May 28, 2011

Typewriter Man

A few months ago in Satellite Coffee in Nob Hill in Albuquerque, I saw an old man typing on a typewriter surrounded by a sea of MacBooks and PCs. His story has been mulling around in my head for quite some time. Today it got out. 

Grizzled beard but
Knowing eyes lean over the obsolete keys
Wrinkled hands poking
Out of elbow-patched sleeves
Gather the run-away thoughts
Into phrases and clauses
Each pound of a letter
Results in a clickety slap
Followed by an ink smattering
Reminiscent of a literary era
Now bartered for in antique stores
Before the delete key existed
When you had to be sure of each word
Typing now is so haphazard
But he is deliberate
He clinches the past just as
He grips the edge of the machine
So it won't slide off his corduroy pants
And the gurgle of the cappuccino maker
Drowns out the sound of the
Collegiate debate all full of hubris
But the striking of the teeth-like keys
Smacking the linen paper
Echo louder than everything else
As if to say you are too
Let's forget time and forget
Our to-do lists
Come revel with me in the
Perfect collection of words
that do not defiantly glow back
I control them, not the other way around
And typewriter man silently, staunchly proclaims
There by the barrel of coffee beans
That he will sip life and savor it.