Chisel and hammer: my hands fly
like birds over the door’s edge
cutting a mortise
faster than the lady of the house can believe.
Screws turned deep in the wood,
I hurry on to the next door.

After hours, at the bar
a song grows in me and bursts out. My hands
dance over the stained keys, exult,
attack, coax sweetness out of the
hammers and strings of this old hulk.
It’s my throw-down --- my defiance
of encroaching mediocrity
which laps at me from all sides.
Can you do this? Like hell you can.

But I follow neither of these careers, you see
though both, judiciously practiced,
would lead me to a full life and a happy death.
No, instead
I “want to write.”