting love pain.
Knowing the liar prayer and accepting less.
Learning the night whispers are meaningless in the morning light.
Men are just lovers, Poets and writers and liars.
After we know a 1000 lies.
Better to be a concrete angel than
to know disappointment and heartbreak
My eyes rose-up from the poem and I saw her watching me. She asked. You believe you are a poet? Are you the Hemingway of Austin, Texas? I smiled and I told her. Not Hemingway yet. I still need a few more wars and more ladies to dance with in Paris. She laughed at my comment and she asked. What did you write just now? I smiled and I read the poem to her. Her eyes become less cold and she asked. Do you believe this is me? Or do you write garbage to tempt the foolish girls? I told her. I need reasons to write. You were just my muse for the poem. I have known you for a few seconds. Woman show men little. They are the mystery of life. Few woman show real self to another. She looked my face over and she asked. Are you here for the poetry reading?
I told her yes. I wrote some more words into my journal.
Piercing cold eyes seeking nothing and everything.
She did not want the pledge of love no-more.
Dead love bury and gone.
Make the lonely days less painful she whispered to me.
She wished in nightly private prayers.
For love and hope to rise in her heart and mind.
Lonely tears and silence was her final place and dead-end.
Fair maiden knew hope and held sweet dreams.
Now the concrete angel want nothing and everything.
I handed the poem to her and I told her my name was Johnnie. Almost Hemingway, maybe more Donne than Hemingway.
She read the poem and she gave me a slight smile. She whispered my name is Angela and I’m glad you interrupted me. I need someone to make me laugh today. Are you alone in Austin today? I smiled and I told her. I was this morning. Maybe you would enjoy the poetry reading. Many of us are up and coming Hemingway and Donne. I would enjoy your company.
She smiled and she agreed. We left the coffee shop together and she surprised me. She took my hand and we walked in silence to the Austin, Texas poetry reading.