A Blowhard Drops By by John Olson

May 24, 2012 Comments Off on A Blowhard Drops By by John Olson

The wind is blowing. It makes a kind of music in the trees. It is like something living. It has a being. It knocks on the door. It tries to sell me a vacation in Rio. It wants me to sign a petition for the dissolution of Arizona. It wants me to contribute money to the fund for aimless existences. I invite it inside. It sits at the table. Everything blows off the table, including the cat. I pour the wind some coffee. The coffee shivers in the mug, then disappears.

So, I say, what is the answer?

The answer to what?

You know. The song by Bob Dylan. The answer is blowing in the wind. You’re the wind. So what’s the answer?

Who’s Bob Dylan?

A singer. He plays the guitar.

You should ask Bob Dylan.

I don’t know Bob Dylan. I don’t have his cell number, or email address.

Well what is the question?

Dylan had quite a number of them. How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?


Are you sure?

Yes. Thirty-two. Twenty-three for women. They catch on to things faster.

Here is another: how many seas must a white dove fly, before she sleeps in the sand.

Doves don’t sleep in the sand. Mourning doves prefer nesting in trees near human habitation. The laughing doves of sub-Saharan Africa like nesting in fruit trees, pomegranate and olive in particular. At least that’s what my sister Simoom tells me. Don’t you have any questions of your own?

Yes. A few. Which makes a better use of language: poetry or prose?

Prose. Anything else?

Really? Prose?

I don’t know. I guess it would depend on the poem. Have you heard the sound I make in the trees? What would you  call that?

A sound. A soughing. Or a susurrus.

Susurrus. Sounds like poetry to me. Anything else?

What is next week’s winning lottery number?

I haven’t the faintest. I can’t tell the future. I live in the present.

What is the mind?

The mind of what? A zebra? An oyster? A cow?

A human being.

How would I know that?

You’re the wind.

Wind, yes. Ok. The human mind is a form of energy, like bioluminescence. It is similar to the sweet dumpling squash, with a yearning for light and glory. Some say it is a great soup for making negotiations. I saw one once, rolling down the hill like a wheel on fire. It had jarred loose during a birthday celebration. Too much tequila. This is good coffee, by the way.

Thank you.

Sure thing. Anything else?

Not now. Maybe later. I’ve got to clean up this mess before my wife comes home.

Sorry about that.

No problem. 

© 2012  John Olson, first appeared at Fictionaut

John Olson is the author nine collections of poetry, including Larynx Galaxy, from Black Widow Press in 2012, and Backscatter: New And Selected Poems, from Black Widow Press in 2008. Souls Of Wind, a novel about French poet Arthur Rimbaud in the American West   –  which was shortlisted for a Believer magazine book of the year award  –  was published by Quale Press in 2008. The Nothing That Is, an autobiographical novel written from the 2nd person point of view, was published by Ravenna Press in 2010. He is the recipient of a Stranger genius award for literature and is a three-time recipient of a Fund For Poetry Award. He recently finished a novel about French painter Georges Braque, to be published by Quale Press in 2012, titled The Seeing Machine. You can find him at www.tillalala.blogspot.com

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