George & Angela Bowering

He has the eyes of someone you know but not very well. One looks at
you a little more than the other does. The other leads your eye, or
both of them, to a small ring in his left earlobe. Is it gold? All the
pictures you have ever seen show him with a receding hairline. A beard
that comes to a point like a chin. A mustache not much more convincing
than the poor one you tried to grow when you were what you were. A
white collar and dark jacket, what did they call them, thick and rich
and here it is black. If the ring is gold it shines because of the
black. Comedy and tragedy and history. You go to him because all of
you go to him, for whatever there is. If this is a playwright then
some people I have seen in the bar and on the ball field are
playwrights. Behind that high brow is a mind they argue about, how
much did he really know, about Italy, about Rome. How much did
everyone then know, people who lead horses away to the parking lot? He
does not look like Shakespeare the more you gaze as you are meant to
do when a painting shows up in front of you. The other ear is hidden.
You know there is no ring in it. You know he turned this way because
the ring is on this side. He is always on. He is an actor, and a
prince's ghost, they say. What are those buttons made of? Hardy would
have said horn. Did he feel funny brushing that long coarse hair with
so much bare head in front? Was the gold in his ear before the hair
receded? Did you notice that this man makes you ask questions rather
than passing remarks?

The East Village Poetry Web