To Waltz with Whitman

Whitman winks from the frame

and he asks me to dance

and we whirl and we whirl to the music the music of air raid sirens and battle cries and calfskin drums and a Stradivarius

the way we Viennese dance

(although I have never been to Vienna)

and whilst Gautama and Lennon smoke in the corner and Cobain sweeps the ashes Whitman puts me back, out of my ink and into his

and I am in a classroom again and I am in Vienna

and whilst Monroe studies Warhol Whitman winks again and reads the printed anthology and I am Viennese again

(although I have never been to Vienna)

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